The 1990s might have had some terrible fashion crazes and music, but we certainly had some incredible games, gadgets, and toys. Collectables were the key to playground success; we were obsessed with hoarding the best 90s toys and trying to protect our stash from other players in tense-games of chance. There’s no wonder so many of these things are worth thousands now! From foil-packed wonders picked up from newsagents to some of the most popular Christmas toys our little minds went crazy for, this list of the Top 90s Toys will take you for a trip down memory lane, and then over to eBay where you can buy, collect, and trade them all over again!
First up on our list of 90s toys is the Tamagotchi. If you were a kid in the late nineties and didn’t have a Tamagotchi, then it’s safe to say that you really missed out. These miniature digital pets were completely addictive and were the first thing on my mind as I rushed through the door from school. Keeping my little, black and white, pixelated character alive seemed like a matter of life or death and, in a way, I suppose it was for the digital dude or dudette inside. You would think that with the introduction of
2. Beanie Babies
Next up on our list of 90s toys is the Beanie Baby. Ever a classic, the Beanie Baby craze took the entire world by storm, and it’s no surprise as these cuddly toys are super cute and loved by everyone from knitting-loving-grannies to high-flying-business-types. The beads that the Beanie Babies are stuffed with make them heavier than regular teddies and are the perfect comforting buddy. They are also slightly under stuffed which makes them floppy and more realistic then usual teddy bears. Beanie Babies aren’t just a toy for kids, however; these toys are considered collectables and can go for thousands of dollars. ‘Brownie’, one of the original Beanie Bears released by TY, can easily fetch $20,000 at auction, while a limited edition Princess Bear made in memoriam of Princess Dianna has been listed at $500,000. However, if you’re looking to sell a Beanie Baby today, be sure that the iconic tag is intact, or else they won’t even be worth $10.
3. Nintendo 64
Next up on our list of 90s toys, we have our first games console and one of the best on the planet; the Nintendo 64. If you were lucky enough to have a Nintendo 64 as a kid then you were
4. Stretch Armstrong
Next on our list is Stretch Armstrong, one of the most iconic 90s toys there is. Released in 1976, this stretch toy remained popular until production ceased in 1997, 21 years isn’t a bad run! The classic American toy featured a gel-filled action figure who could be stretched, pulled, twisted, and tied into any position up to a whopping 5ft! Good news: in 2016 nostalgic demand for Stretch Armstrong caused Hasbro to announce its re-release, with the exact same design as the model sold in the 90s, so grab one for your kids and see if they enjoy it as much as you did!
5. Polly Pocket
Any big girls out there that used to be little girls will know that Polly Pocket was one of the best 90s toys- a doll that could fit in your pocket, what more could you want! This miniature creation featured ‘Polly’, a tiny figurine that stood under one inch tall. Polly came enclosed inside a small case that opened up to reveal a small dolls house or ‘world’. The worlds always looked pretty magical- a fairy tree or a ship on the ocean in beautiful, pastel colours. The best thing about Polly Pocket was that she was small enough to go with you wherever you went; she was the essential accessory for any 10-year-old in the 90s and remains loved by adults worldwide.
While the game played with the iconic Pogs has been around since the 1920s if not earlier, Pogs soared to popularity to become one of the best 90s toys when released in 1955. These small circles of cardboard became highly precious and collectable in the ‘swap-shop’ playground culture. A quick game of Pogs during recess could lead to joyful moments
7. Bop It
Next up on our list of 90s toys, we have another highly competitive game: Bop It. Bop It was a handheld electronic toy that first came out in 1996, but is so popular that new and improved versions are still on the shelves today. The original game came with just three instructions: bop it, twist it and pull it and you could compete against yourself, or others for the highest score. Fail at bop it, twist it or pull it on command and it’s game over for you!
8. Betty Spaghetty
Betty Spaghetty was a weird and wonderful doll with flexible limbs and spaghetti-like, often colourful hair. It certainly falls under the category of iconic 90s toys and was loved by both girls and bots the world over. She was unlike other dolls as she wasn’t made to look super realistic; her limbs were often bright colours and her hair was rubbery, not soft, making it easy to plait and style in different ways. The dolls came with interchangeable beads that would be threaded onto Betty’s arms and legs, so her look could be quickly changed. They might not be as collectable as TY Beanies, but I bet parents across the globe are thankful that Betty kept their kids occupied while Coronation Street was on.
9. Game Boy Colour
Of course, this list of the best 90s toys wouldn’t be complete without the Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Color was brought out at the tail end of the
The Etch a Sketch was actually first produced in 1960 but has continued its popularity right up to the present day, establishing itself as one of the most well known 90s toys. Woody from Toy Story used the Etch-a-Sketch to write messages and draw, bringing the Etch-a-Sketch into the public eye and causing every kid to want one and write their own secret messages. Turn the knobs on this clever toy to draw your very own masterpiece, or to leave a message for the next person to use it. Shake, and the words or image are gone forever and the Etch-a-Sketch is left blank for your next creation.
11. Marble Run
Marble run was an amazing 90s game; there was nothing better than turning the entire house into one giant marble run course and annoying your parents in the process. The more pieces you had, the better the run was! Hours of fun could be spent building the perfect track for your marbles to run down, the wackier the better. Marble run was great as it could be a solitary activity for those times that you had to ‘entertain yourself’ or even more fun when you had friends round. Apparently marble run is still a thing and there are some epic courses on YouTube if you’re having a slow day at work and want to pass the time.
Another range of 90s toys that were first released in the 1960s and had another surge of popularity throughout the 1990s was the Troll Dolls. These funny little dolls are only several inches tall and feature bright hair, combed to stand upright on the troll’s heads. In the 1990s there were several video games and a video series released that further increased the popularity of these toys. In 2016 the DreamWorks movie Trolls was brought out, with another in 2017 and yet another set for release in 2020, making these 90s toys still popular today.
13. Mouse Trap
Mouse Trap was a great 90s game for those rainy days. This competitive board game saw players working together at first to complete the mouse trap course and then turn on each other to try and trap their mouse-shaped playing pieces. The competitive nature of
The Furby is one of the most iconic 90s toys of all time and was extremely popular after its release in 1998. These robotic furry toys were so popular that the suppliers couldn’t keep up with the demand and, over the 1998 Christmas period, the Furby resale market skyrocketed. While the Furby retailed at $35 in stores, the resale value was over $100 and cases of fraudulent Furby sales, where the Furby was never delivered, were common. We can see why these furry creatures were so popular! The creatures appeared to learn English over time as they were programmed to speak less and less Furby language as they ‘grew’. They could also move their eyes and mouth and lift themselves off the ground, all groundbreaking features for a 90s toy.
15. Mr Potato Head
Mr Potato Head was certainly less advanced than the
16. Pokemon Cards
The Pokemon Trading Card Game was first published in 1996 and was the best trading card game amongst the ranks of other popular 90s toys. Pokemon was already popular thanks to the Game Boy and Game Boy Color and, by introducing a card game, Pokemon could be enjoyed in the school playground. Whoever won the game got to keep the cards, making it highly competitive. Even if you didn’t play the game, trading cards with friends was popular with some special or rare cards having a higher trading value than others. People still buy, collect, and trade these amazing cards today, with new artwork and a whole host of other pokemon doing the rounds.
17. GoGo’s Crazy Bones
GoGo’s Crazy Bones were another collectable toy fad throughout the 1990s and, with 31.5million packages sold between 1998 and 2000, they deserve a spot on our list of the best 90s toys. GoGo’s Crazy Bones are tiny plastic figurines, each with different faces and characters. They were bought sealed within a foil wrapper so you didn’t know which GoGo you would receive. This made them highly tradable and collectable items. Like Pokemon cards, if you won the game, then you got to keep the GoGos.
18. Power Rangers
Power Rangers first aired on television in 1993 and features a group of teenagers who transform into superheroes, ready to take on any villain that Rita Repulsa sends their way. The popularity of the show led to Power Rangers figurines which were some of the best 90s toys around. There were a total of 12 power ranger dolls released- the five power rangers themselves and seven villains. The Power Rangers came in red, pink, black, yellow and blue, and who can forget the swords,
19. Talk Boy and Talk Girl
The TalkBoy was one of the more cutting edge 90s toys on the market and first appeared as a non-working prop in the very first Home Alone film. A working version of the TalkBoy which featured a handheld cassette player and recorder with microphone was released on November 20 1992, the same day the second Home Alone Film debuted. Later, a pink version was released to appeal to the female market.
20. Buzz Lightyear
Last on our list of best 90s toys is one that simply couldn’t’ be missed – Buzz Lightyear. Buzz Lightyear first featured in the 1995 original Toy Story Film and is one of the most loved characters of all time. The Buzz Lightyear doll was almost identical to the characters in the movie and said some of his most loved phrases such as “To Infinity, And Beyond!”. A classic and a must-have 90s toy.
If you’ve ever played this game, then you will know how frustratingly addictive it is and the fear of failure that comes with hearing that little wind-up timer coming to the end of its journey. You had to be a master of patience and a JEDI in the subtle art of perfection when it came to this game. A cool head and nimble fingers were what you needed to win, but with little fiddly pieces and triangles that all looked the same under pressure, the chances of taking home the trophy were always slim. This is one 90s toy that you need in your life.
22. White Ranger’s ‘Saba’ Sabre
If you were a true 90s kid and a true Power Rangers fan, then you would have had the White Ranger’s Sabre, ‘Saba’. With a jaw that opened, battle-like slash noised and the tune that called the Tiger Zord, this plastic sword really felt like the real deal. This was one of my most prized possessions and I wouldn’t watch an episode without it. I can still remember opening it up on Chrismas Day and running around the house as though I was about to fight Rita Repunzel one-on-one. I even had the White Ranger’s costume too (I’ve always been an uber-nerd).
23. Mr Bucket
To say that the next game on our list of the best 90s toys was just a glorified bucket and spade that shot out balls, it was absolutely brilliant! Pick up your coloured balls and get them back in the bucket before Mr Bucket spits them out; that was the whole premise of the game, and it kept us entertained for hours! The race against time felt like the most thrilling thing in the world as a small child and gave me that much-needed relief from the terror of pop-up pirate (that game still gives me the willies!).
If you had Gak as a kid, then you probably won’t have realised how annoyed your parents were every time you wanted to get it out and play with it. Considered by many as the father of the modern slime movement (that’s me trying to make this weird stuff sound a little more cultured), Nickelodeon Gak Splat could be moulded and stretched into any shape imaginable, and you could use it to make a farting sound. What more could a kid want! It made a hell of a mess and had a funny smell to it too – even more plus points!
25. Hungry Hungry Hippos
I’ve never known hippos hungrier than these guys. This game was one of the best ‘real life multiplayer’ games of the 90s and was super addictive. Players had to move their hippo’s head forward in order to eat as many of the plastic balls as possible. The person with the most balls at the end of the game was the hippo champion, or the ‘fullest hippo’ – something along those lines. You can still pick up retro copies of this game today or buy a new, shiny version from places like Amazon.
26. Sonic Mountain Quest
If you ever played Kong Man (one of our best 80s toys), then you’ll love Sonic Mountain. This thing was HARD! Players had to get a magnetic ballbearing from the bottom of the mountain to the very top, scoring points along the way. Battery-power brought certain pieces to life like the steps that went up and down and the revolving Sonic magnet at the very top of the game. Hitting that yellow swing and getting into the hot-air balloon was one of the hardest parts of my childhood, but I like to think that it set me up for adult life pretty well.
27. Dream Phone
Back before mobile phones could be found in every pocket, teenage girls could buy a pink phone and listen to stalky guys say things like ‘I know where you live’ and try to guess who liked them or not. It’s a little bit like a creepy version of Guess Who, but this thing sold like crazy! You can still get a version of this game today and I have it on good authority that it’s actually good fun to play. The whole thing just reminds me a little bit of Double Switch for the SEGA CD though. Speaking of which…
28. SEGA CD
We recently made a list of the best SEGA CD games that ever came out for this add-on console upgrade, and we soon discovered that we had forgotten all about this weird and wonderful console and the world of FMV video games. Games like Sewer Shark just seem so odd these days which could be why this thing never took off. Still, it’s a definite 90s toy and one that certainly deserves a place in our list (if not for Sonic CD at least!)
We hope you enjoyed our trip down memory lane while looking at this list of the best 90s toys. Let us know what your favourite 90s toy was and what we missed from the list by following along on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.