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Category: Gadgets

10 Fad Toys That Caused Black Friday Riots

Every Black Friday, there seems to be one item in particular that has people busting down the doors as soon as they unlock. While more of the focus has been online for retailers and selling televisions in-store on Black Friday, there are still some toys that a lot of people want. Over the history of Black Friday, these 10 toys in particular, though, drove people to near madness and caused a lot of fighting in the aisles.

1. Tickle Me Elmo

Who can forget the Tickle Me Elmo craze in 1996 when people were piling on top of each other to grab the “Sesame Street” character plush doll that giggled and vibrated? Scalpers that could grab one were selling them online for over $1,000 as there was a shortage of supplies in the stores.

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2. Furby

Two years after the Tickle Me Elmo craze, a similar toy came around that was smaller and more intuitive called the Furby. Furby would talk to you, answering questions and speaking in its own cute little language. Furby sold hand over fist upon its release in 1998, with new editions being made in the following years.

3. Nintendo Wii

Nintendo products are always hot commodities around the holiday time, but the Nintendo Wii was on another level. Released just in time for Christmas in 2006, the Nintendo Wii was the first motion control console to be available, and everybody wanted one. Another aspect that made it so popular was the price, as it was only $249.99 upon release.

4. Beanie Babies

Anybody that was around in the 1990s remembers just how popular Beanie Babies were throughout a chunk of the decade. The small little plushies were collector’s items that we all thought were going to be worth something in the future. However, Beanie Babies proved to ultimately be worth next to nothing just a few years after their debut.

5. Tamagotchi

Every child in the 1990s wanted a handheld device where you took care of a little creature called a Tamagotchi. Essentially a virtual pet on a keychain, the Tamagotchi was a great gift for parents since it was affordable, but they were extremely hard to find at the height of their popularity in 1997.

6. Razor Scooters

In the early 2000s, just about everyone between the ages of 8 and 15 years old wanted a scooter because of how cool the commercials made them look. The top brand was Razor, a company that started in California in 2000. Razor scooters were in almost every household, and were known to bruise a lot of ankles.

7. PlayStation 2

Just like the Nintendo Wii, there was another level of hype for this video game console that was released in the 2000 holiday season. The Sony PlayStation was successful, but the buildup to the follow-up console was unparalleled at the time. The console would also end up being the longest-lasting, was affordable for its time, and was the first console to have a DVD player.

8. Teddy Ruxpin

Before Tickle Me Elmo and Furby came around, Teddy Ruxpin was the toy that every child wanted that could talk back to its owner. Teddy Ruxpin was the best-selling toy for two years in a row in the mid-1980s, featuring a cassette tape slot so that the cute little bear could read stories to children.

9. ZhuZhu Pets

It’s hard to really tell why ZhuZhu pets were so popular in 2009 when they were first released. After all, they seemed to be standard plush toys that didn’t really do anything. They were also cheap at under $10, which made demand far outweigh the supply. ZhuZhu Pets went on the secondary market, selling for $100 each in some circles.

10. iPod

Apple products seem to be a little watered down now since they’re so numerous and come out every year, but who can forget the craze of the first iPod when it was released just before Black Friday in 2001? The music player was the top of the line, selling millions of units in its first holiday season and becoming a staple of MP3 players before the iPhone came around.

5 Best Lifestyle Gadgets For Under $20

All of us want to save money every day, but we’re not quite sure how when we’re at the store. Sometimes we see a new gadget that we could use in our household, but it could end up costing well over $100. Thankfully, there are some nifty lifestyle gadgets that won’t break the bank. Even if you think you don’t need any of these gadgets, they could make the perfect gift for holidays, birthdays, or just for fun occasions.

Check out these five best lifestyle gadgets that cost less than $20. Some are practical, some are and some are just downright fun. You can pick these up at local retailers or shop online adding convenience to your savings.

Bidet

Bidets have been around for quite some time, but haven’t really made their way into the average household up until the recent pandemic. Since 2020 bidet sales have been on the rise and are quickly becoming a popular household tool used in place of toilet paper, or as an aid to reduce toilet paper use. 

They come in handy when paper products are difficult to come by, they’re more environmentally friendly and do a better job of cleaning those hard to reach places. You can get one yourself from a range of prices, but most standard bidets cost less than $20. 

Rapid Egg Cooker

For around $16-$20, you can get yourself the Dash rapid egg cooker that does exactly what you think it does. It’s a fun little gadget that any egg-loving household should have. You place the eggs into the machine and it does all of the work for you. 

It takes hardly any time for the rapid egg cooker to do its thing, even less time than it takes to boil the water you’d normally use to cook the eggs in. The product has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overcooking of the eggs and delivers a perfectly cooked egg every time. 

Flashlight Gloves

Another curious, yet incredibly useful product created by Rick L. Ziemer is the gloves that are equipped with LED flashlights located on the top of the hand and the fingertips. What do you do when you’re out shoveling a cold, dark day, or night and you can’t juggle a phone, or flashlight while holding the shovel? 

What about when you’re out for a chilly stroll and want to ensure nearby vehicles know you’re there? For those situations and more, these gloves are sure to literally come in very handy. They’re around $16 on Amazon. 

Toilet Bowl LED Light – Illumibowl

One cool product we all need in our lives is a toilet bowl LED light. Who would have thought? Matt Alexander and Michael Kannely did. They came up with the innovative product in 2014 and it’s been a strange, but welcome addition to many homes since then. So what exactly is this intriguing invention? 

The Illumibowl is a small LED light that attaches to the inside rim of the toilet bowl and has a variety of colors to choose from. It’s a surprisingly useful tool for those who constantly wake in the middle of the night and want to go to the bathroom without stubbing their toe and bumping into things. 

Cleaning Putty

For as little as $3 you can get yourself a fun, easy, and safe way to clean hard-to-reach messes in your car, on your keyboard, and other electronics. The cleaning gel, or putty is a simple product, but it works. It uses its sticky, but mess-free texture to grab hold of pesky little crumb and dust that is nearly impossible to get out of those difficult places. It’s a safe way to clean electronics without the use of chemicals and liquids as well. 

Home Luxuries: 5 Gadgets Under $100 To Help You Pamper Yourself

Rest and relaxation are just around the corner when you have these nifty gadgets right at home.

#1 – A bathtub pillow

Dreaming of a relaxing soak in the tub but dreading the cold, hard porcelain on your back?

The first self-care gadget you can’t live without is a bathtub pillow. Averaging around $30 on Amazon, bathtub pillows give you a soft, supportive neck and back rest in the bath tub. Now you can light a few candles, lean back, and relax in complete comfort.

Most tub pillows include a hanger so you can hang it over the tub to dry when you’re done.

#2 – An acupressure mat

The second self-care gadget you needed yesterday is an acupuncture mat.

Simply unroll your mat and lie on it for improved circulation, rejuvenation of your skin, and relieve stress and tension. Use your acupressure mat to fight headaches, migraines, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and stress.

When you’re done, roll it back up and store in a drawer or closet. It’s that easy!

As an added bonus, most mats are under $100 and include a small acupressure pillow, too!

#3 – An aromatherapy diffuser

Most aromatherapy diffusers are under $50 and transform your home, bedroom, or bathroom into a resort-like oasis. Simply add water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for focus, stress relief, stimulation, and health benefits. You can also use your diffuser to promote relaxation during a yoga session or sleep at the end of the day.

You can choose from a variety of colors, designs, and aesthetics. Find the diffuser that compliments your space and creates the ambience you’re looking for in your room.

#4 – A self-care planner

Using a self-care planner can help you give your wellness the same attention you give your bills and meetings. You can expect a great self-care planner to remind you to:

  • hydrate your body by drinking enough water
  • move your body throughout the day
  • pay attention to how you feel, what caused it, and what helps
  • be more mindful
  • complete small tasks that improve your life, space, or wellness
  • choose foods that nourish your body, and more.

#5 – A derma roller

Derma rollers include hundreds of microneedles that puncture the outermost layers of skin. These tiny, almost painless punctures have a dramatic effect behind the scenes. Your body goes into healing mode,increasing the production of collagen-rich tissue. This new tissue gives you brighter, healthier skin.

A derma roller is one way to get spa-level care right at home for less than $20. For catapulted results, add a well-reviewed serum to your derma rolling routine.

Alright, that’s it! These five affordable gadgets can give you a day at the spa without ever leaving your home, so you can tackle life rested and recharged.