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10 Fun Gadgets From The '90s That You Can Still Buy Today

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 12/5/2022 Christine Persaud
© Provided by ScreenRant

The ‘90s was a fun time of transition when items like cassette tapes were being replaced by CDs, mobile phones were being introduced, and by the end of the decade, kids and adults, alike were gearing up for the new millennium.

Some of the most iconic gadgets of the 20th century were introduced in the ‘90s, including ones that paved the way for technology that has become dominant today. The smartphone, after all, would not have existed were it not for the PDA, while the Walkman was a portable precursor to streaming music. Some of these products, albeit in modified and/or updated form, can still be bought today on Amazon, making for the perfect gift for that '90s kid you know, and Amazon Prime makes purchasing and delivery even better.

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Sony Digital Walkman

List Price: $369.99

While the Walkman was initially introduced way back in 1979, it was in 1999 that Sony launched its first digital audio players (DAP). The first was named the MS Walkman and it used a memory stick to store music for listening once the cassette tape and CD became legacy media.

The version of the Sony Walkman you can still buy today includes the fully digital models that come with built-in storage and Android OS for playing back stored digital files, or content via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The Sony NW-A105 Walkman has just 16GB of storage, runs on Android 9.0, and comes equipped with a 3.6-inch touchscreen. It’s a far-cry from the Walkman of yesteryear and not as sophisticated as other streaming devices today. But it remains a nostalgic device that will bring back memories.

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Pager/Beeper

List Price: $129.95

Deal Price: $95.95

Back in the ‘90s before cell phones became commonplace, a lot of teenagers sported pagers. Today, these have become forgotten gadgets that kids won’t recognize today. These were used to communicate with friends, as a means for parents to contact them (though a quarter was still needed to call home from a payphone when summoned), and even send cryptic numerical messages only a select group could understand (think phone number plus “911” means “call me, it’s important”).

Nowadays, smartphones are little computers in the pocket. But a basic pager, which is now reserved for doctors and other on-call professionals, can still be had for the fun of it. The Apollo 202 Numeric Pager operates on the 900MHz frequency and requires paging service in the area to work. It comes with three months of free local paging.

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Nokia Phone

List Price: $49.37

  • Comes in black, blue

Nokia was, at one point, one of the most dominant mobile phone manufacturers. In 1992, Nokia launched the Nokia 1011, the first mass-produced GSM phone. The handset was long and rectangular with a monochrome LCD and an antenna that extended to afford a better signal. It had a memory that could save up to 99 phone numbers and it could send and receive text messages as well.

While the Nokia 1011 is long gone, Nokia does still make mobile phones, including ones like the Nokia 225, which is about as close to a modern-day Nokia 1011 as is available now. With a similar form factor albeit much thinner and with a better touchscreen and access to 4G, it has a few other advanced features, like a built-in camera and games. By today’s standards, it’s an entry-level phone. But compared to the Nokia 1011, it’s a high-tech innovation.

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Nintendo 64 Gaming Console (Renewed)

List Price: $195.55

Introduced in 1996, the Nintendo 64 video game console was the first one to solidify Nintendo as a serious contender in the video game space. Using cartridges, kids and adults could play tons of video games that are simplistic by today’s standards but remain timeless. The most popular one at the time was Super Mario 64.

Today, while the Nintendo 64 has been replaced by other consoles like the Wii followed by the Nintendo Switch, it’s still possible to buy the old console through the Amazon Renewed program. Shipping with a remote, search for old games or find some in the attic or storage closet and enjoy some throwback gaming.

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Portable DVD Player

List Price: $99.99

Deal Price: $69.99

Once DVDs took over as the dominant media for movies, devices like portable DVD players became popular. The first one was introduced in 1998 by Panasonic. These devices made it easy for kids to watch movies and TV shows in the backseat during road trips, or for watching on-the-go virtually anywhere.

While Panasonic has since moved on from portable DVD players (though Panasonic portable DVD players can still be found in circulation), and tablets have taken the place of portable DVD players, this technology is still very much a thing. There are models like the DBPOWER portable DVD player that has a five-hour built-in, rechargeable battery, 9-inch swivel screen, and can play back CDs and DVDs as well as media from SD cards and USB flash drives. It comes with a remote, car charger, and even a car headrest.

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IBM (Now Lenovo) ThinkPad

List Price: $799

It was in the ‘90s that IBM introduced its ThinkPad computers with fold-out keyboards, an early-version of what we know today as a laptop. It was thick and clunky, but back then, the technology was something to marvel at.

Today, the ThinkPad is still available, though the brand was since acquired by Lenovo. One of the newest models in the line-up is the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 3, which boasts far more advanced features than was seen in the ‘90s, including a 15.6-inch 60Hz full HD IPS screen, AMB Ryzen 5 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, and more. It runs on Windows 10.

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George Foreman Grill

List Price: $29.99

One of the most successful small home appliance gadgets of the ‘90s, and arguably most successful of any product type, the George Foreman Grill was found in many homes back at that time. When the heavyweight boxing champ George Foreman pivoted to entrepreneurship, it was a massive success. Since 1994, more than 100 million appliances have been sold worldwide.

More than 25 years later, the George Foreman grill is still going strong. The 2-serving Classic Plate George Foreman Grill is perfect for smaller homes and apartments or single individuals or couples. It can be stored vertically, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and offers the same non-stick coating for which the grilles have become known. From burgers to toasted paninis, the versatile grill remains a favorite.

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Sony PlayStation

List Price: $99.92

The first PlayStation was introduced in 1995 and became a dominant force in the console gaming market, putting Sony on the map as a company that not only made large electronics like TVs and, back then, DVD players and boomboxes, but also gaming devices.

Now in its fifth iteration, the Sony PlayStation 5 console is so popular, it’s tough to find. Amazon is offering units by invitation only to customers, and only while supplies last. But customers interested in grabbing older versions, including the PlayStation Classic, can do so as well. The throwback Classic console comes with 20 pre-loaded games, two wired controllers, a virtual memory card, and HDMI cable, and it’s almost half the size of the original.

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Palm Pilot

List Price: $265.01

Before smartphones, there was something called personal digital assistants or PDAs, which served as portable notebook-type devices that were designed to combine both a mobile phone and a computer. They were far more rudimentary than a smartphone but were a stepping-stone to the devices that have become popular today. Palm Pilots were one of the gadgets that defined the ‘90s.

The original PalmPilot Personal device was introduced in 1997 and while it might only be found on auction sites nowadays, Palm is still selling some later iterations of it. One such option is the Palm TX handheld, which comes with a 320 x 480 screen, 128MBs of flash memory, built-in wireless, and support for memory cards. It functions on the Palm Desktop Software for Windows and Mac.

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Robot Dog

List Price: $54.97

Deal Price: $46.99

Long ahead of its time, Sony’s Aibo robot boasted what was considered artificial intelligence (AI) at the time when it was introduced, just before the Millennium in 1999. It came in the form of a dog, ideal for those with allergies or who simply loved to be on the cutting edge of technology and had the exorbitant amount of money it cost to buy one.

Interestingly, Sony’s Aibo is still around today, albeit in far more advanced form and costing in the thousands for the realistic replica pet. What’s more, there are many other robot dog gadgets available that are designed to emulate Aibo, as well as function as learning toys for kids. The Contixo R3 Robot Dog, for example, works with a remote and can do everything from dance to respond to voice commands like sit, lay down, walk forward, or even do a handstand.

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MORE: 10 Fun ‘90s Games That You Can Still Buy Today

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