Esquire published this awesome article about the Top Christmas Gifts of ALL TIME by year. You probably wont be surprised with the results, but hopefully some of these will spark your mind and give you some great ideas for gifts this year.
Here is my take on the list…
2009: eBook Readers (Amazon/Others)
To those technically challenged, an eBook Reader (Amazon Kindle, Nook eReader) is digital paper. For example, you download the newest Harry Potter book onto the eBook Reader and you get to read it digitally on this thin device. Instead of turning the page, you hit next on the device. Whats the difference between it and a computer? Battery life and portability. These things are very thin and require little to no power. It’s just starting to hit the Canadian market now, so I’m not too sure if this will be a 2009 seller in Canada.
Is it still good today? Yes. If you have someone in your life who is a big book junkie, then this is the item to buy.
2008: Elmo Live (Fisher Price)
These little cuddly things actually made a friend of mine a lot of money last year. Fisher Price never expected the demand for these and produce such low quantities that parents were paying over 3x it’s value on eBay and various other classified sites.
Is it still good today? Yes/No. The Elmo was definitely the product of 2008. However, as soon as Fisher Price caught on – the mass produced and now a zombie of Elmo’s have taken over North America and are steadily available at all retailers. If your looking to buy as something ‘special’ and an ‘exclusive’ – don’t expect it from the Elmo.
2007: iTouch (Apple)
When Apple announced the iPhone, everyone went crazy – but didn’t necessarily want to sign a 3-year contract with Rogers to get it. So the announcement of the iTouch was the next best thing.
Is it still good today? Yes. Since 2007, Apple has released new versions of the iTouch that now has a speaker and various other new features. The iTouch has also transformed into a very popular gaming device. This device can do it all and is perfect for anyone who loves gadgets.
Hit the jump for the rest of the list…
2006: Playstation 3 (Sony)
When they Playstation 3 first launched on November 11, 2006 it was the biggest event of the Holiday season. People lined up for days to get a brand spanking new Playstation for Christmas. Keep note that the price of a Playstation 3 back then was a whopping $599!!
Is it still good today? Yes. Back then there was a battle between who would be the successor of the ‘DVD’ for movies. The battle was between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Blu-ray ended up winning that war which is why the Playstation 3 is as successful as it is today. A standalone Blu-ray player will cost you $200 where a PS3 will cost you $299. For an extra $99 you get a top of the line gaming system as well as a home entertainment media centre. It is the greatest gift the gamer/entertainment junkie in your life can ask for.
2005: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Microsoft continues to show its world dominance and beat Sony to the punch on November 5, 2005 – releasing the Xbox 360, the successor to their first ever gaming platform (Xbox) Similar to the Playstation 3, supply was VERY low and lineup were long. Microsoft actually only started production of the units 69 days before it launched! This is probably why most launch consoles experienced the ‘Red Ring of Death’ effect (when the XBOX 360 breaks and only shows 3 red rings on the front panel)
Is it still good today? Yes. Newer consoles are no longer getting the ‘Red Ring of Death’ error. The Xbox 360 does not offer a Blu-ray player but does offer a wonderful online gaming experience. The other downside to the 360 is that you have to pay an online subscription ($60/year) to play online, where the PS3 offers it for free.
2004: RoboSapiens (WowWee)
These were the coolest things in 2004. In a year where robots were supposed to exist (Remember those 1950’s movies that showed the year 2000 as having robots and flying cars?) WowWee made it into a reality.
Is it still good today? Unfortunately no. WowWee could not get these things off the shelves fast enough due to its heavy price point. So WowWee started creating ‘cheaper’ models that had less features and eventually became like every other toy on the shelves.
2002-2003: Beyblades (Hasbro)
Beyblades to the 2000 generation were like POGS to the 1990’s generation. I never got a chance to really play with these, but from what I understand, they are discs that you insert a belt into and pull to make it spin. Another player pulls to make their spin as well and both of them battle each other. First to stop spinning or fall of the table loses.
Is it still good today? I don’t think so. I believe it’s 2 year reign is over and the new craze of 2009 for our young players is Bakugan – which I have absolutely no idea how it works.
2001: Bratz Dolls (MGA Entertainment)
Those big eyed dolls that were supposed to replace Barbie but never did. They usually have very reasonable prices if you are looking for a quick gift that is guaranteed to make any little girl smile.
Is it still good today? Yes. Bratz continues to make a strong run at the Barbie lineup – who seems to have ran out of ideas.
2000: Razor Scooters (Razor USA)
When I think Razor Scooters, I think Red River Ex. Those damn games that you play over and over just to win one of these things. Then you go to Wal-Mart the next day and find out they’re only $20! Doh!
Is it still good today? I would probably save this more for a Birthday present. A child won’t be able to use this Scooter for another 4-5 months which sort of ruins the value of a gift. I’d say pass on this one and find something they can use right away.
1999: Pokémon (Nintendo)
Pokemon took over the world in 1999. Cartoon shows, movies, playing cards, toys, video games. Everything had a Pokemon on it. In the last few years tho it looks like the decade long reign of Pokemon has come to and end.
Is it still good today? The cards and toys are not that big anymore. But the video games are still a hit with the younger generation. The Pokemon games for the DS are the favourite.
1998: Furbies (Tiger Electronics)
Furbies made a comeback last year to target collects. Tiger released some rare furbies that did sell for quite a bit on eBay for some time.
Is it still good today? Furby was bought out by Hasbro and looks like they are now moving focus to thier FurReal Friends line.
1997: Tamagotchi (Bandai)
A pet without the mess they called it. These little keychain devices acts as a pet that you can feed, walk, and play games with.
Is it still good today? No. Kids are more advanced now.. and they would rather carry around a Nintendo DS than a little keychain that makes noises when it’s hungry. On a plus side, you can now buy Tamagotchi games for the DS and DSi.
1996: Tickle Me Elmo (Tyco)
The O.G. (Original Gangster). He set the bar up to what is the TMX ultimate tickle me Elmo today. This version of the Elmo didn’t walk, it didn’t dance, it didn’t talk either. All it did was laugh when you pressed its stomach – and it was GOLD for Tyco.
Is it still good today? No. Get the new TMX or Elmo Live instead.
1995: Beanie Babies (Ty Inc.)
Beanie Babies, though adorable, are more for collectors now than for children. Beanie Babies made a huge come back in the year 2000’s targeting collectors. You might also remember McDonald’s selling these.
Is it still good today? They are great safe toys for toddlers. But these toys are now more for collectors than gifts.
1993-1994: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Bandai)
The Power Rangers were during my childhood. I still remember the Green Ranger (Tommy) stopped being a bad guy and went over to the good side and joined Zordon. Greatest day of my life. Please see this picture – you’ll thank me later.
Is it still good today? Since 1993, there has been many different version of the Power Rangers. I think its time is over.
Is it still good today? Unfortunately, Barney is now extinct with new Education TV shows on the air like Dora the Explorer. They need to make a French version of Dora the Explorer! There is no value for Canadian kids learning Spanish!
1991: POG (World POG Federation, Others)
Oh hell yes. The milk cap invasion!! To be honest… if I got a POG as a gift today… I’d go crazy. Kids these days enjoy the wonders of technology with DS games that automatically upload to the internet. And discs with gears that spin round and round… but POGS will forever be the greatest toy. Cardboard chips with images on them that you slam with a keenie.. and whichever pogs flip over is yours to keep!! Best. Game. Ever. If you like POG’s as much as I do, watch this video.
Is it still good today? No. But I’d love a set again. We could change it to an awesome drinking game! However many POGS you can’t flip over is the amount of drinks you have to take.
1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Bandai)
Oh how I loved the 90’s. The Ninja Turtles are self explanatory and still going strong today. The live action version of the Ninja Turtles was the first ever movie I ever watched in the theatres and it will forever hold a place in my heart. TMNT Theme song.
Is it still good today? The TMNT team is still going strong. Xbox 360 and PS3 recently got a HD version of some classic video games. Toys are continuing to sell well and there was a movie out just last year. I say you can’t go wrong with the turtles in a half shell.
1989: GameBoy (Nintendo)
GameBoy was another pioneer of technology. It took handheld gaming to another level. Nintendo continues to create innovative technologies with the WII and the DS. Buying ANYTHING Nintendo is always a score during Christmas time.
Is it still good today? A GameBoy probably isn’t the best present (though you can still buy a GameBoy Micro). You want to aim for a Nintendo DSi or a Sony PSP (Go).
1985: Care Bears (American Greetings/Kenner)
The last time I saw a Care Bear was last week in Cran Game – which means they are still in existence. Is the show still on?
Is it still good today? No. I would recommend giving them a Build-a-Bear gift card instead. Build-a-Bear is a cool little workshop place where a child can build their own bear. They can choose things from the body, outfit, and how soft the bear is.
1984: The Transformers (Hasbro)
What? Transformers existed without Megan Fox? Yes, its true for all you new Transformers fans… Transformers has been around for over 20 years. Hasbro changed the way toys were played with when they created these action figures that can transform into cars, planes, and tape decks.
Is it still good today? Yes. Transformers had a huge rebirth when the Transformers 1 movie came out. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen came out just a few months ago and will be a great present. The movie is available in both DVD and Blu-ray. Various new lines of toys are also available now that are branded under the movie. For the hardcore collector, you can still find Generation 1 transformers on sale at eBay.
1980: Rubik’s Cube (Ideal Toys)
YouTube seems to have create a revival for the Rubik’s Cube. With thousands of tutorials on YouTube showing how to solve the cube, anyone can learn how. It’s tons of fun. I actually picked up a Rubik’s Cube for my 13 hour flight to the Philippines. I printed out a guide I found online and was a pro before we landed. So next time you got 13 hours to kill, Rubik’s is the answer.
Is it still good today? Yes. There’s this kiosk at St. Vital Centre selling 4×4 and 5×5 Rubik’s Cube’s! Coolest things ever!
1978: Hungry Hungry Hippos (Milton Bradley)
Wow. I actually played this game at a Halloween party this year! Still a great game for tons of friends, and if you try to cheat, you get bit by a Hippo. So maybe whenever you hear that song on Hot 103 “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” – this is what she was talking about.
Is it still good today? Board games are always a hit. And whenever I’m stumped for a gift, it’s always safe to fall back on board games.
1959: Barbie (Mattel)
Barbie will forever be every girls favourite toy. From Hollywood Barbie, to Malibu Barbie, theres a Barbie for every girl. Ken… you’re my hero.
Is it still good today? Yes, though there are many other options now. But Barbie will always remain the classic. I can’t believe they’ve haven’t made a live action movie about Barbie yet.
1952: Mr. Potato Head (Hasbro)
He’s a plastic potato with holes and you can stick various body parts on it. How can you go wrong? Mr. Potato Head is usually safe for toddlers as well.
Is it still good today? Yes, Mr. Potato Head keeps up with the times and continues to grow with popular culture. There is even a Transformers Mr Potato Head called Opti-Mash Prime.
1943: The Slinky (Poof-Slinky)
The Slinky is probably the simplest toy out there (aside from the pet rock). It’s amazing how much fun someone could have with springs. But they did, and it made millions.
Is it still good today? Sadly, the slinky has disappeared from pop culture and has been replaced with more complex toys and puzzles.
1936: Monopoly (Parker Brothers)
Riddle: A man pushes his car up to a hotel. Pays the owner, then pushes his car away, what is going on? Why hes playing Monopoly of course! This probably the only board game I know that everyone has a different rule for. Monopoly continues to live on annually with McDonald’s stickers and contests.
Is it still good today? Yes! Monopoly has recently released an update to their game that no longer has hotels, but has sky scrapers. It’s call Monopoly City and I’d love to get it for Christmas!
1930: Mickey and Minnie Mouse Handkerchiefs (Waldburger, Tanner & Company)
So it looks like the 1930’s was in some sort of recession, becuase the best gift was a Handkerchief.
Is it still good today? If I were a little boy and got a Handkerchief as a present.. I’d probably cry. Don’t ruin Christmas. Don’t get a Handkerchief.
1929: Yo-Yos (Duncan)
The earliest surviving yo-yo dates to 500 BC and was made using terra cotta skin disks. Who would have ever imagined that a bouncing object attached to a rope would make it this far? The yo-yo is now a serious toy and there are competitions all over the world on who can do the best tricks.
Is it still good today? Yes! As times went by… so did technology. There are now these fancy dancy yo-yos that light up when you drop them. Also some with springs inside that make em more versatile for doing tricks and throwing them around your leg!