So it’s finally arrived. The votes are in. The top Christmas Toy List of 2015 has been announced.
Looking through this year’s catalogue of Xmas ‘must haves’, I assumed I’d be clueless as to what fandangle playthings kids are into these days. But this was far from the case, not only did I recognise some of the toys included, I even used to own them!
As a flood of nostalgia washed over it got me thinking…what were my top Christmas toy choices as a kid? Born in ‘88 I am technically an 80s baby, albeit towards the latter end, but having an older brother meant my toy choosing horizons were somewhat broadened. So here it is, my top five Christmas toy list of a 90s baby.
- Lego Knights and Castle
After watching my dad struggle for hours on Christmas Day to put together a model aimed at ‘six-year-olds’, I must admit my excitement to play with the completed set did somewhat wane. Not to mention the pain inflicted from standing on a stray brick in the Lego minefield that was my lounge. However, hours of fun were still to be had playing with tiny smiling figurines holding gleaming axes and deadly crossbows.
Interestingly, Lego features twice on this year’s list with the ‘Lego City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel’ (quite the mouthful) as well as the ‘Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle’ (can’t they make shorter titles?) which shows Lego is still in the hearts and minds of children everywhere.
- Wolverine Figurine
Thanks to the new installment of X-Men movies, sales of the Wolverine figurine are still going strong. I must say this figure was particularly special to me and you could say it was my go-to toy, a leader among my army of freaks, ghouls and wrestlers. Nothing could compete with his snarling face and metal claws. That was until one day a school friend decided to throw it against a wall resulting in a horrific loss of limbs. Unfortunately, the plastic figurine didn’t possess the character’s regenerative powers…
- Gooey Louie
What is it about pulling strings of green slimy bogies out of a plastic head that seems so appealing as a kid? Like most boisterous young boys, I had a fascination with all things gross and disgusting. My tastes for the macabre ranged from collecting various bugs in a plastic container known as ‘Bug City’ (although after an extensive Google search I can’t find any proof of this existing which worries me) to owning one of those ‘Burp Balls’ that fires ugly rubber vomit when you squeeze it, Gooey Louie seemed to tick all the right boxes. The piece de résistance of course was watching a plastic brain fly out the top of its skull. Ahhh, the 90s, there’s nothing quite like a game that encourages children to pick their noses.
- Action Man – Kung Fu
You may have noticed a common theme in my choice of toys. War. But fear not, my obsession with violent toys never spilled into the playground, it merely thrived quietly in my imagination. Now retailing at £80 it seems that the 1995 Kung Fu Action Man was a rarity at the time but I still remember that red spinning hand like it was yesterday. £80 you say? I’m sure it’s still in the loft somewhere…
- Sega Mega Drive
It was the king of all Christmas presents and the gift that just kept giving, the Sega Mega Drive always reigned supreme. With such epic titles as Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, Mortal Combat and Golden Axe on its roster there was barely a child in the UK that didn’t want their hands on this legendary games console. The first step towards the Playstation generation, it was the source of hours of enjoyment for both myself and my older brother, causing us to laugh until we cried as well fight until we cried. For me, the Sega Mega Drive is a symbol of a bygone era. A time when, just like the console’s 16-bit graphics, life seemed more simple.