Y2K didn’t cause the apocalypse and Kylie Minogue was making a comeback; the new millennium was looking to be a good one. But now the noughties have slipped into the murky depths of nostalgia, and we can finally look back with rose-tinted glasses on the toys that defined our childhoods.
The 2000s saw the rise of card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon, and iconic board games like Ticket to Ride. However, most iconic toys from the 2000s reflected innovations in electronics and technology – with many toys showing off some form of walking-talking capability and a virtual version you can interact with online. But the headline of the 2000s was the video game console, with the GameCube, the Wii, the Xbox360, and three different Playstations all coming out in this decade.
My favorite from the 2000s was Zoids, essentially just well-marketed magnets. I was too young to figure out the effect these magnets would have on our TV set, but it turned out that placing the magnets on top of the screen would cause the images and colors to warp — I thought it was hilarious. It was endless fun until the TV broke and Zoids were banned in my house forever.
Kids from the 2000s were some of the first technological natives, being born into an era where technology and the internet were already part of daily life. Let’s go on a trip down memory lane to uncover the most iconic 2000s toys Gen Z kids (like me) will remember forever.
1. Bratz Dolls
The quintessential 2000’s fashion dolls, encapsulated the alternative style of the Avril Lavigne era — a more edgy competitor to Mattel and their star product, Barbie. Bratz Dolls came with a range of styles and accessories, perfect for creating your own plastic catwalk, alongside a Barbie, some Power Rangers, and a wooden spoon with a face drawn on. Their popularity skyrocketed with their media franchising, with films, TV shows and games all building on the Bratz universe. Still relevant today, in July 2023, Bratz announced a new partnership with real-life fashion doll, Kylie Jenner.
What can be more 2000’s than a double doll set of the Olsen twins? The queens of Made-For-TV were a cultural touchstone for the new millennium. With arms that don’t move and heads that rotate 360 degrees, I personally can’t think of anything more terrifying. The dolls’ popularity goes hand in hand with the popularity of the Olsen twins’ movies, such as direct-to-video blockbusters Passport to Paris, Switching Goals and When in Rome.
Oops, I did it again… I found another weird celebrity doll from the noughties. Each Britney Spears doll had a costume resembling an outfit that Britney Spears had worn in concerts, appearances and music videos. Only five million were sold, and they have since become a popular collector’s item with her fans on eBay. Get your hands on one of these dolls and you can pretend to have your very own conservatorship over the famous popstar (…is it too soon to joke about it?)
An interactive doll that came inside a box as a chrysalis in a test tube so you could add water and let the alien reveal itself. You had to feed your Test Tube Aliens with the sachet of ‘Sloog’ that came with it for it to grow slowly over a few days — assuming you had followed the instructions correctly to maintain the right environment to keep it alive. These things were like real-life Tamagotchi, only more needy and weirdly creepy.
Because who doesn’t want to be able to put on their own NSYNC puppet show. These were released right after the boy bands ‘No Strings Attached’ album, they come in three different styles and the full band in marionette form will set you back almost $300. Now you can recreate the ‘Bye Bye Bye’ music video.
These are classic Barbie dolls from Mattel. This doll collection became really popular thanks to the iconic 90s Barbie film The Princess and the Pauper, a Barbie twist on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. It’s not all plastic and shopping, you know.
Another 2000s classic from Mattel. What’s Her Face dolls were fully customizable, slightly terrifying at first, as they arrived with a velcro scalp and no facial features. Now, there was a reason for that: you were meant to choose a wig and draw on any face you chose. If you made a mistake, you could wash them off and start again. These dolls are remembered for leaving a lot of scope for creativity.
2000s Gaming Consoles
The GameCube is without a doubt one of the most visually iconic consoles ever released. Successor to the N64, the GameCube was competing with the likes of the Playstation 2 and the Xbox.The big purple cube from Nintendo came out in 2001, and helped launch some flagship games like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Animal Crossing and Metroid Prime.
Also the original advert was cool as heck:
9. Nintendo DS
This new handheld console was revolutionary, dual screens, touchscreen, and wireless connectivity. Released worldwide between 2004-05, the Nintendo DS swept the globe, everyone was sneaking them into schools and sending rude messages via their nintendo wifi connection function. Games like pokemon and mario kart felt like they were made for a console like this one.
10. Game Boy Advance
The Game Boy Advance was the successor to the Game Boy Color, and it changed it up by sticking the buttons on either side of the screen instead of below it. This is a handheld style that Nintendo has seen great success with since the release of the Nintendo Switch. Definitely following the same style guide as the GameCube, which came out in the same year, both with that iconic purple color that takes you right back to 2001.
11. PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 single handedly kick-started the noughties. With 155 million units sold worldwide, the PS2 became one of the best selling consoles in history after its release in March 2000. It also rocked the gaming world with hits like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Metal Gear Solid 2. The PS2 had graphics and gameplay never seen before on a console. It could also play all your favorite DVDs and CDs making it the one stop shop for all your soon defunct 00s entertainment.
12. Nintendo Wii
The Wii seemed so futuristic at the time… Motion sensor technology meant you could play real sports from the comfort of your own home. “You can get fit playing video games” people were saying before we all realized you can still hit a strike on Wii bowling without actually getting up from the sofa.
Still the Wii was a great console with lots of great games – especially Mario Kart, and the new and improved Animal Crossing games. And who can forget Wii Sports! Just remember to put on the wrist strap and protective case so you don’t hit your nan in the face trying to beat her at Wii tennis.
13. Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is the powerhouse of 2000s video game consoles, launching brands like Call of Duty, Halo and Assassin’s Creed. The 360 brings memories of many late nights spent with friends consuming cheap takeaways and energy drinks while we killed each other repeatedly on a 4-person split screen. I’m sure there were less violent games to be played on Xbox, but we weren’t interested.
Sony’s response to the Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance, except way cooler. The games came on little disks that went into the back of the console. Now you had AAA classic games in the palm of your hand like GTA and Medal of Honor. PSP was definitely the must have console of the 2000s.
Probably PlayStation 3 was the most powerful of all the 2000s consoles. Coming out in 2006, the PS3 could play blu rays and, along with the Xbox 360, revolutionized online multiplayer gaming. Just don’t listen to the people using microphone chat in public Call of Duty Lobbies, they don’t have your best interest at heart.
Special Mention: Guitar Hero
Nostalgia aplenty thinking back to slapping away on a little plastic guitar. Released in 2005. Guitar Hero was without a doubt the most formative input in developing my current taste in music. Playing along with noughties indie music monoliths like The Strokes, Bloc Party and The Killers made of Guitar Hero a cultural influence – and also incredibly addictive. Guitar Hero was massive in the 2000s so I couldn’t write this article without mentioning it.
2000s Plush Toys
Does this count as a classic stuffed animal? Webkinz plushies came with a secret code on the inside that allowed kids to play with a digital version of their stuffed animal. Forget the metaverse, Webkinz were breaking new ground with plush toys.
17. Pillow Pets
“It’s a pillow… It’s a pet… It’s a pillow pet!” Whatever ad director came up with that needs a raise. Simplicity is key, which is why I don’t need to tell you anything more about it. It’s a pillow, it’s a pet. It’s Pillow Pets.
What’s the best thing about a fake dog? It doesn’t bark or lick you. Not according to the good people at Love ‘n Licks Puppy, who designed a toy dog that barks louder and louder for your attention and licks you with a realistic wet tongue. Not my kind of thing but the 2000s were a time for experimentation.
19. Neopets Plushies
Another plush toy with a digital counterpart, except this time, the digital one came first. Neopets were a bit of a big deal in the noughties; they were a sort of evolution of the Tamagotchi for the internet era. And now you can see your digital pets come to life.
Made up of 3000 tiny unique pets, these little collectable cuties were everywhere in the 2000s. Littlest Pet Shop rose to popularity after Hasbro bought the franchise and turned it into a whole pet shop universe with two TV shows, video games and of course a virtual version of your pets shop.
21. Crazy Frog
Just hearing the name brings back trauma. There were music videos, ringtones, you name it. Back in the 2000s you just couldn’t escape the annoying ring-a-ding-ding of Crazy Frog. This half-naked little blue amphibian took over the world in a storm alla Beatlemania. There were t-shirts, scarves, and, of course, plush toys.
2000s Board Games
22. Ticket to Ride
Hands down my favorite board game of all time, and I don’t even like trains… Ticket to Ride is all about building rail networks across the world to connect different cities. It sounds peaceful, right? Wrong. Sparks of rage will fly, grinding your friendships to a halt, as you cut off your opponents’ routes and ruin their game. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of building the biggest railroad in the game.
23. Yu-Gi-Oh Cards
My entire life between 2007 and 2009 was dedicated to buying, swapping or borrowing-to-never-return Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I had no idea how you even played the game but the cards were just so exciting. Forever chasing the mythical cards, like the rumored shiny Blue-eyes White dragon. I’m still not sure if it even really exists. And, of course, this was only heightened by the masterpiece that is the Yu-Gi-Oh cartoon series.
24. Bop It Extreme 2
Bop It was a huge sweeping success in the 90s, but people wanted more. More buttons, more twists, more pulls. Therefore in the new millennium the boffins at Bop It HQ came up with something more extreme (and more frustrating) than anything that they had seen before.
Bop It Extreme 2 required you to pull it, twist it, flick it, spin it AND bop it. All the while, it would taunt you with phrases like, “Do it the same, but better!”, “That’s not good!”, and of course “You’re out.”
Fall out with your close friends and family but this time, so it The Simpsons way. The 2000s were still a golden era for The Simpsons, and Treehouse of Horror were some of the best episodes they made, with iconic tales like Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace, The Devil and Homer Simpson, and Citizen Kang. That makes this probably the best Monopoly spin-off set to ever been released.
Want to relieve the trials of the Cold War in board game form? If your answer is yes, then Twilight Struggle is the game for you. Gain control for your superpower by schmoozing, spying, and supplying, and maybe you can rewrite the cold war. Will the Berlin wall fall sooner, or will it not fall at all? Maybe you can get Krushchev to come round to Cuba.
27. Rubik’s 360
How do you innovate on perfection? How do you reinvent something as integral as the wheel or fire? Mr. Rubik can, with Rubik’s 360. Just as addictive and engaging as the original cube, but this one was more about your physical dexterity than your mental aptitude.
The puzzle consists of three spheres in total. You have six balls, each with a different color. Your goal is to move these balls from the center to the outer sphere, where there are six compartments, each matching the color of a ball. To make things interesting, you must guide the balls through a middle sphere that has only two openings.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to launch a new industrial revolution in the north of England? Then you need to play Brass, a board game invented by Martin Wallace. Mr Wallace is a bit of a big deal in the board game world after creating popular games such as Railroad Tycoon and London.
In Brass you get to build mines, cotton factories, ports, canals and rail links, and establish trade routes in order to earn points and win the game.
You could say that Beyblade is just a noughties rebrand of the old folk game spinning tops. No longer do we just spin little wooden tops and see who lasts the longest – in the year 2000, we battle.
‘Beys’ had launchers that would send them flying into the small plastic colosseum, and if your top got knocked out, then it was game over. They work in a rock-paper-scissors format as you have different types of Beyblades, ones for attack, ones for defense and ones for stamina and they cancel each other out in some way. And of course, like every other toy that game out in this decade, it had its own animated TV series.
30. Shocking Duel
Thinking about it from the comfort of the end of 2023, I can see how this might have been a mad experiment gone wrong. I don’t think this game would be made and marketed these days.
Shocking Duel is a game about who can withstand the greater electric shock. Recreate your own scene from Deer Hunter but with electric shocks instead of bullets, and your living room instead of a Viet Cong war prison.
Return to the life of a mere peasant with Agricola. In Agricola, you’re a farmer in a small shack with your spouse. Each turn, you pick two actions from various farm tasks like gathering resources or expanding your family. But to grow your family, you’ll first need a bigger home and to figure out how to feed everyone. A great game and super beautifully designed.
2000s Toy Robots and Interactive Pets
RoboSapien was all I ever wanted. There I was, fingers crossed, unwrapping all my Christmas gifts, hoping that inside I would find this useless plastic robot. I never got one but tragedy aside, RoboSapien was such an iconic toy from the 200s. It felt like everyone had one (except me, it seems) and they were very cool. With programmable sounds and the ability to walk, talk and grab, the future was here.
33. I-Dog Amp’d
A robotic dog that would function as a speaker, but wait, there’s more! When listening to music on your I-Dog, the robotic dog would light up and dance along. I remember that a version of this toy called Spi-Dogs was released to promote the Spiderman 3 movie – an object of jealousy where I grew up. So prolific were these dogs that they even started giving out versions of them in McDonald’s Happy Meals in 2007.
Another evolution of Tamagotchi for the new millennium, except this time it’s physical and water-based. Aquapets had microchips, microphones and a speaker, so your Aquapet could pick up on your speech, react to music and even sing back to you.
35. Poo-Chi Dog
The Battle of the Robodogs from the early 2000s! These Poo-Chi dogs were more dog-like than their musical cousins the I-dog, but equally prolific. They could bark, but I guess back in those days, they didn’t have the technology to reproduce a realistic dog bark so the Poo-Chi sounded more like a beep (which is to be expected from a robot dog).
The Roboraptor could have been the dinosaur companion of RoboSapien — and the truth is that it was also the object of my desire when I was a kid but it never manifested itself in my childhood. You may think I sound bitter, and I am; this thing is so cool!
Roboraptor uses motion technology based on real biomechanics that make it move like a real dinosaur (as far as I know from my knowledge of Jurassic Park). It also used infrared sensors to detect its environment and move around autonomously in a way that Robosapien couldn’t. Easily one of the coolest toys to come out of the 2000s, and I still want one almost 20 years on.
I wanted to be a spy more than anything as a kid, but two eye holes in an oversized newspaper just wouldn’t cut it in the new millennium — you need to get tech involved. Spykee was a little spy robot you could use to record video and audio and scare people by playing built-in recordings of a laser gun or a robotic laughter. It’s a bit creepy, really, but it was great fun as a kid.
With trumpets for ears and eyes that bounce around, iZ was an extraterrestrial creature that played music but also allowed you to manipulate the music by twisting its different alien limbs. Also, this abstract little alien had a life of its own, with the ability to move and react outside of its owner’s control. I remember iZ from it being in the McDonald’s Happy
Meal for a long time, so this exposure, combined with its unique image, made it a very iconic toy from the 2000s.
39. ZhuZhu Pets
These fluffy little remote control hamsters with a couple of their own straight-to-DVD movies were another classic toy of the noughties. ZhuZhu Pets had nine different original pets with big names such as Chunk, PipSqueak, Mr. Squiggles and Num Nums. I can only imagine how many of these toys were smashed to pieces with a broom by rat-fearing parents.
40. FurReal Friends
Yet another line of robotic furry animals… What made FurReal Friends different is the high-tech sensors they had spread all over them to increase the realism in their reactions. When you patted the head of FurReal Friends, they would react in a very realistic way, blowing little kids’ minds.
FurReal Friends were released in 2003 and 20 years later, these cute robotic furry animals can mimic sleeping, eating, urinating and defecating – it sounds like a lot more work than I signed up for to be honest!
Remember Miley Cyrus before Party in the U.S.A. and Wrecking Ball? Back then, she was just the daughter of an incredibly successful country musician who pretended to be a normal girl. After its release in 2008, you could get the best of both worlds in your bedroom with the Hannah Montana Malibu Beach house.
Lifted directly out of the incredibly popular Disney TV show, this dolls house was hugely popular in the 2000s but now they are worth a couple hundred dollars on eBay, so it might be worth sifting through your attic, you might be sitting under a pop-country-plastic-gold mine.
Everyone remembers Hot Wheels but only a special few will remember this very special Hot Wheels track. You couldn’t actually buy it in store, you had to collect all 35 world race cars and mail Hot Wheels the codes, and they would send you this insane 36 foot race track. Including track sections such as Wild Wave, Octoblast, and Volcano Blowout.
Bella Dancerella Pop Star brought Dance Dance Revolution into your living room. Not just that but Bella Dancerella was built to turn kids into pop stars with the moves to propel you into superstardom. I don’t know if it worked, but maybe that’s how Ed Sheeran started out.
Just what you needed: pocket sized Thomas the Tank Engines so you can take the rail infrastructure of Sodor everywhere with you. They had hundreds of different characters and lots of different destinations. As a kid, I’d love to combine my Thomas the Tank Engine toys with my Hot Wheels ramps and watch as Gordon and Percy tackle loop-de-loops and daredevil jumps over the great Cushion Canyon.
Help Dora make recipes for you and all your friends with her Talking Kitchen. Dora the Explorer was certainly a 2000s icon, and so is her kitchen. With both Spanish and English programmed, Dora’s Talking Kitchen taught generations of children the difference between an enchilada and a quesadilla.
The name is Tommy Nitro, a man that strikes fear in the heart of any karate master. Tommy Nitro was your tutor if you used Black Belt Karate Studio – a home video that came with its own punch bag and a mat to aid your foot placement. If you’re one of the many 2000s kids who learned karate from Tommy Nitro, I wouldn’t want to test your karate skills.
A lot like the Easy-Bake Oven but with a disgusting twist: everything you make is gross, and not by accident. Gross out stuff was a real trope of the 2000s, so much goo and gunk, maybe it was started by the Nickelodeon gunge? The Queasy Bake Cookerator was one for the kids who ate worms and played with frogs. Finally, a toy for the weird kids.
48. Yummy Dough
This one is probably another one for the weird kids, the kids who wouldn’t stop eating Play Doh. Seriously, though, “Play Doh you can eat” is a genius idea, Dowever, I doubt the hygiene of modeling your food before you eat it, but that never bothered me as a kid. Yummy Dough can be eaten raw or baked into cookies, so fun.
49. Gelli Baff
Gelli Baff was a magical powder that once poured into a bathtub full of water, would rapidly turn usually bath time into jelly time! This helped fulfill any kid’s dream of being part of a giant fruit salad. Bathing in a thick colorful goo was great fun, and also it’s all completely safe and biodegradable – What a surprise!
Before we had to put a bit of tape over our laptop webcams, we would use My Password Journal by Mattel. This high end security diary would keep all your secrets safe, like who has a crush on who at school, who is ignoring who from summer camp… really top secret stuff. My Password Journal had a microphone to pick up the password, so you speak the magic words and your diary opens up. Also it had invisible ink and black light so even if someone were to find out your password, they would be none the wiser.
This one was literally everywhere in the 2000s. A tattered, matted hair stuck to the head of a plastic horse that had crazy eyelashes. I personally found it terrifying… Maybe it had something to do about the fact that it was a disembodied horse with human-like eyes. Creepy stuff! But there were kids around the world who loved to style the hair on this surreal pink horse called Pegasus. Plait it, braid it, dreadlock it or just shave it all off like the girl in my class.
2000s Building Toys
BIONICLE is a line of LEGO toys for 8-to-16-year-olds that was released 2001. LEGO was in a bad place in the late 90s, going through a rough time in terms of finances, but BIONICLE changed all that. LEGO BIONICLE was such a popular line that it became one of LEGO’s most successful products, accounting for nearly all of their income the company managed to bring in at the time. It was accompanied by a multimedia, original story that showed how the BIONICLE elemental powers were necessary to save the universe.
Magnetix is a multicolored magnetic construction toy with parts that would click together so you could build huge architectural undertakings in just a few minutes. All fun and games, right? Not quite. Magnetix had great success until there was a death linked to their product causing the company to recall all their products. They continued to sell the product under different names after the defect was corrected.
Remember making your own pixel art with lots of multicolored beads? They say you must suffer for your art, but probably not with Bindeez. These were another 2000s toy that started off with a bang just to end up with mass product recall.
It turned out some of the factories were using a chemical that essentially was a sedative, unlike the safe chemical the designers outlined in their plans, causing yet another multi-national product recall after kids ended up in hospital after swallowing the beads.
Star Wars was incredibly popular in the noughties after the release of Episodes I, II and III, and LEGO went hand in hand with it. You can build anything in LEGO and the big heads in LEGO HQ decided that it was time we could also build Star Wars characters and spaceships.
That’s the moment when LEGO Star Wars was born.
Shake ‘n Go Speedway could be seen as ‘the Scalextric for the little kids’ where they could play with their Shake n Go Racers. No need for electricity with these racers: you could just shake the cars and off they would go. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand how it works so it feels a bit like magic.
They’ve also released deliberate crash tracks, so now you can also satisfy your toddlers appetite for destruction.
Are you ready, kids? I can’t hear you! And I never will. But maybe you can, with LEGO SpongeBob Square Pants Adventures at Bikini Bottom. The LEGO set for kids who were obsessed with SpongeBob and couldn’t think of anything better than building the iconic aquatic city of Bikini Bottom. Build the pineapple that houses a talking sponge. Or don’t buy it, and hoard all your sweet, sweet money, like Mr. Krabs.
2000s Action Figures
In my humble opinion, Hellboy is one of the best superhero franchises ever made – especially the 2004 movie. Guillermo del Toro directs the surreal, magical Hellboy, played by Ron Pearlman, alongside Selma Blair, Jeffery Tambor, and John Hurt. And the action figure is just as cool, with amazing sculpting, articulated limbs, and amazing attention to detail – the leather tool belt is so refined!
This is another one I actually had. But you better believe I’m kicking myself because they are now worth a couple hundred on eBay and I have no idea where mine ended up. At 17 inches tall, this is a beast of an action figure! This toy can speak, repeating some of Treebeard’s iconic lines, like “You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.” So all you have to do is press the button on his back and wait an hour, while he delivers the line.
Of all the mechanical transforming alien beings, Armada Supreme Class Unicron is easily the one with the coolest name. It’s also pretty awesome as a toy. It transforms into a planet with fully articulated limbs and can even fire missiles. Channel your inner God of Chaos with your own Unicron.
Transport yourself back to the 2000s with the ultimate Optimus Prime action figure. This figure authentically captures the iconic character’s design, offering poseable articulation and a range of accessories. Whether you’re a collector or a fan, this action figure is a timeless tribute to a cherished era, making it a must-have for anyone looking to reconnect with the Transformers universe from the perspective of the 2000s.
Spider-man, Spider-man, super poseable Spider-man. Look out, it’s another iconic toy from the 2000s!
According to a lot of geeky Spider-man action figure reviewers, this Spider-man figure is the best of the best. Everything on this one articulates, the head, the chest- and even the fingers. All the agility, flexibility and lightning-fast reflexes of the real, fictional, Spider-man.
Probably the worst portable video player ever created. It played tiny DVDs called PVDs, which sounds like an illness. PVDs could only hold 20 minutes of video and could only play mono audio and in black and white. This technology wouldn’t have looked out of place in the 1950s. But if you want to watch cartoons, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and a few straight to PVD movies in black and white, the VideoNow is for you.
64. Cube World
These cubes were cool. Cube World were basically cubes that had a digital stickman ‘living’ inside of them. You could connect multiple cubes and all the stickmen would interact with each other in weird and wonderful ways.
Coming in a range of different colors, Cube World cubes also had built-in gyroscopes so the animated stick men could sense when you were rotating them or shaking them up. Their technology definitely felt way beyond their purpose.
65. Hit Clips
The Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, Simple Plan, the 2000s was a great decade for some very cheesy pop music. But would you pay for an MP3 player that played only 60 seconds of one song? The answer is yes, and everyone else will as well. Who needs a full album? I just want to hear the best minute of my favorite artist, on repeat, forever…
Cybiko was a handheld computer marketed towards teens. It came with 430 official games, a two-way radio, and an MP3 player. What more could you want? Well, obviously in retrospect, a smartphone would do all this and more. But this was the 2000s, and this was cutting edge of teen technology. Much better product than the HitClips for sure.
67. Pixel Chix
Similar to a Tamagotchi, Pixel Chix had a digital screen with buttons, but were housed in a larger plastic dollhouse. The game was all about hanging out with a digital girl, feeding her, playing games, dressing her up, taking her out, and tucking her into bed. And, as you keep playing, you get to unlock new items and activities along the way.
Slip on the helmet and become the Sith Lord. When this was released, you could join the Dark Side from the comfort of your own living room. With the ominous breathing sound and Vader’s classic lines, you could run your household like the Death Star.
2000s RC Toys
69. Shell Shocker
Many strange RC vehicles came out in the 2000s but this has to be the strangest one. Even the controller looks bizarre. How do you even classify the Shell Shocker? Is it a robot? An alien? A turtle? A Robot-Alien-Turtle? Whatever it is, it’s very interesting and was probably super fun to play with. It could roll up into a ball like an armadillo or open up and fly around like a remote control blender. Impressive stuff.
Dr Who was at its absolute best in the 2000s, with Christopher Eccleston (my personal favorite Doctor) and the ever popular David Tennant, who is returning for a victory lap in 2023. With your own RC Dalek you could attack the universe of your living room as Dr. Who’s most powerful nemesis, the Dalek.
Another incredibly cool RC toy from WowWee, creators of RaboSapien and Roborapter from higher up in the list. This was one of the first RC ornithopters (flapping wing aircraft). It’s lightweight enough to fly but its crash resistant structure and strong materials mean the Flytech Dragonfly should last longer than just Christmas day, unlike most the RC helicopters I’ve ever used.
Fly Wheels XPV offered versatile play, easily transitioning between ground and air modes. It was clearly built for speed, racing at nearly 20 miles per hour on land and reaching impressive heights and speeds of up to 30 miles per hour in the air, making it a thrilling choice for kids who love action-packed stunts.
2000s Outdoor Toys
73. Razor RipStik
Just ‘twist and go’ they said. Well, not quite. Many arms were broken learning how to ride the Razor RipStik, but once you worked it out, there’s few things as beautiful and satisfying. It was all in the hips with the RipStik, and great fun, but in no way a useful form of transport. Put it this way, I wouldn’t be riding to work on one of these.
It’s starting to make sense why the brand is called Razor… These toys cut me up as a kid. My shins will never be the same after my encounters with the Razor Kick Scooter. Still, such an iconic toy from the 2000s, I didn’t know anyone that didnt have one. They were everywhere, and now they litter our local parks and waterways. Millions of these scooters are rusting away in sheds up and down the country.
75. Fly Wheels
I imagine children in the 1950s would get their kicks rolling old tires down hills. You could say Fly Wheels is like the 2000s version of this game. With a similar mechanism to the Beyblades from higher up in the list, Flywheels would fire wheels off at 200 “scale” mph (200 mph if it was a full size wheel) and off they’d go.
I assume this is in a way just to make more money because surely 9/10 times you’re not getting your wheel back as it flies into the gutter. But they did go fast and they came in all terrain as well so you can take them out in the rain, sun, or snow.
The trike every toddler had in the 2000s. Made from sturdy steel and with a low center of gravity, it was a very safe trike for teaching the little ones how to ride. Also it folds away for easy storage, and comes with its own little box at the back and steamers for extra speed and style.
77. Phlat Ball
A ball is fun. A frisbee is fun. So, what about a frisbee that can turn into a ball at any given moment? Double fun! The added drama made this one of the most successful, unique toys of the 2000s. It had a sucker on the inside that allowed the ball to flatten into a frisbee, and when it came unstuck it would pop out and turn into a ball. Another russian roulette of a toy.
Outdoor toys in the 2000s were not the safest things in the world (see RipStik), but this one was next level unsafe. Shoes with skates that pop out the bottom must surely be some sort of death trap! Every kid who had parents who gave them whatever they wanted regardless of how potentially dangerous it could be had a pair of Street Flyers.
They could just press the button and suddenly they were flying around on a set of wheels.
There have been many variations of the Street Flyers in the last couple decades. Perhaps the most popular ones in the 2000s were the iconic Heelys:
These look a little safer, right? I can see why they became more popular.
Frequently Asked Questions About Toys in the 2000s
🙋 What was the 2000s like for kids?
While technology was improving at a rapid rate, smartphones and internet connection did not become what they are today until later on in the decade. This meant kids in the 2000s were still playing out in the street, getting their hands dirty and riding around on bikes.
Kids TV was in a golden era, with shows like SpongeBob Squarepants and Kim Possible, a lot of time for noughties kids was spent sat in front on the TV. It turned out too much TV did not turn our eyes square, but it probably did damage our attention spans.
🙋 How were 2000s kids different from kids today?
Now technology is even more advanced than we would have imagined in the 2000s, with everyone having their own smartphone (more powerful than any family computer) in the palm of our hands.
Kids today won’t be satisfied with a Bop-it or a Beyblade, it’s now all about TikTok and Instagram. With full unbridled access to the wild west of the internet, the old pleasures of a bit of plastic that spins around really fast, doesn’t seem so exciting
🙋 What shows and movies were popular with kids in the 2000s ?
Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc, Wall-E. Pixar is the name of the decade, releasing some absolute powerhouses of kids’ cinematic entertainment.
To a lesser extent, Dreamworks with maybe the most iconic character of the decade, Shrek, meme’d into oblivion the Shrek Franchise captured the kids humor of the noughties like no other.
In terms of TV shows, Lizzie McGuire, SpongeNob Squarepants, and Avatar: The Last Airbender stand out as iconic and distinctly 2000s.
Toy companies seemed to piggyback on these successes of kids animation with every toy having its own TV show universe; Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Bratz just to name a few – every toy and a show and every show had a toy.
So… What 2000s Iconic Toy Should You Get?
This depends on what it is you want…
Are you chasing the sweet thrill of nostalgia? Then Bratz dolls, or the GameCube are your best options, with designs that couldn’t have been conceived in any other decade.
If you’re after nurturing your inner child with something you couldn’t get as a kid, I’d recommend NSYNC Marionettes, Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House, or (my favorite) the Roboraptor, which still looks as futuristic and cool as it did nearly 20 years ago.
Overall, you’ve got to choose whatever toys mean “noughties” to you, it’s all personal.