30 Toys That Every ’90s Kid Wanted
Toys are more than just objects to keep kids occupied. Like music, movies, and fashion, toys can steer pop culture and define entire decades. Like every generation, children of the '90s associate that time, in large part, with the toys they had. Some of the decade's most popular playthings were exclusive to the era. Others were reincarnations of things that had been around for decades before taking off in the '90s. In other cases, toys from the era made such an impact that kids are still playing with some version of them today.
In terms of technology, the 1990s was one of the most transformative decades in human history—it was the bridge between the analog and digital eras. At the beginning of the '90s, people stopped at payphones to check in with loved ones during long car rides, which they survived with cassette tapes and FM radios. By the end of the decade, those same people were sending text messages, downloading songs onto MP3 players, and using high-speed modems to perform Google searches online. Toys were not immune to the sea change. Personalized interactive toys and pocket-sized electronic games made the blocks, Slinkys, and Lincoln logs of old feel like relics.
Some of the biggest toys of the decade, however, were just modified versions of things that had been around forever. Dolls, stuffed animals, and action figures were as popular in the '90s as they'd been in the '80s, '70s, and earlier—in fact, some of the biggest Christmas crazes of the decade were as low-tech as the Cabbage Patch Kids or mood rings that came before them. Some toys, like Tamagotchi and Pogs, came and went, while others, like Nerf and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are still staples in bedrooms and backyards today.
Here's a look at the toys that defined the '90s.