These were the hottest Christmas gifts in 1991
Thirty years ago, these were the tech and toys that families wanted to find under the tree.
In 1991, Nickelodeon launched its cartoons Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy. The sitcom Step By Step made its TGIF debut. Sun Chips hit grocery store shelves. Nirvana slayed hair metal and changed the sound of rock music.
The Nineties were truly getting underway. Let's take a look at some of the most uniquely 1991 gifts seen in the Sears catalog.
Images: Sears / Wishbook Web
1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Six years after the original NES made its debut in North America, Nintendo entered the 16-bit gaming game. The Sega Genesis had hit stores a couple of years earlier. Alas, the Power Glove had been discontinued a year earlier.
2. Dual-Deck VCR
You could finally duplicate VHS tapes! Or… get this… TAPE a TV show while WATCHING another movie. It boggled the mind.
3. Swatch Twinphone
Speaking of doing two things at once, the trendy Swiss watch company introduced its "twinphone," a telephone that featured speakers and microphones in both its handheld half and its base. Perfect for your friend to eavesdrop on your chats with your crush.
4. Captain Planet Action Figures
Co-created by Ted Turner, the cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers and its toy line first took action in 1990. The eco-friendly superhero grew in popularity in 1991, to the point where Burger King gave out loads of plastic Captain Planet toys in kids meals, which seemed a little conflict-of-interest-y.
5. Home Fax Machine
"The first FAX designed specifically for home!" Remember in Back to the Future II, when they go into the year 2015, and the McFlys have fax machines all over the house? That was the vision in the early '90s.
6. Moon Shoes
Trampolines for your feet! These look pretty comfortable, actually.
"Yo! It's RAPMAN." Yo! MTV Raps! premiered in 1988. The Beastie Boys had the first hip-hop album atop the Billboard charts half a decade earlier. It took a while for rap to permeate pop culture.
8. Sony Video Walkman
See, kids? We had handheld movies back then, too. Between the Discman and the MiniDisc Walkman, Sony launched this Video Walkman which played the tiny Video 8 tape format.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Bart Simpson Swag
The catalog was loaded with TMNT and Bart Simpson merch. The Simpsons truly blew up that year. While the Turtles were nearing the end of their original toy run, which ended in 1992, you would never know it from the Sears Wishbook. Jackets, sweaters, tents, pants, skateboards — "Cowabunga!" was everywhere, dude.
10. Vanilla Ice Sleeping Bags
Okay, maybe these weren't the hottest gifts of 1991 — but they were certainly only really hot in 1990–91. And what's up with those cubist NKOTB faces? Those'll keep you up in the slumber party.