Gaming companies had launched primitive and clumsy portable consoles in the past, but it was the arrival of the Nintendo Game Boy that launched mobile gaming into the modern era. Reliable, simple, and bundled with Tetris, Game Boy was launched in 1989, but it was undoubtedly one of the hottest games of the '90s.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Spawned by the blockbuster Japanese-inspired TV franchise that debuted the year before, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were the biggest Christmas toy of 1994. The action figures, which mimicked the color-coded characters from the show, are still available for purchase today on sites like Amazon and eBay.
American Girl dolls
American Girl magazine debuted in 1992 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest and most popular children's magazines, particularly among those focused on girls. The company introduced a refined and elegant 18-inch doll in 1995, which went on to become Truly Me. American Girl dolls were—and still are—a smash hit, in large part because they're fully customizable down to features like skin tone and eye color.
Referred to by collectors as the "Original Nine," the first line of Beanie Babies debuted in Chicago in 1994. The arrival of the bead-filled plush toys signaled the start of one of the greatest and longest-running collector crazes in history. The bubble finally burst for Beanie Babies when the floppy animal dolls got so popular that they were no longer exceptional—but not before making their creator, Ty Warner, a billionaire several times over.
Nintendo first revolutionized video gaming with the introduction of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985, and then again with Gameboy later on, but the company wasn't done yet. In 1996, a little more than a decade after NES, Nintendo 64 introduced a radical new innovation that would once again change how video games were played—a controller with an analog stick.
Bigger, fuzzier, and more complex than the digital pets that came before them, Furby changed the e-pet game forever. An homage to the Mogwai from "Gremlins" (intentionally or not), Furby was the first digital pet that actually seemed alive. Introduced in the fall of 1998, the big-eyed, big-eared Furby was an immediate and massive success.
It never hurts sales when a new action figure is backed by a marketing machine that includes one of the most successful Disney movies of all time. Created in tribute to real-life space hero Buzz Aldrin, Buzz Lightyear hit the shelves in 1995, the same year "Toy Story" hit the theaters.
Although Mattel created its predecessor Thingmaker in 1964, it was the children of the '90s who made Creepy Crawlers an institution. The monstrously awesome toys were discontinued in the 1980s, but were reintroduced by Toymax in 1992, giving the ghoulish game a second generation of kids to creep out.
Neodymium magnet toys
In 1996, Robert F. Curl, Harold W. Kroto, and Richard E. Smalley won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery of spherical neodymium, or rare-earth magnets. The idea of being able to make linear shapes out of spheres soon caught the eye of toymakers, and neodymium magnets were soon one of the hottest toys of the year.
Nickelodeon Alarm Clock
Nickelodeon defined teen TV in the 1990s, and before the era of ringtones, the Nickelodeon Alarm Clock offered the choice of several impossibly piercing wake-up sounds. Decked out in Nick's trademark colors and fitted with a massive, slappable snooze button, the device was actually a functioning alarm clock, but it was also a must-have toy.