Cell Phones

The new big thing in the '90s was the cellular phone. It gained huge popularity due to its great mobility. Antennas were placed on buildings to get reception in order for calls to be able to be placed, but call were often dropped and lines were busy most of the time.

Before the late 1990s, the cell phone was often referred to as a "brick". This is not hard to imagine, considering the fact that most phones before this time weighed at least a pound. The price was also not cheap (phones could be upwards of $500); $500 today is extremely expensive for a cell phone, so I could not imagine paying that much just to purchase a brick that was only capable of making calls. This also does not take into account the fact that a great deal of inflation over the past two decades.

Beanie Babies

I myself have more than enough of these little stuffed animals (and still do), so I must say that this is one fad that is still relevant to this day. The signature heart-shaped tag that came with each animal named the creature and these toys became high in demand for children shortly after being released to the public.

By '96, nearly a hundred million Beanie Babies were sold and this solidified the Beanie Baby empire as a contender in child toy sales. Retail price ranged from $5 to around $7, but some collectors would pay up to $13,000 for the rarest Beanie Babies. The ultimate goal for these collectors was to own all 264 of the little toys in existence, and this is what drove them to the extreme spending of a stuffed animal worth $5.

In 1999, Ty Inc. announced that they would no longer be creating and selling new Beanie babies, but the public demanded the continual sale of the beloved toy and Ty Inc. continued. The popularity continued throughout the early 2000s and eventually resulted in a web application called "Beanie Babies 2.0" being created for the most devoted collector to follow their precious toys online.

Y2K Scare

Y2K was the legendary scare that with the turn of the century, computers would return back to the time of the 1900. This meant that when the year changed from 1999 to 2000, many thought computers would believe it was 1900. It was widely believed that computers would stop working altogether, which put major businesses and hospitals, banks, and social security systems at risk.

Towards the end of the 21th century, many countries spent billions of dollars investigating how Y2K could occur and creating a "Y2K compliant" system. Whether this was in vain or really did save computers and life as we know, we won't know again until the year 3000.

Panic was created but as December 31, 1999 rolled into January 1, 2000, no computer glitches occurred.

The entire Y2K scare caused markets to become rich and saturated with kits such as the one above to survive the upcoming disaster. A widespread fear was common and most people were terrified to ring in the new century. With a world still uncomfortable with the new advancements in technology, hysteria was bound to be around.