Iconic 90s Kids' Toy Adverts: Expectations Vs Reality

Because you were, and still are, susceptible to bright colours and wacky angles…

If you didn't spend the 90s glued to the TV, periodically begging your mum for a rainbow slinky, Hot Wheels race track and handful of stretchy, bright green goop, we want to ask you one question: WHAT ELSE DID YOU EVEN DO?!

Kids toy adverts are engrained into the psyche of most millennials, not least 'cos of the kerayzee angles and acid-bright colours. But when the toys arrived, they weren't *quite* what they seemed...

1. Micro Machines Military

What you were sold: A one-way ticket to the front line of war.

What you got: Carpet hairs tangled in tiny tank wheels.


2. Dream Phone

What you were sold: The promise of a crush and being the most desired girl in school.

What you got: Lonely nights at home wishing someone actually had a crush on you.


3. Operation

What you were sold: Belief that you were qualified to perform real surgeries.

What you got: A cardboard box with a light and a funny sound that soon ran out of batteries and pieces.


4. Mall Madness

What you were sold: A fully paid-up shopping trip with all your friends and your own credit card! Yay!

What you got: Make-believe debt.


5. Sky Dancers

What you were sold: Magical flying fairies in your bedroom.

What you got: Pretty much exactly that until your jealous brother tore her magical arm-wings off.


6. Power Wheels

What you were sold: Status, independence, adulthood. Basically, the coolest toy in existence.

What you got: Nothing. No kid we know ever got given this so we have no idea what it was really like.


7. Polly Pocket

What you were sold: Only the ability to control the girliest world conceivable that could also be stored, conveniently, in your pocket.

What you got: Just an empty pink, plastic case. After about two days Polly and her mates went missing and probably fell victim to the hoover.


8. Mighty Max

What you were sold: A gruesome, pocket-sized nightmare.

What you got: A pretty gnarly-looking plastic box; but after ten minutes Max went to go and live with the Pollys in the hoover, and the others lived under the seats on the school bus… FOREVER!!!


9. GI Joe

What you were sold: Deployment to ‘Nam, fighter pilots license, usual shit…

What you got: A Ken Doll in combats.


10. My Little Pony

What you were sold: A fully-blown hallucinogenic trip where you’re kidnapped by some small horses into a magical rainbow-world of tail grooming... for eternity.

What you got: Shitty plastic toys with tails you’d groom until you regrettably cut them off.


11. Thunderbirds Tracy Island

What you were sold: A fully-functional Tracy island. Moving swimming pools, working ramps and sound effects to have a fully immersive and interactive playtime.

What you got: A fully-functional Tracy island. Moving swimming pools, working ramps and sound effects to have a fully immersive and interactive playtime. It was awesome, it pretty much delivered in every way possible.