For this post, I thought I would do something a bit different than I’ve done before. My husband saw a post on his Facebook earlier today with pages from an Argos catalogue from the 1990’s.
We had a look and recalled a number of items we had ourselves from the catalogue. And this began me on a trip down memory lane.
Now I think it’s safe to say I am a bit older (though hopefully not by much) than the average blogger. I was born in 1984, the year Torville &Dean won Gold at the Winter Olympics, GCSE exams where first introduced and Band Aid first release ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. Some 33 years ago. Since then modern life has become tech-ier and more digitalised then ever.
With this in mind I thought I would share the toys, gadgets, fashions and music and TV programmes that I loved throughout my childhood. Sometimes simpler is better…
Growing up with divorced parents meant money was not free flowing. And as any child does they compare themselves to their peers and feel like their friends always have everything bigger and better. I know I put myself in that camp.
But looking back now as an adult I can see that I did indeed have plenty of toys. Surprisingly a lot. From Fisher Price to Sylvanians to Barbies.
Here are some of my favourites;
Little Miss Makeup- circa 1988
Nowadays this is something I would probably rant is not appropriate for young girls to play with. Putting make up on dolls perhaps not setting the right image for children of approx 5-6 years old. But saying that I loved this doll and in fact I still have it.
I was more fascinated by the fact her make up ‘magically’ appeared and disappeared with the swipe of a wet cloth. I thought she was pretty but it didn’t once make me rush for my mums make up to replicate the look. I was simply a toy to play with and that I did!
Shufflies- circa 1985
A bit more of a random toy, but it has to be one of my most favourite toys I had as a child. This was by the toy brand Matchbox and featured different fairy tale characters, each with ball bearings on the bottom of each character, which helped them shuffle along the path of the castle. I can remember looking at the characters in the now defunct Woolworths and hoping some how my sister who was with me at the time would buy one for me.
Such a simple concept but it was totally besotted by this toy. I would spend hours making the characters shuffle around the castle. And I think if I had it again, I would still play with it!
Barbie and Sindy- circa 1992
In my memory Barbie and Sindy were sworn enemies. Least from the manufacturers anyway. I feel Barbie quite often came out on top, sales wise if anything but I loved both. The two I remember having and playing with vividly are the Hollywood Hair Barbie and Sindy Party Lights.
Hollywood Hair Barbie was cool. All the glam of the city of dreams and with the spray in hair stencils (why is this not a thing now?!). I loved her gold outfit, esp the gold cowboy boots. And I loved that you could spray in pink colours onto her hair.
Sindy Party Lights had fibre optic strands in her hair that lit up. I do recall shortly after it was given to me, I was sitting in a car and I was playing with the gold plastic bow on her head. This happened to be where the fibre optics came out from and a little bit too forceful pulling and playing, the gold bow broke and hence her hair no longer lit up. Fair to say I was disappointed.
I did play with my dolls up until the age of about 11 years old. Which I think is a bit old, but I loved them. I lived in a little bubble of toys and didn’t want to let that go!
There was also a number of Fisher Price toys;
And games consoles; like the Sega Master Systems II and Super Nintendo. My love was Zelda on the the Super Nintendo. I played this so much. I still think it is the best version of Zelda.
Simple game play but so engrossing. I once lost a save spot and had to start again- agh!
Fashion was minefield for me growing up. It was mostly miss and no hit! And the 1990’s did indeed throw up some interesting trends. Who remembers Tammy Girl, Kookai, Morgan, Bay Trading, C & A, MKOne, Madhouse and Pilot?
Here are some the looks I tried to rock in my early to mid teens:
Chokers and anything with the Ying Yang symbol
I have recently purchased a choker from Primark, more than 20 years after I first wore them. I had the above choker, I think most girls did at the time. And whilst I didn’t have the earrings I did have a Ying Yang necklace. I find it funny that all the stuff I wore when I was a teenager, teenagers now are wearing. Guess what happens when you get older!
Combats ala All Saints
I was a Spice Girls Fan, and as such I thought myself to be Mel C’s twin, complete with Adiddas popper trousers (the ones with the popper fastenings along the outside leg). But when All Saints came onto the scene, I was all low slung combats, trainers and vest tops.
Trousers dragging on the ground- even better!
Slip Dresses and T-Shirts
I must of been about 12 years old when I first wore a slip dress with a t-shirt. It was all the rage and I had a dress similar to the one above, which came with a white t-shirt.
It’s actually a cute look, that I’m tempted to try myself now in my 30’s. Didn’t think I’d be doing that!
Trouser Skirt hybrid
I don’t recall the name of these, was it Skiser or Trosirt? Who knows, but what I do know is that I’m glad these never caught on. They were a short lived trend if I recall correctly but I did have a pair from Tammy Girl. They were dark grey and in a jersey material.
I do remember a little while after having them, I was questioning them as I didn’t see anyone else wearing them. And maybe they were onto something!
And let’s not forget; hair mascara, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation, hair mousse and hair spray, The Body Shop lip balms and mini butterfly hair clips.
All were beauty essentials that got me through the 90’s.
TV and Music
What would be the 90’s without the classic pop band? Spice Girls, Take That, Backstreet Boys, Steps to name just a few of the many many pop bands in the charts throughout the 90’s.
As mentioned previously one of my favs was the Spice Girls. I was a die hard fan, without seeing them in concert (too young and tickets to expensive). But I had the books, albums, posters, even the Impulse body spray and Chuba Chups lolly pops.
Another group I spent a lot of time obsessed with was 911. For them I did see them in concert (and did actually meet them in Butlins where they were performing some years later) and I had my bedroom covered in posters and images from magazines (yes Smash Hits and TV Hits). Three northern guys singing pop songs to make us hormanal teen girls swoon. Promoted as clean cut (which appealed to me and my innocence), they were my idols. In my fantasy world I created with my two best friends I had married one of them (Lee) and my other friend had married Spike. Whilst in our make believe world my other friend had married Nick from Backstreet Boys.
Now older and wiser I can see they were a record companies wet dream, make ’em cute and fluffy and the girls will flock. And buy did we! I still get ribbed by my sister for running up a phone bill to their phone line (pre-internet days).
Pre-pop bands I went through a phase of liking Blur (they had catchy lyrics- Parklife and Country House) and before that it was Madness. Again I liked the lyrics (Driving in my car, Our House, Baggy Trousers).
I’m pleased to say I’ve grown out of my pop bands (they actually irritate me now as I can see how much of a commodity and disposable they are for the record companies. One in, one out policy it seems). Listening to chart music today makes me want to switch it off. I am officially old!
As for TV programme, being a child I loved all the early morning cartoons, from Poddington Peas, Thunder Cats, Willow of the Wisp, Biker Mice from Mars, Sharkey and George, David the Gnome, Count Duckula, Super Ted, I could go on!
I also love Saturday morning TV. Going Live with Gordon the Gopher and Philip Schofield. Then wen that went off air, Live and Kicking. That was excellent. I loved the pop bands being on there, along with the phone in games, Rugrats and the Raccoons cartoons and Otis the Aardvark.
It’s competitor SM:TV was also cult viewing. I loved the chemistry between Ant, Dec and Cat. Wonky Donkey was always funny as was their Friends rip off, Chums.
I was lucky enough to go to the filming of one of the CD:UK shows, which followed afterwards. It was circa Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers. I was in the audience with Mel C standing next to me!
Other TV programmes I loved where the CBBC shows, like the Demon Head Master, The Queens Nose and Going Round the Twist.
And two of my fav 90’s programmes were The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Saved By The Bell. Two classic American sit coms. Full of laughs and drama in equal measures. TV gold that can’t be replaced.
That was just a brief trip down memory lane, but I hope you enjoyed it. It certainly brought back some much loved memories. I’d love to know what you loved from you’re child hood if this gets you in the nostalgic mood.
Thanks for reading,
Love and hugs,
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