15 September 2018

A Nostalgic Look Back: Toys and Treats

Are you ever scrolling through Instagram's explore page or stalking those cheesy Twitter profiles that post things from your childhood, and you just have that moment of "oh my god, do you remember..."? Well, that was the inspiration for this series. I'm going to be taking a little trip into the past, looking at some of the things that make me nostalgic for when I was a kid! This is part one, looking at some of the toys I loved and the sweets and snacks that I ate!

I was born in 1995, so I was a late 90s baby, mostly a 00s kid. So this post is probably going to spark a lot of nostalgia for most of my fellow millennials!

Popular Toys, Games and Hobbies

As a kid growing up on the late 90s/early 00s, I had so many toys and games that kids nowadays would no doubt be bored with in seconds! One of my favourites was a little toy craze called Scoubiedou Strings, more commonly known just as Scoobies. Yep, that's right, anyone remember these bad boys? Before the recent loom band craze, there were scoobies, long plastics strings in every colour imaginable, some were glow in the dark, some were glittery, they had it all. Just like loom bands, you would spend hours painstakingly weaving them in a pattern to make braceltes and necklaces, or little plastic animals and shapes. I was so obsessed with these in the 2000s, when I was like  8-10 year old . These were such a simple toy that saw me pass literal days at a time making jewellery or charms to hang on my school bag, they were great.

Plasticine, who remembers this stuff? Not play doh, no no, this was the cheaper stuff you had one time at school and then demanded packs of for every birthday and christmas. It was the stuff that came in long, thing strips with ridges. It was a lot harder than play doh but it was so fun to make little clay animals with, especially since it dried out after 1 day and you had to buy more!

I can't be the only one who remembers Skip Ball, right? The outdoor toy where you had a ball (if you could call a hard, round ball of plastics a ball!) on the end of a stick or rope which is attached to a little hoop you stand in? I used to love these, all you did was put the hoop around your ankle, an the objective was to skip spin the ball around with your foot, and jump over it. Thought more often than not I ended up with a sore leg because I never timed my jumps right!

BopIt was a classic one, who didn't love this fun but oh so annoying electronic game when it came out? A simple concept, do what the game tells you, and pull, spins, twist, whack or bop it when prompted, getting faster each round! So why was this game so infuriating to play sometimes, there were only 5 buttons!

Sticking with a board game theme, who remembers Top Trumps? I loved these when I was younger, and I collected a huge variety of them for all types of cartoons, shows n movies. I remember for the longest time that my The Simpsons Top Trumps were my pride and joy. I played with them all the time, and even took them into school on days that we had 'golden time' or a the end o the year when all we really did was play games on the last day before the summer holidays!

When I was younger I can remember Pokemon being everywhere, and while I wasn't into the memorabilia so much as the TV show, I did collect some of the Pokemon cards, and nowadays, 22 or not, I still collected the small plushies and some phone cases with the character on them!

Does anyone remember Polly Pocket dolls? The little tiny plastic dolls with the mix and match plastic clothes to go with them? I used to have a tonne of these dolls, and just like every other kid, I would always lose the clothing for them! I also had loads of the Betty Spaghetty dolls that I loved, I used to be so obsessed with the amazingly bright coloured, spaghetti like hair that the dolls had, and the coo oufits that would come with them!

Blo Pens were one of my favourite craft items when I was young, I used to love them for the sheer novelty of having a pen that you could blow into and ink would come out. Looking back at them now they weren't exactly the most efficient of pens because they made a mess, and staying inside the lines of a colouring book was near impossible, but they were still a lot of fun!

Everyone knows the classic Etch-A-Sketch from when they were younger, and while I loved them I was always really fascinated with Magmadoodles. The little etch-a-sketch like devices that had little black magnetic particles hat followed your magnetic pen to make designs on the screen. Those were so much fun to play with, and very scientific to my little brain!

Sweets, Drinks and Snacks

There are so many sweets and snacks I had as a kid that are either overlooked nowadays or just don't exist anymore (that I know of!). Like a Dream bar! Oh my god, those were amazing. Kids and teenagers nowadays probably won't even know that Cadbury once had a white chocolate version of the iconic Dairy Milk, but they did. It was called a Dream bar and it was one of the best white chocolates I have ever had. It was creamy and smooth and pretty sweet. A little piece of my soul died when I realised they had been discontinued. RIP Dream bar.

Astra Belts, Terrific Turtles and Cola Cubes were my holy trinity of sweets when I was a kid. I loved Astra Belts and to this day I still do, lately I have been buying them a lot and they are still just as tasty as I remember. Terrific Turtles, or as I always called them for some reason, jelly frogs (I have no logic why, I thought they were frogs the first time I tried them and it stuck!) were my go to lunch time snack at high school. I used to get them from an ice cream van that pulled up outside, and even to this day I still get them sometimes! Cola Cubes are one that I used to loved getting, becasue they reminded me of Frosties (which I think have been discontinued now!) but bigger, they didn't taste like cola, just sweet and almsot cherry or fruity like, with a hard outer shell and a chewy inside!

Candy necklaces were a a classic old sweet that I used to get, and to be honest I am surprised they still make these, and that I was also always so keen to have them! These were little hard sweets strung together on a rope that you could wear on your neck on wrist, but thinking back it doesn't seem that sanitary to wear your food, especially when you're getting it covered in saliva! The taste of them wasn't all that bad, but they were pretty powdery and hard to bite! But all the same I was always keen to have one!

Paper money was a huge thing when I was younger, I have no idea why I liked it so much as trying out nowadays it is just as bland tasting as I remember. Still cute though, especially when they starter bringing out other designs!

It wouldn't be a throwback post without mentioning good old fashioned 10p (now 20p, the scandal!) crisps. My particular favourites were Johnny's Onion Rings and Space Raiders, I loved these and to this day I still regularly buy Johnny's onion rings because they are so good. Though, they don't taste to like onion to me, just cheesy! There were also Bikers which I loved, especially the spicy ones!

Speaking of crisps, we all know and love Pringles right? But who else remembers the little plastic Pringles shaped tubs they used to sell to carry your Pringles to school in? Or better yet, who remembers Pringles Minis? They were tiny little lunch box sized pack of Pringles, and it wasn't just the packs that were smaller, no no, the actual Pringles were miniature sized too! These have been discontinued now I think, which is a shame as I loved them! We also used to have prawn cocktail Wotsits and Quavers which have both been discontinued, which is another scandal because these were absolutely delicious!

I used to love fizzy sherbet sweets when I was little, like Parma Violets, Love Hearts and Refreshers, all of which you can still buy but are often underappreciated. Refreshers especially were always so underrated, because they had such a good fizzy, fruity taste, but they weren't too hard or powdery to eat!

There were also a good few kids drinks that I used to have when I was younger that I loved. One of them was called Squeeze It which I don't think they make anymore as I haven't seen them anywhere in years. I also loved the little drinks that were shaped like aliens because they were little fruit drinks that were so tasty! Sunny D and Kwenchy Kups were always my go to drinks though, both of which you can still buy!

This post has been a lot of fun for me to write, I've loved looking back on these things that were popular when I was younger, and it's given me a nice little nostalgic feeling. This post is going to be the first of 3 in this small series that I'm doing, because I have had so much writing it that I want to do two follow up posts, one looking at the TV/movies & music and one looking at technology and fashion trends!

What toys did you love as a kid? Did you have any of these ones? What were your favourite sweets and snacks as a child? Let me know in the comments!

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