The ’90s Are All That: Promotional Toys in Honor of ’90s Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon came close to inventing a time machine this week when it debuted “The ’90s Are All That,” a block of programming on TeenNick featuring some of Generation Y’s favorite childhood shows. From All That to Hey Arnold!, Salute Your Shorts to The Adventures of Pete and Pete, twenty-somethings can now relive their glory years Tuesday through Saturday between midnight and 4 a.m. (or whenever they want, thanks to the magic of DVR). In honor of the reemergence of characters like Pierre Escargot and Ferguson “Fergface” Darling, we’ve compiled a list of five of our favorite promotional toys that remind us of the 1990s.

Gak. As the above commercial demonstrates, it was bright, it was gooey, and it was great for making inappropriate noises that you could blame on the dog. It didn’t come out of upholstery or carpet and it would quickly be confiscated if you dared to bring it to school, but it was a glorious little canister of chemicals all the same.

Tamagotchi. Another toy that would for sure end up on your teacher’s desk if you brought it to school with you, this virtual pet was a great way to prove to your parents that you were responsible enough to take care of a dog. Unfortunately, it was incredibly difficult to keep a Tamagotchi alive for very long, so these little eggs may have hurt more causes than they helped.

Skip-It. From recess to the front yard, Skip-Its were a girl’s best friend and followed us everywhere throughout the ’90s. The best skippers were heroines among fourth-grade classrooms across the country, and images of their counters hitting getting up into the hundreds during a single schoolyard showdown have gone down in history.

Furby. Some toys were annoying because they’d break after a few uses. Others were frustrating in their lack of easy clean-up (Gak). The Furby, though, was in a class all its own. This creepy little monster had to be locked away in glove compartments and dark cupboards to get it to stop talking to you, it would attempt to have impromptu conversations at terribly inopportune times, and after a few months it would stop responding to belly rubs and back massages and just complain nonstop until you took its batteries out. But the Furby was a step up from the Tamagotchi for a kid who was desperate for a pet (since, you know, it had fur and a face) and maybe that’s why over 40 million of them were sold during its first 3 years of production.

Pogs. What was fun about little customized circles of cardboard? Everything. With a Milkcap Maker (like the one featured above) you could make your very own promotional toys decorated with whatever you wanted, from your brother’s face to your favorite sneaker brand’s logo.

These are just a handful of great toys from the ’90s. What was yours? Leave your answers in the Comments section below.

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