We've hand-picked our favourite toys from our childhoods that we always loved to have or dream of...
23 November 2016| Last updated on 18 October 2017
When it comes to the 80s and 90s, chokers, grunge music, and scrunchies might come to mind. But far from the questionable fashion trends, we have to admit, there was some incredibly advanced gadgets and toys we all wanted to own! We mean, hello... Tamagotchi's were amazing to play with...
Plus, there's no denying Christmas seemed so much easier back in the day. Afterall, nowadays kids just aren't happy unless they've a tablet or smartphone in their pocket. Us guys? We were happy with a water gun, some Pokemon cards or even just a Polly Pocket. So for a spot of nostalgia for everyone to enjoy, we've collected a selection of our favourite Christmas gifts from our childhood. Some Santa actually delivered, and others were just completely lust-worthy that we could only ever dream of having one.
There's just nothing like opening up your extremely heavy Argos catalogy and circling your wish-list anymore... *sigh*
We'd love to hear your own favourites! Tag us on Twitter @ExpatWomanDubai to share your own selections...
1. Mr Frosty
This has got to be one of the most in-demand toys of the 90s. Mr Frosty brought joy to all children who received him at Christmas, with his magical ways of creating ice lollys and fruity creations to enjoy. It's so simple to use too -- simply pop your favourite drink into the mould and place them into the freezer for a while. Et voilà! Tasty snacks at any time of the day.
In fact, Mr Frosty is still going strong and we've no doubt there'll be children around the world getting him for Christmas this year, too... Over two decades after his original release! He's currently worth £15.99 on the UK's Argos website.
2. Dream Phone
In the days before every child owned a smartphone and social media accounts, we had to cope with this! What was a lot of harmless fun, Dream Phone was a game in which you had to figure out which one out of 24 'incredible guys' liked you. All you had to do was play a boy's photo card and call his number on the phone. Then with clues, you needed to identify who it is and isn't. If the pretend guy on the other end says he really likes you, you've won the game.
3. Bop It
We're pretty sure a lot of households still have the good old Bop It hidden someone, ready to be swiped out on unsuspecting party guests and family members who are round for the evening. A huge favourite in the popular TV show, Gilmore Girls, Bop It is one of those frustrating games that you have to twist, flick and bop for as long as you possibly can without making a mistake against your opponent.
Interested in having your own? You can get the newer version on Amazon!
4. The Playstation
For any avid gamer from the 1990s, The Playstaion was a must-have, mind-blowing console. Favourite games include Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot - which is having a modrn revamp, by the way - and opened up a whole new world of gaming for all ages. While the graphics like questionable now, at the time of release, and ever since, The Playstation has provided hours and hours of endless entertainment. We've come a long way from this one, with the PS4 being the newest version.
5. Teksta Dog
This is one of those toys that prompts a lot of 'ooh yeaaaaah, I had one of them' comments! Indeed, we're sure siblings fought over who would have the chance to play, walk and interact with little Teksta on Christma Day first. Our Editor can most definitely relate, with her little brother still having his in storage. A pet without all the responsibilities... Perfect for any youngling to enjoy!
If you missed out on having one in the 90s, or you have children of your own now, don't worry... Teksta Dog has had a modern revamp, and you can still buy him today! Along with other friends, too.
6. Game Boy Color
These little beauties went huge after the likes of Super Mario and Pokémon propelled them into the spotlight. Afterall, following the original and very blocky Game Boy, these were a dream to carry and play with! And who'd have thought -- games in colour!? Were you even a 90s kid if you didn't have one of these? We're very sure a lot of you still have yours and your Pokémon Yellow game.
Be honest... Put your hands up if you tried to kill your Tamagotchi? That's right. These little companions fit right into your pocket and were our virtual babies and creatures to care for. Thanks to Tamagotchis, a caring nature was instilled into a lot of their owners that's probably still apparent today. But even if you didn't want to purposely kill it, it always inevitably died in the end no matter how much caring you gave yours. We learnt the value of loss in that way, too. Important life skills every person should learn in their lifetime.
8. Pokémon Cards
If you had a Charizard, Snorlax or Dragonite... Stop reading. We're too jealous of you! No matter how hard we tried, we could never come across one in our booster packs. And you can forget shiny ones, too! Like gold dust! But alas, a lot of hours were spent battling our friends, collecting our cards and reading them back to front to truly understand just how strong our Clefairys were. Not forgetting the all important potion cards... Lifesavers!
Of course, as we all know, the world of Pokémon is still going strong with the recent release of Pokémon GO and a whole new generation of Pokémon to enjoy.
This is another favourite that has been given a reboot... Re-introducing the lovable creatures and companions to the youngsters of today! They were a great joy to play with, communicate with and look after. But there's no denying that at night, hearing these little things chirping away in the dark is pretty terrifying when half asleep.
10. Doodle Bear
We could scribble and graffiti a toy to our heart's consent, all without the trouble from Mum and Dad. And then as if by magic... It would all wash away! The perfect toy to have for any child wanting to release their creativity in all different ways and forms.
The cooler, sassier version of Barbie, Bratz dolls rapidly became a household favourite with their edgy looks and strong attitudes. The Bratz were an American product line of fashion dolls that embraced the fashion world in a way we youngsters weren't familiar with. Their principles include thinking for themselves, creating the things they dream of, and making every day an absolute adventure... Which are all fantastic beliefs that any youngster should embrace! Even now, they're still going strong and can be bought here.
12. Polly Pocket
Yes these sets were a dream for any youngster to own, as they could be played with, explored and enjoyed wherever you went. Pocket size - literally - fun that accompanied us wherever we went. And there was SO many different types to choose from! From Polly Pocket herself and her home, to Disney Princess castles and more. We're very sure somewhere, somehow, many of you will no doubt still have the little, tiny characters stored or displayed somewhere.
13. Sky Dancers
Somewhat lethal if not handled correctly, the Sky Dancers inspired lots of oohs and aahs for kids at Christmas as they flew into the sky and spun, spun, spun! Inspired by the program, Sky Dancers, it was a whole fun world for children to enjoy.
14. Sindy House
A very vintage find nowadays, and you're lucky if you still have yours, the Sindy House was every young girl's dream in the 80s and 90s. Different to Barbie, and the opposite of Bratz, Sindy embraced our domesticated selves and encouraged us to keep our houses prim, proper and fully functioning.
In fact, you can still come across these rare finds on sites like eBay and Pinterest for a little more than what they were worth originally...
15. Moon Shoes
With these babies, you could turn your feet into mini trampolines with their in-built anti-gravity devices, powered by lots of kid fun! Kids were promised high-bouncing excitement and were a great, unique toy for kids to rave about. Plus, at least exercise was encouraged!
Aha, Barbie herself. Of course. We're 100% everyone has owned one at some point in their lifetime. From her house, to her car, to her horse and more... Barbie came in all different scenarios with all different accessories to enjoy. Of course, when it comes to Barbie - which may be a little controversial - her image, style and not forgetting non-human-like proportions set a certain standard that many little girls desired to meet. Move forward several decades and Barbie and her friends have finally been given a more natural appearance, with the launch of many different sizes, colours and styles for little girls to choose from!
17. Tickle Me Elmo
Come on... Who doesn't LOVE Elmo? The favourite friend from Sesame Street has always been a hit with the youngsters, and back in the 90s we could have our own Elmo that was extremely ticklish, and he communicated with us. Best friend, ever!
18. Cabbage Patch Kids
Depending on your perspective, the Cabbage Patch Kids were either cute or very... What can we say? Unusual. Looking like something out of Jim Henson's 1986 Labyrinth, the Cabbage Patch Kids were a huge hit for little ones growing up at the time. They come as kids and babies in all shapes and sizes, and are 'born' in a secret cabbage patch.
While they may have been off the grid for some time, the Cabbage Patch Kids have in fact had a revamp recently and you can buy your own here.
Infuriatingly fun, we could never quite match the amazing doodles and drawings that some others could around us. The main question was always... HOW? But no matter how bad our creations were, the Etch-A-Sketch will always be a family favourite to enjoy and flex our creative skills with.
20. Mr. Potato Head
The perfect gift for any of us who grew up adoring all things Disney. Mr Potato Head from Disney Pixar's popular Toy Story was brought to life... And is still going strong today. Collectors could find different accessories for his outfits, to help create several different looks for him... All the while storing the spare parts in his behind! If ever you were or are able to visit Disney World or any Disney park for that matter, there's no denying that a visit to his accessory stand is seriously impressive. Eyes, ears, hats, hands and moustaches galore!
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If you didn't have one of these in your grandparent's back garden, did you even grow up in the 80s and 90s?
Hours and hours of endless fun could be wasted with a staircase and your own slinky. A very basic toy - we loved simplicity back in the day, eh? - which made for lots of entertainment while out and about or at home. God forbid you ever got it stuck on your dog, or in your hair. That thing hurts! It's a great stress-reliever, too.
23. Hot Wheels
Still going strong, Hot Wheels have always been a child favourite for all things cars and automobiles. Back in the day, we could create (with difficulty) race tracks and stunt platforms to play with our cars on. Like we said, they're still around and you can buy your own here for this Christmas!