90s, Commercials, Quick Lists, Toys — September 5, 2012 10:31 am

7 Toys We Actually Owned

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You gotta hand it to the 1990s: they sold us some pretty terrible toys back then.  Whether it was a blatant cash in on a TV show or a play set advertised only through infomercials, we somehow convinced our parents to hand over hard earned cash for our growing toy collections.

If they hadn’t broken after five minutes of play time, these things would surely be in a museum.  Here are seven toys we actually owned.

7 – Better Blocks

You may remember forty variations of this commercial.

I never liked to let my Legos collection mingle with the collections my friends owned.  Maybe most people didn’t care about mixing toy brands, but it always bothered me.  Sure, Better Blocks fit with your “other blocks”, but in practice they only worked together as well as putting a Sega Genesis game in the Super Nintendo cartridge slot did.

6 – Mighty Max

At least the Mighty Max TV series was okay.

It wasn’t the first toy line to inspire a TV series, but it may have been the worst toy line to inspire a decent TV series.  Let’s face it, guys, you were sold Polly Pocket in disguise with this one.  Mighty Max with a tiny pre-built playset with a microscopic action figure.  Personally, I skipped Mighty Max and went straight for the X-Men knock-off which was in no way related to Polly Pocket… I hope.

5 – Floam

Hope you didn’t like the shirt you just stained with Floam.

You loved the Nickelodeon products and took a gamble on Floam.  Oops, too bad it was terrible.  I owned several slime and Gak sets, but it only took one Floam to steer me away from Nickelodeon products for good.  Floam was essentially dried out Gak with Styrofoam balls.  Yay.

4 – Talk Boy

Hi, kids.  We’re home early!

If you saw Home Alone 2, you wanted one of these right after leaving the theater.  Unfortunately, it took the toy companies time to get their act together and get Talk Boy on the market.  Talk Boy was the one and only Thanksgiving present I ever received, making it that much more ridiculously awesome to me.  Compared to other cheap toys with a similar gimmick, Talk Boy was a little on the pricey side.  Credit card?  You got it.

3 – Puppy Surprise

Note: You never got five.

The Puppy Surprise commercials ran during every break of every cartoon for years.  I took an informal poll recently to see if anyone ever got five.  Everyone I asked remembered the commercial and remembered getting burned with only two puppies.  Apparently, once the puppies were… uh… birthed… the mama dog was a useless toy, as the puppies inside were the only thing keeping it from deflating.

2 – Yak Bak

How many gross sounds could you record in six seconds?

Yak Bak was the poor man’s Talk Boy.  You could record approximately one sentence worth of grade-A comedy material.  Was I the only one scolded for playing the famous “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” line for hours on end?  I think not.

1 – Gak

Gak was advertised before it hit market so everyone would buy the sticky stuff on day one.

Brrraaaaappp.  Skishl.  Blooooop.  These are the disgusting sounds you tormented your parents with on the drive home from K-Mart.  Never again would they be fooled by a toy that had a disgusting sounding name!  If you thought the sounds of Gak were gross, you probably totally forgot about the Smell-My-Gak spin-off.  Smell-My-Gak was exactly the same goop, but scented in such lovely fragrances as sunscreen, pickles, and pizza.  Remember, you owned Gak.

Toy We Didn’t Own – Flexi-Bears

It’s a knock-off of Better Blocks, which were a knock-off of Legos.  Oh, and they’re bears.

I dislike everything about this commercial.  From the music to the terrible opening line to the fake mom’s wig to the free included box the item comes in.  When is a building block more than a building block?  When it’s Flexi-Bears.


Did we miss some of your favorite toys you actually owned?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


  • I didn’t have all of these, but I sure did want them. Loved both my Gak AND my Floam! Didn’t really care for the Yak Back though. Had a tape recorder so I was pretty spoiled XD. That said, I always wanted a Talk Boy… It was just so cool lookin’.

  • Is this post an early Christmas gift? Cause I am oh so grateful! 
    The commercials brought back memories I didn’t know still existed. Major props for ending the Talk Boy segment with the credit card line – I nearly spit up my drink laughing.

  • I think I got five puppies in my puppy surprise once. I also had Kitty surprise and Horse(y?) surprise.

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