The 1990s brought us presidential scandals, troubled pop stars, and a lot of excitement over a little thing called the World Wide Web. Come to think of it, the ’90s sound a lot like the ’10s.
But we digress. If you’re like most ’90s kids, your favorite objects from childhood are all in a landfill somewhere far away. Now that you’re struggling with the tribulations of adulthood, it’d be nice to take out some of those heirlooms of a simpler age. Just gaze into them and remember…
Too bad they’re gone for good. Maybe these pictures will cheer you up. Here are the things that we think about and long for when we reminisce about the decade of grunge, Lewinsky, and O.J. Simpson.
1. Garfield Drinking Glasses
Who hates Mondays, loves lasagna, and not much else? Garfield!
We could take or leave the comic, but we would trade everything in our cupboard for just one of those mugs.
2. The Original Skip-It
Forget expensive gym memberships. Leave the spin classes and the stair machine to the squares. All you really need to stay fit is a Skip-It, the strangest toy to come out of the ’90s.
It looked remarkably similar to a ball and chain, like you see attached to prisoners in old cartoons. This thing was no hindrance, though. Its lightweight plastic flew around the pavement and counted your hops. Even smartphones can only do one of those things without shattering.
Boglins were the most lifelike puppets on the market. They were also among the most grotesque. They were made of soft rubber, and you could even manipulate their facial expressions.
True story: One day in 1992, a certain 10-year-old boy walked out of the K-B Toys store in his local mall, proudly clutching his first-ever Boglin (there would be many more), still packaged in its “cage” box. A mall employee at the perfume counter called out to him.
“We don’t allow live animals in the mall, young man,” she scolded. That’s how real they were, and we could use a dose of reality these days.
You know how comfortable those old flannels would be today? Besides, everything old is new again. Flannels are back in. Throw one on over some torn jeans and a pair of Doc Martens and just wait for the compliments to roll in.
Also, if you have any outfits they might have worn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hold onto those. Buffy fashion is going to be big.
5. Your Parents’ Copy of the “Starr Report”
This Congressional investigation into President Bill Clinton’s affair with a White House intern left no stone unturned. It’s the original 50 Shades of Grey. It reads like that sick Shrek fan fiction your weird college roommate was always writing.
Here’s the good news: You’re finally old enough to read it! Never mind the fact that President Clinton hasn’t been in office for decades. Never mind that we’ve got bigger problems in the White house these days. Just throw Pearl Jam’s Ten in the CD player and curl up with a cold cup of ice water. You’re going cover to cover with this thing, and it gets steamy!
We’re not sure who came up with Pogs, but they are geniuses at channeling kids’ natural violent tendencies into something harmless. You’d stack up the chips and then fling your heavy slammer at your opponent’s pile. It was kind of like naval warfare, and it really hurt to lose your favorite Pog.
So why would you want these around today? Because it would feel terrific to throw something heavy at a breakable column without going to jail, that’s why.
7. Your “Goosebumps” Collection
These books are still good for a chill. They were also ahead of their time. Remember The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, in which it turns out the protagonist has been dead the whole time? That came out two years before The Sixth Sense, which (20-year-old spoiler alert) operates entirely on the same conceit.
Anyone who claims to be able to read Welcome to Dead House without turning on all the lights in the house is a liar.
8. The “Bunnicula” Series
Speaking of the great books of the ’90s, it’d be nice to go through Deborah and James Howe’s Bunnicula books again.
These kid-friendly stories about a vampire bunny rabbit provide the perfect mix of fun and fear. It’s like Anne Rice for the preteen set. You could probably get through the whole series in an evening, which sounds like a really nice break from the stress of making it in the big city or wherever.
9. Original Nirvana T-Shirts
You would be the coolest kid on the block if you walked around in a Nirvana t-shirt that you actually bought at a Nirvana show. On the other hand, you’d be the richest kid on the block if you sold your original vintage Nirvana t-shirt on Etsy.
This one, for instance, is listed for $1,300. If your mom threw out your old wardrobe when you went away to college, this one’s on her.
9. Your First “Magic the Gathering” Cards
If you were born in 1990 proper, replace “Magic the Gathering” with “Pokémon.” Either way, the principle is the same.
Original cards from both ’90s-era games sell for a pretty penny on the internet. Plus, you can usually find someone who’s willing to throw down on a match. Magic the Gathering is still going strong.
Because the publishers don’t do reprints of some of their most powerful cards, though, Magic the Gathering has a serious secondary market. Just think of how your life might change if you had held onto that Black Lotus you got as a kid.
10. Your First Mix Tapes
There was an art to a good mix tape. There still probably is, but we’re too busy “curating” Spotify playlists to find out.
If you were a teenager in the ’90s, the mix tapes you made would tell your story better than a diary. We wish we had kept ours around to play for our therapist.
You can always pick up a “Furby Connect,” the current iteration of this unsettling toy, but we prefer the original. You know hackers are going to have a field day with those internet-connected Furbies.
We’re going to have Furbies whispering Russian propaganda in our kids’ ears at night. They’ll be recording our phone conversations with their eyes. They’ll trick us into handing over our banking information.
No thanks. We’d rather have an original Furby. Too bad we threw ours away when we realized how creepy it was.
11. Spoke Beads
Bicycles are great for all ages. As kids, we rode them around for fun and decorated the wheels with those awesome, colorful spoke beads.
As adults, we use bikes to get to work because SOME state authorities don’t think we’re “fit” to drive automobiles. Either way, we wish we’d kept our old beads. Those would cheer us up.
12. Beanie Babies
Ignore the price speculation, the whole Beanie Baby bubble, and the lost fortunes of the plush gamblers. The fact is these things were super cute.
Plus they were heavy. Have you ever draped one over your tired shoulders? It’s great. We would keep them around just for that. Shoot, we didn’t even sell our Beanie Babies before the bubble burst. We just lost them somewhere along the way.
13. Koosh Balls
Speaking of soothing toys, nothing beats the feel of a Koosh ball in your palm. If you put a bit of spin on them when you toss them in the air, you can watch them flatten out. That’s nice, too.
But the best thing about a Koosh ball is that you could throw it at your friends without doing too much damage. That is an activity we would still pursue today, if only we had kept our childhood stuff around.