Scrunchies, tie dye, Shabby Chic—‘90s style is taking over our wardrobes and homes, and our toy boxes are not immune. Even if you tried raiding your childhood bedroom to unearth a few nostalgic gems (in true quarantween style), only to find out Mom went all KonMari after you moved out, you’ll be relieved to learn the hottest ‘90s toys—and a few that caught on in the early aughts—are returning to store shelves. Here are the top ones to look out for, either for your kids or yourself. We won’t judge.
1. Puppy Surprise
After begging for a puppy, your mom introduced you to the miracle of life with this hot-pink-and-white stuffed dog, which required you to tear through its Velcro stomach to reveal a litter of three to five bean bag pups. Little did she know how that toy would invite more questions than answers—and now you can experience those same quandaries from your kids! What goes around comes around…and becomes an Amazon exclusive, apparently.
2. Mario…as a LEGO Set
The world’s busiest plumber (with the most confusing resume) may have debuted in 1981—and LEGO in 1932—but you'd be hard-pressed to meet a '90s kid who didn't love both. And in 2020, there's a whole new way to enjoy the best of both worlds. The two brands have teamed up to bring the video game to life in a whole new way. You can now build out Mario’s world of pipes and castles through LEGO blocks, using a Bluetooth-enabled Mario action figure to race through the courses you create, collecting coins and bashing Bowser Jr. along the way.
The keychain-sized pet you hid in your desk and fought to keep alive between math and science is back, only this time, it comes with an augmented reality app that takes your dog from 8-bit to full-color, cartoon-y realism.
Tamagotchi may have gotten some upgrades over the years to compete with the allure of tablets, streaming services and cell phones, but this version is strictly for the purists. Tamagotchi Original Paradise contains all of the original programming—down to the yellow and blue swirly backdrop and graphics so questionable you just have to remind yourself you’re caring for uh, some kind of alien, to justify why you’re not sure what you’re looking at.
5. Moon Shoes
Your parents wouldn’t buy you these “mini trampolines for your feet,” but now that you’re grown, you call the shots…as long as you wear an adult size 9 (or smaller) and weigh less than 160 pounds, that is.
6. Doodle Bear
If you were the kid who secretly wanted a cast, just so everyone could sign it—or who constantly got in trouble for “beautifying” your dolls with Magic Marker—this was the toy for you. Doodle Bear comes with three washable markers, encouraging you to draw all over the stuffed animal, then toss it in the wash and do it all over again. In honor of its 25th anniversary, it’s gotten a very ‘90s distressed-denim makeover. You can only find it at Walmart this fall.
7. Polly Pocket
Polly, you’ve changed. For one thing, she’s grown from fingernail-sized to a little over an inch tall (making her less of a choking hazard, one might assume). And she’s ditched that curly bob for space buns and ponytails. But really, the coolest change is her home, which has gone from pocket-sized to a full-blown purse you can wear on your shoulder. Seriously, her Tropicool Pineapple house features a hammock bunk bed, zipline and pet giraffe.
8. Balancing Birds
That dollar-store favorite can still be found—and you can actually buy ‘em in bulk on Amazon. You might be thinking, “Isn’t it just a plastic bird that balances on your finger?” You’d be right.
Nothing takes us back to Christmas 1998 quite like E.T.-pitched gibberish and dead-eyed stare of Furby, the little animatronic who made you wonder just how closely it was listening to your every word. (And yet, you had to have him.) The latest Furby is far more expressive—to the tune of 150 different eye animations—and it gets updates and learns via an app. But, honestly, the best part may be that the lil’ guy comes with a sleep mask, so he’ll no longer wake you up at 3 a.m. with creepy coos from your closet.
10. Littlest Pet Shop
The original collectibles looked a lot more realistic, it’s true, but the new class of pocket-sized pets features all kinds of ways to customize them, thanks to interchangeable hats, crowns, collars and cuffs. If you balk at this bobbleheaded deviation from your childhood fave, know that you’re not alone: There’s a whole change.org petition begging Hasbro to bring back the classic design.
11. Easy-Bake Oven
Technically, the Easy-Bake Oven’s been around since 1963, but ‘90s kids everywhere remember it fondly. Even if it did take a small eternity for that little lightbulb to cook your single-serving cake. The oven hasn’t heated foods using incandescent bulbs since 2003, and you can make a whole lot more than cakes with it. Refill kits include ingredients to make soft pretzels and cheese pizzas.
12. Betty Spaghetty
What, you don’t remember Betty Spaghetty, the rubbery doll whose feathered bangs were only rivaled by her Rapunzel-like, equally rubbery hair? Well, it’s time you got acquainted. The 2020 version trades her Farrah Fawcett fringe for more of-the-moment rainbow streaks. But you can still bedazzle her hair with beads and clips, just like the OG.
13. Bop It
The youths today may be all about games that involve exploding kittens and trying not to step in fake dog poop, which is why it’s your civic duty to introduce them to this throwback. And then school them in it.
14. Teddy Ruxpin
The storytelling bear no longer needs a cassette to share his tales—and, thankfully, you don’t have to explain what a cassette is. The Bluetooth-compatible bear syncs with an app to perform sing-alongs and story time, and his LCD eyes convey all kinds of emotions, from surprise to laughter. Basically, he’s the perfect addition to your pod when you and all of your IRL friends have run out of things to say.
15. Troll dolls
Around since the '60s, Trolls seem to take off every other decade, and the '90s were no exception. What the newest iteration lacks in belly-button gemstones, it makes up for in merch. The songs! The movies! The clothes! The battery-operated toothbrushes! If you can dream it, there’s probably a Trolls-branded version of it.