The start of the millennium was a great time to be a kid. Toys R Us was still at its peak, and the tech revolution was just on the cusp of booming, leaving kids to keep one foot firmly in childish pursuits and the other gripped by their social media, app-filled, smart-everything future. If you were lucky enough to be a millennium kid, then you've definitely waxed poetic about which of the 2000s toys were your favorites. Well, it's time to take a trip down memory lane and see which of these popular 2000s toys hold up after all these years.
2000s Toys Everyone Had on Their Holiday List
Curating the perfect holiday gift list was just as imperative in the early 2000s as it is today, though iPhones, hoverboards, and ring lights were far from cracking the Top 10 in the Sears Christmas catalog. From outdoor to indoor goodies, all of these toys from the 2000s were definitely featured on everyone's wish list. Remember how simple the world was when all you had to worry about was getting that shiny Pokemon card in your next foil-covered 10-pack? Check out if any of these toys made your list from 2000 to 2010:
Magnetix were the magnet-driven toy that inspired countless 2000s kids to take a leap of faith and pick engineering as their major in college. Granted, an equal number of them were sent to the emergency room for ingesting the small magnets... but it looks like they all turned out fine in the end.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game debuted in North America in 1999, just in time for 2000s kids to eat them up. Alongside the tv-show and the video games, Pokemon TCG was one of the biggest phenomenons for kids who grew up in the 2000s. Thanks to Pokemon Go! there's been a massive resurgence in all things Pokemon, and some of the common cards from this period are now rare and valuable items. If only you'd just kept that holographic Charizard instead of making room for your new pair of Jordans, you'd be a couple grand richer.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game's biggest competitor in the 2000s was Yu-Gi-Oh!. Similar to Pokemon, in that the cards featured characters, power abilities, and health stats, they differed in their edgier, more medieval design. These creatures weren't cute and cuddly like Pokemon were; they were massive and ready to rip your opponents apart. What elementary schooler who skipped lunch wouldn't be clamoring for that kind of power?
If you ever played Neopets or Club Penguin as a kid, then you probably also begged your parents for a Webkinz stuffed animal. These stuffed animals came with codes that let you interact with your new 'pet' in their online game space. Step aside virtual reality, 2000s kids had their Webkinz.
Bop-It debuted in the 1990s, so it wasn't a toy reserved strictly for the 2000s, but several subsequent (and increasingly challenging) editions of it made it a fan favorite well into the early 2000s. No birthday party sleepover was equipped without having a Bop-It competition to see who could last the longest.
Pillow Pets slid into the top spot on wishlists everywhere at the end of the 2000s. Released in 2009, these cuddly stuffed animals were really huge pillows in disguise, held together by a simple velcro strap and then unleashed for maximum comfort. Kids from the 2000s took their lounging seriously, and couple the Pillow Pet with a Snuggie, and they were set for an entire Saturday's-worth of cartoons.
Razor Kick Scooters
You didn't know freedom in the 2000s unless you owned a Razor kick scooter. Bikes were a thing of the past (despite the fact that they were by-far a superior form of transportation), and kick scooters were here to stay. Although, if you look carefully at the bottom of some 2000s' kids feet, you'll still see the faint burn marks from slamming their heels down on the nuclear hot break pad with their bare feet.
Tween Toys from the 2000s You'll Never Forget
The tween years aren't kind to anyone, what with the acne, explosive emotions, and the realization that you're actually growing up. When looking back, these toys really did help keep our inner child alive for just a little bit longer during the early days of the 2000s. Whether it was hunting down for your Bratz doll's lost foot or stacking your arm full of Silly Bandz, see which one of these toys was the highlight of your terrible tween years:
If you feel your heart rate ratchet up at the sight of multi-colored bracelets stacked on someone's arm, you might be entitled to compensation because of the trauma-inducing middle school craze that Silly Bandz caused. These ridiculous rainbow colored rubber bands would snap into every shape imaginable, from animals to numbers and everything in between. During the Silly Bandz years, seeing a bare forearm was sacrilege, and any kid you asked would've said that the ripped out arm hairs were well worth it for the aesthetic.
So many 2000s kids had four best friends: Yasmin, Cloe, Jade, and Sasha. The original Bratz quadruple was released in 2001 and they were marketed as an edgy and 'bratty' version of Mattel's sanitized Barbie doll. On top of their fashionable outfits, oversized heads, and diversity, the dolls were mainly loved and known for one iconic trait: their feet were completely detachable. No longer did kids have to fight with fitting the teeniest rubber shoes over miniscule, pointed feet. Rather, they just had to remember where they put their doll's feet, lest they become unintentionally amputated.
Mary Kate & Ashley Dolls
Long before Elizabeth Olsen made waves as the Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, her older sisters dominated the public with their super lucrative tween and teen films and tie-in merchandise. One of these marketing schemes was their own response to Barbie: the Mary Kate & Ashley Dolls. Thanks to the doll's resemblance to their human likenesses, you couldn't help but feel more connected to them than to your parent's boring Barbies. After all, everyone wanted Mary Kate & Ashley as their best friends, and what better way to have that than with a set of dolls that looked like them?
My Password Journal
Tweens were, and are, incredibly secretive, and Girl Tech's My Password Journal was an ingenious way of capitalizing on their need for secrecy. This voice-activated pink and purple lock-box kept a small spiral bound journal safe from prying eyes. Hilariously enough, once enough time passed and young adults were looking back at their old toys from the 2000s, they were just as locked out from their own secrets as everybody else was back in the day.
Tech Toys from the 2000s That Seem Antiquated Today
The everyday experience of being a human is so integrated with technology that kids today can't fathom the way the world was just a few decades ago. Yet, millennials have no problem boasting about how they fought tooth and nail with their parents to get the chance to type out messages using T9 on their Motorola Razrs. 2000s kids know that special brand of joy, from having technology first really branch off from the workplace and into the kids' world. These eBay staples today may seem antiquated to kids now, but they hold a special place in 2000s kids' hearts everywhere.
Not to be confused with the many Apple products out there, Hasbro's i-Dog was a robotic dog toy that had very few functions other than making kids feel like they were really living in the future. Who needs a pet that has real love and affection for them when they can have one that takes AA batteries and moves at a snail's pace?
While kids in the 1990s had SEGA and Nintendo 64, the ones born just a few years later were blessed with the Nintendo GameCube. After all, where would the world be without the GameCube console which Nintendo debuted their game, Animal Crossing, on in 2001? Yeah, it's better not to even think about it.
Making its debut in October 2001, Apple's iPod completely revolutionized music. Although not a typical 'toy,' this device was perhaps the single-most important step in bridging the gap between cell phones and the smart devices we know today. Whether it was the Classic, the Mini, the Touch, or the Nano, anybody who wanted to be somebody owned an iPod in the '00s.
Dance Dance Revolution
If you didn't absolutely obliterate your ankles on a slippery Dance Dance Revolution mat conveniently perched on the slickest carpet ever, then were you really living in the early 2000s? If there was one thing that kids, tweens, and teens could all agree on in the millennium, it was that DDR was a must-have party game. If you want to relive the magic of bopping along to those arrows, you can still find some DDR set-ups in arcades around the country.
Similar to i-Dog, Robosapien was another response to the growing need for robotic toys. Perhaps it was toys like this, and the imaginings they inspired for what AI might be possible of doing someday, that we have to thank for the advanced algorithms that rule our lives today.
Remember the days when you couldn't pick up a handheld video game console to play your silly role-playing video games? If you were born in the 1990s, then chances are you totally do. One super popular one was called Dream Life, and it hooked up to your TV. The worst part about these games was that you couldn't live your secret fantasy life in peace; you had to blast it to anyone who walked into the den or living room and caught a glimpse of it on the family's shared 50" screen.
Guitar Hero/Rock Band
You were considered a living legend if you could master songs on Guitar Hero or Rock Band in the expert mode. These music-based video games were insanely popular in the 2000s among kids of all ages. While you might not have learned how to play a real instrument, if you could slay on the Guitar Hero's guitar, you were a musician through and through.
2000s Toys That We Somehow Survived
Despite their parent's horror stories about the steel deathtraps they gallivanted around in, 2000s kids would be remiss without their own death defying toys. While Gen X parents generally agreed that things like trampolines and moonshoes were bad news, there wasn't a fear for any of these new toys on the market. Relive life on the edge with gummy joints and a healthy disrespect for your own safety with these nostalgic toys that should've killed us, yet we somehow survived.
Banned from airports, churches, malls, grocery stores, and so many more places, Heelys were all the rage in the 2000s. These chunky shoes stylized like Vans were unique because of the tiny single round wheel that was hidden in the shoe's heel, which unlocked with the press of a button. If you've ever watched a kid roll down the street in Heelys, you know for certain that Isaac Newton is rolling in his grave at the sheer way their bodies look like they defy the laws of physics. However, Mother Nature is a cruel mistress, and there's no pain quite like eating the concrete thanks to getting your Heelys caught in a sidewalk crack.
Skip-Its took dexterity to a whole new level. These super simple devices that were hooked around your ankle with a weight strung from it were meant to be an easy recreational toy for kids in the 2000s to play with. Turns out, they sure make for one devious ankle-breaker. In fact, more bones were probably broken from getting tripped up on a Skip-It line than all the kiddie sports events combined.
Rip Sticks were an advanced version of the skateboard, that made the balancing act even more challenging (as if someone looked at balancing on a skateboard and said, "Yeah, we really need to make this harder"), by having the two footholds be able to rotate around the center stick. This undulating motion that was required for kids to even get the things going was a feat unto itself, and so only the coolest 2000s kids mastered this toy.
If ever you needed confirmation that humanity had gone too far, you should look no further than the Furby. Their cute and cuddly design distracted people from their impetuous nature and penchant for staring at you throughout the night and making random noises without ever being prompted. Just peel back the fur off of a vintage Furby and you'll understand exactly why it's a surprise that these things never banded together and killed us off.
One of the hottest toys of 2007 was Aqua Dots, a crafting kit with a new schtick. The assorted small beads would stick together when they were wet, and let you create an array of fun, if not ambiguous, 3-D art pieces. But, if you were one of the many who couldn't get their hands on one of them, it's probably because they were recalled due to being coated in the dangerous chemical GHB. We'll stick to the good old Etch-a-Sketch, thank you very much.
The Millennium Really Had It All
While the 1990s is making its way back onto the scene, let's not forget its stylish and daring successor, the 2000s. Toys from the 2000s instill a heady sense of nostalgia that everyone craves once in a while. From the i-Dog that had no connection to any Apple product (despite its name), to the Heelys that were literally banned in businesses across the globe, you might consider the 2000s to be the most fascinating decade for toy making ever.