Black Friday's Best Toys: A Retrospective | NowThis Nerd
Mike Calabro should be out shopping, but no Black Friday deal can compare to the frenzy of toy fads in the ‘90s.
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Special thanks to The Strong Museum, Rochester, NY, for the Tickle Me Elmo prototypes photos!
When it comes to Black Friday deals and Black Friday toys, Black Friday 2017 just can’t compare to the wonderful 90s toys that we grew up with. Nostalgia definitely plays a factor, but so does the unique market of the time. In the ‘90s, before Amazon and Internet retailers changed the way we shop for the holidays, Black Friday meant a massive toy hunt filled with toy hunting for toys. From the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers to Tickle Me Elmo, Tamagotchi to Furby, vintage Black Friday fads never go out of style. The world might have moved on, but 90s kids everywhere still remember fondly the mall mania and store stampedes that traditionally made Black Friday the official start of the holiday shopping season. With Black Friday 2017 officially here, before we click on our shopping carts or head out for the cheapest TV we can find, we wanted to look back at the best Black Fridays of years past and learn a little more about some of the coolest and most beloved toys of the ‘90s.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were our first big craze, but they were quickly supplanted by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In 1994, the year that the MMPR debuted, Power Rangers toys captured the action figure market by storm. Power Ranger toys were an essential fixture for the holidays, thanks in part to the awesome action figures and mighty Power Rangers Megazord. The original Power Rangers Megazord was one of the most colossal toys a kid could have, and the rest of the Power Ranger toy lineup was just as impressive. In 1996, a new toy based on the popular Elmo character from Sesame Street won the hearts and minds of impressionable kids everywhere: Tickle Me Elmo. From its early prototype days to a brief flirtation with Tickle Me Taz, Tickle Me Elmo became of one the biggest toy crazes in history, thanks to some help from media luminaries like Rosie O’Donnell. We may all be living in Elmo’s World, but the next year the world was wowed by a new virtual pet from Japan: Tamagotchi. A vintage Tamagotchi might pale in comparison to what you can accomplish with any app from store, but in the 90s the Bandai Tamagotchi provided some high tech digital pet action that today seems charmingly retro in comparison, at least compared to the Furby boom. Still, no matter what your taste in toys is, no sale can compare to the Black Fridays of the past.
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