Guest blog from retro lover and Time Junkies fan - Adora
Ahh, the '90s, the decade that finally outgrew the '80s, swapping Just Seventeen for East 17 and waving a sad goodbye to Mr Frosty in favour of a new kid on the arctic block ... Vanilla Ice A.K.A Robert Maxwell Van Winkle.
For various reasons, the run-up to Christmas 1993 is remembered fondly. It was a time when Mr Blobby was number one in the Christmas Charts and John Major was on the parliamentary throne (or maybe it was vice versa). It was the year that kids pestered their parents for the TalkBoy cassette recorder from Home Alone 2, for Double Dragon 2 on the Game Boy, and for the Dream Phone, a game which laughed in the face of girl power and left young teens staring at a pink phone hoping that their fake date would call.
Although we were on the cusp of a technological revolution thanks to Nintendo and Sega I began to miss my old friends Teddy Ruxpin and the Professor Calculator. Those two wily fellows with their creepy synthesized voices knew what was coming before anyone else did; by 1993 binary entertainment had well and truly arrived, and now even etch-a-sketch was electronic, even if nobody would buy it!
However, despite the computer craze, there was one schoolyard game that took us right back to basics yet still managed to blow our minds. Pogs. The Worldwide Pog Federation, traditionally a manufacturer of bottled fruit drinks, couldn’t believe their luck when people started using their Pog bottle tops to play the old-fashioned game of milk caps. They soon began branding and mass producing hundreds of thousands of Pog designs for our break time pleasure until, alas, like all good classroom distractions, Pogs were banned, making underground Pog players of us all. In fact, it seemed the only thing that could replace our Pog shaped void were stickers ... LOTS of stickers.
The early 90s saw a sticker revival, the likes of which would only compare to the PG Tips card craze of the 80s. I ensured maximum furniture coverage whenever I had the chance. My diary cover, bedroom door and even bedside table - no surface was safe from these garish adhesives. Of course, the scratch and sniff ones were reserved for more dignified areas specifically my pencil case, however, the plastic hood of my scientific calculator was also hallowed ground ...because suddenly we all needed a scientific calculator like our lives depended on it! There was no way we would make it through GCSE Maths without one, even if we thought the Cos, Sin, and Tan buttons were strictly for Trekkies.
In 1993 Barbie still reigned supreme as the number one Christmas toy, but her faithful followers (including me) were slowly being lured away by a merry band of short-legged dolls with outrageous hair. The Trolls had arrived and no amount of nerf gun power could keep their growing army at bay. They came and they conquered, donning every outfit you could ever imagine and keeping Clinton Cards in business for years. They were scary looking creatures and yet we fell madly in love with them, filling our bedrooms with rows of their googly-eyed faces and wondering why we couldn’t sleep.
If you did manage to fall asleep on Xmas even and awake on the big day itself you were eventually rewarded with a range of American imported breakfast treats that would send blood sugar levels sky-rocketing into oblivion. It was the ultimate choice in pseudo nutrition. Pop Tarts or Lucky Charms. Washed down with a delicious glug of Sunny D. Of course by midday it was down to the real business of the day, not watching the Queen's speech but keeping that persistent Tamagotchi alive long enough to 'Stay Another Day'.
Thanks Adora that was a great recap of childhood memories from the '90s. If you want a chance to relive those memories and get hands-on with some of the items mentioned above then check out the '90s Time Box for girls.