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29+ Nostalgic Photos for Every 80s and 90s Kid's Inner Child


| LAST UPDATE 05/23/2023

By Malikah Mcintosh

Calling all 80s and 90s kids! Ready for a trip down memory lane? We're looking at nostalgic images that will make you wish you had a time machine ready to launch you back a few decades...

Rubik's Cube

Any 80s kid will remember this colorful puzzle toy. The Rubik's Cube is one of the best-selling toys in the world, and it always seemed so impossible to solve. We can already feel the frustration building!

Rubik's Cube Puzzle 80sRubik's Cube Puzzle 80s
u/80sNos via Reddit

The cube was invented in the 70s but didn't hit the mainstream until the 80s. Along with side ponytails and leg warmers, it seemed everyone in the 80s was carrying around and trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. What other memories from way back when are there? Let's keep scrolling to find out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figures

What do Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael have in common besides being famous painters? They are turtle brothers trained in ninjutsu and fight evil in the streets of New York City. The popular comic book series launched in the 80s and immediately became a sensation.

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
u/Omegastriver via Reddit

The Ninja Turtles were the hottest thing around. Following the popularity of the comic book series, an animated television show was made. Kids everywhere wanted to play with their favorite Ninja Turtle. We can almost hear them saying, "Cowabunga!" through the photograph.

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Disney Storybook Cassette Tapes

For every person, memories of Disney bring back their inner child, and this next photograph is no different. This one takes us right back to when geometric patterns and fingerless gloves were in style. Disney came out with paperback storybooks of their classic movies with an accompanying cassette tape.

Disney Cassette Nostalgic ThrowbackDisney Cassette Nostalgic Throwback
u/GreasyStool88 via Reddit

The storybook with the matching cassette allowed kids to read along as they listened to the tape. What a wonderful way to experience the magic of Disney and bring kids' favorite characters to life! Just remember to rewind the cassette player when you're finished.

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My Pet Monster

The true 80s kids will remember begging their parents for this toy around the holidays. My Pet Monster was a plush doll known for its blue fur, fangs, and horns. The colorful plush doll came to the market in 1986 and took the world by storm when it did.

My Pet Monster NostalgicMy Pet Monster Nostalgic
u/jlegarr via Reddit

The toy's popularity inspired a direct-to-video live-action film and an animated children's series. The toy also came with orange plastic handcuffs that kids could also use on themselves. Talk about a #TBT! They even brought a talking version of the toy back in 2001 to commemorate the totally rad original.

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Hot Wheels Deluxe Set

If there were boys in the house, the odds that you accidentally stepped on a Hot Wheels car were extremely high. The popular scale model cars have been around since the late 1960s, but the 1980s ushered in a new era of popularity for the toy cars. Just check out this Deluxe set!

Hot Wheels Deluxe ThrowbackHot Wheels Deluxe Throwback
u/ray_piss_jugs via Reddit

In the 80s, Hot Wheels started offering models based on actual sports and economy cars on the market. Kids could play with a Pontiac Fiero or a Dodge Omni 024, just like the ones their parents would have driven. Radical! For any boy in the 80s, Hot Wheels were the ultimate toy to play with.

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Television and VHS Set

Nothing screams the 1980s like the technology. This photo makes us highly nostalgic for when the television set took up half the room. Just look at this monster of a machine below! Honestly, nothing screams "80s" like a wood-paneled television set.

Television VHS Nostalgic ThrowbackTelevision VHS Nostalgic Throwback
u/OrganicBridge7428 via Reddit

Plus, the VHS set takes us back to the good old days when every movie night began with rewinding the VHS tape to the beginning and trying to close your eyes so you didn't spoil the movie. Also, peep the old-school alarm clock. We've traveled back in time with this picture.

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Scratch & Sniff Stickers

Nothing smells more like the 1980s than these scratch & sniff stickers. We can practically smell them from the photograph. There was nothing like being rewarded with a scratch & sniff for answering a question right in class or receiving an entire stack for a birthday.

Scratch Sniff Stickers NostalgicScratch Sniff Stickers Nostalgic
u/sevargmas via Reddit

There was a sticker for every scent. Some of the scents available included grape drink, bubble gum, fresh-cut grass, and dill pickles. Although, by now, these stickers wouldn't have any smell left in them, but our noses still remember! Our memories can sniff out the sweet scents and they smell gooood!

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Alien Life Form, better known as ALF, is an alien life form that crashes in the garage of the Tanners in the hit television show ALF. The series followed ALF as he lived with the suburban middle-class Tanner family. The series ran for four seasons, starting in 1986. The popular series inspired quite a following.

ALF Plush Doll 80sALF Plush Doll 80s
u/hermanjangles via Reddit

There was an animated series that aired on Saturday mornings, a comic book, and, of course, there were plenty of toys that came out. Not only could kids buy their favorite television character as a plush doll, but they could also have ALF as an action figure, on their lunchbox, and more.

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McDonald's Happy Meal Changeables

There is nothing quite like the exhilaration of opening a McDonald's Happy Meal and seeing what toy awaits. Any 80s kid will remember when the Changeables were the hot item in the bag. Inspired by Transformers, the Changeables were menu items that turned into toy robots.

McDonald's Happy Meal ToysMcDonald's Happy Meal Toys
u/Minneapolis_W via Reddit

These toys were all the rage back then and it's no surprise they came out with three versions! The third version of toys became dinosaurs, like the one pictured above. Which Changeable would you want? The Big Mac, a large fry, or an ice cream cone?

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Cabbage Patch Doll

Every kid in the 1980s wanted to adopt a Cabbage Patch Kid. The dolls were one of the hottest toys in the 90s. They set the sales record in the toy industry for three years running. They were so popular that there were actual riots between parents to get their hands on a Cabbage Patch doll over Christmas in 1983.

Cabbage Patch Doll 80sCabbage Patch Doll 80s
u/Yomommazelda via Reddit

Nearly 3 million dolls were sold in 1983. Every kid wanted one of these plastic dolls with a huge, circular head. 80s kids who are now parents can still purchase a Cabbage Patch Kid for their children today, but there is nothing like a Cabbage Patch Kid from the 1980s.

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Thriller Dance

All we need to hear is three notes from Michael Jackson's Thriller, and we are already up and dancing! The popular single was released in 1984 and quickly took over the radio waves with the funk synthesizer, creaking doors, and wolf howls. It was an iconic song on its own, but the music video took this track to the next level.

Michael Jackson Thriller DanceMichael Jackson Thriller Dance
Michael Jackson via YouTube

John Landis directed the music video, which premiered on MTV on December 2, 1983. In the video, Jackson transforms into a zombie and performs a dance routine with other undead characters. From the classic dance moves to Jackson's red jacket, everything about the Thriller dance transports us in a time machine back to the 1980s.

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Be an Interplanetary Spy Book Series

80s kids everywhere will remember these sci-fi books that took readers out of this world - literally! Be An Interplanetary Spy was a series of interactive, Choose Your Own Adventure books that took readers through intergalactic adventures. These books were filled with detailed illustrations and puzzles. 

Interplanetary Spy Book ThrowbackInterplanetary Spy Book Throwback
u/thefartsmell via Reddit

In the series, the reader is a member of the Spy Center, an organization dedicated to maintaining order in the galaxy. Each book has a mystery to uncover, and the reader is called upon to save the day. Twelve books were created in the early 1980s and they soared in popularity.

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Taco Bell Menu

Things used to be so simple. No cell phones, social media, or robots that could clean an entire room by themselves. And, before there was the Crunchwrap Supreme, there was a simple Taco Bell menu that would beckon people from all over in the 1980s.

Taco Bell Menu 80sTaco Bell Menu 80s
u/ILovePublicLibraries via Reddit

This photograph shows how straightforward the Taco Bell menu used to be, and it even includes a guide on how to pronounce each item for those unfamiliar. Can we return to the good old days of the 1980s and order a Bellburger with a soda on the side?

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Hostess Ding Dong

While many mainstays of the 1980s are available nowadays, some things are simply different about them. Take the Hostess Ding Dong as an example. The chocolate cake with the creamy-filled center has been an American staple for a sweet treat. Except, the Ding Dong snack went through a major transformation.

Hostess Ding Dong AluminumHostess Ding Dong Aluminum
u/WayneRooneysHairPlug via Reddit

Any kid attending school in the 1980s would remember when their mom would pack it in their lunch. The Ding Dong used to be wrapped in aluminum foil! That's right. The reason behind the aluminum was to keep the chocolate glaze from melting. How genius.

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EPCOT Disney Parks Commercial

If you were a kid watching TV during the 80s, you couldn't wait for the Disney EPCOT commercial to come on screen. Walt Disney conceived the idea for EPCOT as an experimental community that would combine business and urban living. His dream didn't come true until the 80s when the park opened as part of Walt Disney World.

EPCOT Commercial 80s DisneyEPCOT Commercial 80s Disney
Disney Parks via YouTube

The commercial showcased all the new attractions featured in the brand-new park. If going to Disney World wasn't already on the top of every kid's wishlist, this commercial certainly helped it get there. What about the 90s? Continue reading to see if you can recognize anything from this epic decade.

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Growing up in the 90s meant a lot of things. One of them was that you played with pogs. The small discs were decorated in vibrant colors and fly designs. Players would create a stack of caps and take turns dropping a heavier object. Then, they could keep any cap that was face-up, and any that was face-down, they had to restack.

POGS 90s Game CapsPOGS 90s Game Caps
u/sportster2017 via Reddit

The game would continue until one player with the most caps won. While the game originated in Hawaii in the 1920s, it became extremely popular in the 90s. Fun fact - the name pogs comes from the juice brand made from passionfruit, orange, and guava. What other moments from the 90s are there? Let's find out!

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Little Tykes Cozy Coupe

An American classic and a 90s staple, every kid wanted to ride in style in this toy car around the neighborhood. The Cozy Coupe was named the best-selling car in America in 1991, according to the Little Tikes website. We totally get why. What 90s kid didn't want to take a spin on this toy?

Little Tyke Car 90sLittle Tyke Car 90s
u/DaffyDuckOnLSD via Reddit

The end of the decade brought about a significant change in the toy car, making it more sturdy for kids to use. The car is still a best-seller, but there was nothing like a 90s summer, rolling up and down the driveway in this bad boy and only stopping when the ice cream truck came rolling down the street.

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Trix Yogurt

The best feeling at lunchtime was opening up your Pokémon or Disney princess-themed lunchbox and seeing that your parents packed you a Trix yogurt. The brightly-colored yogurt featured two flavors. The yogurt was a spinoff of the popular cereal Trix.

Trix Yogurt Colorful 90sTrix Yogurt Colorful 90s
u/Otherwise_Basis_6328 via Reddit

The Trix Rabbit would also try to get his hands on the yogurt. The strawberry-flavored yogurt was colored with red and green swirls, while the berry-flavored yogurt was colored with blue and purple swirls. Seeing a photo of this lunchtime treat is making us extremely nostalgic!

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*NSYNC Themed Lip Balms

It wasn't a proper sleepover without girls arguing over who was better - the Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? While we may never settle on that debate, what we can agree on is that the themed merchandise was wicked cool. For example, the Lip Rageous Lip Balm had a limited edition *NSYNC version.

NSYNC Lip Balm 90sNSYNC Lip Balm 90s
u/MoshiRae via Reddit

Lip balms and glosses were all the rage. Obviously, 90s girls everywhere tried to collect all the different flavors of *NSYNC lip balm available. The flavors included raspberry, green apple, strawberry, and watermelon. Each lip balm featured a different member. These lip balms were off the hook!

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Sega Genesis

Who else specifically would go to one friend's house because they had the Sega Genesis? We're sure a bunch of us did! This photo makes us #nostalgic for the 90s. The Sega Genesis was the ultimate gaming system back then, and everyone wanted one in their family room.

Sega Genesis Christmas 90sSega Genesis Christmas 90s
u/Tupile via Reddit

From Sonic the Hedgehog to Disney's Aladdin to Joe Montana Football, the Sega Genesis came with dozens of options for video games. Within a year of its release, it became the best-selling machine in the US. The Sega Genesis gaming console changed the video game.

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Pokémon Cards

Was it really recess without kids trading Pokémon cards? We don't think so. The popular Japanese franchise came to the States and exploded in popularity. The trading card game was a strategy-based game where two players would battle each other using the cards they had in their possession.

Pokemon Cards Trading 90sPokemon Cards Trading 90s
u/basic884 via Reddit

Since the 90s, the franchise has spawned video games, an animated series, a live-action film, and much more. From Pikachu to Charizard, there are over a thousand different species of Pokémon. There's only one thing left to do - try and catch them all!

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This next toy will make you want to take a time machine back to the late 90s. The handheld toy was one of the biggest fads of the decade. Everyone seemed to have the virtual pet toy on their keychain. 90s kids everywhere would take care of their Tamagotchi pets.

Tamagotchi Toy 90s KidTamagotchi Toy 90s Kid
u/Sargent4200 via Reddit

Tamagotchis went through life cycles, and the users would have to monitor the Hunger, Happy, and Training meters to keep their pets healthy and alive. Fun fact: Tamagotchi came from combining the Japanese words of egg and watch, which literally translates to Egg Watch in English.

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Polly Pockets

Another toy craze was Polly Pockets. Every 90s girl remembers trying to collect as many Polly Pocket dollhouses as possible. Each playset unfolded to reveal different scenes and came with tiny, matching dolls. Plus, they were small enough that they could be transported everywhere, like in a pocket!

Polly Pocket Dolls 90sPolly Pocket Dolls 90s
u/MegAKH via Reddit

Some of the memorable sets from the 90s include Polly's School, Polly's Beach Party, Polly's Cafe, and Polly's Town House. Some playsets also transported girls to different worlds, like the Starlight Castle or the Fairylight Wonderland. There were also themed sets with Disney princesses like Snow White and Belle.

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Blockbuster Membership Card

Blockbuster Video was the place to be in the 1990s. The home video rental store had hundreds of options to choose from. Customers could rent DVDs for a week for a relatively low cost. For those who were really loyal to the biz, they had the membership card!

Blockbuster Video Membership CardBlockbuster Video Membership Card
u/Missyfit160 via Reddit

Who didn't spend their weekend searching for movies to rent from Blockbuster Video? The retail chain eventually went bankrupt, and stores everywhere shut down. The last Blockbuster store, located in Oregon, is now a tourist destination for all those 90s kids reminiscing about the good times they had at the iconic store.

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The "Rachel" Haircut

Jennifer Aniston wowed audiences across America when she literally burst through the doors of Central Perk in a wedding gown during the pilot episode of Friends. Everyone wanted to look like Rachel, aka Jen Aniston's character, and women across America went into beauty salons asking for "The Rachel."

Jennifer Aniston Rachel haircutJennifer Aniston Rachel haircut
TBS via YouTube

Hairstylist Chris McMillan created the original haircut. It is known for its distinctive layers that frame the face while also turning outward. It is usually kept around shoulder length and is quite voluminous. Nothing screams the 90s like a plaid flannel shirt, capri pants, and a "Rachel" haircut.

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McDonald's Gift Certificates

Another core memory of many 90s kids is trips to McDonald's. From the seats that looked like hamburgers to the benches featuring a statue of Ronald McDonald, there is a lot that has changed over the years at the fast food chain. We didn't even mention the epic playlands that many of the restaurants had!

McDonalds Gift Certificates VintageMcDonalds Gift Certificates Vintage
u/captain_vee via Reddit

This photo takes us back to a simpler time. When your birthday or the holidays rolled around, you'd be so excited to see what gifts you would get. There was always bound to be a relative or two that would hand over one of these bad boys - the famous McDonald's gift certificate.

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Goosebumps Book Series

Author R.L. Stine sent shivers down the spines of many 90s teens as they read from his famous series, Goosebumps. Each book featured a different set of characters in a variety of situations. In every book, the protagonists find themselves in scary situations involving the supernatural, paranormal, or occult.

Goosebumps Books Series 90sGoosebumps Books Series 90s
@flyinalienqueen via Twitter

From 1992 to 1997, Stine published 62 books under the Goosebumps umbrella. Since its initial release, the series has inspired a television show, a feature film series, comics, and video games. Goosebumps has become a literary staple and has been translated into 35 languages. Pick up a book if you dare!

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The objective of Pac-Man is simple. The player controls the yellow Pac-Man, who must eat all the dots inside the maze without being touched by one of the four ghosts. However, as many have learned over the years, it is not as simple as that! Most 90s kids will remember wasting quarters trying to defeat the game at the arcade.

Pac Man Handheld GamePac Man Handheld Game
@kingdomofcarts via Twitter

However, those lucky enough to own the Pac-Man handheld game didn't have to waste any of their spare change running away from the ghosts. The handheld was released in 1992 and was an instant hit due to Pac-Man's international fame and success. Maybe one day we'll finally beat the first level!

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Mood Rings

Did you ever want to know what kind of mood you were in just by looking down at your finger? Every 90s kid remembers wearing a mood ring back in the day. The rings were supposed to change color based on the wearer's mood. Totally ace, right? Your outfit wasn't complete in the 1990s without a mood ring, a choker, and a butterfly clip.

Mood Rings 90s KidMood Rings 90s Kid
@frowzled via Twitter

Everyone was disappointed to eventually find out that the rings changed color based on one's body temperature. While the mood may have had an impact on that, we're not quite sure it's the same thing. Either way, this photograph takes us back on the nostalgia road.

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Despite being released in the late 90s, Furby still managed to define the era. The Furby was a mix between a hamster and an owllike creature, and it was electronic. One of the most enticing factors about the Furby was that it would speak Furbish but would begin using English words and phrases over time.

Furby Toy 90s ThrowbackFurby Toy 90s Throwback
u/laurel-bee via Reddit

No wonder it was a must-have toy for many years! In its first year on the market, 1.8 million Furbies were sold. Additionally, the Furby could close its eyes and mouth, raise its ears, and lift itself off the ground. This furry robotic toy was a signature of the 1990s. Here's to the good old days!

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