Best toys of the 90s – Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, Tamagotchi …
We remember our toys from the 90s, action figures such as Power Rangers, GI Joe or the Ninja Turtles, Furby, table games and tamagotchi that are now collector’s items. A retro nostalgia bath of all the games that shared our childhood with the consoles of 16 and 32 bits.
The toys of the 90s have a very special place in our retro little heart. The figures of the Masters of the Universe and Star Wars had lost momentum, and along with the usual toys (like the clicks of Playmobil, Scalextric or the Tragabolas) a new generation of dolls and table games had to earn the respect of the kids of the time.
But we will remember the nineties by the arrival of the anime to the houses of all Spain (they are the years of Champions Oliver and Benji , the first complete broadcast of The Knights of the Zodiac or the premiere of Manga Video, with The Fist of the Star of the North , Alita Angel of Combat, Dominion Tank Police, Urotsukidoji …) not to mention the impact of the 16-bit consoles (Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive) and then the arrival of PlayStation, Saturn and Nintendo 64.
Those toys of the 90s were marked by movie licenses (from Terminator 2 to Jurassic Park) and cartoon series (it is that time when the Ninja Turtles opened the way for a lot of fighting creatures, such as the Street Sharks, Motorratones of Mars, Samurai Pizza Cats …). As you can see there is a lot to choose from, so in order to make this report we have been guided by the preferences of our writing – here you can see the difference in ages. Surely all these retro toys bring you good memories (and some of them will cost a fortune, after vintage collection has become fashionable).
The TV series was not a big deal, particularly for those who had already seen Bioman , which was basically the same. But we must recognize that the work of Saban and then Bandai with the toys of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers yes that was impressive. We had the basic series of action figures, articulated and with the characteristic weapons of each character, and also had their vehicles (were models that were not transformed, at first). But what all the children of Spain wanted was the Megazord . You know, the impressive robot that appeared in the final fight of the chapters to fight against the mastodons of Rita Repulsa, and that was formed by the vehicles dinozords of the rangers.
In addition to the basic series, the most successful Power Rangers figures in the early 90s, was the “flip” series that changed the mask version for the protagonists’ faces through an ingenious mechanism, which was activated Tighten the belt. The success of the figures, zords and transformable of the Power Rangers was such that they have continued selling new series of doll, even after the TV series stopped broadcasting.
The premiere of the Power Rangers movie in 2017 cut with it new licensed dolls, but our favorites are still the classics of the 90s, when we saw the series on Telecinco during the weekends.
Although it looked like a stuffed animal (quite strange, by the way), Furby hid a revolutionary technology for the time. Its name derives from “furball” (hairball) and the concept was inspired by the tamagotch i, which we will talk about later. The idea was to incorporate a primitive artificial intelligence so that a doll could interact with the children of the late nineties. And as a toy, we must recognize that it had a great impact, although today gives us a bit of bad feeling. It was like having our own Gremlin.
Furby could move his eyes and mouth , and had a protocol of basic actions that left the children of the nineties hallucinated. If you turned off the lights of the room, your pet went to sleep, if you put music, danced, and also reacted to the owner’s caresses and spoke. But what kind of sorcery is this! The point is that the Furby were very expensive toys, highly collectible and with a domestic version of the animatronics that was used in the filming of some movies.
We have also tried to recover the fashion of the Furby , with creatures that interacted with each other, with animated eyes through an LCD screen or with which we could interact through our smartphone. But they have not repeated the success of the originals, perhaps because of the famous parody that the Simpsons did with Funzo.
GI Joe and Action Man
G.I. JOE. The illustrations of the characters. (12)
This section is dedicated to military action figures, with a lot of accessories to travel the world fighting the forces of evil. The GI Joe of the nineties were smaller in size than the originals, a lot of joints and they were prepared to fight in all areas.
If I start to remember, I remember Blizzard prepared for Arctic struggle, Dusty in the desert, Cliff with climbing equipment, Cutter as a man of the sea and of course Snake Eyes (Snake Eyes in later versions) y Sombra, like the two ninja of the series.
These GI Joe of the late 80’s and early 90’s had an impressive arsenal, led by the hovercraft WHALE, the Chinook helicopter TOMAHAWK, and the spectacular invisible plane of Cobra NIGHTHAWK. But perhaps his militarist discourse had remained a bit “strong” after the cold war. Therefore, little by little these elite soldiers were losing bellows and leaving their space in the toy stores to a new hero much more “light”.
This was Action Man , a larger articulated action figure, with a more sophisticated team and that among ninjas and divers, put other experts, such as the photographer (who had a camera hidden in the chest)., Equador or astronaut.
Tamagotchi , which derives from the word “tamago” (in Japanese, egg) was a digital mascot, which we could wear as a keychain, and which invaded the toy stores of our country in the mid-90s. Ok, it could not be compared to a Gameboy with its dot matrix screen, but it simulated quite well the care of a living being (without the inconvenience of having to take it out for a walk, nor the added responsibility). It started as an egg, from which afterwards a kind of chick was born that had to be cleaned, fed and entertained until it became an adult creature “of profit”.
If you remember the tamagotchi with affection, the “evolved” versions with the Pokémon Pikachu pedometer will surely drive you crazy. There were two versions, basic (in black and white) and color (with communication between several pets through an infrared port). The classic tamagotchi returned to re-launch with new features a few months ago, and had different versions for console, logically more evolved.
Although the comics and the cartoon series had been with us for a while, nothing is more indicative of the success of the ninja turtles than the premiere of the first real action movie in 1990 – or the Konami recreational machine, with four simultaneous players -. Next to the film, the first dolls arrived: articulated versions of Leonardo, Rafael, Michelangelo and – the favorite of all times – Donatello, accompanied by his own van and a lair in the sewers.
Unlike with other action figures, such as Star Wars or GI Joe, the secondary characters and accessories were not abused too much. Granted, there were propelled skateboards, figures of Shredder, April O’Neil and the members of the Pie clan, but the real lode was in throwing the characters of the protagonist craze with new equipment and with extra functions, such as the possibility of making movements of attack or dress up costumes.
To a lesser extent, the first figures of “pressing catch”, the WWE saga also endured the Ninja Turtles type for a couple of years. They were not so articulated, but each could execute a special movement, such as being propelled or hitting with the fist. The selection of fighters included Hulk Hogan, the Last Warrior, Jake The Snake Roberts, Big Boss Man or Ted Dibiase the million dollar man.
Knights of the Zodiac
Knights of the Zodiac. Vintage figures (6)
Possibly they are the figures that have more revalued with the passage of time. Bandai decided to bring some of the figures from the collection of the Knights of the Zodiac to Spain . To avoid risking too much, the first wave was brought directly from France. If any of you could have one of these figures, you will remember that the logo of the box was that of the neighboring country: Chevaliers du Zodiaque. Yes, in those years we lived in a country where the rest of us had a lot of advantage. The French had been enjoying the anime inspired by Masami Kurumada’s manga for some time .
While in the series we saw Seiya, Shiryu, Shun, Hyoga and Ikki (Pegasus, Dragon, Andromeda, Swan and Phoenix) with what later became known as V1 armor , those of the helmets, the figures corresponded to the armor V2 , with diadems.
They had a price of more than 3000 pesetas of the time (about 18 euros today), which was about four times more than any other figure, but in return, his removable metal armor was impressive (more like decoration than to play , because the pieces fell easily).
Surely here you come up with many alternatives. We have followed a couple of rules to highlight the board games that conquered us in the 90s. First, flee from classic games that never go out of style. We refer to games like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Cluedo … that have been sold over many decades. And we have also stayed with the most “frikis” (although our departures to Hotel were legendary).
In the 90s we spent the afternoon playing The Tia Agate’s Inheritance , a slightly more twisted version of the Cluedo, in terms of the mysterious setting, which had an artifice of traps and secret doors. Although it took longer to ride than our games lasted. In the same line, we remember The Fire Island (where marbles fell instead of fireballs), Mousehole …
When we were older, we changed our way of playing with friends. Nothing like those games, with the help of our VHS video to Atmosfear (a game with touches of terror, which became a bit cumbersome for the interventions of the gatekeeper). Then came the board role-playing games (we had previously played Hero Quest in the late eighties) and of course, Magic the Gatherig.
Magic , the most popular collectible card game in the world, started in small circles, to compete with RPGs and Games Workshop miniatures: Warhammer, Blood Bowl, Necromunda or Hero Quest. But little by little it became popular, it was translated into Spanish … and it is still among our favorite table games.
Size does not matter … we know that the phrase is not new, but we use it to talk about dolls. After Nancy, Barbie or the tummy , the toy industry revolutionized our way of playing with Polly Pocket, which allowed us to carry a whole house in our pocket. It was nothing more than an adaptation of the Micro Machines philosophy, which was fine for those of us who did not have a room that was too big. Actually the Polly Pockethave been manufactured until 2015, but its success goes back 30 years.
Mattel made a toy that on the outside looked like a purse, a sewing kit, a wallet or a makeup box … and inside it had dolls, accessories and a secret compartment. These toys are sold in second-hand markets and cost a fortune. In 1998 Polly Pocket was redesigned to have a more conventional look (more like other dolls) but lost some of its charm. In this section we make a “disclaimer” about the preferences of the writing. One of our members has defended Betty Spaghetti over Polly. Seeing is believing!
There are toys that never go out of style, and that of course have appeared in the brainstorming prior to this report. Since time immemorial, the boys have wanted the pirate ship of Playmobil , and the not so children, the spectacular tracks of Scalextricthat appeared in the ads (because the one that came in the box was much simpler).
Mornings of kings that we still remember waiting for the Grayskull castle of the Masters of the Universe (which was launched at the end of the eighties) or the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars e Hasbro (the Lego version we still ask for in some letter). However, all those timeless toys will have to wait for a future reportage.