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1990 vs. 2020 - Holiday Gift Giving Edition

Posted by: MOMLETA HQ on Sunday, December 20, 2020


My how the times have changed. Remember getting the Toys R' Us catalog in the mail in early November so you could dog-ear approximately 900 pages displaying toys/stuffies/games you HAD to have for Christmas? Now kids have Amazon Wish Lists and mark 'favorites' online on their tablets. And how about prices? Taking into consideration inflation of the dollar it is still difficult to stomach spending $40 on a hatching mystery toy. 

In late 2018, Scary Mommy posted a really interested article stating, "...the American Association of Pediatricians (AAP) has released an updated report about the best toys for childhood development - and there's nary a screen or battery to be seen in their recommendations." 

Don't tell my kids.

The author goes on to say that traditional toys including: dolls, cooking/food toys, board games, bikes, balls and push and pull toys 'promote the best types of developmental play' according to the AAP report. When looking at the list of most popular toys for 2020, I see very few simple toys. 

My most favorite article on this topic is a 2011 article in Wired titled "The 5 Best Toys of All Time".  These, according to the author, are the five items no kid should ever be without: 

1. Stick

2. Box

3. String

4. Cardboard Tube

5. Dirt

BRB, retrieving five or six empty toilet paper tubes from my trash for stocking stuffers. 

We thought it would be fun to check out the top toys at holiday time from twenty years ago! 


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figures
  • Tickle Me Elmo
  • Barbie's Dream House

Meanwhile, kids today are putting links to these toys in their Favorites Bar on their iPads. 



  • Lego Star Wars
  • L.O.L. Surprise Dolls
  • Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage




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