10 Things ’90s Kids Wanted That Make Today’s Students LOL

10 Things '90s Kids Wanted That Make Today's Students LOL

I was a middle schooler in the ’90s and now I teach middle schoolers. Here are some products ’90s kids loved with actual commentary from a sassy sixth-grade girl after I showed her the original 1990s commercials during a study break.

1. Trapper Keeper

Why I wanted one: I was a nerd who was good at school and loved being organized. I also desperately wanted to fit in, so, since everyone else had a Trapper Keeper, I wanted one, too.

What the sixth-grader said: “That’s just a binder and folder. That’s stupid. Kids just want this because it was on TV. Kids see things on TV. Like if they saw a toothbrush on TV, they’d want it.”

2. Tamagotchi

Why I wanted one: I had a pet cat but my mom really was the one to take care of it. I wanted my own project to feed, love, and clean poops for. I LOVED my little green Tamagotchi and his little pretend poops.

What the sixth-grader said: “I’ve seen those before but I don’t really get the point of them.”

3. Pogs

Why I wanted one: These little cardboard circles were all the rage for a while there. I don’t remember actually playing the game so much as collecting the cute pictures.

What the sixth-grader said: “Pogs? Like the juice? What is it? What do you do? Do you just collect them so you can play the game of who can collect more?”

4. Trolls

Why I wanted one: You could play with their HAIR! You could rub their little tummy jewel and make a wish! You could collect all the colors! Now we have the much more cuddly ones from the new movies, but the original is iconic.

What the sixth-grader said: “You wanted that when you were in middle school? That’s the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like a little demon with creepy eyes that stare at you. I would throw that in the garbage. I can’t believe you wanted one of those. That’s embarrassing. They’re gross. A troll. That’s plastic? With hair?”

5. Easy Bake Oven

Why I wanted one: I loved baked goods and I thought having my own oven would allow me infinite access to cake. My mother disagreed.

What the sixth-grader said:

“If I had that I’d return it for a karaoke machine.”

6. Gak

Why I wanted it: It was fun to squish. It was fun to pretend it was boogers. It was from Nickelodeon and Nickelodeon made all my favorite TV shows so a TOY from TV was going to be my favorite.

What the sixth-grader said: “That’s just exactly like slime but it’s less blubberish. The name sounds like “gag.” Like when you hear “gak” you just want to gag. They should have named it something cool.”

7. Stretch Armstrong

Why I wanted one: They were a “boy” toy that seemed cool to me. I liked it as an addition to my Barbie adventures.

What the sixth-grader said: “Ok that’s just creepy and if you accidentally let go of it it’ll hit you and really hurt and sting.”

8. Dream Phone

Why I wanted one: In case you missed out on this one, this is a board game that comes with a battery-operated pink phone which gives you clues a la Guess Who to help you figure out which boy has a crush on you.

What the sixth-grader said: “That’s just for girls who can’t actually find someone who likes them. It’s very sad because, like, if you’re going to that much of a length to just get a guy that likes you who isn’t even real, then you have a serious problem…in my opinion.” (She’s right, ’90s kids. It really is cringey.)

9. TalkGirl

Why I wanted one: Home Alone 2 made up TalkBoy for the movie and then began marketing it as a Dennis the Menace-esque spy toy. If memory serves, TalkGirl was the exact same product…only pink. Because marketing to ’90s kids was gender-specific.

What the sixth-grader said: “I actually want one of those. It’s cool because you can record things. Your mom might say you can have ice cream if you do your work but now you can record her and have proof. This is more fun than a phone. I don’t like that they have different ones for a girl. I want the boy one. The girl one’s too girly.”

10. Furby

Why I wanted one: A similar concept to the Tamagotchi but FUZZY, Furby was an animatronic toy that learned from its owner. According to the commercial, it could learn its own name, yours, and even dance along to music.

What the sixth-grader said: “It looks like a tiny blob that wants to kill you in your sleep. It literally looks like a gremlin from the gremlin movies.”

THEN: I told her my parents didn’t want to buy me one because there were reports that you could teach your Furby to swear. She said, without hesitation, “I want one of those.”

Hey, ’90s kids! Come share your memories in the #teacherlife community!


10 Things '90s Kids Wanted That Make Today's Students LOL

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Laura Wheatman Hill

Laura Wheatman Hill lives in Portland, Oregon with her two children and teaches English and drama when not living in an apocalyptic dystopia..You can find her at her website and on Twitter.

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