fads from back in the day
Jamie
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This list contains games that are based on fads and obsessions that I've gone through. Basically, I got wildly interested in a certain kind of toy or subject, blew a lot of money on merchandise, and then lost interest a while later. Feel free to add to the list.
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1. Board Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pizza Power Game [Average Rating:4.74 Overall Rank:15080]
Jamie
United States
California
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I'm sure I've mentioned the turtles before in a list, but this was the first major fad that people of my generation experienced. Hell, this was probably the defining moment for the majority of kids my age. We're friggin' Generation T. Anyways, the show existed to sell toys, and man did I have a lot of turtles. I even had the stupid ones that came out later that had nothing to do with the show in any way. Raphael, dressed as an astronaut! Limited Edition Olympic Weightlifter Donatello! Quarterback Leonardo. Yeah...
 
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2. Board Game: Jurassic Park Game [Average Rating:5.01 Overall Rank:14824]
Jamie
United States
California
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Jurassic Park came out in theatres when I was in third grade, and man, it was awesome. I actually didn't manage to stay for the whole movie the first time I went (that T-Rex scared the hell out of me and my dad had to drag me out from under the seat). I read the book soon after and enjoyed it. Anyways, it spawned a whole host of action figures of both the dinosaurs (the dilophosaurus was my fave) as well as the heroes, like Grant and Sattler. This toy fad didn't last nearly as long as the ninja turtles, but I still have the Jurassic Compound with real talking computer and dino damage up in my closet. Never know when I'll need that thing.
 
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3. Board Game: POG The Game [Average Rating:4.15 Overall Rank:14868]
Jamie
United States
California
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Seriously, now, does anyone actually remember POGs besides me? This was probably the lamest fad ever. The page says it lasted for years, but I swear, it lasted no more than three weeks before everyone realized that they were spending money on cheap cardboard disks and gave it up. I can't believe I actually bought some POGs and some slammers. I still have them, by the way, just in case they ever come back.
 
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4. Board Game: LEGO Wars [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Jamie
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California
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I dunno if LEGOs can be called a fad, really, since they've been around forever and don't look to be going anywhere, but I was into them for a while and eventually got bored when the new systems that came out seemed to lack the interesting designs of the older ones. I pretty much ended up dumping all my legos in one big box and build whatever I want, now, instead of following the design blueprints they provided with the lego systems. This game actually looks really awesome and reminds me of a dungeon crawler board game me and some friends built back in sixth grade using lego parts, but alas, the friend who kept it moved.
 
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5. Board Game: Star Wars: Death Star [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Jamie
United States
California
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I got into star wars in a big way when I was in middle school. I still have a shelf full of books and several board games to show for this obsession as well as a bunch of action fleet spaceship toys. Oh, and I still have a cheap plastic Boba Fett helmet lurking under my bed.
 
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6. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Jamie
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California
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Man, I blew a lot of money on this one in eighth grade. Everyone in my clique was playing, so of course I had to get involved. I think it was the artwork that drew me in big time, and before I knew it I was building a deck. My one problem with this game was that it seemed like being good was synonimous with "has a mom willing to buy you a lot of cards." I can literally remember the day that my group of friends lost interest in this game, for it happened to be the same day that I came to school with what I felt was actually a decent deck. "Dude, where have you been? We're playing StarCraft now."
 
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7. Board Game: Nerf Swish Shot Basketball [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Jamie
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California
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Nerf dartguns were a minor fad at the end of middle school and the beginning of high school. We would pool our arsenal of weapons, divide into teams and blast away at each other. Eventually people began to buy automatic weapons and the game didn't seem as fun anymore, but my armory is still under the bed, waiting.
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8. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Jamie
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California
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By the end of high school, I was getting into board games in a big way, starting with Axis and Allies. A friend of mine had settlers, and soon after an obsession began.
 
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9. Board Game: The Alf Game [Average Rating:5.20 Unranked]
Ryan McLelland
United States
Draper
Utah
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I don't know if anyone blew money on Alf, but man it was a fad. A pretty cool one, but a fad all the same.
 
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10. Board Game: Davy Crockett Rescue Race [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Alfred Wallace
United States
Champaign
IL
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One of the great all-consuming fads of the fifties--twenty-odd years before my time, but legendary.

http://www.geocities.com/toppsgreen/01FrontPage.html
 
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11. Board Game: Cabbage Patch Kids Friends to the Rescue [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Hammock Backpacker
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I remember 'back in the day' when a feeding frenzy surounding 4-year old $50 iBooks would pale in comparison...
 
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12. Board Game: Adverteasing [Average Rating:4.26 Overall Rank:15045]
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
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I got hung up with Whacky Packages and several series of them at that... but perhaps I am aging myself.
 
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13. Board Game: Baseball Card All Star Game [Average Rating:4.64 Unranked]
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
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Baseball cards.. still have those somewhere. That was back when they were 100% Topps.. and still came with a stick of bubblegum. And a checklist which you dutifully used to mark on.. only to discover the list was worth billions of dollars unmarked years later...Doh.
 
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14. Board Game: Happy Days [Average Rating:4.44 Overall Rank:14519]
Kasey Relford
United States
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What about the weird 1950s nostalgia that gripped the states in the mid-late 70s ? Every school had their annual "50s Day" at school, where it was my duty as a young stud boy to slick my hair back with baby oil and wear jeans and a plain white T-shirt. I wouldn't HELP but wrap my arms around the ladies and say "Heyyy...."

This only supports my theory that every decade is nostalgic for the second decade previous. For example, in the 90s, there was all of this 70s nostalgia, environmentalism and such, bands with lots of heavy feedback and long stringy hair...now, in the 2000s, there's a sudden wave of 80s retro talk..."Hey remember the Moonwalk?" "Unfortunately, yes."

I'm 'dating' myself, aren't I ?

K zombie
 
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15. Board Game: The Smurf Game [Average Rating:4.71 Unranked]
Kurt FromVirginia
United States
Northern Virginia
Virginia
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Anyone else subscribe to Smufs = Socialist State?

At one point my neighbor must have had 200 of these little rubber things.
 
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16. Board Game: The Smurf Game [Average Rating:4.71 Unranked]
Kurt FromVirginia
United States
Northern Virginia
Virginia
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Anyone else subscribe to Smufs = Socialist State?

At one point my neighbor must have had 200 of these little rubber things.
 
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17. Board Game: Transformers Adventure Game [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:14126]
Kurt FromVirginia
United States
Northern Virginia
Virginia
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Three twists to turn a robot into either a battleship or a frog. Much cooler toy if you could actually launch the choke-hazzard missles as opposed to them just extending from the body of the arm 1/2 an inch.
 
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18. Board Game: Dinosaurs Gotta Love Me! Game [Average Rating:4.90 Unranked]
Ian Connolly
Canada
Georgetown
Ontario
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I don't know if anyone else had this but the Dinosaurs TV show was pretty popular when i was in elementary in Australia and when i moved to Canada it was pretty popular here too.

"I'm the baby gotta love me, oh so cute and oh so cuddly."

Didn't Earl's best friend the T-rex remind you alot of Disney's Toystory T-rex. They sind very similar in personality. hmmmmm
 
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19. Board Game: Marbles [Average Rating:4.71 Overall Rank:15206]
Ian Connolly
Canada
Georgetown
Ontario
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When i was in Grade 3, 1993ish Marbles was the game of choice for lunches and breaks. I loved my marbles and lost my favourite one, which was heartbreaking to me and made me quit the sport. Shortly after "sewer balls" started to appear, massive marbles the size of oranges and soon the age of marbles was replaced by pogs.

Where did Sewer balls come from, was it a massive conspiracy to ruin marble playing by "inflating the market".... Am i crazily ranting about something no one else experinced... Will my sandwich have mustard on it today....?????
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20. Board Game: Pokémon Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2493] [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked]
Alan Faller
United Kingdom
Brighton
East Sussex
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The TCG of the comic of the T-shirt of the cartoon of the book of the computer game.

I don't know how big this was in the States, but in the UK it was a TV news story when a kid got mugged for a shiny Charizzard.

I had to get these so that my daughter (then 9) had someone to play against. I remember holding a training acadamy at a summer playscheme so that the kids could actually learn to play this game that they had been busy collecting - it was sad to see these huge stacks of expensive carboard being bought by all the rich parents who couldn't be bothered to learn the game and teach it to their kids.

Looking back I am not sure if I helped at all or just added some fuel to the craze locally.

Total fad - you can still buy the cards, but who does?
 
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21. Board Game: The Beanie Chase [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Hammock Backpacker
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Columbus
Ohio
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Beanie Babies

When our kids were young. Ty Inc. was making money hand over fist selling these plush toys.
 
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22. Board Game: Bionicle: Mask of Light Board Game [Average Rating:3.17 Unranked]
Hammock Backpacker
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Columbus
Ohio
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I agree that Legos in and of themselves are timeless and don't really represent a fad. However, specific lines of Legos designed to "be" something when built I think can fall into a gray area.

My son has been into any and everything that is Lego-based Bionicle (except the game thank goodness) since they first came out. He's got a huge bin of Bionicles that he can take apart and put back together in his sleep.

It's marketing genius to come out with entire new lines every few months. What really got him entangled in it (he spends his own money on them now) is the web-based Quicktime videos of them in animated action.
 
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23. Board Game: Simon [Average Rating:4.25 Overall Rank:15301]
Doctor Apollo
Australia
Newcastle
New South Wales
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Not exactly a board game as such, but certainly a late '70s fad!
 
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24. Board Game: Pac Man Magnetic Maze [Average Rating:4.36 Unranked]
David Pretty
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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A part of me would still like to own this goofy thing.
 
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25. Board Game: KISS-opoly [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked]
Steve Downin
United States
Stockbridge
Georgia
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After my comment on the Pac-Man entry, I just HAD to add KISS to this list.

KISS was a *HUGE* fad back when I was a kid in the 70s. I remember my elementary school fair having a face painting area, and everyone was getting the Gene Simmons or Ace Frehley make-up done.

And then of course was KISS pinball, KISS lunchboxes, KISS bookbags...

And everything else that Gene could manage to get the band's picture on. The man is a marketing genius.

A friend once told me, and I have to agree, "Going to a KISS concert for the music, is like going to Chuck E. Cheese for the food."
 
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