25 iconic ‘90s toys that still make great gifts
Relive your childhood by checking out this list of ace ‘90s toys.
Last updated: 16 May 2023
The ‘90s were such simpler times. A decade spent wondering whether Ross and Rachel would finally get it together, listening to the Spice Girls and carrying around a cell phone the size of a brick.
But that wasn’t all. The ‘90s also produced some pretty awesome toys – think Nintendos, Polly Pockets and Barbies, to name but a few. The good news is that many of these classic ‘90s toys have stood the test of time, and are still available today.
So, whether you’re looking for a trip down memory lane for yourself, or you’re wanting to show your kids what a real fun looks like, check out this list of awesome ‘90s toys.
Who needs an Xbox?
'90s tech toys
1. Tamagotchi & GigaPets
How keeping a non living thing 'alive' could create such hype escapes us still, but turns out these digital pets are still a thing and we have a bunch onsite.
If your kids are asking for a family pet, maybe this could be a first trial run. But be warned: you may get put on babysitting duty when school returns.
2. Nintendo & Gameboy
Gamers have long made the switch to Nintendo Switch, but a Game Boy was the stuff of nineties childhood dreams.
Gift a Game Boy to yourself or the gamer in your life for a happy dose of nostalgia – or keep the kids off your phone by getting them into your fave Game Boy games.
3. Sega Mega Drive & Sonic the Hedgehog
Whether you were lucky enough to own a Sega Mega Drive, or hired one as a treat from your local video store (RIP), many a '90s child had their first introduction to gaming through the speedy blue battler Sonic the Hedgehog.
With Sonic making his way to the big screen, there’s a whole new generation of fans for the hectic hedgehog, and you’ll find all kinds of Sonic toys and clothing onsite.
The ‘90s was all about these weird and wonderful toys.
Interactive & surprise toys
Apparently there were over 40 million sales of the now world-famous Furby in the three years following their release, such was the compelling combination of a semi-cute semi-creepy owl-like robot you could teach to speak English.
5. Puppy Surprise
We couldn’t resist a nod to the pets in pup desperately begged-for by Kiwi kids far and wide after their early ‘90s release.
Would they have 3, 4, or 5 puppies? Who bloody knew. But you were desperate to discover how many were tucked away in that velcro-sealed pouch.
Gotta catch ‘em all!
6. Pokemon cards
This list just wouldn’t be complete without the chance to recall the hustle of trading these collectibles in primary school playgrounds the country over, and you’ll find plenty of vintage Pokemon cards on Trade Me.
7. Polly Pocket
If you can look past the slightly confronting reality that your childhood obsession is considered ‘vintage’, a browse through Polly Pocket listings onsite will take you on a happy trip down memory lane and may well unearth an awesome gift.
8. Littlest Pet Shop
Thought LOL dolls were the OG collectibles? LOL. Kids have been obsessing with collectible toys and cards since forever and the children of the nineties were all. over. it.
Be warned you may experience intense bouts of nostalgia as you browse the range of both new and used Littlest Pet Shop toys and accessories onsite.
9. Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew & Golden Books
Been secretly revisiting Kristy, Claudia and the rest of the Babysitters Club crew in the new Netflix series? Or were you more into the opposing personality twin drama that was Sweet Valley High’s Jessica and Liz?
Endless hours of outdoors fun.
10. Chatter Rings
The '90s craze that was Chatter Rings (also known as Jitter Rings) was invented right here in NZ. Like most crazes, these are in equal parts audibly annoying and incredibly addictive.
11. Skip Its...well, now Skip Balls
The popular '90s reboot of this iconic and ingenious method of exhausting one’s children without leaving the house isn’t available, but you can relive the experience with a Skip Ball.
Although they no longer feature the counter that made the '90s Skip It more popular than the 80s original, the Skip Ball has the added benefit of ankle padding and LED lighting and we. are. here. for. it.
Picture this: a sunny summer’s day, a bevvie in hand, the barbie is cooking and you’re slaying it with your '90s diabolo juggling prowess. Nostalgic bliss right there.
13. Roller skates
Thanks to TikTok, roller skates are back in a big way, though the routines are slightly more advanced than the awkward walk-skate down the driveway or slamming into the wall at the local rink that we recall.
14. Super soakers & Nerf
Few things scream Kiwi summer more than an epic water battle, so why not arm yourself with a Super Soaker or two.
If getting satched isn’t your bag, then we’ve got all kinds of Nerf guns. If budget is a barrier, a second hand Nerf gun or Super Soaker could be the way to go.
What even is Silly Putty?
Little treats '90s style
15. Iconic fidget toys and smaller gifts
The '90s also knew what’s up when it came to small-yet-entertaining toys that will make perfect stocking fillers. Think slinkys, yoyos, marbles, knucklebones, koosh balls, perler beads, Uno, Skip Bo and elastics.
Slap bracelets are also making a comeback (side note: there are plenty of bulk slap bracelet listings that would also be great for kids’ birthday party loot bags) and who can forget the strangely mesmerising texture of Silly putty?
Thought you’d escaped from Tickle Me Elmo? Think again.
‘90s soft toys
16. Ty Beanie Babies
There’s just something about those round glassy eyes that keeps on giving with the ever popular Beanie Babies. They’ve been around since the '90s and show no sign of falling out of favour.
17. Cabbage Patch dolls
Forget this generation’s Our Generation, a Cabbage Patch doll was EVERYTHING to doll-lovers of the 90s.
There was just something about their birth certificates with weird hard-to-remember names, unbrushable hair, cute outies and tattooed buttcheek that made them the doll of the moment.
That said, if your child is signed up to the current obsession, we have Our Generation dolls, clothes and accessories aplenty onsite.
18. Tickle Me Elmo
Buy Tickle Me Elmo now for the children of your sibling who bought your kids something insanely annoying last Christmas.
They're lean, they're green, and they're mean!
‘90s Characters & figurines
19. Sylvanian Families
They may not quite be Lego, but Sylvanian Families are right up there as a toy that lasts for generations. With heaps of listings onsite, you’re sure to easily find animals and accessories your child will especially adore.
While we have hundreds of new Sylvanian Families, there’s also a great range of secondhand listings too for a cheaper alternative.
These little critters are a decent investment upfront but an unexpected bonus is that they have a fantastic resale value when your kids grow out of them.
20. Anything Ninja Turtles
Say cowabunga dude to the hundreds of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys, models and clothing onsite and celebrate both their ongoing renaissance and your childhood vicariously through the kids in your life.
Tbh we’re fairly confused what the deal was then and how they’ve seen a resurgence since. But they have and we have plenty of Trolls for any lovers of this bright haired bunch out there.
You’ll have nothing to be sorry about if you gift any of these popular ‘90s games.
Iconic '90s games
22. Simon & Bop It
Family gatherings need at least one game gift that the whole whānau can get in on. Simon and Bop it are sure to get your competitive and nostalgic juices flowing.
A board game classic, Mousetrap is still going strong. A solid one for the collection if you don’t have it already.
24. Let's Go Fishing game
Remember the Let’s Go Fishin’ game? Particularly perfect gift for families with preschoolers who are keen to get in on the board game action.
Classic ‘90s band Nirvana released the song ‘All Apologies’ in 1993, and you’ll be doing plenty of apologising as you hinder the progress of your fellow players in the classic '90s board game Sorry!
What a decade. What a time. Happy shopping, ‘90s kids.
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