The crazes continue as the 1990s decade of Gotta Have It: Iconic Toys of Past Decades recalls Tickle Me Elmo, Beanie Babies, Tamagotchi, and Pokemon. At the top of every child’s Christmas list in 1998 was Furby, a battery-operated, highly-animated (and very annoying if you had a sibling who forgot to turn Furby off!) toy that spoke its own language: Furbish. With the ability to learn 800 English phrases, Furby was believed to be so intelligent that it was banned from National Security Agency offices for fear the toy could unknowingly divulge state secrets.
Following the Cabbage Patch craze, another toy incited insanity in 1996 when it sold for $30 and thousands of dollars in the same year. He was red, fuzzy, and giggled and shook when you tickled him… Tickle Me Elmo! Tyco Toys’ shrewd promotion of the Sesame Street character resulted in the sale of at least one million in 1996. But the demand was even greater. Stores sold out within hours of stocking the toys, leading parents to shell out big bucks for Elmo at auction.