A Throwback To The 90s - What S'porean Kids Used To Play With Before The Smartphone Era

Growing up in the 90s, life was great. As a 90s kid, we found many ways to entertain ourselves, and toy manufacturers were also stepping up their game so we had tons of new toys to pester our parents to buy.

But that aside, here are some of the things that we 90s kids remember from our childhood.

Beyblades

Beyblades were the toys of my childhood. They’re basically pimped-out spinning tops.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Youtube

I had an entire shoebox filled with Beyblades, and customisation was a big thing. I’d sneak my Beyblades to school and trade parts with my friends.

Also, thanks to the Beyblade cartoon that aired on Kids Central on Sunday mornings, screaming at your Beyblade became a thing.

90s childhood
GIF Credit: giphy

While Beyblades made a comeback a few years ago, there’re too many gimmicks now and it’s no longer the same. R.I.P Childhood.

Block Catching

If you lived near a primary school, chances are you’ve heard kids sprinting and screaming down your corridor, hours after dismissal (This is why my mother chose to live in a corner unit).

90s childhood
Image Credit: Medhatter

Block Catching was a bonding session for kids. Whether they live in the same block or if they’re classmates, it functioned as both a survival lesson and a thorough workout.

I mean, sprinting up flights of stairs and down corridors? This is way beyond the scope of our P.E lessons in school.

Block Catching, the OG coach for Olympic sprinting.

Chapteh

I never understood Chapteh, though a good number of my soccer-playing friends played it during recess.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Alibaba

You’re basically kicking a weighted feather, trying to keep it in the air for as long as you can. Some of the seasoned pros were able to perform tricks, much to the envy of the unskilled on-lookers.

If you were a seasoned chapteh pro, you had cred. That was an unspoken law in primary school.

Country Erasers

Country Erasers were probably the biggest source of income for school bookshops. While each eraser retailed for a measly $0.10, students would clear the stocks in bulk.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Reddit

Some of us even demonstrated budding entrepreneurial skills by SELLING the country erasers they bought, to fellow classmates.

Country Eraser-wrestling was a thing too. The goal was to flip your country eraser such that it sits on top of your opponent’s eraser.

In certain death matches, you’d lose your eraser though in most cases, you lost your pride. Which is more important? You decide.

Encyclopedias

Too much money has been lost to encyclopedia salesmen that haunted our neighbourhood shopping malls.

Till today, I have 3 bookshelves of Time Life Junior Encyclopedia in my room.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Carousell

It’s a waste to throw them away.

However, I have to admit that I spent many afternoons and nights reading said encyclopedias which developed my love for Science.

That being said, if anyone would like the encyclopedias, please contact me.

Hopscotch

This is the reason why my Ocean Pacific wallet has scars.

I loved playing Hopscotch during recess time. We didn’t have the five stones to throw, so we had to use our wallets.

90s childhood
Image Credit: family #games

If you excelled in Standing Broad Jump, you’re probably good at Hopscotch. The ability to jump to the last 2 boxes at the end was a skill that few had.

We were Primary school kids with short legs okay? Give us a break.

Jumping Pen

This is why Pilot G2 pens saw a spike in popularity in the 90s.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Gourmet Pens

Jumping Pen was the pen-version of Country Eraser-wrestling, with a little more spring. Literally. The idea was to launch your pen into the air via its spring-contraption, to land and pin down your opponent’s pen.

And the Pilot G2 was favoured because of its strong jumping capabilities.

Lots of pens were damaged in the time that Jumping Pen was a “class sport”.

LEGO

While the sub-header says LEGO, it’ll be more accurate to say that the “LEGO” we played with were knock-offs.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Mashable

But still, building blocks were great fun for a kid. To be honest, I still enjoy buying and building LEGO figures today. There’s something so cathartic about building something from scratch, and not knowing what you’ll end up with.

The possibilities are endless. But if you cannot afford genuine LEGO products, knock-offs will do. I still turned out fine. Mostly.

Neopets

Do Neopets die in cyberspace?

How many Kacheeks and Meercas have been left floating in the world of Neopia, following years of neglect? The Money Tree has probably withered by now.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Neopets Wikia

Neopets is a virtual pet website and we spent years clicking and reloading pages on Internet Explorer, hoping to win something that’s NOT an old boot.

Do you know how painful that is?

But since the Internet blossomed and surfing speeds increased, we’ve since moved on to better and faster games, leaving Neopets in the dust.

Super Yoyo

Super Yoyo is the predecessor to Beyblades, which kickstarted a craze among youths in Singapore.

90s childhood
Image Credit: Yoyo Wiki

Yoyos, for a time, were the in-thing. Everyone had one and thanks to Super Yoyo, performing yoyo tricks were even good enough to be a Talent Show segment (Cringe).

I’m not saying that Yoyos are lame, but I never got the hype.

Tamiya Cars

I remember seeing race tracks sprawled out in shopping mall atriums for Tamiya Car races. It was a sight to behold.

Even the adults were into Tamiya Car racing, each with a customised and pimped-out car of their own. I was never allowed to have my own Tamiya Car, but watching the races was thrilling enough for me.

Tamiya Car racing was a legitimate thing, with events organised in shopping malls for it.

Zero Point

I’ve never played Zero Point, but I’ve seen abandoned rubber band chains around my school.

Zero Point is a game that has you try to cross over the rubber band chain, and each time you do so, you shout “Zero Point.”

Each successive cross will result in the rubber chain increasing in height.

90s childhood
Image Credit: My Fat Pocket

It’s like a very intense game of skipping or hurdling.

R.I.P to all the stolen rubber bands lost in the making of the chains.

While these are just a few of the things that we loved as kids, there’s probably more, with variations in different schools.

What other things did you do or play with as kids?

Also read From Teochew To Hakka, How Our Grandparents’ Heritage Shaped S’pore’s Chinese Cuisine

(Header Image Source: Alibaba and Medhatter)

 
 
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