10 Creepy Toys That Kept Millennials Up at Night

If you were a kid in the 80s & 90s, then you definitely had one of these creepy toys on your birthday wish list.

Published August 17, 2023

Nostalgia wouldn’t be half as powerful as it is without your complimentary pair of rose-colored glasses. Looking back, we can’t believe some of the playthings we begged our parents for. If you were a kid in the 80s & 90s, then you definitely had one of these creepy toys on your birthday wish list.



The Millennial overlord for the Island of Creepy Toys was, without a doubt, Furby. A young Millennial’s best friend, Furby gave us a taste for what we thought AI was going to be like. But all it took was one lingering glance into those oversized eyes to feel the uncanny nature of it all.

Far too many people have horror stories of their Furbies speaking gibberish to them in the middle of the night for us to not think that Ed and Lorraine Warren’s haunted objects collection would’ve been a far more fitting home for them.

Teddy Ruxpin


What better companion for a young kid in the 80s than a talking, storytelling toy? While the concept was on point, the execution landed somewhere closer to the terrifying Chuck E. Cheese animatronic band than we’re comfortable with.

Teddy Ruxpin, with its control panel back and movable eyes and mouth, was a huge hit in the 80s. And while the cuddly bear might’ve lulled us to sleep then, it lives on today in our nightmares.

Baby Sinclair

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Thanks to Jim Henson, we’ve got incredible characters like Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, but 90s kids might remember his puppeteering genius better in the ABC show Dinosaurs. Following the Sinclair family’s adventures in a delightful prehistoric world, Dinosaurs was everything a kid could ask for. Except that the Baby Sinclair puppet that just gave us the creeps.

Surely, Baby Grinch’s design in 2005’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is based on this rotund, angular baby with its bulging eyes. And the show's tie-in toys really did this oversized baby dino justice… if you can call it that.

Tickle Me Elmo


In the world of creepy toys, you probably never thought something as wholesome as a Sesame Street character would come up. But Tickle Me Elmo’s controversy makes it one of the unintentionally creepiest toys of the generation. From the voice glitches to the less-than-PG overtones in the whole “tickling a small person against their will for funsies" kind of thing, Tickle Me Elmo lives on in infamy.

Scrushkin Hand Puppets

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If you thought some of Jim Henson’s fantasy puppets should only be seen in the dark, then you’ve never caught the eye of a Scrushkins puppet on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. These colorful hand puppets shouldn’t be that creepy on principle, but something about the oversized mouths and bulging eyes (especially when they’re collapsed) just gives off some “this thing shouldn’t be welcome in my house” vibes. After all, we’re not entirely convinced that the Pigman legend wasn’t inspired by the troll pig Scrushkins puppet.

Gooey Louie

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Gooey Louie isn’t quite so creepy as it is just gross. Oh, to be a kid when things like vomiting, farting, and boogers are the height of humor. Naturally, an elementary sleepover in the 90s wouldn’t be a hit without the Gooey Louie game, which simulated pulling snot strings from someone’s nose. We’d love to have been in the room when someone pitched that game concept.

What's Her Face Dolls


Mattel might be known for super success stories like Barbie and Hot Wheels, but not every toy they make is a multi-million dollar hit. Young Millennials might remember their short-lived What’s Her Face Dolls. These dolls came fully blank-faced with stencils you could color in with special markers to create a custom look.

However, if the blank doll heads weren’t odd enough, the fetish-wear like stencils you’d smother their faces in ala a balaclava totally were.

Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids

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Cabbage Patch Kids were more than a toy—they were an experience. But not every Cabbage Patch Kid was a little angel. The Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid, with its gaping mouth and pencil-like veggies that you could feed it, was known to fingertrap a kid’s hand or two. And looking back, we’d like to have a conversation with the person who pitched this interactive Cabbage Patch to see exactly what they were thinking.



Nineties kids loved a collectible. From Pokémon cards to Garbage Pail Kids, there were so many awesome ones to choose from. But a less-remembered (and maybe rightfully so) kids’ toy was AmToy’s Madballs. Madballs were these grotesquely designed foam balls that we collected for really no reason at all. And for many of us, it was our first taste of counterfeiting, since so many of them were Madballs dupes.

Food Fighters


Not to be confused with the rock band Foo Fighters, Food Fighters were a hilariously strange 80s toy that anthropomorphized various foods, dishes, and cooking appliances into action figures. But in the wake of a post-Sausage Party world, we can’t ever look at these off-kilter plastic toys the same way again.

We Never Forget the Creepy Ones


It’s funny how the toys that stick with you aren’t always your favorites. Sometimes, it’s just those creepy faces and uncanny valley designs that root themselves deep in your memory. So, raise a toast to these creepy toys from the 80s and 90s. We’re still talking about them 30 years later, so we’ve got to give it to 'em—they totally did their job.

10 Creepy Toys That Kept Millennials Up at Night