The Late Late Toy Show is upon us once again and at times like these we can reflect upon our younger years. Some might say that we’re barely out of nappies but that doesn’t stop Generation Y from commenting on the kids of the noughties.
The 1980s were the best sixty days of my life. I was one of those children born at the turn of the decade, not quite and 80s kid but not exactly a child of the 90s either.
I can still remember some of my earliest letters to Santa. They predominantly featured demands for Lego and a Wendy House. I have vivid memories of opening a red and white desk to find Thomas the Tank Engine slippers inside. Those were the days.
They just don’t make toys like they used to.
For the boys there was Action Man, the greatest hero in the world. The guy made Ben 10 look less manly than Ben from A1. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and original X-Men were hot on his heels, followed closely by Spiderman and Batman. At least some things haven’t changed.
Stretch Armstrong still ruled supreme and the Power Rangers were the ultimate in cool. I can still remember paying Power Rangers with the lads in the schoolyard. We talked to Zordon because we were cool like that.
Transformers weren’t CGI creations and Buzz Lightyear was the new kid on the block. Etch a Sketch was still mind blowing and everyone wanted one of those cars that you drove with your feet.
Troll dolls had hair that clearly inspired Jedward and Care Bears were lovable, huggable friends. Slinkies and Yo-Yos were all the rage and you cowered in terror at the sight of a supersoaker.
Bouncing balls and skipping ropes were smuggled into school and scooters were piled high in a corner of the classroom. Pogs and Pokémon cards were the height of primary school contraband.
We still baked cakes with Play Doh.
Polly Pocket was every girl’s best miniature friend and Beanie Babies were made to be collected. My Little Pony was stored in the schoolbag and Sylvanian Families were vehemently sought after. Cabbage Patch Kids walked the thin line between entertaining and mildly terrifying and they still made dolls whose eyes opened and closed.
Baby Born created one too many young mothers and rotted if you didn’t wash her out after feeding. That doll was the bane of my mother’s life.
Sindy and Barbie battled for the top spot until the Bratz came along and ruined it for both of them. Whatsherface didn’t stand the test of time but Ken manned up and grew a beard that could be shaved off with a sponge.
Many a Furby was stripped of its batteries as it became the most terrifying toy that just would not stop talking. Taking care of a Tamagotchi was about as tech savvy as a ten year old could get.
Talkboy and Talkgirl were made for musical demos and Dream Phone was as close to sexting as any juvenile delinquent came.
Kids today, they just don’t know what they’re missing.