It’s the Sink the Pink Toys Ball this weekend and we’re so excited to be hosting the VIP area. It’s going to be a hilarious night of outlandish and fabulous costumes, amazing music and more glitter than a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. If you can’t actually be there to see it all IRL, fear not – you can live stream the whole thing via new gay app Blued and have a ball in your bedroom.
In preparation for the big night, we’ve been researching our favourite toys from our childhood. In the pre-Internet, pre-iPhone, pre-tablet, pre-app 90s, we had to make do with shiny discs, jelly aliens and our imaginations. In this nostalgic round up, we remember the toys and games that kept us entertained.
Press that circular Bop It button in the middle of the contraption and prepare for the most intense race against time of your life. At first, you’d pull it and spin it like a pro but as the commands came faster and faster, the pressure to spin it and twist it had the power to crush your childhood dreams.
If you wanted to get a pet dog/cat/hamster, you had to prove to your parents that you could and would look after it. Enter the unidentified digital pet Tamagotchi. It needed feeding, cleaning and playing with all the time. And when it hung on your key ring, there was no escape.
You’d have thought that we’d have learned from the Gremlins of the 80s that cute looking teddy-like toys were actually scary monsters set to destroy your life, but no. We welcomed furbies into our lives and looked at them like the heart-eyed emoji as they cooed “me love you”. But then they never stopped making noise or staring at you with those unblinking eyes and it began to feel like a horror film all over again.
As children, we are taught to share with our friends. That goes completely out the window when it comes to Hungry Hippos. Slamming the lever to chomp as many balls as possible, you’d knock your own grandma over if it meant getting one more ball.
Pogs were originally bottle caps of a pomegranate, orange and guava drink (hence p.o.g) that went on to become on the biggest crazes of the 90s. It wasn’t actually about playing the game; it was about collecting as many as you could, and the shinier the better.
Alien Birth Pod
What better way to keep your kid entertained than by handing them a plastic egg filled with jelly and a sleeping alien? Rumours circulated the playground that someone’s alien had given birth to, like, fifty alien babies but all we remember is that ours slept all the time and is probably still asleep now…
The concept of the cute cuddly toy was ruined by the stories that if you left the ticket on the ear and kept the toy in pristine condition, one day you’d be able to sell for it for thousands of pounds. That led to a whole generation of kids staring longingly at their dogs, cats, frogs and pigs and never touching them because one day they wanted to exchange a stuffed cow for a house in London.
Slip your foot into a Skip It and you’re entertained for hours as you swing the ball round one leg and hop over it with the other. The trouble is, the hard plastic hoop around your ankle is lacerating your skin and tendons with every swing. This toy should have come with complimentary Flintstones plasters.
Spice Girls Dolls
Never mind if you wanna be their lover: if you wanted to be cool, the Spice Girls dolls were the absolute must-have. Choosing your favourite basically declared your social ranking in the playground. Given that she could do a backflip and hit the high notes, and especially because she is performing at Sink the Pink Toys Ball, Melanie C was always our fave. Viva Forever.