What Was THE Must-Have Christmas Present The Year You Were Born?

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Without a doubt, 2016 is destined to go down as the year of the Hatchimal, a toy that has the unique appeal of doing its most notable thing (hatching) once, and only once. Come 2017, they'll likely be forgotten for some newer, flashier toy that beeps, fights, or bounces, and proves equally elusive to desperate adults looking to make holiday dreams come true.
Of course, the Hatchimal is just the latest in a long line of toys that fly off the shelves during the Christmas season. The ghosts of must-have toys past include everything from Wiis to Elmos to Bratz. Ebates has rounded up over 30 years of the toys that were the hardest to buy during the holidays. (The only year missing is 1991.) Three decades of must-have toys prove two things: Kids have the weirdest wishes, and there will always be adults willing to wait in lines (and occasionally punch strangers) to fulfill them.
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So what was the hot toy the year you were born? Click through to see how many of these you remember.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
2016: Hatchimals
Proving that nothing is less explicable than the tastes of children, Hatchimals are fantastical chirping beasts whose biggest appeal is that they break out of the eggs they come in exactly once. Already the most googled toy of the year, they're also proving impossible to find in stores or online. (Unless you're willing to try your luck on eBay.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2015: Remote Control BB-8
Even before The Force Awakens was released in theaters, the newest Star Wars droid was a hit with adults and kids, alike.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2014: Frozen Merchandise
The runaway success of Disney's tale of two sisters (and one singing snowman) took toy sellers by surprise, and all things Frozen became difficult to find leading up to Christmas 2014.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2013: Big Hugs Elmo
While not the same runaway success as its predecessor, Tickle Me Elmo, Big Hugs Elmo nevertheless proved to be a hit with the under-5 set.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2012: Wii U
The first of many video game consoles to appear on this list; customers waited for hours to get their hands on these back in 2012.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2011: LeapPad Explorer
Basically an iPad for kids, the LeapPad was also named Toy Of The Year at the American International Toy Fair.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2010: iPad
Of course, before the LeapPad, there had to be the iPad. Released in 2010, 300,000 were sold on the first day alone.
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2009: Zhu Zhu Pets
With a "zhuniverse" of pets to buy (with names like Num Nums and Mr. Squiggles), kids couldn't get enough. They were originally $9, but parents were buying them for as much as $60 as Christmas got closer, and stock ran low.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2008: Nintendo Wii
Allowing kids and adults to do everything from bowling to street-fighting from the comfort of their homes, the original Nintendo Wii sold 10 million units by the end of 2008.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2007: Nintendo DS
An upgrade to the classic Game Boy, Nintendo DS would become the best-selling handheld gaming system in history, with 1.4 billion sold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2006: Playstation 3
The PS3 falls under the category of toys with the questionable honor of being so popular they caused actual fights to break out between shoppers.
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2005: XBox 360
Rushed to market to beat what would become 2006's most popular toy (the PS3), the Xbox 360 sold 5.5 million units in its first six months.
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2003-2004: RoboSapiens
Long before Westworld captured our collective imagination, these humanoid robots were flying off the shelves — 1.5 million units in the eight months leading up to Christmas.
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2002: Beyblades
Beyblades made spinning tops into dangerous fun. Players would battle them in a plastic arena, and the toy remained one of the most popular in the world until 2005.
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2001: Bratz
Bratz has surpassed Barbie to become the No. 1 toy marketed to girls. The dolls are also a great time capsule of early aughts fashion: baggy pants, wedge sandals, and frosty makeup.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
2000: Razor Scooter
Originally sold by Sharper Image, purveyor of every kind of massaging chair available, these super-light scooters turned every kid into a potential terror on wheels (and even created a new sport).
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1999: Pokémon
Kids couldn't stop choosing Pikachu (or Charmander, or Squirtle...) at the turn of the century, leaving adults to scramble to keep up, buying cards, games, and dolls. To date, Ebates' infographic says worldwide Pokémon sales have surpassed an astonishing $4 trillion.
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
1998: Furby
Long before Hatchimals made adults scratch their heads, another electronic, plastic-beaked creature was on the scene: the Furby. In 1998 alone, Hasbro sold 27 million Furbys, according to Ebates, which means plenty of millennials' childhood bedrooms still have one tucked away somewhere, waiting to whirr back to life.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
1997: Tamagotchi
Another "pet" that was kept alive by a mix of attention from children and its own batteries, Tamagotchi were so popular that, at the peak of their popularity, 15 were sold every minute.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
1996: Tickle Me Elmo
An unforeseen hit with kids, Tickle Me Elmo flew off the shelves, leaving adults to seek them from scalpers — or just to brawl over them, proving they weren't listening to the messages of kindness and sharing Elmo himself works so hard to promote.
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1995: Beanie Babies
Children and adults alike hoarded the line of collectible animals. Despite the amazing lengths both were willing to go to acquire them, the majority have turned out not to be the investment they once seemed.
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1994: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
They kicked, they karate-chopped, they morphed (well, their heads flipped), and kids couldn't get enough in 1994.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ebay.
1993: Talkboy
Originally created as a tie-in to the Home Alone franchise, Talkboys sold so fast, the manufacturer had to pull the commercials.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ebay.
1992: Barney
It's hard to believe there was a time when a kids' show didn't automatically come with an extensive merchandising plan, but Ebates claims parents had to request a Barney doll be made after seeing their kids cuddle video cassettes of the show.
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Photo: Ebay.
1990: Super Nintendo
The best-selling console of the 16-bit era, Super Nintendo was initially released in Japan and South Korea in 1990, then in the U.S. in 1991.
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Photo: courtesy of Ebay.
1989: Game Boy
One of the best-selling video games of all time, Game Boys outsold competitors and set the way for a whole line of future handheld devices, like the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
1988: Nintendo
The original Nintendo gaming system sold seven million in 1988 alone, mostly around the holiday season.
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1987: Koosh
Then again, some popular toys of wish-lists past are incredibly low-tech. Behold, the Koosh.
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1985-1986: Teddy Ruxpin
With the aid of a cassette in his back, Teddy Ruxpin could "read" stories to children (and, presumably, creep out their parents — just watch the commercial).
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1984: Transformers
Originally from Japan, these cars-turned-robots became so popular, an animated TV show was created (and, later, a live-action movie starring Shia LaBeouf).
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
1983: Cabbage Patch Kids
Either because of — or in spite of — their yarn hair and potato-shaped heads, Cabbage Patch Kids were a runaway success. Two years later, they would top $600 million in sales.
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