9 Childhood Staples That are Making Huge Comebacks. Yes, We’re Including Jem and The Holograms

The 80s and 90s are back – and in the best way possible.

Some of our favourite childhood staples (and coveted birthday gifts) are currently enjoying major comebacks.

Whether for their retro appeal in a time of rampant hipster culture, or because sometimes the original way is the best way, here are 9 things from our childhood that are happily back with a vengeance…

1. Nintendo

Nintendo – likely the first video game system we all knew and loved – made an overdue comeback in 2014. The company recently celebrated its most successful holiday season yet, seeing its profits triple. The success is accredited to the release of games like Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Cart 8, and life simulation game Tomodachi Life. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is known for maintaining a strict strategy of selling his games only for Nintendo devices, ignoring the smartphone and tablet market. Apparently, it’s working.

2. Cassette Tapes

Could cassettes, complete with their inevitably unraveling tape, once again become a staple? In the past year, we have indeed rewound to the past when it comes to the cassette tape. Love them or hate them, you have to admit that they do offer a more nostalgic, personal attachment to music. Cheaper to produce than a CD or vinyl record, a growing number of indie musicians have started releasing new material on cassette. Last year, Sony released its magnetic tape cassette, which can store up to 185TBs worth of data – roughly equal to 3,700 Blu-Ray disks or 47 million songs.  

3. The Sony Walkman

As we told you last week, the Sony Walkman has resurfaced, unveiled earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Sony NW-ZX2 won’t play those old-school cassette tapes that you just dug out, however, and instead plays uncompressed, high-resolution audio files, and promises to go far beyond your typical MP3 and CD audio quality. Perks include 128GB of internal storage, ultra high-end sound processors, and lossless audio file formats. If you’re a self-proclaimed audiophile with cash to burn, it can be yours for a cool price of $1,119.99 USD.

4. Jem and The Holograms

Remember eating your favourite after-school fruit snack while Jem and the Holograms rocked your (very un-flat) TV screen? Set for an October 2015 release, the original “girl band” we all know and love, Jem and the Hoograms, will see its own big screen adaptation hitting theatres this October. Based on the famous Hasbro animation series – which aired from 1985-1988 – it features a handful of new talent, along with 80s fixture Molly Ringwald (naturally) and Juliette Lewis. And yes, we’re counting down the months…

5. Retro Nikes

Though the must-have basketball shoe of the 90s never disappeared entirely, Nike’s retro Air Max 90 trainers have resurfaced in recent years in a major way in the wake of their 25th anniversary (and are now easily customizable). They’ve been spotted lately on everyone from Lily Allen and Robert Pattison, to President Obama. Nike also recently released an assortment of impossible-to-miss Nike Dunk Sky Hi (complete with all the metallic and neon found in 90s heaven), women’s high top sneaker collection.  

6. Instant Cameras

Though they’d been around for decades, it wasn’t until the 80s that Polaroid cameras became attainable to a mass audience, with the release of models made with plastic and other affordable materials rather than metal. While your parents may have owned the Polaroid Impulse for years (it was released in 1988), you may have snapped away on your own branded Barbie or Tasmanian devil models. Thanks to their vintage aesthetic and hipster appeal, instant cameras are back in a huge way, with popular options like Polaroid’s Z2300 Digital Instant Print Camera and Fujifilm’s fun new Instax Mini 8 cameras. 

7. Onesies

It wasn’t too long ago we’d see childhood photos of ourselves at our parent’s place in cozy looking footed sleepers…and secretly wish we still had one. With the recent return (see: obsession) of the onesie for holiday season, now most of us indeed have one hanging in our closet – and shamelessly bust it out throughout the winter. Don’t judge – it’s damn cold outside.  

8. The Backstreet Boys

As we told you a few weeks ago, Backstreet’s back to “show us what they (were) made of.” The boy band that decorated countless bedrooms and lockers of times past is back from the dead with an upcoming documentary. The film documents both the band’s unmatched success and their seemingly overnight fall from the top of the charts. Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of hits theaters and VOD on Jan. 30.

9. Record Players

Though record players were on their way out when most of us were kids, you or your older siblings probably still had one of those orange Fischer Price models kicking around your playroom. But we don’t have to tell you that vinyl is back in a major way. You can now buy record players anywhere from record stores (duh), to Urban Outfitters, and even Staples. As though everyone woke up one day and realized that nothing sounds better than vinyl, sales in good, old-fashioned vinyl records has soared since 2013, and once obsolete record stores have resurfaced. 


Cover image from: Nintendo

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