Ah, it seems almost yesterday I was watching Eureeka’s Castle on a Monday morning, munching on a Wildberry poptart, and getting ready for school. Hard to believe its been more like 8 years. In all the short 14 years of my life, I’ve learned a lot. But, if there’s one thing that I will never forget, its going to be the 90s.
The 90s, a fashion disaster, the end of the Soviets, Windows 95, Clinton, Seinfeld, boy bands, AIDS, OJ Simpson, The Simpsons, “Extreme”. All in all, the 90s pretty much sucked.
Unless you were a kid.
If you were a kid, the 90s meant Rugrats, cereal and poptarts in the morning, Rocket Power, X-Men, Legends of the Hidden Temple, kickball, Pogs, Pokemon, wrestling, Sega Genesis, Playstation and N64, boy bands, girl bands, Doug, Hey Arnold, as well as tons and tons of other stuff impossible to fit into any one article.
Let’s try and review the aforementioned.
The Rugrats. You know em. You love em, every one from nose pickin’ Phil to mean and bossy Angelica. I used to watch this show EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in my basement. It pretty much marked the end of my day, as bedtime soon followed. This was probably the single best show in the history of kids’ cartoons. Those babies got into more adventurous situations than much of the programming that was on at the time. I used to admire Tommy’s bravery immensely, and I even recall thinking at one time “I want to be like Tommy when I grow up.”
“All Grown Up” was pretty much a steaming heap of worthless crap.
Ah, breakfast in the 90s. My favorite was a tie between WildBerry Poptarts and French Toast Crunch. The WildBerry Poptarts had pretty colors that held my attention, but French Toast Crunch was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, to my knowledge both have been discontinued.
ROCKET POWER COUNTS! IT DEBUTED IN ’99! MUHAHAHAHAH.
I remember when Rocket Power first came out. There had been a ton of hype about it on Nick, and I was desperate to see it the night it came out. But, my mom decided she needed my help picking something or other out, and so I had to go with her. I was busting as we were in the store. Finally we went back to the car and I checked the clock on the radio: 7:49 PM. Only 11 minutes till Rocket Power came on! Well, long story short I made it home in time and have since seen every episode of Rocket Power and still enjoy it immeasurably.
One of the first super heroes I was ever introduced to was Wolverine, and I immediately realized my love of the X-Men and the entire world that was Marvel. Then, one day, I was just getting home from kindergarten, when BAM, right there on the silver screen, my first hero, Wolverine was leaping into action. Hence was my entrance into the X-Men animated series. While I may have entered way late into the series, I still managed to see every episode through reruns and friends with DVDs. I think it still runs reruns on the Toon Disney channel.
Legends of the Hidden Temple was the single coolest game show in history (albeit also the most educational). The sets were amazing, the games were intense, and every temple run was a nail biter, often coming down to the last second. Oh, and Olmec was pretty cool too. Those kids were so darn lucky.
Ok, moving away from the TV for a bit, let’s talk about the good old days of playing outside. I don’t even think kids play things like tag or kickball anymore. I remember a few novelty games from my neighborhood, like Hide and Seek in the Dark (played in a pitch black basement, and enough to scare the pants off everyone. We also played Freedom, but that’s pretty common today in things like school playgrounds and the like, and we played TV Tag, freeze tag, regular tag, kickball, baseball, Nukem, and even the occasional Capture the Flag. Those were the days.
The 90s were the victims of many a fad, but some actually were worth buying into, including, but not limited to Pogs and Pokemon. Ok ,first of all, Pogs. I actually only vaguely remember these, but my mom claims I had a tower about a foot tall stacked with pogs, and I would collect them like a squirrel collecting acorns. I remember liking the designs on them, and one really sticks out in my mind. It was a flaming skull. That’s pretty much all I can remember about them, but Pokemon, ohoho, do I remember Pokemon. They were the rock of all second grade discussions.
“I have a holo Charizard!”
“Pfft, big deal. I have two of them. Guess what?”
“I have a first edition holo Mew.”
“Dude, you’re such a liar.”
Ahhh, those were the days. I still have the majority of my Pokemon cards, but my battle cards were lost a few years ago and I have never seen them since.
I was never a huge fan of wrestling, probably because I wasn’t allowed to watch it, but a bunch of my friends were huge fans, so I was exposed to it a bit. My favorite wrestler was Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he was really the only one I knew much about. I know that wrestling was huge in the 90s, though.
Ah, the good old Sega Genesis. This console saw the debut of a certain blue hedgehog we hold close to our hearts to this day (even if his past 10 games have sucked ridiculously), and it was the only console of the era to compete with the megalith of the home console industries: the NES. The Genesis far surpassed it in sound and graphics, but struggled with a small library of good games, against the NES’ already amazing library. My favorite games? The original Sonic and Afterburner.
As the sales of the SNES and Genesis began to decline, the Gaming industry saw 2 new faces enter the console wars: Nintendo’s new and improved 3D console, the N64, and media megalith Sony’s new console, the Playstation. Both had their pros and cons. I got a PS the Christmas it came out, and all I remember is experiencing Crash Bandicoot in 3D. I was blown away. My best friend had an N64, so we used to play all of 3 games every day. They were Perfect Dark, 007: Goldeneye, and Mario Party. Ahh, good times.
Boy bands and girl bands. How naive I was. To this day, I regret ever forcing my ears to listen to the Backstreet Boys, ‘N SYNC, 98º, and even the Spice Girls. I shouldn’t even go here, but I will.
I used to sing “Bye, Bye, Bye” with my friends, a capella. Yep.
Doug was the first preteen oriented cartoon I ever saw, and as a young boy, it was a way for me to learn about life. I gained many lessons from Doug, everything from not being ashamed of your body to the responsibilities I’d face as I grew up. I liked this show a lot. Plus, Porkchop was supa cool!
Last, but not least, Hey Arnold. This spunky little kid taught me the values of being an honest person, rising above peer pressure, and that even kids with funny lookin heads could be cool. The cast of this show was culturally diverse and dared to go places other kids’ shows didn’t, including education about different religions. Unfortunately, the movie was awful.
Well, that concludes this article. Thanks for reading!
Did I miss something you would like to see in future articles? Leave a comment!