You probably never participated in these fads, but instead witnessed them as they washed the nation in a surge of teenage angst and desperation to have the latest “it” item or participate in the latest “cool” thing. Let a wave of nostalgia wash over you as you read our list of these unforgettable fads.
(Featured image: Another fad, Unicorning at knowyourmeme.com)
#1 – Crocs
(Photo: Natural Rezources)
Bursting onto the 2000s scene in a burst of neon colours and inspiring an avalanche of fakes, crocs were all the rage. Strange though… they were so ugly! Each boat-like, float-able rubber slipper was like a clog gone wrong. Yet you spotted them on kids and adults alike, or… perhaps you participated in the craze too? What was the appeal though? Perhaps it was their ability to dry immediately after a rainstorm, or how light they were to wear to the mama shop downstairs. But they certainly were an eyesore. Those that offended the most? Folks wearing crocs… with socks.
2010s version: Havaianas
You probably own a pair of similar slippers at home. But these brand has swept everyone off the ground (literally) with their simple colours, lightweight features and waterproof features too. Just like a croc without the ugly.
#2 – Beyblades
Stemmed from same-name Japanese animation Beyblade, these were the pocket accessory of every kid in every heartland. You’d find groups of kids huddled over plastic, concave domes “battling” these spinning tops. With a distinct shriek, players would release the tops and bounce it off any flat surface. We’re sure your floors are scarred with the pointed ends of your children’s Beyblades. Just to share a little background about the toy: the Japanese animation the idea stemmed from shared that the simple toy was imbued with the spirit of some mystical monsters that gave it powers and strengths to affect the stats of the Beyblade. Yes, we’re equally appalled.
2010s version: Kendama
Rather than a zipping sound of a Beyblade sprung from its pulley, your home, and schools, are filled with the sound of wood against wood as kids attempt to master the Kendama. This Japanese traditional toy is currently making its mark, so if you want to get your child a present, this is it.
#3 – Heelys
(Photo: Heelys Canada)
A hybrid between a shoe and a roller-skate, these were the ultimate treasure of many kids in the 2000s. “Why walk when you can skate? Right?” A tiny hidden wheel in the heel of the shoe – hence the name Heelys – could be sprung out and used to skate short distances on your heels. They were truly annoying! Kids would zip around, sometimes crashing into adults, sometimes simply to show off. Aren’t you glad that fad has been locked away with kids on wheels confined to the great outdoors?
2010s version: Hoverboards
It’s strange how teens manage to master this wheeled contraption so quickly. We ourselves are a little averse to jumping onto an unstable board balanced between two wheels. Quicker than Heelys, but definitely more dangerous, this is also another “it” present to impress the kids but risk a household hazard as he or she zips around on it.
#4 – Rubber bands for a cause
You would have spotted these on the arms of many a teenager or tween. These started as simple Live Strong bands, thick rubber bands, wrist bands, worn as bracelets to support the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong campaign. The fight against cancer campaign might have been the noble reason to purchase the bands, but the bragging opportunities were definitely the reason behind this silly fashion trend. Soon other causes began to follow suit, and plenty of folks walked around with a multitude of colourful bands supporting everything from “peace” to “smile” and even phrases that made no grammatical sense – thanks knock off brands! What happened to them now? Those made of cheaper materials became oily and sticky, especially when left under the sun, the rest collect dust… contributing to an even more important cause – environment problems. Hard to find recycling options for pointless fad bands!
2010s version: Pandora
Definitely more expensive than the livestrong bands, but also very much prettier. These bands come with a range of beautiful beads that can be purchased individually and added to the charm bracelet.
#5 – High School Musical
(Photo: High School Musical, Disney)
Television, shopping centres and even NTUC. The Disney “it” couple, Troy and Gabriella of East High School invaded ever household around the world that had Disney Channel on it. The Romeo and Juliet style story between the captain of a Basketball team and a “geek” that resulted in a “be true to yourself” theme had teenagers joining in chorus along to the dulcet tones of the musical couple. Catchy, sugar-pop musical songs ruled the airwaves, and their near-perfect real-life romance had tween and teen girls swooning. There’s no denying the entertainment value of the preppy musicals, but they definitely made life just a little more frustrating with the red pep!
2010s version: Frozen
Overplayed songs, Disney and an annoyingly chirpy songstress? Check, check and check! Frozen marks all the boxes. Blue and sliver has become the theme of little girls all around.
#6 – Skate Scooters
The number of accidents these metal contraptions have caused are too numerous to count. It might have been used by you, but was a little too rickety to enjoy zipping to work on for long. A little skate board with a waist-high lightweight handle attached brought forth a new sport and along with it new injuries. The swivel mechanism of the foldable scooter ensure that the hard, metal base swung to hit sharply against your shin every time you snapped the handle into place. Wheelie tricks and spins on this new sports contraption was guaranteed to cause minor accidents and mishaps. Even then, it was all the rage, with cheap knock offs hitting the market too. To use, you had to bend a little to grasp the handles while kicking off with just one foot on the base. That meant only a short distance travelled before having to kick off again. Fun? Maybe. Troublesome? Definitely.
2010s version: Electric skate scooters
We’re going to admit, these, we love. Larger than the original skate scooters, they can be charged at a wall point and used to zip around town. There’s the added bonus of not having to kick off multiple times. These are truly an improvement to the original, a perfect tool for environmentally-friendly short-distance travelling.
#7 – Neopets
Trending way back in the late 90s, it continued on into the early 2000s, its simple point-and-click style games a hit among kids. The flash games were simple, and motivation to play more was strong cause you were rewarded with coins that helped you buy food for your Neopet. The adorable fuzzies, from the Wockies to the unicorn-like Unis were the favourites of many kids, and they became a companion to you as you perused the Neopets world. The huge map of Neopia that consisted Faerieland, Kreludor, The Lost Desert, Neopia Central and more, with plenty of games and quests to hold your attention for hours on end. Many folks started their own shops too, selling to the community key items. So vast and diverse the Neopia world, it was probably a tween’s first venture into real world economics. (You learned Supply and Demand from working at your shop selling rare items.) If your child’s an entrepreneur now, you probably have Neopets to thank for.
2010s version: Pokemon Go
Like Neopets, it has plenty of adorable characters and has spun out many entrepreneurial characters. On the Pokemon Go Facebook group, members of the public have thrown out special merchandise and services for potential Pokemon Go players ahead of the launch, and they’re getting responses! Many have collected pre-orders for badges, pins and other merchandise.
Check out our earlier article: The Newbie Parental Guide to Pokémon Go