China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Nineties Nostalgia

Ah, to be a kid again. In some ways, being an editor at The Toy Book lets me get close. Last week, we spent several days reviewing and testing product submissions for our spring edition of The Toy Insider. Over the weekend, a friend compared this to “Big,” a movie in which a boy magically gets the body of a grown man and becomes wildly successful in the toy industry. His young mind provided valuable insight that can fade as we become adults. This thought prompted me to reminisce about some of my favorite toys growing up.

Skip-It: I think the commercial may have had a lot to do with how much fun I perceived this toy to be; nonetheless, I loved my Skip-It. I had it in pink, and my sister had it in yellow. The idea was to skip over it as you swung it around your ankle, while the ball at the end kept count of the skips. The counter was far from accurate, but it still made for some fierce competition.

Christine.April2_5Barbie Beauty Bath: Of the countless Barbie play sets, dolls, and accessories I accumulated as a child, the Barbie Beauty Bath goes down as one of my favorites. The set featured a tub, showerhead, and tile-like back wall, and the shower actually functioned by pumping water through the showerhead.

Creepy Crawlers: Although I can’t recall the commercial for this one, I do remember it being the driving force behind this request. Kids would pour the liquid into the bug-shaped molds, and then, after they set, they became squishy, gummy-like bug figures. This was great, until a family friend ruined his suit after accidentally placing his arm into the wet mold. Oops.

Christine.April2_4Cherry Merry Muffin: Cherry Merry Muffin and her friends were named for their respective scents. Each doll came with several accessories that girls could collect and use on the dolls or themselves.

Puppy Surprise: This was an exciting plush toy because it came in several colors, and the number of puppies in the dog’s belly was a mystery until the toy came out of the box. It came with up to five individual plush puppies inside, and the tummy pocket was a great place to store the puppies or other small objects. (Or Halloween candy for forbidden bedtime consumption…not that I did that…okay, I did that.)

What were some of your favorite toys? If you have kids, do they like any of the same things? Let us know in the comment section!

For more commentary from Christine, check back each Tuesday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!