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50 Toy Fads That Hooked Us

  • Zhu Zhu Pets 1 of 50
    Zhu Zhu Pets
    Formerly known as Furbies, these multi-hued, befuzzed, motorized robots had us at chirps like “Hee-haw!”
  • Silly Bandz 2 of 50
    Silly Bandz
    Multi-colored rubber bracelets shaped like…anything and everything? What’s not to like about entertaining your kids for only $2.99-ish?
  • Bakugan 3 of 50
    Let’s get this straight — a zillion-dollar franchise built around small round plastic magnets that unfurl to reveal “monsters” on metal surfaces? Remind us to return as Japanese inventors in our next life!
  • Beanie Babies 4 of 50
    Beanie Babies
    Who didn’t collect these saggy cuties in the '90s? And believe it or not, these PVC-pellet stuffed animal bean bags still fetch upwards of $375 on eBay!
  • Skip-It 5 of 50
    If you are even remotely coordinated, this rotatable, plastic ankle ball can give you one heck of a workout!
  • Furbies 6 of 50
    This owly-looking Zhu Zhu predecessor forecasted more than $300M in sales back in 1999 and spoke “Furbish” plus 40 — count ’em — 40 other languages!
  • Giga Pets/Tamagotchi 7 of 50
    Giga Pets/Tamagotchi
    A handheld “egg” that eats, plays, “poops” and even dies, providing kids with a digital spin on the circle of life.
  • Barbie 8 of 50
    So what if she’s not even remotely anatomically correct? The original blonde plastic icon and her spiffy entourage have helped little girls play big for over 50 years.
  • Pokemon 9 of 50
    The endless array of cards, video games and accessories can ignite a young kid’s imagination for hours upon hours. And seriously, how much fun would it be to sit around conjuring names like Pikachu, Koffing and Weezing all day?
  • Colorforms 10 of 50
    See a laminated board. Stick vinyl shapes, forms and figures on that laminated board where you can make them do all kinds of things. So simple, yet oh-so entertaining.
  • Magic 8 Ball 11 of 50
    Magic 8 Ball
    An eight ball that tells your fortune through the arbitrary positioning of a floating octagon? Talk about a profound lesson in synchronicity!
  • Ouija Board 12 of 50
    Ouija Board
    Without a scientific explanation for exactly how this portal channels messages from the great beyond, color us M..Y..S..T..F..I..E..D.
  • Easy-Bake Oven 13 of 50
    Easy-Bake Oven
    Grooming would-be housewives since 1963, the notion of cooking actual food by light bulb remains every bit as fun and fascinating today.
  • Baby Alive Doll 14 of 50
    Baby Alive Doll
    Little girls just can’t resist mothering a baby doll that can drink, burp, giggle, coo and pee just like they used to.
  • Pick Up Sticks 15 of 50
    Pick Up Sticks
    This game may be just what it sounds — 50 multi-colored sticks that you have to pick up — but playing is a terrific way for kids to hone fine motor skills.
  • Lego 16 of 50
    The classic way to build a whole new world in primary colors.
  • Tech Dech 17 of 50
    Tech Dech
    An early lesson in cool, these cute mini-skateboard replicas are designed to encourage your mini-Tony Hawk to scale mini-skate ramps with their ever-so dexterous mini-fingers.
  • Bok Choy Boys 18 of 50
    Bok Choy Boys
    Emblazoned with random elements and Chinese symbols to evoke the stuff of legends, these colorful, collectible vending machine martians are an el cheapo way to ignite the imagination.
  • Webkinz 19 of 50
    They may look like your run-of-the-mill adorable stuffed animals, but the ability to “adopt” and nurture Webkinz online forges a sweet, special connection for your kid.
  • Cabbage Patch Dolls 20 of 50
    Cabbage Patch Dolls
    Between the dolls and various spinoffs, the Cabbage Patch brand was the obsession of a generation, raking in around $2 billion in sales since the '80s!
  • Bobblehead Dolls 21 of 50
    Bobblehead Dolls
    Whether you’re prepared to acknowledge it or not, watching a large head float atop a really small body can be kind of funny.
  • Pet Rocks 22 of 50
    Pet Rocks
    Any marketer that convinces thousands to BUY ROCKS earns snaps for his or her sheer genius.
  • Lincoln Logs 23 of 50
    Lincoln Logs
    Rugged, rustic and charmingly old school, what school-age kid can resist the lure of designing their own little cabin retreat?
  • Baldeez 24 of 50
    A bald figure that bounces six feet in the air on impact? Wheeeee!!!
  • Boinks 25 of 50
    These mesh “finger traps,” available in a vast array of bright, primary colors, make for an inviting challenge to anyone in the single-digit age bracket.
  • Garbage Pail Kids 26 of 50
    Garbage Pail Kids
    Can you believe these cheeky Gen X trading cards illustrated with exploding-headed children are still hot stuff?
  • Atari 2600 27 of 50
    Atari 2600
    One must pay reverence to the granddaddy of all electronic games, because without this bad boy, there would be no Mario Kart.
  • Bananagrams 28 of 50
    A variation on the Scrabble concept, this spelling game is totally portable (always a plus for parents!) and can be enjoyed by 1-8 players.
  • Oball Stranz 29 of 50
    Oball Stranz
    This hollow ball made with faux-plastic string is easy to catch — the perfect esteem booster for younger ball players!
  • AirZooka 30 of 50
    This harmless fun gun shoots “balls of air” up to 20 feet at your enemies.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine 31 of 50
    Thomas the Tank Engine
    The epic blue wooden choo-choo and his free-tooting comrades consume a considerable amount of space in every preschooler boy’s brain.
  • Nerf anything 32 of 50
    Nerf anything
    Foam balls that you can whip, hurl and toss with all your might without costly residual damage? True love for both kids and parents!
  • Transformers 33 of 50
    It’s a monster! No — it’s a monster truck! Wait — it’s a monster! Transformers retained their cool status for over 25 years while impressively making their mark on the film, TV and publishing industries.
  • Marshmallow Shooters 34 of 50
    Marshmallow Shooters
    An automated way to whip a marshmallow at your brother’s skull with all your might? Priceless!
  • Skuut 35 of 50
    One cruise on this eco-friendly wooden balance bike and you’ll hear your proud trainee shout, “Look mom! No pedals!”
  • FurReal Friends 36 of 50
    FurReal Friends
    The cute factor of these palm-sized dogs, coupled with their bouncy little bobble-tails, makes it hard to stop at owning just one.
  • Flying Turtle 37 of 50
    Flying Turtle
    A scooter that consists of a bicycle seat, handle bars and a bar that holds them together. Wheeeeeee!
  • Splatster 38 of 50
    A wireless paintbrush that allows you to virtually “paint, draw, splat, spin, spray and play” on your TV screen? Woot! Who isn’t madly in love with no-mess art supplies?
  • Life/Monopoly 39 of 50
    With all kinds of nifty design boosts and customizations, Life (age 150!) and Monopoly (age 75!) are no-fail ways to stay entertained on rainy days.
  • Polly Pockets 40 of 50
    Polly Pockets
    These tiny dolls and their tiny little worlds are not only adorable, but they’re also fantastically collectible and won’t dominate the toy bin.
  • Big Wheel 41 of 50
    Big Wheel
    A middle-aged classic constructed of lightweight plastic, this trike gave many of us our first taste of the open road. No wonder it’s the No. 1 selling ride of all time!
  • Fisher Price Corn Popper 42 of 50
    Fisher Price Corn Popper
    This classic plastic/wooden push toy has simultaneously captivated and thrilled toddlers for over half a century.
  • Silly Putty 43 of 50
    Silly Putty
    An oldie but goodie from 1943, Silly Putty is comprised of a palm-sized, flesh-colored, sticky silicone-based substance that can both alleviate stress and lift images from newsprint!
  • Troll Dolls 44 of 50
    Troll Dolls
    So ugly, they’re adorable.
  • Pogs 45 of 50
    In the '90s, we couldn’t get enough of a game comprised of slamming bottle-cap-like cardboard discs on tables. Why? Because it’s way too much fun to slam things!
  • Raggedy Ann/Andy 46 of 50
    Raggedy Ann/Andy
    Your great-grandma had one. Your grandma had one. You had one. Now your kid has one. After 95 years on the planet, the quintessential redheads cannot be denied their rightful place on this list.
  • Calico Critters 47 of 50
    Calico Critters
    Kids love these teeny, tiny little fuzzy animals and their delicate array of teeny, tiny accoutrements so much, they make big bank!
  • Razor Scooter 48 of 50
    Razor Scooter
    How DO our children learn to balance and ride two metal bars with two small wheels so damn fast?
  • Mr. 49 of 50
    Another oldie but goodie, the art of placing facial features, limbs and accessories on a plastic potato never wears on a newly nimble two-year-old.
  • Monchhichi 50 of 50
    These cute thumb-sucking dolls have charmed millions since their inception in '70s Japan — and they’re STILL for sale!
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