Every generation can remember a toy or two that was really iconic for them as they grew up. A doll, a ball, some sort of activity kit, whatever the toy was just saying its name can invoke precious memories of being a kid and having hours of fun.
Kids of the '90s or, Millennials, had an interesting selection of toys that some would say shaped their generation. On the cusp of innovations in technology, toys for Millennials ranged from simple stuffed animals to gaming consoles with 3D effects. The '90s were the start of digital pets and more interactive toys. It also saw the fall of Atari consoles and the rise of systems from Sony and Nintendo. Barbie still reigned as the top-selling doll and continued to spread her message of female empowerment. And computers and the Internet were made more readily.
Most Millennials were still kids when the 2000s came around and were able to see their favorite toys from the '90s either get an upgrade or revamped. Apple blew everybody away with the first iPod, and Microsoft entered the battle of gaming consoles with the release of the Xbox in 2001. Most of the toys kids had in the 2000s were electronic or had an electronic version of it. And while there were still toys marketed specifically at either boys or girls we started to see more "gender-neutral" advertisements and toys.
But which era of toys was better, toys from the '90s or from the 2000s? This article is about to pit some of the most popular toys of both against one another and see which era comes out on top!
30 Barbie ('90s) Vs Bratz (2000s)
While Barbie was created in the '50s she's been a favorite toy for girls for a while. Created by Ruth Handler who wanted to give her daughter a toy that let her pretend to be whatever she wanted to be. And Bratz came out in 2001 with dolls with unique anatomy who were fashion-forward. A rival of Barbie, these two dolls have been pitted against one another for years.
And the winner of this round is Barbie.
While Bratz dolls have a passion for fashion it's hard to beat the message of empowerment that Barbie has given girls for generations.
29 Bandai Spin Fighters ('90s) Vs Beyblades (2000s)
Some Millenials might not remember this toy but Spin Fighters were metal spinning top toys that came out in the early '90s. Things like Power Rangers were printed on top of them and kids could use them to "battle" one another. And Beyblades are another spinning top toy released in 2002, based on the manga of the same name. Beyblades are customizable allowing players to create a blade that fits their style of fighting.
And the winner of this round is Beyblade.
While both have the same concept, Beyblade has been a widely more successful toy franchise than Spin Fighters.
28 Furby ('90s) Vs Poo-Chi (2000s)
Furbies came out in 1998 and was one of the must-have "It" toys of 98 holiday season. Distributed by Tiger Electronics and then Hasbro, Furbies are interactive electronic pets that have their own language and communicate with other Furbies. Poo-Chi is another electronic pet made to look like a robotic dog. Manufactured by Tiger toys in 2000, Poo-Chi could bark and even sing songs with the press of a button.
And the winner of this round is Furby.
Poo-Chi and its spin-offs were certainly cute, but Furbies revolutionized the concept of electronic pets and definitely set the standard for them.
27 Gak ('90s) Vs Floam (2000s)
Gak is the slime like compound created by Nickelodeon. Both gross and fun, there were different variations of Gak a kid could get. Some glowed in the dark, changed colors and even had different scents to them. And Floam is another slime toy of Nickelodeon, made from Gak, but with micro-beads inside of it that made it foam like and more moldable.
And the winner of this round is Floam.
While both toys from Nick are made out of slime, Floam could be used in more ways and had different kits where kids could make crafts out of it.
26 HitClips ('90s) Vs I-Pod (2000s)
HitClips was one of the things every child of the late '90s either had or wanted. They were digital audio players by Tiger Electronics that could be "clipped" onto clothing and listened to on the go. They played one-minute clips of songs from pop artists like N'Sync and Brittany Spears. And in 2001 the first generation of iPods was released, Apple's own digital music player that could hold up to 5 GB of music.
And the winner of this round is the iPod.
HitClips were fun but weren't even the best audio players of the late '90s.
25 Tamagotchi ('90s) vs Pixel Chix (2000s)
Tamagotchi came out in 1997 and was probably one of the first "pets" most Millenials had. They were digital pets that came in egg-shaped devices. Kids could feed, play with, and clean up after these virtual pets, raising them from babies into adults. And Pixel Chix is similar to Tamagotchi but instead of a creature, kids had to take care of the needs of a teenage girl. Pixel Chix could have roommates, a job, and more.
And the winner of this round is Tamagotchi.
Tamagotchi was still popular in the 2000s and today while Pixel Chix was discounted in 2009.
24 Monopoly ('90s) Vs Electronic Banking Monolopy (2000s)
Monopoly has been around for a while, but it remained a popular board game in the '90s. Players move around the board buying property, with the goal of bankrupting everyone else. Monopoly has mostly stayed the same, though 2005 introduced electronic banking. Instead of the standard paper cash, players had debit cards and would collect or lose funds through these cards with an electronic banking unit.
And the winner of this round is '90s Monopoly.
There's just something about having debit cards instead of paper money that makes Monopoly feel less like Monopoly.
23 Tuggles ('90s) Vs ZhuZhu Pets (2000s)
Made in 1997, Tuggles was a brand of toy dogs and cats that came with a leash that kids could pull along, taking them out for "walks" while ZhuZhu pets are robotic hamster toys that came out in 2009. They had two modes of play, "nurturing" where they cooed and made noises as they were pet and "adventure" where they would explore and interact with the habitats.
And the winner of this round is ZhuZhu Pets.
ZhuZhu Pets are more interactive and can actually move on their own while Tuggles have to be "tugged" along to move at all.
22 Pokémon ('90s) Vs Bakugan (2000s)
The Pokémon card game started in 1996 where kids could trade and battle one another by building decks. To win, players either had to collect all the "Prize Cards" or knock out all of their opponent's Pokémon. And Bakugan is another card game that came out in 2006 where players use cards and monster capsules. The winner is whoever collects three "Gate Cards" first.
Gate cards or not, the winner of this round in Pokémon.
Pokémon is one of the OGs of monster trading card games and still remains one of the most popular ones to date.
21 Yu-Gi-Oh! ('90s) Vs Duel Masters (2000s)
Another popular card game in the '90s was Yu-Gi-Oh. Players collected cards and built decks to battle one another using a combination of monster, trap, spell, and other cards to take out their opponents Life Points. Duel Masters is another trading card game that was released in the United States in 2004, it works similarity to Magic: The Gathering where players battle with creatures and cast spells using "mana".
And the winner of this round is Yu-Gi-Oh!
While both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Duel Masters have done well in Asia, out of the two only Yu-Gi-Oh! has done well in Western countries.
20 Slap Bracelets ('90s) Vs Silly Bandz (2000s)
There were many fads in the '90s and one of the most prominent ones was the Slap Bracelet. Slap Bracelets were long pieces of steel covered by plastic that would curve into a bracelet around someone's wrist when it slapped against it. They came in different colors and designs. And Silly Bandz came out in the 2000s. The simple rubber bands became a fad for the 2000s with their different designs that could be worn as bracelets.
And the winner of this round is... both.
Both were popular fads and both were banned by several schools in the United States, the country's highest honor.
19 Moon Shoes ('90s) Vs Heelys (2000s)
Moon shoes have been around since the '50s but they made a comeback in the '90s. Moon shoes have trampoline-like springs inside them and get strapped onto a kid's shoes. It makes kids jump higher and feel like they were on the moon. And Heelys were made in 2000 and were sneakers that had hidden wheels in the heel of the shoe, making the sneakers into a pair of roller skates.
And the winner of this round is Heelys.
While both Moon shoes and Heelys brought up safety concerns in parents, Heelys are more versatile.
18 Pogs ('90s) Vs Mighty Beanz (2000s)
Did any kid in the '90s know what to do with Pogs? It didn't seem like it, but they were popular to collect. Small circle cardboard discs, they had different designs printed on them from sports teams to popular TV characters. And Mighty Beanz are collectible bean shaped capsules created in 2002, originally from Australia they come in different designs and can be raced.
And the winner of this round is Mighty Beanz.
Though there was a game that could be played with Pogs, kids rarely played it, at least in the United States. Mighty Beanz just seems more fun.
17 Polly Pocket ('90s) Vs Betty Spaghetti (2000s)
Polly Pocket was originally a tiny doll that came in a play-set. In 1998 Polly Pocket got a redesign with bigger dolls and play-sets. The brand even expanded by adding different dolls and introducing "Fashion Polly" where kids could change the doll's clothing. And Betty Spaghetti came out in 2000 and was a bendable rubber doll who could have a number of different looks.
And the winner of this round is Polly Pocket.
Despite the many changes Polly Pocket has undergone, it has remained a favorite toy for kids from the '90s and 2000s.
16 Doodle Bear ('90s) Vs What's Her Face (2000s)
Doodle Bear was a great toy to have that encouraged kids to draw on it! Coming out in the late '90s it came with markers and stencils and was machine washable. And What's Her Face was another creative toy that came out in 2001. The doll had a blank face and came with markers and rubber stamps of eyes and mouths, allowing kids to design how they wanted her to look.
And the winner of this round is Doodle Bear.
While both toys encouraged creativity in kids, the blank faces of the What's Her Face dolls were a bit creepy.
15 Dear Diary ('90s) Vs Girl Tech Password Journal (2000s)
Dear Diary was an electronic diary made by Tiger Electronics. It was password protected and even had the function to record voices, allowing its owner to whisper their secrets into it. And GirlTech Password Journal was another innovation for privacy for kids as it was programmed to only open up at the sound of its owner's voice.
And the winner of this round is Girl Tech Password Journal.
Both were pretty cool, and Dear Diary had a lot of other neat add on in later models, but Girl Tech's Password Journal is the most secure in privacy.
14 Pillow Pals ('90s) Vs Pillow Pets (2000s)
Stuffed animals have always been a popular toy for kids to get tucked into bed with for years but Pillow Pals were designed specifically to be soft like pillows. They were made by Ty Inc. the company that brought us Beanie Babies. And Pillow Pets came out in 2003 and are actual pillows that can be folded into stuffed toys. There is a large variety of them with some based on popular children's series.
And the winner of this round is Pillow Pets.
We think it's a little better to have a stuffed toy that's actually a pillow.
13 Socker Boppers ('90s) Vs Hulk Hands (2000s)
Socker Boppers, more fun than a pillow fight, and a little more intense than one too. These inflatable toys were popular in the late '90s and were one of the only toys that made it okay to punch friends and family. And Hulk Hands first came out in 2003 with the release of the Hulk film. These large rubber foam gloves were made in the image of Hulk's hands and made noise when they smashed against objects.
And the winner of this round is Socker Boppers.
At least Socker Boppers were made so that getting punched by one wouldn't hurt.
12 Tickle Me Elmo ('90s) Vs TMX Elmo (2000s)
Anyone that was around for 1996 remembers just how massive the hype for the first Tickle Me Elmo was. It was a smash hit for kids and parents alike and was in high demand, setting off the trend of Elmo dolls dominating sales during the holiday season. And in 2006, the TMX Elmo doll was released to commemorate the original Tickle Me Elmo. It worked the same as the original except it had different "stages of laughter".
And this round is a tie, as well.
While the TMX Elmo has a few different functions, but they're basically the same toy.
11 Nintendo 64 ('90s) Vs GameCube (2000s)
Nintendo was still going strong in the '90s and the Nintendo 64 was the console to have for Nintendo fans. It came out in 1996 and was the first of Nintendo's consoles to have 3D graphics, as seen with Super Mario 64. And the GameCube came out about six years later, as the successor to the 64, and was the first of Nintendo's consoles to use discs instead of cartridges. So who wins this one?
We think it's a tie.
GameCube graphics are better, but the 64 was where a lot of iconic games debuted. It's hard to pick between them.
10 Game Boy ('90s) Vs Game Boy Advance (2000s)
When it came to handheld gaming in the '90s nothing really beat the original Game Boy. It brought hours of fun with its 8-bit games and was the start of iconic series like Pokémon. And the Game Boy Advance came out in 2001. It had a "landscape" design, came in color and even had backward compatibility for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games!
And the winner of this round is the Game Boy Advance!
Not only is it awesome that it offers backward compatibility, but the shape of the device itself made it more comfortable to hold while playing.
9 Bop It ('90s) Vs Bop It Extreme (2000s)
There was a bunch of challenging and anxiety-inducing games in the '90s. Bop It came out in 1996 and was a game where players had to follow commands in a timely manner. It only included three commands, pressing a button, twisting a lever and pulling a handle. In 2000 Bop It Extreme came out and not only did the design change but two new commands were added, where players had to flick a green zig-zag lever and spin a wheel.
And this round goes to the original Bop It.
The original Bop It was a little less nerve-racking.
8 My Little Pony ('90s) Vs My Little Pony (2000s)
There are few people who don't know what My Little Pony is. A toy from the '80s, the My Little Pony toy line had a short revival in the '90s starting in 1997 but was discontinued in 1999. It had a more successful revival in 2003 with the third generation of ponies that included early versions of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash.
And this round is a tie.
My Little Pony dolls do have different looks depending on the generation it's from, but the toy has more or less stayed the same since it was first made.
7 Neopets ('90s) Vs Webkinz (2000s)
Neopets is a virtual pet website where users can own "Neopets," buy items, and play games as they care for their virtual pets. And Webkinz is a virtual pet website and a line of stuffed animals made in the 2000s. On every Webkin, there's a code that can be redeemed on their website and allows users to play with a virtual version of their pet online.
And this round goes to Neopets.
Webkinz require an annual purchase of a stuffed animal to "unlock" a lot of the features on its website. Accessing most of the features on Neopets is free.
6 Nerf ('90s) Vs Nerf (2000s)
One of the most classic outside toys for kids has to be Nerf products. Nerf guns were really popular in the '90s and the first Nerf gun, or Nerf Blasters was the Sharpshooter made in 1992. In the 2000s Nerf Blasters got even better, especially in 2008 with the release of the Recon CS-6 that came with interchangeable parts that let kids build their own Blasters.
And this round goes to the 2000s Nerf Blasters.
Nerf Blasters have gotten more wild as time went on and it is for the better.
5 SuperSoakers ('90s) Vs SuperSoakers (2000s)
Super Soakers were created in the '90s and became a staple of summertime fun for many kids of the '90s. The first Super Soaker was the Super Soaker 50 that revolutionized water guns by having the first pressurized reservoir that made water shoot out further and with more power. In the 2000s, Super Soaker still remained popular, but the technology for it grew more advanced.
That said, the winner of this round goes to '90s Super Soakers.
A lot of the Super Soakers released in the 2000s were stronger, but the ones from the '90s are just more iconic.
4 PlayStation ('90s) Vs PlayStation 2 (2000s)
Getting a PlayStation in the early '90s was the start of many gamers. Popular series like Spyro, Resident Evil, Tekken and more began on this console and it was the first video game console to ship 100 million units. The PlayStation 2 is the PlayStation's successor released in 2000 and is the best selling video game console of all time. It offered backward compatibility for PS1 games and even played DVDs!
This round goes to the PS2.
The PS1 is iconic, but the PS2 has more game titles and the ability to play PS1 games. Best of both worlds.
3 Dance Dance Revolution ('90s) Vs Guitar Hero (2000s)
In the late '90s, Dance Dance Revolution hit the world by storm. This music video game challenged players to dance while following the patterns provided by a set of arrows on the "dance platform". It even became an official sport in Norway! And Guitar Hero is a music rhythm game that came out in 2005. Players had a guitar-shaped controller and had to match the notes that showed up in the game to the buttons on the controller.
And we have a tie.
Both Guitar Hero and DDR were great rhythm games that become worldwide hits.
2 Creepy Crawlies ('90s) Vs Hexbug (2000s)
For some reason, a lot of toys of the '90s were made with the purpose of grossing out others and the Creepy Crawler Bug Maker was one of the best toys for that. It came with molds for different bugs that could be filled with goo. And Hexbug is a brand of robotic insects that came out in 2007. The robotic insects are sound activated and can move. There are even remote-controlled battle spiders too!
And the winner of this round is Hexbugs.
Hexbug had more things going for it other than being gross.
1 Easy-Bake Oven ('90s) Vs McDonald's McFlurry Maker (2000s)
Though the Easy Bake Oven has been around since the '60s, its popularity continued into the '90s. The Easy Bake Oven of the '90s resembled a microwave and used a simple light-bulb to cook miniature versions of baked goods. And the McDonald's McFlurry maker was an ice cream kit made in 2003 that allowed kids to make their own McFlurries.
And the winner of this round is the Easy Bake Oven.
For all the work it takes to make a McFlurry, as demonstrated on this website, it would be much more rewarding to just go out and buy a McFlurry.