10 Iconic Gadgets That Make Us Nostalgic for the ’90s

I miss the ’90s. I may be biased, but I think they were the best decade, with the best trends. It’s funny to look back and see how much technology has changed in just the past 20-plus years. Looking back at these 90s gadgets, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for those simpler years.

1. The Talkboy

The Deluxe Talkboy portable
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

How many kids from the 90s had the Talkboy on their Christmas list? I know I sure did. Kevin McAllister made this toy famous in the classic movie Home Alone 2. Essentially, it was just a cassette player that allowed someone to record someone else and then play it back. But for kids of the 90s, it was a secret agent device used to capture intel on your sworn enemies! I wish I’d been cool enough to have had one as a kid.

2. Tamagotchi

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There is no worse feeling than having your electronic pet pass away in the night because you forget to feed it. Did we really need to have a death feature on these electronic pets geared toward young children? It’s as if movies from the 90s didn’t give us enough anxiety. These electronic pets needed constant attention and might have been our generation’s first addictive app. I remember kids crying in school over their Tamagotchis, and I find that very sweet looking back as an adult.

3. Pagers

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Only the coolest kids at my school had pagers. The precursor to cell phones, these devices were the first way to get a hold of people who were not home. With smartphones everywhere now, these devices seem archaic, but I can still remember paging my girlfriend “143” messages, which, of course, meant “I love you.” I feel bad for people who didn’t get to experience the magic of the 90s.

4. The Discman

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Before the invention of iPods and streaming music, we used to have to carry a book of CDs and a Discman on the go. It was great having music on the go, but how frustrating was it when the song would skip whenever you went over a tiny bump? Luckily, that technology got better. Also, I had a Discman conversion kit in my first car for two years, so I could blast Blink 182 while driving to high school.

5. Floppy Discs

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In the 90s, there was no such thing as USB ports or saving documents in the cloud. Nope, we had to carry around square plastic “discs” to save our homework. These discs are such an iconic piece of tech from the 90s that many computer programs still use them as the “save” icon. I can’t remember the last time I saw a floppy disc, but I miss the simpler times when a movie villain would keep the secrets of world domination on a simple floppy disc.

6. Polaroid I-Zone Camera

Polaroid i-Zone camera and cartridge
Image Credit: Jason Curtis, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

This mini camera was revolutionary because it gave us 90 kids a sense of instant gratification when it printed out the pictures within a few minutes. The best part was that the pictures were stickers. You knew you were cool if you were in one of the pictures the girls would put on their school notebooks. It was the first top eight of a MySpace page.

7. The Gameboy

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The Gameboy wasn’t the first handheld video game device, but is probably the most iconic. I spent hours playing games on my Gameboy as a kid. Classic games like Tetris, Metroid, and Donkey Kong made many boring road trips bearable. I wish I could go back in time and keep my old Gameboy to enjoy it as an adult.

8. Portable Stereos

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Before we could synch Bluetooth speakers with our cell phones, we needed portable servers to take music with us on the go. I can still remember my dad’s garage radio, which he would listen to while working on projects, and my mom’s poolside radio. Nowadays, kids would laugh at the lengths we went to and the money we spent on entertainment.

9. Sony Playstation

Image Credit: Evan Amos, Own Work/Wiki Commons.

One of the most iconic gaming systems of all time was launched in the 1990s. The graphics and gameplay were so advanced that players couldn’t believe it could get much better. Some of the best gaming franchises started on this device. Thi was the first of many new generations of the Playstation, and is still one of the most popular platforms on the market today.

10. See Through Electronics

Image Credit: Evan Amos/Wiki Commons.

For some reason, we were obsessed with see-through electronics in the 90s. See-through landline phones kicked the obsession off in the 80s, but soon, there was see-through everything. There was a version of Nintendo 64 that was see-through, a Gameboy, and other random things that involved wires. It even led to one of the most iconic Apple computers, but that was more of a 2000s trend.

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