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07th Apr 2016

9 British childhood fads we’d love to see make a comeback

Bring them back...

Matt Tate

Things were so much better in the old days.

There comes a point in a man’s life where he feels he has officially been on the earth long enough to refer to ‘old days’ with melancholy, reflecting on what has changed and moaning loudly about it. Obviously, some things are definitely best left in the past – like Walkmans that would jump out of sync at the faintest movement, and Sum 41 – but we wondered what fads from our British childhoods would JOE readers happily jump back on board with given the chance. After all, do we ever really grow up?


We put the question to you – as well as racking our own nostalgia-filled brain caves – and came up with 8 things

1. Tazos

Eating a bag of crisps never properly loses its thrill factor, but remember the sense of raw anticipation you had when tearing into some Walkers in the hope you’d come across a good pack of Tazos? It’s time these little cardboard disks made a comeback.

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Typically mundane Monday mornings in the office would absolutely fly by if you knew there were Tazos on the lunchtime horizon. We did a bit of research and actually found this petition to have Tazos officially reinstated. Admittedly, the fact it had only 15 signatures over 10 months ago doesn’t signal huge demand… but surely nobody would say no to Bugs Bunny and friends in their crisps?

2. Yo-yos

Seems like an obvious choice, but outside of specialist conventions and museum gift shops, you just don’t see Yo-yos anymore. In school, it felt like a bit a slap in the face if your Yo-yo skills were lacking. You’d have the cool kids throwing them around their heads while you failed to pull off one successful up-down manoeuvre.

Credit: Enrique Calabuig/Flickr

But even so, Yo-yos were fun, and then they were gone. Somewhere along the way Yo-yo became YOLO and the youth of today are only bothered about fake hoverboards and Snapchat filters. Bring them back – for everyone.

3. Pokémon cards

Pokémon, as a franchise, has never actually gone away. The monster-catching video game series is as strong ever, but a lot of JOE readers seem to long for the glory days of the card-trading game.

[caption id="attachment_50980" align="alignnone" width="774"]Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 18.12.00 Credit: Ebay

There was no comparable feeling in school to swaggering into class with a shiny in your pocket. You might have been a mini Ronaldinho in PE, but that didn’t fetch half the prestige that someone immediately had when they produced a Charizard or Blastoise on the playground. Revive Pokémon cards, all 151 original, and everyone would go mad for them all over again.

4. Football stickers

Got, got, need, got, got, need. Tournament football when you were younger was as much about your sticker collection as watching the football itself; an insatiable craving to get your hands on every last shiny.

Panini stickers in particular are already enjoying a retro resurgence, facilitated by social media and numerous swapping websites. There’s still no better way of learning the name of Iceland’s substitute right back than having his smiling face stare up at you from a sticker book, and it was much easier to take seeing England crash out on penalties when you knew you at least had the starting 11 on your lap as a reminder of more optimistic days.

5. Cereal freebies

Nowadays there isn’t much more to cereal-eating than powering through a bowl of Shreddies to fight that Monday morning malaise. But it wasn’t always that way.

Credit: cerealoffers

Once upon a time, opening a cereal box was basically equivalent to unlocking a treasure chest. Bike reflectors, 3D glasses, stickers, pencil tops and flick books are just a few of the things you might find. Why do we have to stop being rewarded for eating breakfast just because we’re older? Who says we don’t still want a fake tattoo to go with our Weetabix? Free stuff for everyone, forever!

6. Game demo disks

Regardless of what platform you own, the internet means that these days there are thousands of video games available to everyone at the press of a button.

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Back in the day, fun wasn’t so easy to come by. You wouldn’t lay down your precious pocket money on a game without absolutely rinsing the demo first. There was nothing more exciting that legging it down to the nearest newsagent after school to see what games each magazine would let you try out that month, and it was the best way to master the fundamental gameplay mechanics you’d need for the full retail version. Demos just appear in your drive now ready to be ignored. It can’t match the buzz of having a sealed disk in your hands.

7. Curtains

One of your suggestions. Honestly. It really was. At least one of you out there wants the worst haircut of the 90s to make a comeback in barber chairs all over Britain.

Popularised by David Beckham and every lovestruck boyband going, it was the style that everyone wanted and nobody missed when it it was gone. Until now. If curtains make a mainstream comeback, you know what website to blame.

8. Tech Decks

It really didn’t matter that almost nobody was capable of doing a proper trick on them, because Tech Decks were the best way to kill an unwanted hour of algebra. Suddenly your slowly festering banana skin became a skatepark, and the opportunities were endless. You don’t tend to see fully grown men flinging a tiny plastic skateboard around their desks at work, but we reckon it’s still a better way to procrastinate the day away than checking Kanye’s Twitter updates every ten minutes.


9. A sense of hope

There was one other response we had after asking what part of your childhood you long for the return of. Apologies in advance for the depressing finale, but it just seemed too poignant to leave out.