Ahh the '90s, a magical time where small, colourful cardboard circles made for the hottest game in town and Michael Jordan ditched both the NBA and MLB to go play space basketball with Bugs Bunny. It’s in that spirit that we scoured the full breadth and depth of eBay to find 15 items you can (and should) buy to pretend we still live in that gloriously weird, strangely fluorescent era of pop culture.
Know what makes a great collectible hobby? One that allows you to get together with your pals and steal all of their collectibles simply by hurling heavy metal disks around. Buy a collection of Pogs and who knows, you could triple it tomorrow.
Super Soaker 50
Being tethered to a house via hose during a water fight is so every decade before the '90s. The Super Soaker 50 (originally called the Power Drencher, before the power of alliteration made it popular) let you sneak up behind unsuspectingly dry friends and spray them for a solid 4 seconds. And here’s your chance to do it again, perhaps in your office or in a courtroom.
These alarmingly chemical-plant-evoking goo blobs were marketed hard due to the raging popularity of all those poor folks getting covered in a green, watery version of the stuff on Nickelodeon. For inexplicable reasons, kids wanted the slime for themselves, in colour-changing varieties to boot. Nowadays, it’d probably make a pretty good stress ball.
Be real. Everyone who’s reading this article probably has a Nintendo 64 stashed in the loft. So what should you buy on eBay to truly relive those Goldeneye years (heh)? Gameshark: a handy cartridge giving you built-in cheats. Buy one and get ready to immediately have all the stars in Mario 64.
Mark our words: baggy jeans are still totally awesome. Whoever forced us into the thigh-imprisoning, ankle-freezing world of cuffed skinny jeans should really take a look back, because graffiti on your back pocket is cool. And so is the ability to do calisthenics in your jeans. So buy some JNCOs for freedom.
“Duuuuuude, you’re putting three Warheads in your mouth at once?! Guys! Dale’s putting three in his mouth at once!” said your friends at the school lunch table. Also, said your friends next Friday when you're all hanging out at McGillicuddy's after work. See how easily that translates to your current lifestyle? Buy a tub, rise to glory.
Ready for an SAT analogy? Walkman is to the 70s/80s, as _____ is to the 90s. Shhhh, Minidisc enthusiasts, just settle down. You were like the Betamax of music. The late 80s Discman (eventually renamed the CD Walkman throughout the 90s) revolutionised portable tuneage almost as much as the MP3 player did, and for good reason. A Discman, behind-the-head headphones and five Limp Bizkit CDs fit really well into a single-zip Jansport backpack.
Tune Squad Michael Jordan Jersey
Social media activity time: go search #tunesquad. Clearly, plenty of folks are still digging the high-flying spirit of Space Jam, some 20 years later. But a way more visual way to get in on the nostalgia is to grab yourself a Michael Jordan Tune Squad jersey, because let’s be honest, you’ll want to use that hashtag on Instagram.
The entire Jock Jams collection
To go with that slick new Jordan jersey? All the tunes you remember from school basketball games. Because that is how we do it (na na na na na na na). And it should totally be how you do it.
Looking back, you’d assume people thought that temperature-activated colour changing was the greatest technological feat of the '90s. Between the aforementioned goo toys and these Hypercolour t-shirts, everyone was getting in on the hue-morphing action. Why you’d want a t-shirt to further expose that you’re out of shape and just climbed 1.5 flights of stairs is beyond us, but to each their own.
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Sim games be damned: the perfect real-time strategy ROM involves building insane loop-d loops, comically only installing one bathroom in a huge theme park and staffing the whole thing with panda mascots. This game totally stands the test of time.
Stretchy book covers
Real question: why does every student have to awkwardly wrap textbooks in old brown carrier bags that will most assuredly fall off within the first months? Are these books made of Faberge or something? The only saviour was when you were able to snag a pack of those stretchy book covers that totally didn’t fall off. Even better? At year’s end, they could be slipped over trainers to send careening pre-teens down slippery corridors at dangerous speeds.
A copy of Windows 95
Nostalgia points: a billion. Actually useful points: zero.
The most expensive Beanie Baby ever
If one can afford this rarest-of-the-rare Beanie Baby, one must be Michael Jordan or something. But man, is there anything more telling about the collectible craze than the fact that people put protective plastic over the tags on these animal beanbags? Hmmm, maybe the '90s were even weirder than we thought.