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The 10 Most Popular Toys of the Last 25 Years

For many children in the western world, the magic of a birthday, Christmas or even Easter means the possibility of a host of new toys and games, a sense of competition over who got the latest and grea

For many children in the western world, the magic of a birthday, Christmas or even Easter means the possibility of a host of new toys and games, a sense of competition over who got the latest and greatest novelty, and the promise of time off school. For every adult, it means stress for precisely the same reasons. The latest craze in 2014 is landing an elusive piece of Disney's Frozen merchandise, with some 'Elsa' dolls going for $1000 on Ebay and frustrated parents furious at Disney's 'mismanagement' of the demand for Frozen merch. Behind all this, of course, is skillful marketing and big business. The age old favourites like Barbie and Monopoly remain year-round strong sellers, but it is the seasonal - and particularly Christmas - must-haves that really stick with us and capture our imagination.

In a nostalgic look at toys past, the folks at Fast Company took a look at the best sellers each Christmas from the past 50 years. In 1963, it was the Easy Bake Oven, 1976 Connect 4 and in 1980 the mind-bending Rubik’s Cube. We've condensed this list down a tad, beginning in 1989 and looking at the most memorable toys of the past 25 years, each of which were huge bestsellers monopolising the Christmas market the year they were released. Some will inspire nostalgia, others plain confusion, but the list highlights the difference between a flash-in-the-pan trend and brands they have the longevity to stick around. From toys to technology, here then are the most popular toys of the past 25 years.

10 Game Boy: 1989

9 Super Nintendo: 1991

8 Tickle me Elmo: 1996

7 Tamagotchi: 1997

6 Furbies: 1998

5 Pokemon: 1999

4 Pogo Sticks: 2001

3 Playstation 3: 2006

2 The iPod Touch: 2007

1 The iPad: 2010

Evidence that toys are no longer what they once were: in 2010 and still today, everyone from toddlers to CEOs are in need of their trusty iPad. When the product launched in April 2010 it was presented as the portable face of the future. With the explosion of the smartphone market, tablet devices are just one prong of the lucrative mobile market, but iPad was the first to introduce the 'tablet' to the general public. Crucially, the device was significantly cheaper than Apple’s other online products. The plethora of apps - for business, pleasure, gaming and learning - meant that there was something for everyone in the family with this gift. The iPod has of course since been challenged by the broader range of Android tablet devices, but in terms of brand identity, iPad for many is the name synonymous with the tablet device.

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The 10 Most Popular Toys of the Last 25 Years