1. Lip Smackers
Personally, I had about 500 of these useless little “lip balms.” I say that in quotations because let’s be honest, we only bought these things because they were pretty colors and they tasted like candy. Side note: please do not eat Lip Smackers like candy. Bonne Bell started marketing Lip Smackers to preteens as early as 1973, but their popularity spiked in the 90s with flavors like Dr. Pepper, Fanta, and 7UP.
2. Sky Dancers
I spent hours playing with these outside, along with my Skip-It and trusty sidewalk chalk. They did fly off and get stuck in the bushes a fair amount, but that was manageable. It really sucked when your face got in the way of their wings though. Not that that ever happened to me…
3. Hair mascara
Okay, I had blue hair mascara and it was seriously disappointing. I remember sitting in my room and using the wand to cover select pieces of my hair with the colored mascara and being immediately disgusted at how gunky and sticky it was. Not to mention, the blue barely showed up on my brown hair. Bummer.
4. Popcorn shirts
Oh god. Why did we ever think these were a good idea? These literally made people look like those egg crate mattress toppers/like they had some Teletubbies skin disease. Yeah it was kinda cool that they started off the size of a tennis ball and stretched out to fit you when you put it on…but that’s pretty much where the appeal ends. I say these things as if I didn’t own at least two of them.
Being able to finally buy your own school lunch was one of those first privileges that made lots of kids feel like big kids — at least, that’s how it was for me. Fruitopia was a part of that, naturally. Any time you wanted a cold drink, nothing hit the spot like a can of Fruitopia fresh from the vending machine. Sadly, Fruitopia was discontinued in the United States in 2001 and phased out entirely by 2003. Nowadays you’ve got to go to Canada or Australia to taste this fruity beverage.
Shut up if you didn’t think these were amazing. Cruising around the neighborhood on your Razor scooter with a giant bouquet of these clipped to your handlebar…ah, the good life. Being able to listen to a minute of very select pop jams pre-iPod was a beautiful luxury.
7. Mini backpacks
Admittedly, these are kind of making a comeback lately, but it’s not as serious as back in the day. All the cool kids had a mini backpack. You couldn’t fit anything in these except for like, your Tamagotchi and a select few Beanie Babies, but that’s all that mattered. (I had a quilted silver and a black vinyl one. I was soooo cool.)
8. Wonder Balls
A hollow ball of milk chocolate with candy inside AND a collectible sticker? Revolutionary. Wonder Balls were withdrawn in 1997 because they were “choking hazards” or something like that and remarketed in the 2000s, then discontinued entirely in 2004. Only True 90s Kids ™ will remember how weird the SweeTart-like candies inside a Wonder Ball made the chocolate taste and vice-versa.
Does anyone even know what pogs were supposed to be??? I think there was a game you were supposed to play with them? Maybe? My family actually had a pog maker and my brothers and I spent many evenings making our own pogs with pictures cut out of magazines. Between the three of us we had tubes and tubes of pogs. Why? I couldn’t tell you. It was the 90s.