The best nostalgic 90s kids toys everyone was desperate to get from Santa including Dream Phone

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Christmas Day is getting closer and while kids are going wild with their wish lists for Santa Claus, we’re feeling nostalgic for the toys we begged for in our childhood.

Parents, aunties and uncles are searching the web to find smartphones and tablets, headphones, music and flashy robots for the youngsters, but we remember a much simpler time.

In the nineties and noughties we cracked out our Argos catalogues with pens and Post Its to hand to highlight the must-have toys of our era.

Gone are the days of needy Tamagotchis and Furby toys, creepy Cabbage Patch Kids and collectible Beanie Babies – let’s face it, they’re all still in our lofts – but there’s no harm in looking back at the golden oldies.

Step back and take a look at the top toys we hankered for as children.

Let us know which toys you were desperate to open on Christmas Day!

Dream Phone

Dating has changed a bit since our day and teens no longer need toys to practise talking to their crush.

Released by Milton Bradley in 1991, the hexagon-shaped board game had a hot pink plastic phone and one objective: find out which of the game’s 24 handsome lads was lusting for you.

The perfect slumber party accessory let you gossip about boys and share secrets with your pals.

Just call each guy for a clue and identify your secret admirer – ooh!

Incredibly the game still exists and you can get a modern-day version for £21 at Argos.


These quite frankly annoying little beings taught us a thing or two about responsibility.

The handheld digital pet by Bandai came to the UK in 1997 and rocketed up the toy charts.

Nearly every school kid had a tiny pet living in their pockets, begging for food and attention in the middle of maths class.

They’re still out there, available on Amazon for £15.99.


In 1998 parents fought in toy stores to bag their child the present of the year.

This creepy interactive toy resembled a fluffy owl with ears and gabbled away in its own language.

The toy, which could learn words, was banned at a US spy base because it could record and possibly repeat confidential material. It was a myth guys, Furby was not a secret agent.

There’s a new Furby now, around £50 online, but you can still get our hands on an original for old time’s sake.

Girl Tech Journal

Our secrets were safe from prying eyes thanks to this nifty diary that could only be opened with a special password.

It was the ultimate gift for teens, who would scribble love letters and pour out their feelings into the cool gadget.

The new and improved version (£25, Hamleys) is voice activated and comes with an invisible ink pen. Flashy!

Bop It

Released in 1996, this memory testing stick by Hasbro was more intense than a Cup Final football match.

Kids were tasked to ‘twist it’, ‘pull it’ and ‘bop it’ on command. One wrong move and it was back to square one.

With a maximum score of 100, this toy kept us entertained (and a bit frazzled) for hours.

Bop It has seen many forms in the last 20 years and you can get the latest version at Smyths Toys, £14.99.

Baby Born

Life-like dolls were all the rage, weren’t they? And Baby Born, touted as an “adorably realistic… best-ever friend to adventure with” was the most coveted one of them all.

She had seven human functions, including eating, drinking, crying, pooping and weeing and you could amass more stylish baby accessories and cutesy outfits than all the WAG mummies put together.

Over 24 million Baby Born dolls have been sold worldwide since their launch in 1991 – were you one of the lucky recipients one Christmas?

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Barbie Picnic Van

The fun never stopped for Barbie with glamorous lifestyle, a closet busting with gorgeous clothes and hunky boyfriend Ken.

She was always an independent girl even back in the 90s when she took to the road in her retro Picnic Van.

It was bright pink, naturally, and had a pull out kitchen in the boot plus an assortment of diddy picnic accessories and a cool portable sound system.

For those dreaming of freedom, they could opt for Barbie’s camper, or her swanky sports car.

Sylvanian families

If we knew these fuzzy little animals would be worth a fortune, we might have been a bit more careful at play time.

The cute sets arrived in the UK in 1985 and now sell for up to £500 per piece!

Fans could pick their animal family (mum and dad, son and daughter) and play with their old-fashioned outfits and dream homes.

From bears to pandas, bunnies, ducks and mice, it was our life’s dream to collect them all.

Micro machines

These tiny little vehicles were all the rage in the eighties, giving petrol-head boys and girls the chance to race around epic tracks concealed in Transformers-style vehicles.

Kids could open up a lorry to find a miniature city full of obstacles and loop-the-loops. The tiny cars, lorries, planes, bikes and boats were hot property at school, with sneaky swaps to complete collections taking place in the school playground.

They’re still around, so grab the kids a set or two…for you to play with.

Cabbage Patch Kids

These unappealing squashy faced dolls first launched in the 80s but were still a desirable must-have into the 90s when toy giant Mattel took them on.

They were so popular in fact, there were reports of Cabbage Patch dolls riots with parents fighting to get their hands on the pudgy, ‘huggable’ dolls.

The fact that each one was unique and could be ‘adopted’ was a huge draw for us and the joy of holding that adoption certificate from Babyland General Hospital in your mitts on Christmas morning was like nothing else!

Last year they made a comeback in Smyths toys for £29.99 with ‘new improved’ accessories including glasses and tiaras.

Polly Pocket

The name said it all – a teeny tiny doll small enough to keep in your pocket.

She was *the* toy to have in the 1990s and came complete with her own ‘Pollyville’ world inside a compact-style case.

Over the years, new dolls appeared: there was Fifi and her Parisian apartment, little Lily with her red hair and lucky Lulu with her own speedboat.

The ‘worlds’ got very swish too, and you could soon choose from a pink Beach Café, a Glitter Island, Magical Mansion and a Pool Party.

Which did you pine for?


This American line of fashion dolls were just so sassy.

The girl gang were made up of Jade, Yasmin, Cloe, and Sasha who all had big heads and cartoon-like features.

It was their mix and match fashion outfits that we loved and their Girl Power credentials – this cute crew had way more attitude than Barbie!

The dolls later spawned TV shows and movies and were relaunched in 2015 complete with a new friend called Raya and their own selfie sticks and iPhone cases. Very gen-Z.

Beanie Babies

Created in 1993, these plush toys were a must for 90s kids. You either had one, or you badly wanted one.

There were just so many to choose from but the original line up included Brownie the Bear, Chocolate the Moose, Legs the Frog and Patti the Platypus.

It’s crazy to think that they became major collectables by the end of the 90s with US investors paying up to $5,000 for a $5 Beanie.

There are even rumours that Steg the Stegasaurus could be worth a cool $50,000 today – time to get digging through your old keepsake box!

Bey Blades

With the Pokemon card trading game in full throttle, the idea of battling out with other kids in your own arena was a dream come true. Remember Bey Blades?

These vibrant spinning tops were themselves a spin off from a Saturday morning cartoon.

You just pulled the launcher and set it free to take out your opponent’s Beyblade in the ‘stadium’.

What was even more magical was that each one embodied an animal spirt from the animation series – ok, so you had to use your imagination here, but we were hooked!

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