The following is a guest post on behalf of K&Co:
26. Top Christmas gifts – a retrospective
Every year brings with it one cult Christmas gift that everybody is after. It’s the one thing that’s guaranteed to please your kids on Christmas Day – and quite likely, more than a few adults of your acquaintance too.
Most people can remember at least one occasion of rising early on a dark and cold December day in order to be first in line to pick up that year’s top Christmas toy – or, indeed, hours trawling the shops in the hope of finding a sold-out gadget.
These Christmas gifts range from the expensive and sophisticated – the iPad was the top gift of both 2010 and 2011 – to the simple; one of the top toys of the 1990s was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure. Here are a few other memorable Christmas gift sensations from over the years:
Most iconic – Rubik’s Cube (1982)
Three decades ago, Ernő Rubik’s ubiquitous and instantly recognisable puzzle was the must-have gift of the season. This deceptively complicated toy has been responsible for many hushed Christmas Day afternoons and probably more than a few tantrums over the years. The cube also belongs in the ‘most frustrating’ category of gift.
Most irritating – Furby (1998)
Sure to make a comeback this Christmas, this strange owl/hamster creature was innovative due to its ability to interact with its owner. The more it was played with, the larger its vocabulary grew and the more nuanced its personality became. With its high-pitched voice and incessant chatter, the Furby seems destined to be locked away in cupboards for many generations to come.
Most unimpressive – POGs (1993)
Parents the world over were baffled by the brief craze for POGs. These were expensive, collectible circles of cards and tokens which were intended for a game that few kids ever got around to playing.
Most elusive – Buzz Lightyear (1996)
Possibly the most popular of the bunch, the Buzz Lightyear action figure stepped out of the first Toy Story film and onto retailers’ shelves, to be snapped up – ironically enough – at the speed of light. The scramble for this Christmas gift was so furious that it went on to inspire Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comedy movie Jingle All the Way.