(MS) — Today’s kids have scores of technological games and gadgets from which to choose for their holiday wish list. How much do they differ from the toys children requested just 10 to 20 years ago?
Here’s a look at some of the popular toys of the 1980s and 1990s.
If you were a kid growing up during the age of excess you were a part of the mass hysteria explosion for new toys. Most memorable during the ‘80s was the shortage of Cabbage Patch Dolls that coincided with Christmas shopping season. This led to fights at area stores and bidding wars over the dolls.
Boys in the ‘80s were enthralled by the action figure craze sparked by favorite cartoon characters. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man and Transformers were just some of the action figures played with primarily by boys. However, girls enjoyed spin-off series, such as She-Ra and the co-ed Thundercats and subsequent action figures.
In terms of dolls, apart from Cabbage Patch Dolls, kids could choose among Rainbow Brite and her cohorts, Popples, Care Bears and many others.
For those looking for video game action, the introduction of Nintendo in the late ‘80s created mass appeal and totally eclipsed earlier efforts by Atari.
Advancing technology in the ‘90s and improved marketing campaigns turned every toy into that “must-have toy.” There are a few toys that stand out from this decade that kids were eager to own.
Rollerblades were one of the big trends of the era. It was no longer cool to roller skate on four wheels. Rollerblades took over, enticing children and adults alike. Today in-line skating continues in popularity.
Younger children had to have Tickle Me Elmo, which sold out in stores almost as fast as Cabbage Patch Dolls from a decade earlier. Children today still enjoy other animated Elmo reincarnations.
Another toy craze that hit the 1990s were Beanie Babies. These bean-filled collector’s items soon became very expensive and their appeal died off.
Furby was a computerized creature that actually “learned.” It would acquire words and phrases if you bestowed attention on the toy. Furbys required a lot of attention, feeding and sleep — just like a person. This could be why their appeal quickly wore off after the first few years.
In terms of outdoor action, summertime fun was forever changed by the Super Soaker, which was more powerful than any water gun before it.