The Chicago Tribune’s RedEye November 29, 2012
Brace yourselves: Furbies are back.
Just in time for Christmas, the owl/Mogwai/demon hybrid toy sensation of the ’90s has been resurrected and given a makeover. Your new Furby will have an app that translates his native Furbish language to English and LCD eyes (though looking into them is to stare into the face of madness).
It will also cost you $60 which, if you ask me, seems like an absurd amount to pay for a terrifying toy. I still remember the time my Furby “died” and then, years later, came back to life when I was cleaning out my closet. Why would they make a children’s toy do that?!
The rebirth of Furbies got me thinking about all the much, much cooler (and less traumatizing) ’90s relics that deserve a comeback. Here’s my list:
I’m not sure what we were supposed to think toxic-waste green Ecto Cooler was (the preferred drink of ghosts? Juice squeezed from a fresh haul of Slimers?), but damn it was delicious! Other honorable mentions for best discontinued ’90s beverages include: Crystal Pepsi, Squeezits, and Orbitz (because who doesn’t love gelatinous chunks in their drinks?).
Vampire movies that don’t suck
The ’90s were the glory days of vampire movies with cinematic gems such as “Blade,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.” Back then, vampires were scary instead of sparkling. Even Brad Pitt’s Louis in “Interview with the Vampire,” the original angsty fanger, was a terrifying monster. In the ’90s, vampires ripped out throats, controlled shadows and danced in blood at super-cool warehouse raves.
Theme show songs
A great sitcom theme song is a lost art. If TV shows today even have music to accompany their title cards, it’s usually an artsy musical interlude without lyrics that explain the origin of the protagonist’s current wacky situation. It’s just not as fun as a catchy ditty that plays as the sitcom family waves to the cameras or dances in fountains. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, try to not finish this lyric: “In west Philadelphia, born and raised … ”
Floam and Gak
The ’90s were a simpler time. Before iPads and smartphones, kids were content to play with unexplainable, slimy goo for hours on end. It was awesome. It felt like mucus and made fart noises—what more could a kid want? The only problem was that it made your hands smell for days like shoe sweat, stale pickles and Chinatown after a garbage strike. Floam/Gak 2.0 should be available for purchase in scents like mimosa, salted caramel and the burgers from Kuma’s Corner.
‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’
This one must happen! I will sacrifice all my birthday wishes and Christmases for the next 30 years for just one new season of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” I’ll pledge 40 years if every episode is directed by Guillermo del Toro. Those spooky, pre-goth tweens that made up the Midnight Society were the best thing about SNICK. The opening title sequence alone, with its flickering match and pants-wettingly terrifying disembodied children’s laughter, still is scarier than 99 percent of the horror movies out there.
Bill Nye the Science Guy
No improvements needed. Just bring him back.