CIJ 2023-Throught the Decades-The 90's. Toys and stocking fillers

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Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Apr 23, 2008
Canberra, Australia
Christmas in the 90’s

Toys and stocking fillers.​

In the '90s, online shopping wasn't a thing, it was a time before most homes did not own a computer and the internet was just used by NASA. When people wanted to do their Christmas shopping, they had to browse the bulky, enthralling, and entertaining store Christmas catalogues. Inside, you could find advertisements for everything from bubble dresses to bum packs, hot wheel cars and the longed for holiday Barbie. All you had to do was pick up the phone and call or visit the store in person and place your order!

In terms of technology, the 1990s was one of the most transformative decades in human history—it was the bridge between the analog and digital eras. At the beginning of the '90s, people stopped at payphones to check in with loved ones during long car rides, which they survived with cassette tapes and FM radios. By the end of the decade, those same people were sending text messages, downloading songs onto MP3 players, and using high-speed modems to perform Google searches online. Toys were not immune to the sea change. Personalized interactive toys and pocket-sized electronic games made the blocks, Slinkys, and Lincoln logs of old feel like relics.

Here in Australia we would start asking the kids for what they would like Santa to bring around September or so. We would head to Kmart or BIG W with list in hand, hope that the item was on the shelf and place all the gifts on layby. We would then pay a little off the balance every week and pick the items up a week or two before Christmas. The larger department stores here still have toy sales around June every year and will hold the goods to be picked up the last week of November.


Cyber Monday wasn’t created until the mid-2000s, so people celebrating the holidays in the ‘90s didn’t have to worry about logging on at the dot of midnight to grab deeply discounted TVs and other electronics. The only shopping that happened in the ‘90s occurred either at the mall or via mail order. Parents couldn’t order online for their kids. No, they had to elbow through crowds in stores and pray that there was an interactive Elmo, Game Boy still available on the shelves, purchase it, lug it home and then find a good hiding place. Ah, simpler times.

Here are some samples of toys and stocking fillers that were most popular in the 90’s. I wonder how many of these were found under your tree on Christmas morning?

Stick on earrings1690498508929.png
Holiday Barbie

Magic stampers Toy microphone

Baby Sitter’s Club Silly Straws

Magic stampers Toy microphone

Baby Sitter’s Club Silly Straws

Game Boy Tickle me Elmo

Art set.


*Polly Pocket


*Super Soaker Water guns

*Slip and Slide Water slides

*Beanie Babies

*Slap bracelets

*Sky Dancers

*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action figures

*Hot wheel cars

*Action Man



*Glitter shoelaces/roll on glitter/glitter everywhere.

These were all popular toys that were featured on Christmas wish lists from the 90’s. My kids had many of these. I was always so happy when I saw how excited the kids were when they opened a much longed for gift on Christmas morning.

And a little bit of trivia……..

Did you know that Blockbuster along with Neiman Marcus is responsible for modern gift cards? They introduced them in store back in 1994 and since then the plastic cards have replaced the sad paper gift vouchers that used to be available. When you got a gift card in the 90’s it was a novelty and most coveted.


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Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Jan 4, 2014
At the beginning of the 90s our boys were young teens into legos, some Star Wars and ninja turtles…but mostly computers and bicycles. The girls were graduating high school, leaving home, marrying, and having their babies. By the end of the decade we were empty nesters, having fun with the grandkids…and the toys started anew. Back to Playschool, baby dolls, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Matchbox cars, etc. The Slip & Slide and kiddie pool were used for family reunions. Dd #1 gave her little girl, in the 2000s, all the Polly Pocket dolls - Dd spent a lot of time repairing those tiny clothes with her hot glue gun.


Well-Known Member
Premiere Member
Oct 24, 2007
DD31 (born 1992) had a few Polly Pockets! I forgot about those. LOL Oh, and ALL the Beanie Babies ... we didn't buy many, most were gifts, garage sales, thrift stores ... she still has quite a collection in an old trunk! She didn't have the newest Barbie, but she had a few and they would "fly" around the house in my dress shoes! LOL I guess my big ole foot (shoe) made a great airplane!