Most popular toy fads of all time

The crazes of today and yesterday. Loom bands are still popular while Tamagotchi pets were in during the early 2000s.
The crazes of today and yesterday. Loom bands are still popular while Tamagotchi pets were in during the early 2000s. 

Loom bands are the latest must-have craze for kids.

The tiny coloured rubber bands can be looped together to create a bracelet, and kids can also attach charms to spruce up their creations.

The bands are so popular they have been popping up in some odd places - in July one of Hamilton Zoo's meerkats passed what looked like a bracelet in its droppings. Zoo curator Sam Kudeweh suspected a child had dropped their prized possession into the enclosure accidentally.

Controversy has also been looming overseas - in the UK, the charms caused a contamination scare and have been removed from shelves.

All of this got us thinking, what other popular toys have been the cause of obsession?

Hula hoops

Who thought a large plastic hoop could be so popular? Trying to spin a hula hoop around your waist made you look stupid at first but was very satisfying once you got the hang of it. Hula hoops have become a common installment during school physical education classes. Move those hips!


Hugely popular hi-tech spinning tops of the 2000s. These things didn't just look pretty when they were spinning, they were little weapons of mass destruction. Beyblades fought each other in mini-arenas and you were the winner if your customised spinning top wrecked your opponent's, smashing it out of the ring.



Big, small, see-through, multicoloured glass balls. Marble games have been popular as long as most of us can remember. A game of marbles could literally drive a child, well, marbles. Especially when their smaller marble was knocked out of the circle by an older sibling's larger marble.

Tech decks

Kids would bring these mini-skateboards, which were no longer than your index finger, to school and perform grinds and jumps on anything close by. This would usually be their desk, which would drive any teacher nuts. Tech decks were damn hard to get the hang of but seriously good fun if you managed it.

Devil sticks

Perhaps the most underrated classic toy on this list. The idea was basically to juggle one wooden stick using two other wooden sticks. Some people would probably look at these and wonder what the heck they were. Turns out they were pretty cool and massively popular. Search "devil sticks tricks" on YouTube and you'll know what I mean.


A great wet-weather game. The concept is easy, remove the bricks and stack them on top. You always get people playing with different mentalities. You get players who make safe moves and keep the tower steady. Then you get the aggressors - those who make risky moves and generally tick everyone else off.

Chatter rings

Parents cover your ears! Who thought a metal ring with beads on it could be so much fun? Kids apparently. The idea was to get the beads and the ring spinning at the same time and see how long you could keep it going. Simple but addictive.


A Tamagotchi gave you a digital pet to keep in your pocket. You could make your pet go to sleep and even feed it. These were seriously popular in the early 2000s. It wasn't uncommon to hear a digital cat meow in the classroom during the craze's peak. Unfortunately, this meant the toys were often banned from classrooms. Mothers and fathers would then be forced to look after, feed and clean up after their child's pet during school hours. Yay!

Little Shop

New World's mini food items sit just behind loom bands when it comes to current crazes. Fun for kids but an absolute nightmare for parents. Is it a coincidence that when you google "little shop of horrors" an advertisement for these toys comes up? Unlikely!


An absolute classic. These have been around for yonks and remain much loved. Originally actual bones, knucklebones are now mostly made out of metal. These were so addictive kids would fight through the pain of having metal pieces hit the back of their hand if it meant showing off their tricks.