Ever since Jurassic Park was released in 1993, dinosaurs have soared in popularity. However, even before Jurassic Park, a lot of nerds like me loved dinosaurs. In Kindergarten, a measure of a kid’s coolness was how many dinosaurs she could accurately name. I could name a lot, so I was really uncool. I found the plastic dinosaurs irresistible, and created an epic scene in the middle of an aisle.
12. Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Kids had a TV show in the 1980’s. As far as I know, they don’t have a TV show anymore, but they’re still on the shelves. Without a popular kid’s show to lure kids in, I wonder if these dolls hold any interest for kids. I remember one year in the 1980’s when Cabbage Patch dolls were the hot Christmas item. My mom was so excited to find a doll for me. Now-a-days, I suspect only adults really collect these dolls – for the nostalgia value.
13. Care Bears
I grew up singing a Care Bears song. “Growing up, it’s something you can measure. Growing up, it happens every day. Being young is something you can treasure. Life is good when you’re growing up.” I also found Littlest Petshop, Baby Alive, and lots of other childhood classics. The only childhood toy that has really rebranded is My Little Pony.
14. Power Wheels
I was 5 years old when I got my first car: red, Power Wheels Jeep. While today’s kids can choose from an entire car lot of vehicles, I remember the miracle of my simple red Jeep. Somehow my Mom kept it hidden from me, then had it assembled in the front yard while my birthday party raged inside (Snow White cake, ftw!). When I was finished opening all my presents, she told me, “You have one more left” and opened the front door. It was a hot July twilight, and my red Jeep was sitting in the grass beneath a huge oak tree. It’s one of those life-changing childhood moments that stays burned in your mind. Childhood nostalgia: Brought to you by Toys ‘R’ Us.
15. Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin was creepy even back in the 1980’s. With his half-opened plastic eyelids and eerie electronic voice, this toy gained popularity despite his uncanny valley appearance. His makeover includes gutting his tape player intestines and adding animations to his creepy eyes. However, his designers chose to keep his totally 1980’s brown and orange retro wardrobe. Yikes.
I found this sad version of the Toys ‘R’ Us jingle sung in the minor key. It’s full of bittersweet nostalgia and dying childhoods. I suggest listening to it, to wrap up this proper goodbye to Toys ‘R’ Us. Somehow, I grew up. I didn’t mean to. And now I can’t be a Toys ‘R’ Us kid.