Category Archives: Retro Toy Corner

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents: 1990’s Hottest Holiday Toys- With Commercials!

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA PRESENTS: 1990'S HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS!

Like the majority of us adults, some of my favorite memories as a kid were the magic of the holidays. Sitting around watching glorious Christmas specials. Grandma’s magnificent Italian seafood dinner spread consisting of Linguini with clams, Clams Oreganata, and the classic eight-hour gravy for the non-fish folks (like me) with mussels on the side. AND of course, all the goddamn wonderful Christmas toys.

1990 was a banner year for some of the hottest toys and games on the market that holiday season. As we’re all aware, many toys are derived from pop-culture entertainment and with such films like Beetlejuice, Batman, and the explosion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles warping our minds on the heels of their late ’89 and ’90 releases, companies like Mattel and Kenner were in no short supply of marketing campaigns for the 1990 Christmas catalogs.

In full disclosure, I never write about what I can’t either recollect from my own memories, or fill in from other family members so every damn thing on this list is something I or my brother either received for the holidays that oh-so-far-away-feeling of 30 years ago! So if there’s something you’d love to add to this list, by all means comment below and tell me about YOUR favorite Christmas toy from 1990!

My Pretty Ballerina

Credit: Popsugar

Oh man, I vividly remember receiving this dancing delight under the tree that year. My Pretty Ballerina was a beautifully made doll made by TYCO that twirled around in a circle and walked around on her tippy toes along to her cassette and dancer pole (heh) that came with each doll. Although she was stunning in her little pink tutu and fun to play with, she was NOT a doll to sleep with at night as I ALSO vividly recall nearly poking my damn eye out with that rose glued to her hand.

Red Ryder ain’t got shit on My Pretty Ballerina.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3rd Series)

Playmates and Croner weren’t messing around with the blockbuster release of the first TMNT that year and OF COURSE went balls deep in creating another line of figures for the holidays. This year in particular harvested a RIDICULOUSLY extraordinary amount of turtle merch, including Undercover Donatello there along with Samurai Leo, Surfer Michelangelo, and Space Cadet Raphael. Along with an abundance of vehicles and playsets, let’s highlight the radical Party Wagon in particular.

Beetlejuice Creepy Cruiser

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA PRESENTS: 1990'S HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS!

Oh man, that Kenner line of Beetlejuice toys were unbelievably fun to play with. The “Ghost with the Most” dominated holiday toy competitors in 1990 along with TMNT a year after the box-office theatrical release of the film. And with the various strange and unusual pieces you could buy adding on to your collection, it wasn’t hard to see why. While there were many options to choose from in the line, The Creepy Cruiser was the holy grail of Netherworld vehicles in 1990.

By the way, check out my Welcome Page– I still have my talking Beetlejuice Kenner doll in the original box! It’s no creepy cruiser, but let me just have this moment.

Internet Lurker

New Kids on the Block Action Figures

Blastfromthepasttoys

If you weren’t hangin’ tough with one or ALL FIVE of these Hasbro produced figures of the biggest band of 1990, you were nothing and may as well never leave your house again. Well, according to nine-year-old-girl logic anyway. And you better have that stage, mics, and the phone too. Also, having those interview cassettes that came with each doll pretty much drove your playground points up as well.

Batman Dark Knight Collection

Like Beetlejuice, yet another historical, nostalgic film of 89′ launched a toyline that exploded in 1990. The almighty Kenner was responsible for the glorious Batcave, Batmobile, and figures that some of us still treasure to this very day. I have to admit, when my brother got the Bat Jet and JokerCycle under the tree that year along with the Batcave he already had obtained for his birthday, I snatched that thing and was shooting that Joker face off at everything I possibly could-including my poor brother’s face, heh. Meh. I was a jerk big sister but weren’t we all!

WWF Action Figures

Listen, our household took wrestling very seriously. So much so we had a GARBAGE CAN full of these guys! Every single one was obtained and the answer is yes- we had the ring as well which made for some great Royal Rumbles. Hasbro marketed these guys well as we weren’t the only kids dashing to Toys R Us for the new Ultimate Warrior variant.

Dr. Mario

Nintendo still hot on the market along with the infamous Nintendo World Championships of 1990 throwing the company into legendary status with our generation, Dr. Mario was released for the NES just in time for everyone with a system to put one on their holiday list. The 215 stage game for the pre-med puzzle thinker was a Saturday well spent in my childhood!

And speaking of Nintendo…

Nintendo Game Boy

Ahh the good ol’ days when everyone was hooked on Dr. Mario and Tetris on the go with Game Boy! Technically, the 8-bit then sorcery phenomenon was released a year prior. However, it was still number one on a LOT of holiday lists that year and sales were booming; making last-minute parents run around like a dizzy ex-governor of California looking for one!

Lil’ Miss Magic Jewels

The Lil’ Miss line from Mattel ran from 1989-1993 with several different variants including a magic mermaid and the original Miss Makeup (which yes I totally owned). Along with this little jeweled treasure that I bet a lot of you forgot about! Bedazzling your doll and your own hair with that wand was all the rage at the beginning of the decade. However, pulling those Velcro jewels out of your ponytail hurt like HELL and would pull out your own hair if the jewels were to close to the roots.

Here’s to going bald in 1990!

Happy Holidays Nostalgic Nuggets! Comment below with your favorite toy or memory from that year! Or hell, any year! Let’s get a good nostalgic conversation going!

Walking Through Toys R Us in 1989!

WALKING THROUGH TOYS R US IN 1989!

One of the greatest aspects of growing up in the 80s’ was the weekend trip to Toys R Us to bask in all the very latest of trendy, plastic treasures. Taking bikes off the shelves and riding them around the store like a goddamn heathen. Grabbing your complimentary Geoffrey balloon while scoping out this week’s new Barbie doll. And most importantly, the heaven on earth video game aisles where you could sit for hours playing video game demos until your hands cramped up or a store associate threw your ass out.

Good times man. Good times.

Playcontrol Software

Now, we all know the tragic troubles our beloved childhood relic has succumbed to leaving us with only nostalgic memories, photos if your parents were the type to take pics of anything and everything, and then THIS. Oh yes. I stumbled on this NATIONAL TREASURE quite accidently of a glimpse inside a Toys R Us chain store uploaded by and features a then teenage Youtube user Kimock7; who by the way is rocking a very snazzy era fashion hat and radical on-point trendy clothing of the latter decade. Checking out the rest of his videos, no surprise here he is now in a Doors tribute band called Of Perception and that just validates that this guy knows the importance of tried and true nostalgic feelings. If you can’t tell, that something I damn appreciate.

I mean, it is 2020 after all. Fuzzy memories are always welcome!

The video is only over two-minutes long, and mind you this is wayyyyy before influencers were counting on supreme content for views. This was clearly done just for shits and giggles by the user and his buddy Brian as he refers to him enter the palace of plastic pleasures looking for “curious kids looking for curious toys”.

These days one might be arrested for something like that but hey, I’m gonna bypass that joke on the heels of what we see next.

The store in the video is shot and located in Vernin Hills, Illinois and isn’t hyperfocused on any toys in particular, except a few creepy dolls that I can’t seem to identify at the expense of a classic joke aimed at Brian ol’ boy. However, the fantastic Nintendo fiber-optics sign smack in the middle of Nintendo world with shots of Sega Genesis along the way is the way to my heart ladies and gentleman.

I’ll admit I would have loved to see some of the Ninja Turtle merchandise they mentioned in the video but I can’t even complain about anything going on here. These types of videos are so rare that the fact this even exists is quite enough for me! Check it out below and give this guy a subscribe who also is an Autism Awareness advocate. Great stuff all around and enjoy this internet gold nostalgic nuggets!


Kimock7

The Long Lost Creepy Crawlers Cartoon You Probably Forgot About

They’re slimy,. They crawl, and go splat.. splat.. and SPLAAAAAT!!!

There’s no doubt about it. Nothing sounds more nostalgic, (and frankly funnier than shit) than producing with your little hands, slimy bugs to set upon Dad’s forehead while he snoozes away on the couch once upon a lazy Sunday afternoon. The familiar freshly-baked Plasti-Goop smell all 90’s kids will instantly recognize is something we all collectively can agree was the jam back in the day. And it seems some things never change, as in recent news via Variety, Paramount has snagged up those slimy rights an official Creepy Crawlers live-action film has been greenlit for production!

Be still my gooey heart.

The Long Lost Creepy Crawlers Cartoon You Probably Forgot About

 

Anywho, yes nostalgic boils and ghouls. The testosterone infused Easy-Bake-Oven childhood relic is getting its own film from the same people who brought Goosebumps to life on the big screen. While that’s pretty much all that’s known thus far, I can (because I’m a positive thinker) make a fair assumption a similar formula may be followed and it’s going to be a fun piece of nostalgic entertainment. However with this in mind, did you know this isn’t the first time Creepy Crawlers has been adapted onto on-screen entertainment?

With the success of a certain rip-off concerning dino-mite, morphing Japanese superheroes, Saban Entertainment tried their hands in the animation department with, what else, the Creepy Crawlers line! I often wonder what these pitches in the writer’s room sound like to everyone else sitting around a table. Like, “Hey! You know that slime crap that bakes into bugs that annoys the crap outta parents?! Let’s make a series about that!” Then again, the glorious era we speak of was very keen to nabbing up R-Rated programming like Tales From the Crypt and The Toxic Avenger and making them kid-friendly for Saturday mornings. Man… did we have it made or what?!

The Creepy Crawlers series debuted in the US in October 1994 with the simple premise of goodies vs baddies. Except the kicker is, the Creepy Crawler hybrid monsters portrayed in the series were indeed the good guys! And of course, they had to have a pint-sized human sidekick to move the story along and enter humanoid kid Chris. The series kicks off with Chris who is fascinated by magic and wizardry, working in a magic shop under the kind of nutty magician Professor Googengrime. And yes, he looks just like you would think with a name like that. Anyway, the talented little Chris builds and develops something he calls “The Magic Maker”. Which of course, is supposed to mimic the Creepy Crawlers toy oven. Googengrime dismisses it as garbage but unbeknownest to him will be the source of power becoming the bane of his very existence. Now here where a show about mutant bugs gets weird: Once-every-thousand-years, a planetary alignment called by Googenbrime the Magical Millennium Moment, rains down cosmic energies. As fate would have it, these lights rain down on the magic shop, which somehow made the Magic Maker capable of creating strange, man-sized bug/magic trick composite mutant creatures. Enter the Creepy Crawlers mutants Hocus Locust, Volt Jolt and T-3 and now we have a series that pits the buggy monstrosities along with Chris against the evil Googengrime who duh, now wants the Magic Maker for world-domination purposes. More Creepy Crawlers hybrids came later in the series, however, the original three named above we’re the main focus for most of the series run.

Creepy Crawlers the Animated Series only lasted two seasons with a total of 23 episodes. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that remembers the cartoon with a nostalgic fondness and I’m not so sure why that is?! Personally, I think it’s a fun, run-of-the-mill Saturday morning gem that reminds me a little of early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes. In any regard, I can always appreciate any attempt at basing a cartoon off of a beloved horror-themed product of our childhood.

Special shout out to YouTube uploader Bsh for posting the first full episode of the series! So if you’re interested in the origins of  buggy heroes, grab yourself a bowl of cereal and make Saturday Morning a party!