Whenever you had a play date, there were always toys that you and your friends would run to. While the boys were trading Pokémon cards and racing their Hot Wheels, we knew that our toys were better. There was no better feeling than being rewarded for running errands with your parents.
American Girl Dolls and Bitty Babies
Whether you wanted a historical doll with her own story, a look-a-like doll that would live a life just like yours, or a little baby with eye color and hair color of your personal choice, the American Girl Company had an option for everyone. My parents are thankful that the American Girl Doll Place didn’t exist when I was a kid because I would have spent all my allowance money (plus more) there.
Easy Bake Oven
Every girl had one, and if not, then every girl wanted one. We got to be a baby version of Betty Crocker and make our own brownies, cakes, and cookies. Sure the final dessert didn’t taste like what our moms made in the oven, but Easy Bake was still so addicting to use.
My closet was full of enough board games to get me through any rainy day. Whether it was Hungry Hungry Hippos, Yahtzee, Sorry, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders or my favorite Pretty Pretty Princess, all I needed was a friend and we could play until the sun came out.
Since I was personally creeped out by Furbies, I decided to stick to raising a pet on a screen. These screens, the size of a keychain, reminded you of when you needed to play with your pet, feed it, and take it for a walk. It was like a handheld Sims, but in a pet edition.
Mission: beat your last record in addition to not falling on your face because you didn’t jump fast enough.
The goal was simple. Go as fast as you can, doing the demands the toy gave to you without passing out. The original version was simple with the only tasks of bopping it, pulling it or twisting it, but then the toy got more intense to really test our skills.
I am not sure what was so intriguing about little stuffed animals filled with beads, but I was one of the many who was obsessed. I wanted to collect them all whenever I saw one. I was tempted to change each animal’s name to be different from what was on the TY tag and wanted to rip off the tags my parents always told me to leave on these collector’s items.
Didn’t feel like lugging around your Walkman? Hit Clips was the solution to your problem. Each clip held a pop song from our favorite singers and bands like Britney Spears or Backstreet Boys. I still think that the best McDonalds Happy Meal toy to date was a Hit Clip to accompany your nuggets and fries.
Baby Born Dolls
These baby dolls really made us feel like real mommies. The baby dolls would pee, cry, sleep, need to be fed, and sometimes even cry. Boys always thought it was weird that our baby dolls could pee, but then I thought it was weird that they liked to eat dirt and play with worms.
Barbie Dolls, Barbie Dream House, Barbie Jeep
My Christmas list was littered with anything that had a Barbie association. The selection ranged from dolls fit for any occasion and occupation, dream houses, cars, and life-size toys (ex. Barbie Jeep, vanity and scooter).
Felt Coloring Posters, Scratch Art, Lite Brite, and Play-Doh
There were plenty of crafts that let my creativity shine through. My favorite ways to bring out my inner artist were through felt coloring posters, Scratch Art, Spin Art, Lite Bright or a few cans of Play-Doh. The true masterpieces always made it onto the fridge or mantle for the rest of my family to admire.
I would do anything to be back in my playroom playing with these toys instead of on the 5th Floor of O’Neill drowning in homework. Oh the great days of being a kid. Why did I grow up?