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3 min Read
Published March 29, 2018

90’s Nostalgia: 15 Things Only Toys ‘R’ Us Kids Remember

I heard tragic news today: My childhood is over. For good.

All 90’s kids swore the same oath: I don’t wanna grow up. I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid. There’s a million toys at Toys ‘R’ Us that I can play with! From bikes to trains to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is. I don’t want to grow up ’cause if I did I couldn’t be a Toys ‘R’ Us kid.

We have failed in our oath, 90’s kids. At some point, we grew up. We put away our neon Nickelodeon Gak and ankle-breaking Skip-It, and we stopped being Toys ‘R’ Us kids. And now, because of us, they’re closing.

This guilt-tinged nostalgia sent me racing back to Toys ‘R’ Us like a lost childhood friend. And guess what I found there? A time-capsule, where all my favorite 90’s toys are still waiting.

Either kids today love the same toys we did growing up, or Toys ‘R’ Us was unable to change with the times — which could have contributed to their failure. In the digital age, perhaps toy stores were no longer meant to survive.

Still, I remember spending hours of my childhood having fun just wandering around the store. I’d ride the bikes, wear the silly masks, play the newest N64 game, and buy the most expensive Lego set.

Let’s explore.

1. Skip-It (AKA Twister Moves)

I was shocked to see Skip-It had survived the 90’s. This dangerous toy is basically a brightly-colored plastic weapon. My cousins and I created a horrible game where one person would skip in the middle of the room, and everyone else would have to run across the room, leaping over the wildly swinging chunk of hard plastic on the end. Winners get an endorphin rush. Losers get a broken shin, ankle, or toe. What a fun game!

2. Nickelodeon Gak (AKA Slime)

Ah yes. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, you loved Nickelodeon. And Nickelodeon idolized everything icky kids could love – slime, bugs, boogers, and gak. This slime has stood the test of time in Toys ‘R’ Us. What I remember most is getting it stuck in my hair and clothes.

3. Riding the Bikes and Scooters

I was thrilled to find the bikes and scooters were still open for public riding! I found a pink unicorn helmet (safety first!) and a small pink bike to take a cruise around the store. A few employees smirked at me. Hey. I’m still a Toys ‘R’ Us kid, okay? At least for a few more weeks.

4. Crossfire

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this! All our favorite 80’s games are still out there. In this case, they haven’t even updated the box in almost 30 years! Sadly, I have to wonder if this is part of why toy stores are going under. Could kids today really still be enticed by the exact same games we played in the 80’s? Still, this was a classic jingle during Saturday morning cartoon commercials. I can still hear the epic, “Crossfire!” lyrics being sung, with fake lightening and fire special effects flashing behind some intense-looking kids.

5. Mr. Bucket

Speaking of nostalgic commercial jingles: I also found Mr. Bucket. I do have to wonder, since television is losing favor (do kids even watch Saturday morning cartoons anymore?), do the kids ever see the advertisements for these games? Would they even know these jingles from our childhood?

I also found Puppy Surprise, Nerf, Lego, and more … but they’re not as we remember them. In fact, tragedy has befallen the Lego section. Continue on the next page!

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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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