The 35 best toys of the 90s: They don’t make them like this anymore

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  • Our best toys of the 90s are sure to take you on a trip down memory lane…

    Every generation grows up thinking their childhood toys were the best, but with nineties kids – we think this might actually be true.

    The best toys for 6-year-olds might have improved aesthetically and scientifically in recent years, but who can forget the fun we had with tamagotchis, trolls and those gooey egg-hatching aliens? And though educational toys for kids are currently all the rage, we believe you can’t beat these retro toys for good old-fashioned fun.

    So whether you’re looking to reminisce about the toys of your youth or are in the market for new toys for 7-year-olds, we recommend re-familiarising yourself with these best toys of the 90s…

    The best toys of the 90s

    We take a look at the best toys of the 90s, sharing where you can shop them (if the feeling takes you).

    1. Dream Phone The Secret Admirer Board Game

    Dream phone board game

    You can still get Dreamphone nowadays, but the original version was clearly the best – and if you didn’t ever play it at a sleepover, we highly recommend getting your girlfriends round for a game today (you never outgrow it, we promise… )

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.99

    2. Tamagotchi Electrical Pet

    Tamagotchi Electrical Pet

    For most 90s kids, this was your first, and most beloved pet. Until you forgot to feed it for a day, and those sad little cross eyes appeared.

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £16

    3. Bop It! Electrical Game for Kids

    Bop It! Electrical Game for Kids

    The original Bop It was a long shape and had less functions, but then the newer, more exciting Bop It Extreme came out, and we all lost our tiny minds.

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £17

    4. Mr Frosty

    The ultimate gift for Slush Puppy aficianados, we circled this every year in the Argos catalogue for Christmas, but all those E-numbers meant that Santa never obliged.

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £26

    5. Stretch Armstrong

    Almost every 90s toybox had a Stretch, but a lucky few also had his sidekick, Fetch Armstrong, too!

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £10

    6. Hasbro Perfection

    A close-up of the board game Perfection - one of the best toys of the 90s

    Credit: Amazon

    A race against time to fit shapes into holes might not sound like the most riveting of games, so why did we still spend hours slaving away trying to beat the clock?

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £28.99

    7. Retro Troll Dolls

    Retro troll dolls

    Troll Dolls were kind of a leftover from the 80s, but 90s kids still loved them just as much. Bonus points if you styled their hair into anything other than the trademark pyramid (ours may have had pigtails at one point… )

    VIEW – AT AMAZON | £4

    8. Hasbro Hungry Hippos

    Hungry Hippos

    If you didn’t have this game, at least four of your friends definitely did, meaning you still got to spend plenty of time mashing the buttons as hard as possible to chomp those pesky marbles.

    VIEW – AT AMAZON | £20

    9. Playskool Mr Potato Head

    Mr Potato head

    Can you believe the very first Potato Head came out in 1949?! It was actually the character’s appearance in 1995 film Toy Story that brought him back into fashion with children of the time. Hands up if you had his wife, Mrs Potato Head, too?

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £8

    10. My Little Pony Lickety-Split Classic

    My Little Pony

    One look at their coloured manes and you can instantly hear that advert jingle – all together now, ‘My Little Pony, My Little Pony, we’ll never be apart… ‘

    VIEW – AT AMAZON | £14

    11. Magna Doodle

    Magna Doodle Board

    You wanted one because the characters from Friends had one on the back of their door, but never managed to get your dad to affix yours in your bedroom. In fairness, you wouldn’t have been tall enough to reach it anyway.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £20

    12. Etch a Sketch

    Etch a Sketch

    If you actually drew anything that didn’t resemble a child let loose with a Sharpie on yours, you were a better Etch a Sketch owner than us.

    VIEW – AT AMAZON | £35

    13. Fur Real Friends

    Fur Real Friends

    Amazingly realistic pets, with none of the mess, noise, or 6am walkies. There’s a reason that kids AND parents were big fans of these…

    VIEW AT – AMAZON | £21

    14. Game Boy Colour

    Okay, so 80s kids got the original Game Boy, but the Game Boy Colour brought your virtual world to life – especially when you were playing Pokemon Red and Blue…

    VIEW AT ETSY | £130

    15. Baby All Gone

    A close-up of the 90s toy Baby all gone

    Credit: Etsy

    Baby Born’s greedier cousin, although all she ate was milk and cherries, so she was definitely healthier than us and our McNuggets.

    16. Thunderbirds Tracy Island

    Tracy Island was a phenomenon similar to Elmo – demand was so high that in 1993, Blue Peter designed a version you could make at home because the shops had run out. If you want to have a go at one now, here’s the whole tutorial in 90 seconds.

    17. Spice Girl Dolls

    Spice Girl Dolls

    A 90s childhood wasn’t complete without the Spice Girls, and owning the doll of the band member you most related to was of the highest importance (we were Baby, in case you were wondering).

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £80

    18. Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo

    Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo

    Elmo was released in 1996, and the shelves were empty in minutes – people went nuts for him! Some Tickle Me Elmos sold for hundreds of pounds, so if you’ve still got yours, it might be worth popping him on eBay…

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £45

    19. Doodle Bear

    The first toy that we were ever told to draw on, and one that still has a special place in our hearts. The Doodle Bear had to make our best toys of the 90s edit.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £17

    20. What’s Her Face doll

    A close up of the what's her face doll in it's original 90s packaging

    Credit: Reddit

    One of the more creative 90s options, What’s Her Face allowed you to stamp your chosen features onto your doll’s blank head. Creepy to start with, but loads of fun once you got used to her (read: once she had eyes)

    21. Teksta Dog

    Teksta Dog

    Of course, more tech-minded pet lovers were all about the Teksta, who was neither cute nor fluffy, but could do much more impressive tricks and put our Fur Real spaniel to shame.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £149

    22. Talkboy

    A close up of the talkboy tape recorder - one of the best toys of the 90s

    Credit: Amazon

    After watching Home Alone, everyone wanted one of these electronic recording devices, and after months of begging, most of us got one. There was also a Talkgirl version too!

    23. Power Rangers Figure

    Power Rangers figurines

    The Mighty Morphin team were always on our TV screens anyway – these plastic replicas just allowed us to carry on the action once the episode ended. If more than three girls were present, there was ALWAYS a fight over who got to be the pink and yellow rangers.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £20

    24. Mr Bucket

    Trying to get all four balls into Mr Bucket’s mouth using plastic scoops was a struggle we all faced at some point. He was discontinued in 2007, so if there’s a copy in your cupboards, you’ve got yourself a little piece of toy history.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £13.20

    25. Pogs


    Who knew tiny cardboard disks could be so exciting? We even invested in protective plastic tubes for ours.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £6.49

    26. Baby Born

    Baby Born

    In the 90s, if you asked for a doll for Christmas or your birthday, you were getting a Baby Born and her real, authentic weeing function – she was basically the only option in the stores. She also had a dummy that made her go to sleep in an instant, which made our expectations of real parenthood highly skewed.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £42

    27. Tobar Gooey Alien Egg

    one of the best kids toys of the 90s was the tobar alien seen here in its egg

    Credit: Amazon

    Remember when everyone was obsessed with these grey, gooey aliens? Sadly ours never did hatch babies…

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £4.49

    28. Crazy Bones

    The first of many playground fads, Gogo Crazy Bones were basically just tiny plastic monsters, but weirdly addictive and totally collectible. You’ve probably still got a bagful in the loft.


    29. Puppy Surprise

    Puppy surprise toy inside its original nineties packaging


    Puppy Surprise was a gamble, because you could end up with three, four or five puppies to play with. Somehow ours always ended up with the fewest (sob).

    30. Furby

    Initially, Furby seemed like a great idea – ‘he’s so CUTE’, we squealed. However, by the time they’d told you their name was Coco and had said ‘yum’ twenty thousand times, you were ready to shut them in the airing cupboard (just us?)

    31. Cupcake Surprise

    Cupcake Surprise

    Flip the skirt and these mini ladies turned into cupcakes, a trick which truly amazed our childhood selves. The sweet smell of these things will never fully leave our nostrils.


    32. Sky Dancers

    Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. Sky Dancer doll. (Photo by Mario Ruiz/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

    Credit: Getty

    Pull the string and your Sky Dancer would take to the erm… sky, for a few tantalising seconds, much to your endless delight. If you remember these, you’ll probably also recall the TV show of the same name, where the five main characters attended High Hope Dance Academy under the watchful eye of Queen Skyla.

    33. Waterfuls Ring Toss

    one of the best toys of the 90s is the waterful gaming toy

    So many wasted hours, but such satisfaction when all those fiddly rings were finally behooped. This has our vote as one of the best toys of the 90s.

    34. Cadbury Chocolate Money Box

    10p for a square of chocolate was actually a con, when you realise that that would have bought you a Freddo at the time, but still, the joy when the block dropped out was worth the expense.

    35. Dear Diary

    the original 90s toy dear diary


    Dear Diary was the keeper of all of our childhood secrets, from first crushes to lies we’d told mum and dad – typed meticulously on those teeny tiny buttons. We also made good use of the scheduler, even though every single appointment was ‘school, school, school… ‘