Who doesn’t love a holiday fad?
We’ve been gifted some prime buzzworthy Christmas crazes over the last 30 years, from Razor Scooters to Tamagotchis and everything in between. Check out our list of the biggest Christmas gift phenomenons that date back to 1988 below.
This Indie88 feature is presented with T-Shirt Elephant.
Tickle Me Elmo
Tickle Me Elmo was first created in 1996, and it quickly became a fad toy. Not only was it the biggest Christmas phenomenon that year, but several instances of violence took place at toy stores in the mid-90s because of the limited supply and heavy consumer demand. Since then, Elmo’s hysterical laughter and shaking has been redesigned and brought back as a top gift for kids year after year.
The Pogo Stick exploded onto the festive scene back in 2001, when it was introduced as a toy, exercise equipment, and extreme sports instrument. Kids around the world wanted to jump to new heights with the spring-based technology that can push you to bounce up to 10 feet in the air. Even now the Pogo Stick remains a unique toy for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Although the scooter had been around for a while, Razor Scooters really climbed in popularity when Dan Green landed the first backflip on a scooter ever back in the year 2000. If you were a kid in the late 90s or early 2000s, all you wanted was one of these compact folding kick scooters. Now, the adult scooter is making a comeback and climbing in popularity as many people in the city use it to get to and from work while avoiding traffic.
1995 is well known as the height in Beanie Baby mania when they made up a whopping 10 per cent of Ebay’s sales, and that year it was definitely the most popular Christmas gift a person could give. In fact, this major fad is often cited as the world’s first Internet sensation, and the little stuffed animals were collected both as toys and financial investments because of the high resale value of certain rare Beanie Babies.
1999 was the year of the Pokemon card. These treasured pieces of cardboard were used both as collectibles and to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game (PTCG), which was based on Nintendo’s franchise of video games and anime. Like Beanie Babies, some cards still have an insanely high resale value, with the rarest card being the Pikachu Illustrator Cards. Only four of these cards exist, and one was reportedly up for sale on eBay for a whopping $100,000.
Tamagotchis gave you the ability to carry around a handheld pet without any of the real responsibilities. These digital creatures would simulate having a real pet and you’d have to feed them, keep them happy, and discipline them all while making sure to clean up their poop. These little egg-shaped computerized toys are still insanely popular, with over 76 million Tamagotchis being sold worldwide as of 2010.
Over the past thirty years, several different gaming systems have risen to the top of the Christmas gift charts. Some of the top gaming gifts since 1988 include the Game Boy in 1989, the Super Nintendo in 1991, the Nintendo DS in 2004, the Xbox 360 in 2005, the PlayStation 3 in 2006, the Nintendo Wii in 2008, and the NES Classic Edition in 2016.
Star Wars Remote Control BB-8
Over one million little BB-8 robots were sold in 2015, with an influx of sales in and around Christmas time. This remote controlled droid rolls in any direction and makes expressive droid sounds as you lead him around the room. Kids all over the world launched into action to fight evil with this loyal little bot that looks just like the on-screen character in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
What is a list of buzzworthy toys without these creepy little dudes? Kids loved these nightmare-inducing creatures back in the 90s even though they looked like a combination between a demonic hamster and a robotic owl. Following its holiday launch, millions of these domesticated bots were sold, and they would mutter “Furbish” phrases to anyone who passed them by.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
These four fictional anthropomorphic turtles named after Italian Renaissance artists had kids begging Santa for one of these figurines to show up under their tree. Everyone wanted their own Ninja Turtle to help them battle criminals, evil overlords, mutated beings, and alien invaders. Each TMNT figurine even had a storage shell on his back to keep all their accessories safe.