Making a list, checking it twice

How many of these childhood toys do you remember?

The holiday season has arrived, bringing twinkling lights, ornamented evergreens and plenty of nostalgia. From reviving yearly traditions to recalling happy vacations, December is the perfect time to reminisce on winters past. And for many of us who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or other gift-giving holidays, some of our happiest childhood memories are tied to tearing colorful wrapping off our presents and delighting in our new toys.

While most of the gifts we received as children have probably been donated to charity, relegated to the back of a dark closet or crammed into a never-opened box, it can be amusing to look back on the treasures we coveted as children. Here are a few popular toys from the late 90s and early 2000s—how many of them did you own?


  1. Furbies

Whether you view them as cute or creepy, there is no denying the popularity of these Gremlin-esque balls of fur following their 1998 launch—27 million were sold during their first year of production. Despite their controversial history (they were banned from the National Security Agency, the Pentagon and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard due to incorrect suspicions that they could record and mimic voices), you can still buy them today. You may struggle to understand your Furby at first, as it will start out speaking exclusively in Furbish, but it will quickly pick up on English.


  1. Tamagotchis

Also known as たまごっち, these handheld digital pets came to the United States and Europe in 1997 after their 1996 debut in Japan. In early Japanese versions, the animated pets could die without constant attention, but in American and British versions, they would only sprout wings and “pass on” to another world. Both models encouraged users to devote hours to their pets, resulting in emotional bonds and a fandom so large that a Tamagotchi movie was made in 2007. Although the original toys are difficult to come by, iPhone and Android users can download Tamagotchi apps on their phones.


  1. Razor Scooters

You may have learned to ride one of these two-wheeled vehicles before you learned how to ride a bicycle. They hit shelves with a bang in 2000, selling more than 5 million, and are still popular today.


  1. Zhu Zhu Pets

From Tamagotchis to Webkinz to FurReal Friends, toy developers know that children have a love for lifelike playthings they can take care of. And in 2009, Zhu Zhu Pets were the most popular pretend pet of the holiday season. Although it originally only featured robotic hamsters, the line was expanded to include various breeds of dogs in 2011.