#1 – Pokémon Cards
Upon its release in 1996, Pokémon immediately became one of the most sought after card games in history. Whilst an 11 pack of cards should normally have cost around $5, rare individual cards were being traded for over one hundred times that, with some booster packs selling for as much as $9,000.
#2 – Yo-Yos
A Philippino immigrant named Pedro Flores invented the modern yo-yo in the 1920’s, however he is not always recognized for it. A business man named Donald Duncan met Pedro Flores busking with his yo-yo on the street. Duncan liked the yo-yo, and promoted it with Flores until in 1929, when he bought the manufacturing rights from Pedro.
The press likened the late 1920s yo-yo fad to a case of measles. They said the yo-yo craze would run its course in a few weeks never to be seen again. Who would have guessed that 70 years later, millions of yo-yos would continue to be sold each year?
Technological development of the yo-yo saw a resurgence in it’s popularity in the 1990s. The British Association of Toy Retailers voted the Yo-Yo the “Craze of the Century” for the 20th century.
#3 – Tamagotchis
The Tamagotchi was first released in 1996, in Japan. It’s a handheld digital pet that was originally aimed at 8-15 year old children, however it went on to become a huge success with the adult population in Japan and around the world.
The egg shaped computer included three buttons used to control the Tamagotchi. The user would have to feed the Tamagotchi, play with it, clean it’s waste and monitor it’s general well-being whilst it grew up.
The tiny machine took the world by storm, with people in Japan willing to pay hundreds of dollars just to get their hands on one. Over 70,000,000 Tamagotchis had been sold world-wide as of 2008.
#4 – Teletubbies
In 1997, a show featuring four colorful creatures hit our television screens – they were called the Teletubbies.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po were the four main characters. They were the Teletubbies who lived together with their guardian and housekeeper Noo-Noo. The first show aired on 31 March 1997 and rapidly Teletubby mania swarmed across the world.
The show was a huge success with branded merchandise taking over shops in the UK and around the Globe. More than one million dolls of Tinky Winky, Laa Laa, Dipsy and Po, were sold between September and December of 1997 in Britain with stores selling out within hours of delivery.
The BBC released a single later in 1997 called Teletubbies say “Eh-oh!”. The single spent two weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart, selling over one million copies in total.
Their baby-like characteristics found the way into the hearts of millions of children, but their bright colors and adorable charm made them a big hit with the older generation too – particularly college students.
#5 – Crazy Bones
Gogos are small figurines that became a popular fad during the 1990s. They were inspired by a game played in Ancient Greece called astragals, where children played with sheep’s knucklebones.
Crazy Bones is a modernization of the game where characters were moulded from plastic. There were hundreds of individual characters, each character had a unique face and name.
Their immense popularity led to Crazy Bones being banned in many schools because they were too much of a distraction to pupils and the cause of the vast majority of playground arguments.
#6 – Beanie Babies
In 1993 the nine original Beanie Babies were launched. They were Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, Brownie the Bear and Punchers the Lobster.
They went on to become a massively popular collectable in the late 90s. The majority of the people who bought them believed they would increase in value over time, however by the year 2000 the phenomenon had dwindled.
#7 – Pogs
If you were around in the 1990s, I’m sure you will have owned a Pog or two. They became so popular that thousands of types of pogs were manufactured, covering a wide array of toys, cartoons, movies, games, sports, celebrities and so much more.
Not everyone called them Pogs though. You may have known them as Milkcaps, Tazos, or Trovs. Whatever you called them, they were a huge hit in the 90s and millions were produced around the world to cater for the extraordinary demand.
Got any more to add? Let us know in the comments below. I’m feeling rather nostalgic now.
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