There are so many things not to remember about the 1990s – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, East Coast-West Coast rap culture, the unfathomable popularity of Right Said Fred... and yet, there were also many fine things about the decade, not least the toys with which we all played.
Even those toys we didn’t play with, we yearned for, flicking through that year’s Argos catalogue and pointing furiously at the images of them for the ‘benefit’ (well, financial impoverishment) of our parents.
So, what are the toys from this decade that you are sure to remember – for better or worse?
Forget Pokémon Go – this legendary franchise was a child of the late 1990s, and if you’re fortunate enough to have any of the shiny cards from that decade gathering dust in your loft, it might be worth putting them on eBay.
Just earlier this year, for instance, a first-generation Charizard card sold for just a cent less than $2,500 on eBay – that’s a princely £2,023.
Pog milk caps
Do you remember swapping these on the school playground? For a moment in the early to mid-‘90s, these things were inescapable, with many other companies issuing imitations. We bet more than a few of you have a long-forgotten collection of Tazos gathered from ‘90s bags of Walkers crisps.
Nonetheless, for the most hardened aficionados (or just the snottier kids, one of the two), it was definitely the Pogs of the World POG Federation – yes, there was such a thing – that were the ‘milk caps’ to have.
These tiny cars about the size of a pencil sharpener were marketed as “The Original Scale Miniatures”, and it’s true that they probably inspired many a young boy to go on to collect larger scale models in adulthood.
The Micro Machines brand encompassed depictions of a dizzyingly wide range of vehicles, including not only cars but also trucks, trains, tanks, boats and even planes. There were even Star Wars and Star Trek spin-offs.
At the time of Furby’s 2012 comeback, the Daily Mail described it as a “furry mechanical friend” resembling “a malevolent hamster crossed with a chimp”, which might just sum up the ambiguous attitude that many parents had towards this irritatingly ubiquitous toy.
Still, our childhood selves didn’t care, and our elders shelled out regardless, as the toy became the Christmas craze of 1998, with 40 million sold in three years. Its many fine features included moving facial parts and an ability to learn English and even purr, the latter induced when you patted its back.
It’s a good job our adult selves don’t treat our real pets as we often did our Tamagotchis in the 1990s, which we had to bring to school due to their need for constant feeding and attention – to the annoyance of many a head teacher of the decade.
That said, given the reports of the original Tamagotchi toys now fetching £100 or more on eBay, all of that inconvenience to basically everyone back in the day might have just been worth it.
Released in Europe at the end of September 1995, the original PlayStation may look a little on the boxy side to us now, but it is also one of the most iconic video game consoles of all time.
Indeed, it became the first “computer entertainment platform” to rack up sales of 100 million units, which it achieved within a decade of its initial launch.
Much more important to many of us ‘90s kids, however, are the memories of the many fine games we wasted our childhoods on – Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken... we’re sure you can add a few more from your own memory.
How could we neglect to include the PlayStation’s great rival? The ‘90s, after all, were definitely the era of the ‘console wars’, and games like Mario Kart 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time were fixtures of many a ‘90s living room.
Selling almost 33 million units worldwide, the console wasn’t quite the sales triumph that the PlayStation was, but it nonetheless continues to be held in affection by many a nerd who grew up in the ’90s – including, we are sure, many Profit Accumulator members.
The Super Soaker seems so irrevocably 1990s that many kids of the decade may be shocked to learn it was actually invented in the 1960s.
This recreational water gun got so many of us soaked in our gardens at just the moments we least expected it. As simple as its charms may have been, you can’t argue with sales of 20 million Super Soakers in one summer alone – as recalled by the man dubbed “the father of the Super Soaker”, Lonnie Johnson.
No video game device could be more ‘90s than the Game Boy, having been released in Europe in September 1990 and discontinued in the early 2000s.
With the platform’s many legendary games ranging from Tetris and Pokémon Red and Blue to Super Mario Land and Kirby’s Dream Land, it’s fair to say that if you had anything in your pocket as a ‘90s kid, it would have been one of these.
Power Rangers Megazord
The American live-action series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit our screens in 1993, making legends out of the Red, Yellow, Black, Pink, Blue and Green Power Rangers. What ‘90s kid didn’t have a crush on Kimberly Ann Hart, portrayed by Amy Jo Johnson, or want to be Zack Taylor, the Black Ranger portrayed by Walter Jones?
Unfortunately, our passions for the Power Rangers had serious repercussions for our parents’ bank accounts, as they were forced to put aside money every Christmas for the latest Megazord toys.
Now, time for something that the 2010s you will remember...
What will we remember as being ‘quintessentially 2010s’? If you ask us, we reckon it’ll be your Profit Accumulator membership and all of the money that it earned you throughout the second half of the decade.
An account with us, though, is far from a toy, instead being an excellent tool for generating consistent funds that you could put towards... well, anything. University course fees? A house? Or perhaps the toys that your own children will inevitably demand this festive season?
Register with us now to discover all of the wonders of matched betting with Profit Accumulator this Christmas and New Year!