The ’90s was a wonderful decade to be alive. There were all types of gadgets and other creations that were all the rage back then but are not so popular now. Take for example Hit Clips, why were people scrambling to get a hold of keychain music that only lasted one minute? That was just one of the items that are synonymous with the ’90s, wait until you see the rest because you’re going to lose your mind once you see item number nine!
Everyone Had A Discman
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t own a Sony Discman in the ’90s. 1991 was the first year that more CDs than cassettes were sold and the electronic industry needed to keep up. The Discman (Sony later changed the name to CD-Walkman) first hit the market in 1984 as the first portable CD player and was the next generation from the Walkman, Sony’s portable cassette player introduced in 1979. 200 million Walkmans were sold, and Sony continued to revolutionize how people listened to music. The CD-Walkman was so popular, it gave the music industry a huge boost, as artists saw CD sales rapidly increase.
VHS Was The Only Option
Ah, just looking at a VHS tape reminds you of how much things have changed since the ’90s. Buy ’em or rent them, there was no menu screen, just ‘play’ followed by 15 minutes of movie previews. You could also record over the tape several times, so if you saw a TV program you wanted to record, you’d change the label on the VHS and pop in the tape. Of course, this would lead to many family feuds, as someone’s program would inevitably be taped over in favor of something else. You’d also have to wait 10 minutes for the tape to rewind before watching it because no one followed the “be kind, rewind” rule.
So Pretty At Night, So Hard To Get Off The Wall
These glow in the dark stars were popular in the ’90s and still hard to beat now. Peel off the back and stick the adhesive stars on the walls and ceilings of kids’ bedrooms for a starry night sky. Not only did they look freakin’ awesome, but they helped the little ones who were afraid of the dark. The stars came in a bag of different shapes and sizes, and you could make your own patterns. The only problem with the glow in the dark stars is that it was nearly impossible to take them off the walls and ceilings. There’s more than a few people who decided to eventually paint over them, crushing our ’90s kids dreams.
Maybe you can’t imagine life without Netflix and Hulu now, but nothing was like going to the local Blockbuster Video to rent that new movie that was just released and bringing the VHS tape back home to watch. Instead of scrolling through rows of movies on Netflix, you walked the aisles of the store and bumped into friends and neighbors. If you didn’t know what to choose, hopefully, you had a cool store manager that could suggest some titles for you. Blockbuster may be gone but it holds a special place in our hearts.
One Minute Of Magic Listening To HitClips
Remember the HitClips? They were the iPod before the iPod but they carried one small caveat, they only lasted for one minute. For one minute you got to enjoy your favorite pop song. So this was a time when N*SYNC, Britney Spears, and The Backstreet Boys were highly popular so you can bet that whoever owned one of these had them in their pocket. The songs weren’t the greatest of quality but they got the job done. Kids loved listening to these but it’s clear only being able to enjoy one minute of the song lost its appeal, and these eventually fizzled out.
You’ve Got Mail!
Whenever you heard that strange noise, you knew you were close to getting internet access. The AOL dial-up internet noise was exciting in the ’90s to an embarrassing degree. Of course, there was the even more thrilling, “You got mail!” alert. All of this excitement was a bit dampened by the limitations of internet access. You had to wait until everyone in the house was off the phone, and if they picked up the phone while you were browsing the web, they heard a painful internet tone blaring in their ear. The funny thing is, 2.1 million Americans are still paying to use dial-up AOL internet in 2017!
A Big Bowl Of Sugar
French Toast Crunch was that cereal that parents loved to hate but kids loved to wake up to. They were first seen on store shelves in 1995, taking a slight turn from the classic Cinnamon Toast Crunch. French Toast Crunch packed an extra kick of sugary goodness that was nothing short of addicting. They were taken off the shelf for some time but they came back by popular demand in 2016. A Twitter user named @beeLH tweeted, “I don’t think people understand the lengths I would go to have a box of French Toast Crunch in my life.”
Nickelodeon Couldn’t Get Enough Of Slime
Getting slimed was on every kids’ bucket list in the ’90s. Nickelodeon first slimed contestants on their show You Can’t Do That On Television before it started being used everywhere; Double Dare, Wild and Crazy Kids, Figure It Out- they even incorporated it into their logo as their official trademark. Whether it was celebratory or someone flubbed what they were trying to say, everyone from kids to Jim Carrey has been slimed on Nickelodeon, and it’s always totally satisfying to watch. The secret ingredients of slime are vanilla pudding, apple sauce, green food coloring, and oatmeal.
The Tamagotchi Obsession
If you couldn’t have a real pet when you were younger it was okay. The Tamagotchi was the perfect replacement. It was time-consuming to take care of them but they were addictive. This digital pet arrived in the U.S. in 1997 and quickly became one of the biggest toy fads of the ’90s. They cost $17.99 and over 76 million were sold!
The best way to describe Tamagotchis was both a joy and a chore. You couldn’t feed it to little or else it would die and you couldn’t feed it too much or else it would leave waste everywhere or fall sick. Teachers would tell you to put it away, but leaving your pet unattended was a fearful experience because even 30 minutes without eating could spell trouble for the pet!
The OG Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
In the ’90s, the Power Rangers were at the top of their game. Kids were obsessed with this TV series that first aired in 1993 before becoming a $6 billion franchise considering retail alone. Some critics and parents claimed the show was too violent, but the do-good theme was enough to keep the show on the air, and action figures of the power rangers flooded toy store shelves. In 1994, Power Rangers were the most popular toy at Christmas. Kids were inspired by the teens who fought evil (Rita Repulsa) couldn’t get enough of their super cool spacesuits in different colors.
Time To Do Battle With Socker Boppers
When two people put on the Socker Boppers, it was time to throw down. Socker Boppers were less painful than boxing gloves and just more fun to use so all ages were capable of using this product. Breaking out these bad boys whenever relatives came over was like a tradition because it was your time to hit them in the face without getting in trouble. Today, we have things like the Hulk fists that are almost a fusion of Socker Boppers and boxing gloves. Sadly, Socker Boppers are no longer sold in stores but you can find them online.
Gotta’ Catch Em’ All!
Pokémon was a freight train going full steam ahead in the ’90s. Every kid was hooked on it. Whether it was the TV show or the trading cards, you can bet some form of Pokémon was in a household. It became so big at one point that parents and adults, in general, were starting to call it evil. There was no way a children’s show could garner this much attention, it must be evil. The video games were perfect too because it was exactly like the show. Catch Pokémon and battle others! Today, the ’90s favorite isn’t as popular as it used to be but you can never count out Pikachu!
“The Rachel” Hair Style
The only thing people loved more than Friends was Rachel Green’s haircut. “The Rachel” style revolutionized what was popular in the ’90s for hairstyles, and many women went to their hairdresser, requesting the ‘do. However, later actress Jennifer Aniston revealed why she despised the haircut in an interview with Today.
She said of the hairstyle, “Looking back — honestly, even during that time — I couldn’t do it on my own. “I needed [my hairstylist] Chris [McMillan] attached to my hip. Left to my own devices, I am not skilled with a hairbrush and blow dryer.”
Disposable Cameras Were The Go-To
Before you went camping or on vacation, you would go to the store and purchase one or two of these. There were many downfalls to disposable cameras. For one, you couldn’t take a photo super fast, because you had to scroll through to the next click. There was no zoom button and was limited to point-and-shoot. After taking the maximum capacity of photos, around 20 or 30, you would need to drop it off at the store and wait a couple of days for your film to be developed. And, of course, whoever was developing the film would see all of your personal photos.
The Pogo Ball
Just call this one the portable trampoline. A few Belgian guys invented this product back in 1969 and they called it the “Springball”. Basically, you would find your balance then start hopping while keeping the device under your feet. Hasbro began to market it as the Pogo Ball in the ’80s and that led to the eventual success of it in the ’90s. They were quite similar to Moon Shoes (which didn’t work too well) but if you were a clumsy child then you might have run into some problems. Expect a few sprained ankles and scrapped knees dealing with one of these.
Teachers Rolled In The TVs
Sometimes when teachers needed a break from lecturing, they would roll the TV stand in front of the desks and pop in a VHS tape. While the teachers hoped you would sit quietly and take notes, mostly it was a time to nap or pass notes to friends. Some teachers would include more video than others, so you were lucky when you discovered your teacher was one who relied on tapes to do the talking. It’s unclear how many classrooms had a TV in the ’90s, but it was far fewer than today.
Ah, Yes. The Pencil Sharpener
Remember that loud and obnoxious grinding noise of the pencil sharpener? For some reason, these were mounted on a table or wall, and students would walk over and sharpen their pencils this way. It is rather strange since every student could easily use a small plastic sharpener at their desk, but this was the way it was done. Eventually, the device would be full of shavings that would spill everywhere. The pencil has become less important as computers and tablets have taken over, but we’ll always remember the good ole days.
Both Men and Women Wore Pipe Pants
Both women and men were rocking wide leg pants in the 1990s. “Pipe” jeans were all the rage, and before online shopping, we were buying them through catalogs like this one. There were no limitations to how big you could go, and whether you were into rock or hip-hop, this fashion trend spanned across all groups. This also made finding the right shoes difficult, as the pipe pants nearly engulfed your shoes unless you wore boots or platforms. The bottoms of the pants would also easily get wet in the rain but it was all worth the look.
Milky Pens Were Totally Awesome
It’s hard to explain why these were so awesome, but they just were. Teachers wouldn’t let you use these for any type of paper you would need to turn in, but these pens made for hours of doodling fun. The ballpoint made doodling with these pens smooth and easy, and the ink was awesome and glittery. If you were going to be signing a yearbook or a note for your friend, you had to use one of these so it would look totally cool. Before emoji’s, Milky Pens are what you would use to add some flavor to your message.
The Game That Can Ruin Your Vibe
If you have never played “Bop It” then you probably aren’t aware of the serious frustration this game could bring. Conversely, if you are on a roll then this is the most fun game you can play. Bop it, twist it, pull it! The demands this game gave started off slow but the longer you didn’t fail, the harder it became. Only the best were capable of pulling and bopping and twisting at breakneck speeds. The frustration came when you were getting on a roll and then the speed will change and cause you to mess up and start all over!