In a world of math tests, bullies and having to finish our broccoli, fads provided a fun way to forget about all the B.S. of being a kid. What was your favorite fad from childhood?
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8 Super Soakers
A great man once said “Wetter is better!” Though that may be true today for different reasons today, back when we were innocent children we all wanted to get wet. And a Super Soaker fight was always a hell of a lot more fun than the so-dangerous-it’s-actually-tragic Slip ‘n’ Slide or a boring old dip in your uncle’s pool that he’d treated so thoroughly with chlorine that your eyes would burn for days afterward. Okay, fine: that was my uncle. Super Soakers became more and more mutated as time went on, but I was always keen to fall back on my trusty standard green and yellow Super Soaker 50.
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What is it about Pogs and Slammers that we loved so much? It wasn’t the game, because let’s be honest: no one actually knew how to play. It had to be the cool artwork and collectability. Hell, Pogs were so cool at one point that many schools around the world chose to ban them.
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Whether you killed your Tamagotchi or it harmlessly (and hilariously) shit itself, it was a much beloved virtual pet that taught patience and responsibility. That is, until the next fad came along and you forgot about your poor dead “pet.”
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5 Slap Bracelets
Slap bracelets were colorful and cool, but the best part was the satisfying “thwaap” sound they made as they curled around your wrist. Seriously though, what kind of demon magic was involved with a substance that could bend and stand straight up?
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4 Joe Blow/Blow-Pops/Airheads Etc.
Sugary, corn syrupy candy was all the rage back in the day and if you never got a hold of a mystery flavored white Airhead, then you hadn’t lived.
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3 ‘Magic: The Gathering’
Now, I know that some people still whip out their big black decks and play this game today, but most of us have sold our collection (including that one card we got that was worth more than $2, score!) and moved on to other things. As youngsters, it was the beautiful artwork and deep, varied game play that kept us interested. Now, it would just be kind of awesome to see a Magic: The Gathering movie but pass on playing the actual game, wouldn’t it?
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2 Nickelodeon Gak
Despite its gak-nasty odor, the awesome squelching noise it made when manipulated inside its plastic container and its innate ability to gross just about anyone out (provided they were over the age of 13) made this a necessary accessory for any 90’s kid. Honestly, it’s a good thing Gak didn’t smell good, otherwise you know some of the dim children would have been snacking on it.
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1 Nerf Guns
Another wise man said “It’s Nerf or Nothin’.” Damn right, sir. Just like Super Soakers, Nerf Guns became more and more awesome until they were unwieldy death machines that turned us from your average single-shot foam dart kids into god-fearin’, gun-totin’ “Nerf N-Strike Maverick REV-6” light machine gun fanatics. God bless Nerfmerica.
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(Previously published on March 11, 2013.)