80s, 90s, Commercials, Dolls, Quick Lists, Toys, Video Games — August 22, 2012 4:04 pm

11 Fads We’re Glad Are Over

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If you were in grade school in the 80s and 90s, you’re guilty of buying into hundreds of bizarre fads along the way. Here are just a handful of fads we’ve all fallen to and are happy that we don’t have to encounter anymore.

11 – Treasure Trolls

Humans collect the weirdest things…
While Troll Dolls came out in the 1960s, the fad resurfaced in the 1990s, tricking a new generation into buying the ugly little rainbow-haired dolls. By far the most entertaining piece of media to come from the Troll fad was The Trollies Radio Show, a direct-to-video (and you know everything that’s direct-to-video is gold) radio show with music videos for ground-breaking current hits like “Kokomo,” “Woolly Bully,” and “Doo Wah Diddy.” In 2010, DreamWorks Animation announced that they’ll be creating a film based on Trolls, 20 years too late.

10 – Beanie Babies

Foolishly, I put all my money in Beanie Babies stock.

Beanie Babies debuted in 1993 and three years later the world went insane with over 100 million Beanie Babies sold. They were nothing special, but people still freaked out over the little bean-stuffed animals with heart-shaped identification tags. McDonalds even got into the game in 1997, offering mini versions of the stuffed animals and sold 100 million of those in just 14 days. People went absolutely apeshit for these things, thinking they’d make millions of dollars from their collections one day. Of course, everyone has a bag full of these things in their attic and no one wants more of them. So, good job on cashing in. Bootleggers capitalized on the Beanie Baby craze by manufacturing counterfeit Beanie Babies, which caused the FBI to get involved and bust some rings in the late 90s.

9 – Cabbage Patch Dolls

Dolls, albums, toys… these things were everywhere. Even my nightmares.

Like all fad dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls were hella ugly and kids wanted the hell out of them. If you were around in the 1980s, you probably had six of them. They did have a unique feature—each doll came with adoption papers. Add that each doll was different and you’ve created a doll kids will love, not just the same Little Miss doll that every kid in second grade was touting around.

8 – Furby

Who couldn’t love a face like that?

Furby was an uglier version of a Gremlin that blinked and made stupid noises—and if you’ve been paying attention so far, that’s fad gold. The toy was introduced in 1998, kind of late in the game, but again, people went nuts for it anyway. Furbies can learn English as well as teach their owners Furbish. Furbies were hard to find shortly after their release because of the demand. They’re still hard to find today because they’re terrible.

7 – Tamagotchi

Those things always hated me and never lived past a couple days. Maybe it’s best that I don’t have any real pets.

Sometimes it isn’t feasible to have pets when you’re a kid, so the next best thing in 1996 was a Tamagotchi, a virtual pet housed inside an egg-shaped piece of plastic that you could put on your keychain or stuff in your pocket and forget about. With the three buttons on the front of the Tamagotchi, the pet owner would have to feed, clean, entertain and take care of their new bundle of joy.

6 – Magic Eye


In newspapers, in book form, sometimes even on television, Magic Eye artwork always alluded my brain and that’s why I’m glad to see that fad is dead. Magic Eye is an explosion of colorful fuzz and shapes that you had to look at funny and kind of squint in order to see a 3D image pop out at you. These images, or stereograms, were apparently really cool, but I was one of those people that would stare for hours like a jerk. Some good did come from it, vision therapists utilize Magic Eyes as part of the treatment for some binocular vision and accommodative disorders. Hopefully I don’t end up with one of those.

5 – Clackers

Likely still available in the bootleggiest of dollar stores.

Clackers are those plastic noisemakers that annoyed parents and teachers alike. Users held a plastic stick with two separate triangles that house a ball on the tips. With a flick of the wrist, the triangles would rotate and the balls would “clack” together. There were different tricks to do with Clackers, all emitting a sound that would make you want to punch a child. But hey, they were fun.

4 – Skip-It

And now you have the Skip-It jingle stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.
Regular jumping rope is for chumps, all the cool kids had a Skip-It—comprised of a plastic loop that hooked around the user’s ankle, leading out to a string of skipping rope with a ball at the end of it. Skip-Its were great for kids who didn’t have more than one friend because they could still enjoy the nuances of jumping rope without the social commitment. You just move your foot, jump over the extended rope, and if your parents loved you, your Skip-It had a counter on the ball that would tell you how many Skips you’ve It-ed. Okay, that one was lame. Children of this generation will have to make some friends, or just text all day, because the Skip-It was discontinued in 2009.

3 – Slap Bracelets

Metal smacked into fleshy wrists? How could this go wrong?

Banned by schools, outlawed by parents, maybe you even have a friend of a friend whose cousin’s babysitter’s sister was critically injured due to smacking razor-sharp metal against their wrist. Slap bracelets were a strip of metal that can be straightened, but can snap into a roll or bracelet shape with the slightest agitation. These came in lots of neon colors, the official colors of the 80s and 90s.

2 – Pillow People

Pillow People are just that—pillows with human features. They also steal souls and will eat your babies. Well, maybe not so much, but these freaky things scared the crap out of me. These bad boys came out in the mid 1980s and are probably best known as DJ Tanner’s toy fad of choice from Full House.

1 – POGS

Don’t act surprised. You knew this was coming.

The mid 1990s were ripe with POGs, little cardboard discs that players would throw heavier, sometimes metal, slammers at. POG refers to a passionfruit, orange, and guava drink from Hawaii where the game originated in the 1920s-1930s. POGs featured images on at least one side, with many franchises cashing in on the craze (Simpsons, Casper, and Sailormoon, to name a few). Better than playing POGs was collecting them, with many players’ collections getting out of control (over 4,000 POGs up in here). Some schools eventually banned the game, citing it as a gateway activity for hardcore gambling addictions, but the fad fizzled out before any real damage could be done.


Have a fad you’re glad is over? Let us know by leaving a comment!


  • Dude, pogs are so gonna make a comeback (seriously, I’ve been noticing sets popping up on eBay and junk.)  With the 90s nostalgia starting to really gear up, I expect 20-somethings are gonna start feeling the itch to break out their old Power Rangers Slammers and start challenging each other in office breakrooms any day now…

    • smurfwreck What! I can’t believe I got rid of all my POGS! Well, I kind of can… That’s crazy how they’re popping up like that on eBay!

      • Pop Rewind smurfwreck I bought a LOT of pogs last summer at the yard sales. I don’t know why.

        • brian3 Pop Rewind smurfwreck Preparing for the future, when pog madness hit’s it’s nostalgia peak. 😉

        • smurfwreck brian3 Pop Rewind I found the whole POG game/arena thingy at a local thrift store for cheap, and then all my friends ended up giving me their POGs they had lying around in storage. If anybody ever remotely thinks about playing pogs, I’ll be ready.

  • Furbies and Cabbage Kids are cool, not because of what they had but because of how much happiness they gave to me and how much love I gave to them!

  • I liked slap bracelets and had a lot of them. I’m not glad they’re gone, they coincide perfectly with my macabre humor. 😉

    • Count_Marzo Oh you better believe, they’re back, buddy! My daughter randomly comes home with them from school activities. I’d always heard they weren’t safe and would cut you, and I could see that with some of them being metal. I think the new ones are plastic, though.

  • Oh no. I can’t remember the last time I fed my Tomagatchi!

  • Pillow people give me the shivers…

  • I love troll dolls.  I like the little tiny ones the best, I think.  I had those and we used them as prizes for games at one of my birthday parties when i was young.  I had (not sure if I still have it) a large baby troll doll that was a  Christmas present from my cousins.  

    My sister even got my a Treasure Trolls board game and I still have that.

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