The 1990s might have had some terrible fashion crazes and music, but we certainly had some incredible games, gadgets, and iconic 90s toys. Collectables were the key to playground success; we were obsessed with hoarding 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. In a way, I suppose it was for the digital dude or dudette inside.
You would think that with the introduction of
Next up is the Beanie Baby. Ever a classic, the Beanie Babies 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.
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
The N64 was Nintendo’s fifth generation of gaming console and has gone on to produce some of the most loved characters in gaming history.
This retro gaming system was released with three cartridge games: Super Mario 64, Pilot Wings 64, and Saikyō Habu Shōgi (exclusive to Japan). Other classic Nintendo 64 games include Golden Eye, Mario Party, The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong 64.
You can check out our list of the Best N64 Games for more classic titles!
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!
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
Pretty simple gameplay, but the addiction to having the most and the best Pogs was real!
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!
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 boys 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.
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
Pokemon in colour; what more could you possibly want!
The Game Boy and Game Boy Color sold a whopping 118.69million units combined, making it the third best selling system of all time, and these consoles are still sought after among retro game players today! Check out our Best GameBoy Games here!
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.
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 Trolls. 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.
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.
Mr Potato Head was certainly less advanced than the
Everyone’s favourite moustachioed potato actually originated in the 1950s where it was sold as pronged body parts that were used in conjunction with a real potato. However, the plastic body was supplied several years later and the Mr Potato Head that we know and love today was born.
Mr Potato Head had a surge of popularity in the 1990s thanks to Mr and Mrs Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise.
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 Pokemon Cards, 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.
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.
The 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.
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,
The Talk Boy and Talk Girl were two 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.
Next 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 Perfection, 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!
If you were a true 90s kid and a true Power Rangers fan, then you would have had the White Ranger’s ‘Saba’ Sabre.
With a jaw that opened, battle-like slash noises, 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).
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!
I’ve never known hippos hungrier than these guys.
Hungry Hungry Hippos 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.
If you ever played Kong Man (one of our best 80s toys), then you’ll love Sonic Mountain.
Sonic Mountain Quest 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.
Back before mobile phones could be found in every pocket, teenage girls could buy a pink Dream 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…
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 the SEGA CD 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!)
If you didn’t have a Tamagotchi but remember playing with virtual pets, then the chances are you had Giga Pets instead.
Giga Pets were Tiger’s answer to the ever-popular Tamagotchi, which was produced by Bandai. They were essentially the same thing, albeit a little cheaper and with a different design. The devices themselves came in different shapes and colours, and the pets inside had to be played with and cleaned up after to keep them alive.
Leave them for a period of 10-days or longer, and you’ll have to deal with a deceased pet by resetting your device. Giga Pets had features that Tamagotchi devices didn’t, and you could usually find one under every classroom desk, including the teachers!
It’s probably safe to say that virtual pets were more addictive than real ones back in the 90s!
One of the 90s toys that I always wanted but never got was a SnakeBoard. My parents always said it was too dangerous. Looking back now, I would probably agree!
Three guys in South Africa came up with the concept, and soon the SnakeBoard was being produced all over the world. Instead of one platform that you stood on like a skateboard, the SnakeBoard had two separate footplates that could pivot independently.
The idea was that you could move in any direction. I reckon with my feet strapped in, the only way I would have been moving was towards the ground, face first. Still, I’ll always remember wanting one of these things – the toy that got away.
Street Sharks was one of my favourite cartoons, and I had these figurines long before Vin Diesel made them cool by advertising them on TV.
For those of you that don’t know, the Street Sharks were crime-fighting half-men/half-shark heroes. They walked about on legs, rode motorbikes, and skated, all while kicking ass. Mattel produced the action figures that went with the T.V series, and they were awesome!
Some of the sharks had special moves like roundhouse punches and firing parts of their bodies. They were seriously cool figurines, and mine could usually be found fighting against my collection of…
My 90s toys collection was crammed full of different Batman Figurines. There were so many it’s hard to remember all of them! Each one had a different design from a different cartoon series or comic book story, and some of them had incredible weapons that shot across the room in ‘The Street Shark Wars’ held in my living room.
There were Batman figurines with additional armour, ones that could sit inside Bat-mobiles and Bat-bikes, and others that had flip-down heads when you wanted them to return to looking like Bruce Wayne.
Each one had a different part to play, and I reckon they were my second biggest toy collection after my Power Rangers horde.
Any Mr Potato Heads reading this article might want to look away now…
The Spud Gun was such a great invention. I can never remember being more frantic about finding potatoes in my own house and over at my friend’s places. I think my mum had to give up making chips for at least a couple of months because I always nabbed the spuds from the shopping bag!
Stick your gun into a spud, yank it out, and fire a potato pellet at your mates. They didn’t hurt that much, just left a bit of a slimy mark. I reckon I could have been a junior police officer with my marksmanship skills back in the day.
Speaking of marksmanship skills, the next item on our list of the best 90s toys was one that made me feel like a skinny Duke Nukem.
Every back garden in the country had a Super Soaker either on the lawn or sticking out of a plant pot, ready to be used at a moments notice. The colours and the shape take me way back to being a kid, standing under a tap and filling up the green canister while looking over my shoulder for potential enemies.
Some of my mates had the huge pressurised shoulder canons, but they were cumbersome and slow to fill. This model was where it was at. Why don’t adults meet up to mess about with water pistols!
Last but not least is the range of 90s toys that got me into handheld gaming; Tiger Handheld Computers!
Tiger made tonnes of these stand alone handheld devices, turning popular films into games and sometimes even porting existing game franchises such as Street Fighter into their arsenal.
These handhelds featured a static image on the back screen and digital characters that would move around in front of them.
Tiger went on to create gaming watches of a similar nature, but the handhelds were the best thing since sliced bread as far as I was concerned. I had Aladdin, Toy Story, Power Rangers, Batman, and loads more. Looking on eBay now, I’m wishing that I had kept them!
Pokemon Marbles were highly collectible back in the day, with Series 1 allowing you to collect up to 50 Pokemon in marble form.
From #001 to #050, these things not only felt great to collect but were also a lot of fun to play with. They came packaged in classic 90’s slice proof packaging that usually involved losing a finger to get inside.
These were popular with the trading card fans, and it also came in a collectible pouch that featured a handful of Pokemon. Obviously you could trade these, but you could also collect carrying cases for your marbles that feature Pokemon on too.
People might get super excited about the latest Apple watch these days, but gaming watches were must have 90s toys back in the day. How many of you had this Donkey Kong Gaming Wristwatch?
From 1989 until the late 90s, a company called Nelsonic Industries had a license from Nintendo to produce gaming watches featuring some of Nintendo’s most famous characters. As well as telling the time, wearers could play Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, or Donkey Kong games while at work or in class.
They weren’t exactly groundbreaking, but they looked cool and killed time between meetings or made coffee breaks more interesting. Critics actually said that they looked pretty stylish too!
The Atari Jaguar was the first self-proclaimed ’64-bit’ console on the market back in the 90s.
If you look up retro 90s toys in the dictionary, then you’ll probably see this thing staring back at you. It’s a classic piece of 90s gaming history, though sadly it couldn’t keep up with the SNES or the best Sega Genesis games back in the day.
Despite being a commercial flop, the Jaguar does have some great games and still has a cult following of loyal gamers. From Zool 2 to Wolfenstein 3D, Atari brought out some epic titles for the system.
It’s just a shame that they didn’t bring out more!
Digimon first came onto our screens back in 1999, and the world went crazy for these little digital monsters. Everyone wanted their very own Agumon to battle with, and the Digimon Adventure Digivice made our nerdy wishes come true.
Pokemon Go started a craze for gamers getting out and adventuring in the outdoors, but the Season 1 Digivice was one of the first pedometer toys available.
Walk to count down the steps of a virtual map. Battle bosses and trainers with your Digimon, and level up to digivolve them into even more impressive creatures.
If you’re waiting patiently for the new Digimon game to arrive, then this could be a great toy to keep you occupied!
The Nerf Blaster is still a toy that we pull out when dealing punishment to members of the Retro Dodo who aren’t pulling their weight.
It’s the ultimate big kid’s toy, and I’ll always remember my mates and I having to call a ceasefire as we scrambled around trying to reload our foam bullets when I was younger.
There have been so many editions over the years, but this 1989 version still reminds me of something that Batman might use. I had it in the 90s though, so it still counts!
The Poo-Chi Dog was one of the most annoying toys of the century. It was an electronic dog, ran on batteries that would do nothing but give you a migraine.
Every child wanted one, and every parent would buy one because.. we’ll it’s either this, or a real one…
You could play with it, cuddle it to sleep and even feed it an electronic bone that you would place in its mouth to make it happy and fed.
It’s eyes would light up red with little LED’s and they would change shapes and sizes so you know what emotion your pooch was feeling.
But what drove everyone mad was the constant barking 24/7, many parents would “accidentally” kick it out the door shortly after Christmas telling their kids “it ran away”.
Unlike Wizards of the Coast and Nintendo who develop the TCG a company called Topps made these collectible cards and they were a huge success. They featured rares, holo cards, movie scenes and more, making them unique and different to the TCG, but somewhat impossible to “play” with.
The series 1 set included a total of 90 cards, 76 of which were standard as well as 13 character cards. Each card in the set has a normal edition, as well as two different foil editions, both silver and rainbow.
Back in the day, these cards were sold as a pack of 7 sealed in a awesome foil pack, just like the trading cards.
Tickle Me Elmo remains one of the most sought after 90s toys ever.
Parents fought for Elmo back in the 90s to prevent any crying children on Christmas day. He’s one of the most loved Sesame Street characters of all time and provided kids with a cuddly companion from bath time to bed time.
Elmo vibrates, shakes, and giggles when squeezed, making his famous laugh from the TV series. Plus, he looks super cute too.
Parents paid up to $1,500 for a Tickle Me Elmo doll after shops sold out. Talk about a set of muppets!
Next up on this list of the best 90s toys is a personal favourite of mine; Loopin’ Louie.
This motorised family game starred Louie, a plastic pilot that could be flipped over as he flew around the game board. Players had to stop him from knocking their chicken counters off, and a well timed hit could really rattle your opponent.
This game brought me and my family hours of fun back in the day, and it’s certainly one of the 90s toys that I think back to when reminiscing about this glorious decade.
Crocodile Dentist scared me as a kid. I don’t know whether it was the eyes or the fact that the bloomin’ thing came racing towards you when the wrong tooth was pulled that did it. Either way, I played it reluctantly.
When I grew older, I loved it a lot more. Using the yellow tweezers, players pulled teeth from the cranky croc. Pull the wrong one and game over, ol’ croc features snaps his jaws and comes hurtling towards you on little tiny wheels.
The newer version boasts a croc with a softer expression, which might be better for those of a nervous disposition!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take the next slot on this list of the best 90s toys ever made.
Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo ruled the 90s. Whether on lunchboxes or the TV, these heroes in a half shell were some of the most popular characters around.
Of course, watching the TV show wasn’t enough. Fans had to play along with their figurines at the same time, acting out moves and kicking Shredder’s but along with the on-screen turtle team.
I’ve got the theme tune stuck in my head now after writing this. And now you do too, don’t you?
KNex was everything back in the 90s. I remember the local toy store had a different Knex model in the window every time I went. The biggest one was a ginormous ferris wheel that spun around, with little baskets for miniature people to sit in.
Like Lego, Knex allowed users to build whatever their hearts desired. Most of the pieces came in sets, but with imagination, users could create absolutely anything.
The Knex rollercoaster is perhaps one of the most famous building sets, though I’m not sure how many people would have space to stick this in their flats!
If one entry in this list of the best 90s toys encapsulates 90s playground culture, then it’s Slap Bracelets.
These cheap stocking-filler toys were so popular that playgrounds rang with snapping noises every lunchtime. I think there were probably more in the teachers desk drawer than there were on kids at one point due to people messing around with them in classes!
Snap bracelets came in many different designs, with some of the most popular bearing characters from the best Nickelodeon TV Shows. Can you remember slapping these on your mate’s arms back in the day?
Velcro Toss and Catch should have become an Olympic event by now. This was such an awesome game, and not just for people who had trouble catching!
The fuzzy velcro catching pads were a firm fixture in many back yards and toy chests in my neighbourhood. It was a great game to play over the fence with the neighbours or in the park.
That sound of pulling the ball off the velcro will never leave me. It’s the perfect game for sunny days and never hurt when catching a sky-high ball hurtling towards your head at 1,000 miles-per-hour.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is no stranger here at Retro Dodo. It’s one of our favourite ever consoles and takes pride of place at R.D Towers along with many of the best SNES games ever made.
It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Mario Paint or Mario Kart, this console had something for everyone.
Like the NES, it received a resurgence in popularity amongst younger gamers thanks to the SNES Classic Edition and the previously Unreleased Star Fox 2 title.
Donkey Kong Country remains one of the greatest games of the 90s for me. I still remember taking it in turns to play this with my cousin and endlessly replaying the minecart levels. Good times!
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.