Top 10 Things You Loved As a Kid That Don't Exist Anymore

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Top 10 Things You Loved As a Kid That Don't Exist Anymore

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Let's take a trip down memory lane. For this list, we'll be going over the products, stores, concepts, and other things from several decades ago which are no longer made, aren't in business anymore, or are just much less common now. Our countdown includes Mall Arcades, Sony Walkman, Blockbuster, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Things You Loved As a Kid That Don’t Exist Anymore


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 things you loved as a kid that don’t exist anymore.

For this list, we’ll be going over the products, stores, concepts, and other things from several decades ago which are no longer made, aren’t in business anymore, or are just much less common now.

If there’s a forgotten bit of your past that we’ve forgotten to include on our list, please let us know in the comments!

#10: Mall Arcades

Arcades and arcade games were staples of most local malls for most people’s childhood years for the latter half of the 20th century. However, the 21st century has brought the slow death to what were once institutions. Malls in general receive much less foot traffic than they used to, and the video games that make up most arcades are not as popular now that games are readily available at home or on the phone. Although there are still mall arcades out there, they’re much less widespread than they once were, at least in the West.

#9: Discovery Zone

In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, Discovery Zone was a chain of children’s entertainment centers. Filled with games, play structures, and other activities, they were basically competitors with chains like Chuck E. Cheese. Discovery Zone was a blast for kids to go to for birthday parties or just a day out. However, the company experienced several financial difficulties reportedly caused by its rapid expansion. This led to Discovery Zone going out of business completely by 2001. Still, fond memories have led to a small revival, with a single location opening in Ohio. Here’s hoping this leads to greater success!

#8: Tiger Beat

Starting in the mid-1960s, Tiger Beat has offered teenage girls a magazine devoted to celebrities, idols, and musicians. It’s basically a gossip mag for teens, with its covers often focusing on the current generation’s latest heartthrobs in cut out pictures. Although the company still exists today, it ceased producing paper magazines in 2018. These days it’s an entirely online publication. Still, there’s something lost in the transition between media. Instead of being a magazine with over half a century of history, it’s just another website now. Sure, sometimes you need to change your stripes, but we miss the old Tiger Beat’s charm..

#7: Music on MTV

MTV stands for “Music Television.” Younger generations are probably confused why the channel seems to be more focused on reality TV and even scripted shows these days with a moniker like that. But back in its early days, MTV was all about music. Music videos made up huge swaths of airtime, and before the internet, it was how people watched music videos and frequently how new or obscure artists became popular. But, as with many things, the internet made this model somewhat obsolete. You might say that “internet killed the video star.”

#6: Toys in Breakfast Cereal

Picking out a cereal at the store when we were kids wasn’t just a matter of choosing the one with the most sugar or the coolest mascot. Another major factor in our choices were the prizes within! This usually took the form of a toy. While usually they were throwaway plastic things, a few times they’d be a worthwhile plaything. However, there has been a gradual decline in their appearances in cereal boxes. Although there was a natural outrage about potential choking hazards, perhaps the biggest death knell for cereal toys was, again, the internet. These days, it’s cheaper, and more marketable, to include a code for an online game or points towards a reward than to manufacture a ton of toys for each box.

#5: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Another early morning activity many of us miss are Saturday morning cartoons. For most of television’s existence in North America, Saturday mornings were devoted to animated shows aimed at kids on network TV. However, the march of time has spelled the end of these programming blocks. Cable channels devoted to cartoons gave kids more of what they loved any day of the week. Plus, on-demand and streaming services have only further made the idea of tuning in to watch a limited number of cartoons on a weekend morning less appealing. Even so, we’ll miss the days when we weren’t overwhelmed by so many choices for cartoons.

#4: Toys "R" Us

If there’s one thing happier than a kid in a candy store, it’s a kid in a toy store. And for many years, Toys “R” Us were the kings of toy stores. Bright colors, a giraffe mascot, and huge selections made them a highlight of any kid’s week. Unfortunately, like many companies, Toys “R” Us faced stiff competition from online sites like Amazon and other big chains. This ultimately led them to file for bankruptcy in 2017. While all American and British stores closed, a few efforts at reviving the business have happened in the last few years. The Covid 19 pandemic certainly caused some setbacks, but we’re hoping they manage to turn things around.

#3: Sony Walkman

These days, there are a ton of options if you want to listen to music on the go. But in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the first name in portable music players was always Walkman. Sony’s hit devices played cassette tapes and made listening to songs while walking far more mobile. And if you wanted to share a mixtape, which is another thing we miss by the way, it was as easy as popping it in and pressing play. However, improving music technology like CDs and digital music began running with higher song capacity and smaller sizes, leaving Walkman…well, walking in their dust. While there has been a lot of nostalgia for them lately, Sony discontinued making cassette Walkmans in 2010.

#2: Game Boy

As we’ve already seen, when a product launches a trend, they sometimes become synonymous with the concept. Such is the case with handheld gaming and Nintendo’s Game Boy. Although not the first portable game system, Game Boy’s long battery life and cheaper price made it a huge hit for over a decade – which is a long time for a video game console! It also made everyone’s parents ignorantly refer to any portable game as a “Game Boy,” regardless of whether it was even made by Nintendo. Now that’s impact on an industry! While production on the original stopped in 2003, we’ll always treasure our time gaming on the go with Game Boys. Plus, there’s always virtual consoles.

#1: Blockbuster Video

When it comes to home video rentals, Blockbuster had everyone beat! As kids, visiting the store and picking out a video, DVD, or game to rent was always a great time. However, as has been the case with many of our entries, Blockbuster experienced hard times. Competition from Redbox, Netflix, and streaming services helped contribute to the company filing for bankruptcy and leading to the closure of most of its locations by 2014. As of this writing, a single, privately owned location in Oregon remains the only holdout of one of the institutions of our childhoods.
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