As a spoiled brat of the ’90s, I might be a little biased in saying this, but it’s clear that the’ 90s had the best tech toys for kids. With Nintendo game consoles, Yak Baks, Tamagotchi, and Power Wheels Jeeps to keep us entertained, we had more fun than the Fortnite generation.
Yes, the 90s were steeped in flannel and grunge music. Its citizens loved malls and MTV and cringey slang, wore wild JNCO jeans, and loved boy bands and hip hop music videos. But while the decade has brought us many… unique… memories to remember, it has also brought us all kinds of fascinating technologies, much of which laid the groundwork for today’s technology that we cannot live without. We had AOL World Wide Web chatrooms, beeps and gigantic colorful iMacs, and we also had some of the most awesome tech toys. Shout at Pogs.
Out of a decade obsessed with often bizarre technology was born the iconic egg-shaped Tamagotchi: digital animals that you can attach to your keychain. Having a Tamagotchi not only proved how cool you were, it also meant you had your own digital puppy to take care of. Or was it a cat? A monster? An alien? Whatever they were, absolutely no one had a perfect track record of remembering to feed them and keep them alive. Beepy devices were also among the first to get banned from classrooms. P.S. You can buy more Tamagotchi today.
Nintendo 64 (1996)
Of all the gaming consoles of the ’90s (including the Sony PlayStation or the Sega Dreamcast), none was more iconic than the N64. Despite the ridiculous controller, the console brought us such video games as Goldeneye 007, Super Mario 64, 1080 Snowboard, Dark perfect, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Tooie, Pokémon Stadium, StarFox, WaveRace, Turok, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You can still find the odd Nintendo 64 for sale in local game stores, but almost always in used condition, so the buyer beware!
Made popular by Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, that bad boy could record anything and change the sound of your voice. The TalkBoy (and the pink and purple TalkGirl that came out later) was basically just a tape recorder, but its voice capabilities provided hours of fun for young children.
Bop It (1996)
Although the portable electronic game lacked flash, Bop was still a pretty tense game. It was shouting commands for players to follow, like “Bop It”, “Pull It” and “Twist It”, and had corresponding physical inputs on the device that could be manipulated. There were multiple game modes and players competed against each other to earn the most points. There is a newer version of the game available for sale today with more modern controls like ‘drink’ and ‘selfie it’, but the original will still be hard to beat. Literally.
Sony Aibo (1999)
The adorable robot puppy was almost as fun as a real puppy. The beagle lookalike had a standalone design that responded to its surroundings and was fun for kids of all ages, especially those with allergies. There is newer versions from Aibo available today, although its price of $ 2,899.99 is probably too expensive for anyone to take advantage of.
Sega Gaming Equipment (1990)
Since the release of the iconic Nintendo Game Boy in 1989, Sega has landed the first portable game console of the ’90s with the Game Gear and has everyone’s enthusiasm with the color display. The console featured popular titles like Sonic the hedgehog, The GG Shinobi, Sonic chaos, and Land of Illusion with Mickey Mouse. The Game Gear was also known for its exciting peripherals, such as Gear to Gear link cables, screen magnifier, carrying case, cheat devices, and car adapters to keep you entertained on road trips.
Game Boy Color (1998)
Seeing the enthusiastic response to Sega’s color display, Nintendo released the Game Boy Color, which also had – you guessed it – a color display. Kids liked them because they were smaller, took fewer batteries, and were available in cool colors (hence the super dope advertising). The console had a whole fleet of Pokemon and Zelda games, as well as other popular titles like Super Mario Land, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby’s Dream Land, Pocket bomberman, and Mario golf.
Tickle Me Elmo (1996)
This one is for all young millennials. Because Elmo was pretty much everyone’s favorite Sesame Street character, Tickle Me Elmo was the perfect merchandise for young children: a soft, loving plush toy that laughed when you tickled it. The toy also iinspired by multiple violent frenzies when it soared in popularity after being hooked up by TV host Rosie O’Donnell. People were seriously injured in scuffles trying to reach the dolls, arrested for arguing over the doll, and even attempted to ambush a delivery truck full of dolls. Wait, wasn’t Tickle Me Elmo meant to represent love and happiness?
Yak Bak (1994)
Similar to the Talkboy, the YakBack also lets you record short audio clips and replay them until everyone around you is bored. Later editions of the toy even allowed you to change the pitch of your voice to be more boring. The toy’s capabilities and small design made it easy to hide it in your pocket, bag, locker, or elsewhere, and while Yak Baks were fun for kids, they were undoubtedly the bane of many existence. parents and teachers.
Portable games Tiger Electronics (1994)
While not exactly a dedicated gaming console, the Tiger Electronics handheld game artillery was always a pleasure to play with. And at around $ 20 a pop, they were also cheaper than consoles and newer console games (although the cost of buying many of them adds up over time). Tiger has managed to get all kinds of licenses from Batman and robin and Disney’s The Lion King at X Men and Mortal combat. And good news: Hasbro even recently reissued some titles if you want to relive the fun.
Power Wheels Jeep (1991)
The Jeep Power Wheels was every ’90s kid’s dream. It meant we could get in and out of the dodge (at least until the battery ran out halfway down the block). Of course, it wasn’t very quick, but if you were four years old, this thing ripped apart and it got you to your friend’s house in style. And by the way, Gen Z and Gen Z parents, we have an obligation to pay it to our kids with new Power Wheels.
Successful clips (1999)
I love the ’90s, and I love everything on this list… except Hit Clips. These were a precursor to MP3 players, but have taken an insane left turn somewhere. Each clip could only play a short piece of a pop or rock song (usually just a riff or chorus), and the playback was of the lowest quality possible. The individual Hit Clips cost just under $ 5 a pop and require you to purchase the little companion boombox, which also costs $ 20, in order to play. I’ll stick to CDs, thank you.
Dream Phone (1991)
Dream Phone was an electronic board game that revolved around the pink plastic “phone” that came with it. It’s kind of like a combination of Guess Who and junior high, but while both went really well, there was no rejection. Basically, you use the phone to call (fictitious) guys to get clues as to which (fictitious) guy likes you, and you’ll narrow your options based on things like location and what he’s wearing. It was called Dream Phone because it was the dream phone scenario for anyone who dreamed of calling a cute boy in real life.
Polaroid i-Zone (1999)
The Polaroid i-Zone lets you take photos, immediately print them onto decorated paper, then cut and paste them wherever you want. Granted, it came out at the end of the decade, but it was such a phenomenal idea that portable photo printers are still very present today. And yes, the camera was of poor quality, but with three aperture settings it was easy to use and perfect for decorating mirrors, laptops, and lockers.
Fans of digital pets quickly fell in love with the enigmatic Furby, with its movable ears, adorable sayings and thousand-yard gaze. Furby looked like an owl or hamster (although it was a tribute to Mogwai from Gremlins). The toy was an overnight hit and remained overwhelmingly popular for years after its initial release, selling over 40 million units in the first three years. When you first received him he spoke “Furbish” a gibberish language, but slowly started using English words. The US National Security Agency, however, banned the Furbies from being on NSA property in 1999 because they feared recording or repeating classified information; the ban was then withdrawn.