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Top 6 Fad Toys

Updated on February 6, 2014


The holidays are once again upon us, and that means heading to the mall to try to pick out the perfect toy for the kids. Over the years, we have seen many fun, unique toys come and go, causing chaos and panic one day, only to be garage sale fodder a couple months down the line. Here are some of toys that caused the biggest splash during their release, only to dwindle in popularity down the line.


It's without a doubt that if you were a kid in the early 90's, you had a tube of Pogs in your pocket. Pogs are small circular disks that act as game pieces that you stack up and hit with a "slammer". The Pogs that stay face up are the ones you keep, and the player with the most Pogs in the end wins. Pogs and slammers came emblazoned with all kinds of pictures and graphics, making them popular collectibles during the height of their fad. While Pogs are not much more then a distant memory of young adults, they can still be found for sale on sites like eBay.


In the holiday season of 1998, the world was introduced to the Furby, a small, furry critter that learned to speak the more you played with it. It topped every child's wish list that year, causing long lines at the store and ridiculously high resale prices (anywhere from $100 to $300). Unlike some of the other toys on our list, the Furby is posed to make a comeback this holiday season. The Furby Boom, which features advanced movement and app compatibility, is topping many retailers best sellers list.

Beanie Babies

These small, animal-shaped plush toys were both highly sought after and highly collectable in the mid-90's. The company that produced them, Ty, added to the craze by limiting supply and "retiring" certain models to add to their value. You could even find books and magazines that tracked the influxes in the toy's worth. The fad lasted a few years, then popularity declined and in 1999, Ty ended production on the toy. Unfortunately, some prospective investors poured their savings into the toy hoping to strike it rich were left in a financial hole.


For parents who didn't want to buy their child a dog for Christmas, the Tamagotchi was the next best thing. The egg-shaped, virtual pet was all the rage in the mid-90's. The popularity of the toy grew to the point where schools had to ban them for being to distracting from classroom activities. While demand for the toy is not as great as it once was, Tamagotchi's are still sell well. As of 2010, 76 million units have been sold worldwide.

Tickle Me Elmo

Its safe to say that nobody forecast just how popular the Tickle Me Elmo was going to be when it was released in 1996. The interactive, giggling toy became an instant success, flying off the shelves and causing near riots (and in some cases, actual riots) at toy stores across the US. In fact, the doll's short supply led to people re-selling them for hundreds of dollars, in one case as much as $1500. The toy is still available today, although you wont have to be climbing over other parents to pick on up anymore.


ColecoVision was a home gaming system that was poised to be a major rival of the the widely popular Atari system. Bundled with the hit game Donkey Kong, ColecoVision was able to move 550,000 units in 1982, its debut year. Unfortunately, the success was short-lived. The subsequent releases of expensive and buggy expansion modules soured consumers on the system. In 1983, North America experienced the great "video game crash", an event primarily caused by the failure of two high profile titles released by Atari and some very overzealous estimates of product demand. The crash spelled doom for many companies in the gaming industry, including Coleco. In 1984, production was ceased.

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      Ben 3 years ago

      Tickle-me-Elmo is pretty timeless...