Advent Calendar Day 5: Biggest Christmas Toy Crazes

Written by Ellie

Tracy Island

The revival of Thunderbirds in 1992 caused massive demand at Christmas for International Rescue’s iconic base Tracy Island. Demand was so great that Blue Peter even ran a feature on how to create your own Tracy Island at home.

Toy Story

A massive box office hit in 1995 with merchandise still selling over 20 years later. Companies didn’t anticipate the immense popularity of Toy Story and production rights were given to a small Canadian company that was unable to keep up with demand.


Now available as a phone app, Tamagotchi first came to our attention in the mid-nineties, putting the fate of a digital pet quite literally in a small child’s hands.


A small, fluffy owl-like robot that swept the nation in the late 80s. Furbies even had their own language – furbish – but could learn English through regular interaction with humans. 40 million units were sold in its first three years of production.

Tickle Me Elmo

A toy based on the character from Sesame Street that would laugh and vibrate when squeezed. Sounds innocent enough, but Christmas 1996 saw ‘Elmo-Mania’ when demand greatly out-stripped supply. One person allegedly bought a Tickle Me Elmo for $7,100, while a store assistant was left with ‘a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib and concussion’ after getting caught up in a stampede of customers desperate to get one in time for Christmas.

Pokémon Cards

Before Pokémon Go, before the Game Boy games, before the TV series and films, there was the trading card game. Although it was an actual game, very few children actually played it, choosing instead just to build as big a collection as possible, before making deals and trades with friends in the playground.

For more FCS advent calendar treats, click here.

Don’t forget to check back for tomorrow’s advent calendar door.

Posted on 5th December 2017

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