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A blast from the past

Rediscover the magic of 2000s kid's toys

By Maggie Pasztor

Staff Writer

December 7, 2023

Toys. An important factor that we often took for granted as children. How many of your favorite toys have you forgotten about as you have matured with age? Allow me to serve as a refresher to recall the toys that sculpted our childhood.

Pop the Pig

“Pop the Pig’s belly-busting fun by Goliath!” is truly a sentence that not only I but other Pop the Pig enthusiasts have engraved in our brains. Since first appearing on the shelves in 2006, that iconic commercial featuring this idolized farm animal had everyone everywhere jumping at the chance to obtain this brilliantly constructed toy. Though it was introduced over a decade ago, Goliath Games states that this product has since sold over 7 million units, and as sales still continue to grow, it averages at around a million games sold annually. I recall gazing up at my TV as a young child in awe, hoping that one day I would witness him as the more he eats, the bigger he gets, until… POP!

Pillow Pets

A unique unicorn, a bubbling bee, a playful penguin, a loveable ladybug: the options for your perfect cuddly companion were endless. These velcro-strapped pillows allowed you to fulfill your dreams of having a combinable stuffed animal and a place to rest your head all in one! By simply attaching the velcro strap to its designated location, you were able to transform your ordinarily average pillow into a unique and huggable friend! Not to mention with Pillow Pet Sleepytime a child’s ceiling could transform into a magical array of stars thanks to its unique projector attached to the Pillow Pet’s back. Though admired by many children, including myself, this product was unable to escape controversy, as in May of 2013 a child’s Pillow Pet partially melted while left on overnight according to the law firm Carr & Carr. So while this Pillow Pet may have been your key to nostalgia, was the threat of being burned mid-REM-cycle enough to invest in these creatures… I know it sure was for me!

Crocodile Dentist

If an adrenaline rush is something that interests you, without a doubt this toy is something to consider investing in. If the fear of my finger potentially being chopped off with the simple press of the wrong tooth was not the pinnacle of my youth, then I don’t know what was. While this toy may be a memory for many 2000s babies, it was actually manufactured first in 1990 by the Milton Bradley company. Shortly after in 1993, a compact travel version was released for any people who take interest in indulging in a quick round while hiking through the mountains of the Smokeys as well. Overall this game taught me to trust no one, as they may leave you to that one rotten tooth that determines your destiny.

Monster High Girls

Let me say Draculara was sure enough “stealing my heart” when these edgy dolls graced us with their presence. These goth versions of Barbie dolls certainly had me feeling like I was not like other girls. With the original line of girls introduced in 2010, Clawdeen Wolf, Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Frankie Stein, and Draculaura made their first appearance in stores and captured the attention of a plethora of kids across the planet. Not only were their outfits incredibly stylish, but the mythical spin separated them from any other average figurines. Despite their peak through 2012 and 2013, they were eventually discontinued due to their declining sales in the following years, and in turn, came the evident disappointment of fellow Monster High lovers.

Hot Wheels

The race to both my and other children’s hearts was not difficult for these original 1948 die-cast cars. From collectible classics to basic autos, not to mention the various available tracksets, this was just another of Mattel’s hits. Such a hit that over 20,000 unique models have been produced, with 130 new models a year on average. In total, there are 6 billion cars worldwide, which is 6 times as much as many Barbie dolls have been produced! Not bad Hot Wheels, not bad.

Easy Bake Oven

Mini whoopie pies, chocolate truffles, and red velvet cupcakes were just some of the examples that had me drooling in anticipation as I watched those beauties bake. And though I may be an awful chef, I was whipping up some delicious concoctions with this bite-sized appliance. Within Kenner’s first year of production in 1963, the company sold over 500,000 Easy-Bake Ovens, and the hit product was in such demand that some reports from the time tell of female consumers fighting each other to get their hands on one. Though this toy may seem entirely kid-friendly, it’s no joking matter, as it can reach up to 350 degrees. So if you happen to stumble upon this forgotten gem, take the opportunity to bake a scrumptious batch of brownies, but be willing to lose a finger or two in return.

In conclusion, these brilliant relics of our past not only shaped our childhood but served as great creative liberties in the world of toys, which shall hopefully never be forgotten.

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