Nostalgia is in. Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One geeks out to the eighties, fashion bloggers look back on decades for vintage finds, and Twitter reminisces with hashtags like #OldThingsIWantBack and #NostalgiaIn5Words. With permission to indulge in past wonderful times, let’s start by remembering one of the best decades ever. The ’90s! Duh.
It was the best of time and the most fun of times. While the ’80s had hairspray, shoulder pads, Rubik’s Cube and arcade games, the ’90s took fashion down a notch and games went up a notch with the help of tech. We’re talking about the top toys and games that defined a generation (looking at you, Millennials).
Follow along as we go through every toy, game, and virtual world ’90s kids HAD to play. If the urge to walk down ole memory lane is so strong, we’ll help you out with links because, yes, thank your lucky stars, some of these toys are still around.
Neopets made the list by a hair, launching in November 15, 1999—but its global success was almost instant. By Christmas of that year, the virtual pet site was logging 600,000 page views a day, a precursor of its cultural impact. By 2005, 25 million youngins had adopted their own Neopet and explored Neopia. The force was unstoppable. Soon the virtual world entered the palpable realm. Users could buy Neopets’ magazine, trading cards, mini plushies with Happy Meals and hand-held games.
The success was a no-brainer for any kid during this time. Obviously, Neopets had it all. That’s why it was the first thing kids did after school. There wasn’t a set goal so users chose how to spend their time. They could feed their pet, make it strong by battling it out at The Battledome, or smarter by reading books (aww), and play a bunch of nifty games to win currency. Potato Counter, anyone?! The game where you just count potatoes for Neopoints.
Good news, old Neopians! The site is still up and enjoying a comeback. We don’t know about you but we’re definitely logging back in.