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Deader Than Disco: Toys
If there's anything parents know, it's how kids obsess over the latest thing, than forget about it after a week or so, hence why the Trend Aesop exists.
  • Any number of fad toys. Cabbage Patch Kids, Tamagotchi, Furby, Tickle-Me-Elmo, Beanie Babies, pogs ("tazos" in Mexico, Australia and other countries)... the list is ever-growing. Anyone who grew up at the time that any one of these were popular has probably witnessed the popularity arc go from "niche item that only a few people have heard of" to "waiting in line for half a day just to get one, then seeing people fight in the store over the remaining stock" to "finding a bunch of well-worn ones for 50 cents at Goodwill".
  • Home chemistry sets and other science kits, thanks to a combination of perceived dangers to life and limb and the Wars on Terror and Drugs. The Gabriel and Skillcraft sets were highly acclaimed for being equipped with everything a budding young chemist needs: scaled down chemical glassware (real Pyrex), apparatus, and a host of chemicals used by real chemists. As a bonus, you could order from their catalogs for even more items. However, due to perceived safety concerns and fear of lawsuits from angry parents, test tubes and beakers are now plastic, there are no alcohol burners, chemicals are now mostly limited to vinegar, table salt, table sugar, and other "safe" household items that are expected to already be on hand, and experiments are limited to simple, boring reactions such as color changes.
    On top of that, there is a fear among police and various public safety groups and advocates that chemistry sets can be used to manufacture explosives and methamphetamines. (Breaking Bad has likely done little to help with the latter image.) Thanks to this, there have been a number of highly publicized police raids into the homes of what were nothing more than chemistry hobbyists, and suppliers became very leery about selling their products to anybody other than schools and laboratories. Some states, such as Texas, have even gone as far as requiring a government permit for the possession of just chemistry glassware.
  • Hobby telescopes: These are often sold in toy stores, department and novelty stores and they are usually priced anywhere from $49.99 to $99.99. With a little research, any budding amateur astronomer will instantly realize that the only good telescope is a telescope that you purchase from a dedicated and reputable science vendor. They are more expensive but if one is serious about the hobby, it's worth the investment.
  • Cartoon/Toyline tie-ins: These are now considered strictly a relic of The Eighties. The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Voltron, Masters of the Universe, and many others had popular cartoon shows that were arguably just advertisements for the toylines. Strict government regulations against child-targeted commercial advertising saw the end of this sort of marketing. Today, toys based on these older franchises are targeted towards nostalgic adults and are priced accordingly.

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