Forget iPads, interactive toys and gaming online with strangers, many of us adults today will remember a simpler time. A time when there was endless entertainment found in a piece of elastic, collections smelled of rubber and stationery was extraordinary. Aaah sweet nostalgia, here are 14 toys showing 80s and 90s kids’ knew a fun time back then!
Amazingly, some toys from this era have stood the test of time, or had a resurgence into toy boxes through being featured in films or rebranded. Care Bears, for instance, continue to be popular, alongside My Little Pony and Lego. And how many years have we been losing at Monopoly for now? Everything old is new again rings true.
90s kids’ classic. Monopoly still brings the tantrums decades on. via GIPHY
Ready for a trip down memory lane? Check out these old-school toy box gems below. Aaaaaah memories!
Blast from the past: 14 Classic 80s and 90s kids’ toys
1. Fashion plates
The toy that had us all convinced we were the next best thing next to Versace. Mix up those plates, slide the cartridge over them and colour them in. BOOM, instant fashion designer!
Long before virtual reality headsets, we had the View-Master for an out-of-this-world kind of visual experience. Just pop your cardboard reel in and turn through the coloured images with a pull of a lever. Fun times!
3. Mini piano
A musical instrument in your pocket? You bet. The only device you could bust out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with using your pinky finger. Not just a one-hit wonder, the mini piano music book guided you through half a dozen song choices. Encore!
4. We collected … well, everything
From stamps and stickers to these ridiculous tiny, colourful and smelly erasers. Luckily they were cute enough to want to keep collecting because they were absolutely useless at erasing pencil marks from paper.
5. Cabbage Patch Dolls
I can remember Cabbage Patch Dolls being a HUGE part of my life in the early to mid-80s. A doll that was a little hideous looking with a soft body and a hard as-heck head, there was great excitement in busting open the box to discover your adoption certificate and doll’s name. Mum was kept especially busy sewing outfits for years to come.
6. Etch a Sketch
You’d spend hours sketching left and right only to have your sibling “accidentally’ knock it with their foot as they walked past, undoing all your good work. Disney Pixar’s Toy Story movie made this toy a popular one once again for kids to enjoy once again!
7. Glo Worm
A cuddly nightlight toy that was equally cute as it was terrifying. Squeeze its tum and watch its head softly glow. Cute? Yes. Weird? Also yes.
8. The magic doll bottle
Honestly, what even was this sorcery? If you were an 80s or 90s kid, these bottles were a given with any premium doll purchase and made us all feel like we were nailing motherhood. Tip the bottle and watch the contents disappear. Where to? No one knows.
Originally, slinky toys were metal and when left outside in summer they carried the heat of one hundred suns. So much fun was had watching these step in slinky fashion down a flight of stairs or drop from one hand to the other.
10. Crayola Caddy
A stationery-lovers DREAM, this toy was a star of 80s toys. The Crayola Caddy was a jewel in a pint-sized artist’s crown. A selection of all of Crayola’s greatest crafting hits, all housed in one central location. Most excellent!
11. Push pencils
Not technically a toy, but these push pencils were often given as a gift. Blunt pencil? Just take that one out and push it into the back end! It may have saved you sharpening but if you lost one of the parts, your pencil was deemed useless. So much fun – until they weren’t!
Taking schoolyards by storm, the 80s and 90s kids went through phases of playing elastics in the schoolyard as well as at home. If you miss the elastic with your foot, that’s it, you’re out! Also, if you were an only child, playing elastics with two kitchen chairs was perfectly acceptable. There’s no shame in the only-child game!
13. Slap Bands
Proving that 90s kids found joy in even the simplest of things. These lightweight plastic bands would snap and roll around your wrist when slapped against it – hence the name ‘slap bands’. Was it a toy or was it a fashion accessory? It could go both ways.
The 80s and 90s kids weren’t afraid of a bit of DIY in the toy department either. Paper fortune tellers (or chatterboxes) were an awesome game of chance and guaranteed to bring laughs to friendship groups as you work through the origami-folded layers.
There you have it, some of the best picks from the 80s and 90s kids’ toy boxes. How many of those do you remember having or playing with when you were younger? Or maybe you have something cool you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below, we want to remember too!