Being a child was the best. No worrying over student loans, bills, fashion, being late for work or eating healthy. Just school, then returning home to play with your toys. Here are some of my top 18 toys from my childhood that are guaranteed to get you 90’s kids (and 90’s parents) feeling nostalgic…
18. Doodle Bear
There was something so satisfactory about being able to draw and scribble all over doodle bear, then hand her over to Mum to wash, then repeat all over again. Just be careful to use the special pens that come with her, marker pens did not wash out quite as easily!
17. Sea Monkeys
The answer to every parent dealing with a child who wanted a pet. Much cheaper than a hamster or even a goldfish, sea monkeys were a type of brine shrimp that you could grow at home. They only lived for a couple of weeks and looked nothing like a monkey, but everyone had them at one point in their childhood.
Scoobies were all the rage around 2007. For the more creative children, you could weave the plastic colored strips to make different patterns and create bracelets, key rings and bag charms. They were pretty addictive to make, I had hundreds just lying around my bedroom.
Hama was another creative activity I became obsessed with as a child. With loads of different stencils to choose from, you placed the colored plastic beads on the stencil pins (this was always extremely fiddly), then covered them with some grease proof paper and ironed to create fun shapes; pretty pointless objects to own after the designing part was over and made the house reek of melting plastic.
14. Stretch Armstrong
Stretch Armstrong wasn’t in my toy box, but he belonged to my younger brother. The action figure’s gel filled limbs could be stretched to incredible lengths without breaking. Although in our household, Stretch Armstrong suffered a terrible accident and his innards stained our carpet for years… sorry mum!
These fun circus skill type toys were so popular back in the day. I have to admit I never quite mastered how to do it and gave up pretty quickly.
Another one of my brother’s toys- BeyBlades were weird plastic objects that involved pressing a launcher to send them into spinning chaos. Stick them inside the BeyStadium and let them battle it out, whoever’s BeyBlade stops spinning first is the loser.
11. Betty Spaghetti
Betty Spaghetti was one of my favorite dolls as a child. Her hair was exactly what it says in the name, spaghetti shaped. Similarly, her arms and legs were almost as spindly as spaghetti strands. Besides having unrealistic proportions, you could mix and match her outfits and most of her body parts! I spent a lot of time tying her hair into knots then trying to untangle them.
I always found Furby quite creepy and annoying. The little furry owl-like animal had huge eyes and spoke Furbish language in a creepy, robotic voice.
One of the most played with toys when I was VERY young was Elefun. You filled the elephant’s trunk with the flimsy butterflies, then turned it on and the fan inside inflated the elephants trunk and sent the butterflies flying out. You had to try and catch the butterflies that matched the color of your net. I think I’d still be entertained by this today.
8. Scent Stars
Scent Stars were collectable dolls, each with their own character and scent. Their hair was the part that was scented the most, but you could press the little star on their heads to refresh them if it faded. They also had their own plastic bottles that they lived in to preserve the smell. I was obsessed with these as a child and had the entire collection. I can still remember the smell of them now…
7. Stink Blasters
Stink Blasters, similarly to Scent Stars, were collectable dolls with their own character and scent. Except these dolls were the most repulsive things your young nostrils would ever have come across. Needless to say, these belonged to my younger brother. Featuring the above, BO Brian, Cauliflower Carl and Toejam Jimmy, you can imagine the stench that came off these dolls. They even contaminated my lovely smelling Scent Stars when my brother tried to make them friends… let’s just say cauliflower and cookies aren’t a great combination.
6. Top Trumps
Top Trumps are a fairly easy card game involving packs of cards that are all related to a particular genre or topic. For example, Doctor Who, Disney Princesses, Animals etc. They still sell them today.
Today as an adult, you won’t catch me going anywhere without my phone. Back when I was 9 you wouldn’t catch me without my Tamagotchi. These virtual pets were every 90’s kids life, you could even connect them with your friend’s Tamagotchis and play games. I’m pretty sure I had three at one point.
4. Polly Pocket
Me and my friends always used to love Polly Pocket back in primary school. She was a miniature doll who had multiple outfit sets, made of rubbery, stretchy material. She also had many different play sets to purchase alongside. I was so excited when I got the Polly Pocket airplane with the air hostess costumes. Way better than Barbie!
Down to the final three now, and Bopit comes a deserving third place in my countdown. This game literally occupied hours of my time as a kid. The ‘pull it’, ‘twist it’, ‘bop it’ features eventually became upgraded, when Bopit Extreme and Bopit Extreme 2 were released and the features of ‘spin it’ and ‘flick it’ were added.
2. Mr Frosty
In second place is Mr Frosty, the slushy maker. I was beyond excited when I received this from Santa one Christmas. It was ridiculously easy to use but back then it seemed like such a magical machine. You basically just put broken up ice poles under Frosty’s removable hat, then pushed down on his head whilst turning the lever on his back to create yummy, flavored slush.
1. Sylvanian Families
Taking the first place spot in my countdown of the best childhood toys are the classic Sylvanian Families. These were collectable families of different animals, with various play sets. Me and my brother had the frogs, the ducks, the hedgehogs and the white rabbits, along with the canal boat and the windmill. These were adorable and not cheap either. My childhood was filled with these cute little animal family sets.