Christmas Toys, Then & Now

Christmas Toys, Then & Now

It looks like all the kids of today really need is internet connectivity.
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Growing up, the toys were simple and quite plain. We loved unwrapping Barbie Dolls and Legos and action figures, drawing pads, Little People play sets, and toy race cars. Now, in 2017, toys are far more advanced. Almost every toy has some kind of electronic part, can connect to the internet, or requires batteries.

I remember watching my little brother, six years younger than me, unwrapping an Xbox one Christmas, and thinking to myself, "when did Christmas get so advanced?"

Here are some of the top 10 Christmas gifts for the 90's kids versus the some of the top 10 Christmas gifts for the kids of today. Bear with me as we see how things have changed from then to now.

1. Hot Wheels play sets.

A favorite among car enthusiasts everywhere. I remember one of the kids in my neighborhood had it, and his cars changed color with the water temperature. Probably one of the coolest toys of our childhood.

2. Cabbage Patch dolls.

Cabbage Patch dolls came with their own birth certificates and really cute little grins. My mom got one for her 16th birthday and swore it was the best gift ever. They're still popular today, but much more with an older crowd getting in touch with their youth.

3. Nintendo Game Boy.

From the classic Game Boy in the top middle to all the add-ons to make your game play even better, Nintendo really provided kids with the best childhood. I had the Game Boy Advanced and I still think it's one of the best handheld games in the history of handheld games.

4. Barbie Jeep Power Wheels.


Yes, I totally had a Barbie Jeep, and yes, I was a menace on the road. Power Wheels came out with Jeeps for boys and girls, then they started making Cadillacs and Corvettes for the later generations.

5. Furby.

The toy that defied logic, the Furby. You could take its batteries out, and it'd still be chirping. Late at night, you could faintly hear its calls from the depth and darkness of your closet... "Furby...". Probably my least favorite toy.

6. Rockin' Robot Cassette Player/Recorder.

This cute little toy gained its popularity with the help of the Toy Story movies that made their debut 1995. You could talk into the attached microphone and record your voice, or play back some homemade cassette tapes.

7. Easy-Bake Oven.

Couldn't tell if mine was broken or if I was just really bad at baking. My older sister had the Easy-Bake Oven and I can't remember a time that it actually worked.

8. Troll Dolls.


No one knows what it was about these little dolls that made them so popular, but they gathered on window sills and sat in the toy boxes of many 90s kids. Pretty sure I had at least five, all with different shades of orange hair.

9. View-Master.

The View Master came with reels to view scenes from popular Disney movies, fun facts about animals and landscapes, and many other cool reels that could be purchased separately and added to your collection.

10. Hit Clips.

Hit Clips were the start of my music obsession. My sisters and I all had the little boombox, and we would trade clips, and sing the only five lines we knew from the song because they were featured on the clip.


And now, for the kids of today.

1. Selfie Mic Music Set.

As if we aren't already self-obsessed, here's an attachment to help us seem way more talented than we are. It's a selfie stick with a mic and headphones so we can record ourselves singing. Fascinating.

2. Sky Viper V2400 HD Streaming Drone.


Drones are all the rage, even though most sporting arenas won't let you fly drones anywhere near them, and you can't take them to concerts either, but hey, at least you get to spy on your neighbors.

3. Cozmo the Toy Robot.

I think kids should stop playing with robots, especially with the rise of Sophia, the first robot citizen. But this cute little guy doesn't look capable of world domination.

4. Shopkins play sets.

I had never heard of Shopkins until I worked at Claire's. Little girls would run up to me and ask where the Shopkins were. To this day, I still don't know exactly what they are, but they're kind of cute little toys.

5. Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio.

Instead of just squashing your Play-Doh and forgetting to put the lid on it again properly and letting it dry out, you can now bring your Play-Doh to life with -surprise- the internet. Just another excuse for kids to want tablets or iPhones.

6. Merge Virtual Reality Headset.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming more and more popular among movie buffs and video game fanatics. They allow you to immerse yourself in a virtual world, without the risk of injury, unless you walk into a wall.


7. BB-9E App-Enabled Droid.

Another toy that needs to be connected to the internet, this app-enabled BB-9E Droid has all the bells and whistles of a remote-controlled droid. It's just missing the bluetooth connection.

8. Star Wars Landspeeder 12V Ride-On.

9. Robotic Neft guns



Another drone-themed toy, this Nerf gun is a blaster gun, on a set of tracks, controlled via a remote. It's a cool concept, but I'd rather have seen a flying Nerf gun blaster.

10. Laser-X Laser Tag.

Instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money to play laser tag with a bunch of random people, now you can play it in the comfort of your own home with this Laser-X game. Looks simple enough.

Cover Image Credit: Zifiliu

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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.
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We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.


2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^


8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.


14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.

16. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.


18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”


23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

Cover Image Credit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7759302068_fac2dfd31d_b.jpg

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This Phone Kidnapping Scam Could Cost You Thousands And My Situation Should Be A Warning

This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

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A few weeks ago, my family was caught in the middle of a kidnapping phone scandal that costs us a couple hundred dollars. Many times you hear these stories on the news and think it couldn't happen to you or your loved ones. Then, when it happens, you haven't taken any cautionary measures. This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

This scam took place between my sister and father at first. All the scammers needed was the two phone numbers and some computer software to trick us. They began by calling both my sister and father at the same time. The call to my sister's phone looked like it was coming from my father because they use software that made the call come from my father's phone number. Caller ID showed my father's name and made it seem like they had his phone. The same concept happened to my father with my sister's number.

After they get you to pick up, they told both my father and sister they had kidnapped the other. They told my father they kidnapped her off the streets. They told my sister that my father had a debt to pay and they're holding him hostage until they get the amount. At this point, both my sister and dad think the other is being held hostage (when neither was). They tell you not to hang up the phone or they will hurt the loved one.

They then ask for money in the form of VISA gift cards or such. They will tell you to buy/max out multiple cards to the highest it will allow (usually $500) and then tell you to read the numbers of the card to them. This makes them untraceable. The number varies between each scammer so that might now always indicate a scam.

The reason you don't immediately hang up is that they are smarter than just telling you they have someone you love. For example, they used personal information they made my sister tell them against my father (and vise-versa). They make you say your location (ex. my sister's college) and what is around you to make it believable.

Also, people tend to begin these times and they will use all of the info you share against the other person they called to make it seem real. On top of the info, they record parts of the conversation when someone is talking and play it back for the other. In our case, they told my sister to say, "Don't worry dad, I'll take care of us. We'll be okay". Then, they played this clip back for my father to make it seem like they actually had her there.

Now, most people just think it's so easy to just hang up and call bullshit but they make it very clear not to mess with their rules. They told my father not to tell anyone about this, stay on the line at all times, and do what they say. If he was to not listen, they threatened to rape and/or kill my sister. This obviously is a brutal image to even imagine, so it's not worth risking it. So, he stayed on the line.

My mother then came up to my father and figured out what was happening and the real game began. She took the phone and used her skills at lying to delay buying the cards. My sister didn't have anyone with her at college so she ended up giving them a few gift cards. She then was stranded at a Kroger just waiting. They kept her on the line to keep recording her voice for my mom. Now that my father wasn't on the phone, he called the police and began investigating. He called her roommate and asked if he had seen my sister.

The roommate hadn't seen her; however, he had her location turned on. He tracked her to Kroger and ran there (he lives in the city). The roommate and my father worked with the police and SWAT team to get my sister. Meanwhile, my mom is just acting like an idiot and asking many questions because she wanted them to think she was confused. Any lie she could think of, she was using.

When the SWAT team saw my sister, they didn't grab her immediately. They made sure nobody was with her. After confirming she was alone, they radioed that they had the victim. This caused my sister confusion because she didn't think she was the victim. She still thought they had our mom and dad. So she's yelling at SWAT to find my parents. They then bring her to the station and explain what was actually happening. After my parents got confirmation my sister was safe, they called the scammers out and they hung up immediately. All were safe and the police were now trying to track the scammers.

Overall, it took hours to get the full story from all 4 people (and what you just read was the abridged version). They then took my sister's phone and made my parents come to pick her and her phone up.

HOW TO PREVENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

- Turn on your location with at least 3 trusted people and tell your family who has it

-Make a code word in case this situation happens so you know it's real

-Never actually buy the cards they ask for

-Always have a pad and paper so you can write notes to people if they are around

-DO NOT tell them how much money you have

-Never trust the scammer, even if they tell you some true information

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