Total Nerd

'90s Toys Whose Commercials Were Way Better Than The Real Thing  

Jacob Shelton
691 votes 176 voters 9.2k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the toys with the most misleadingly awesome commercials.

There’s no greater form of entertainment than '90s toy commercials. These ads shocked and astounded and tantalized their young target demographics, offering kids from coast to coast the dream that they, too, could spray their foes in the face with water using only the sound of their voice. Or that a simple game night with a friend could turn into a futuristic battlefield complete with hoverboard fighting.

Of course, toy commercials from the '90s oversold their products to a ridiculous extreme. Every Saturday morning ad made it seem like the plaything in question was the most awesome, radical piece of merchandise ever created. The toys sold in '90s commercials could make you cool and popular and grown-up... and when you actually bought them, all those promises came crashing down.

Nintendo Virtual Boy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list '90s Toys Whose Commercials Were Way Better Than The Real Thing
Photo: Nintendo/Fair Use
1 58 VOTES
Nintendo Virtual Boy

What Was Promised: The Nintendo Virtual Boy promised users the foremost technology in gaming. Supposedly, as soon as players jacked into the system, they'd experience a real 3D adventure the likes of which the world had never seen.

What Was Delivered: The Virtual Boy did everything but deliver. Rather than offer the true 3D experience depicted in the commercial, it gave audiences a strange red world made of weird lines that messed with your depth perception. Speaking of vision problems, woe to the Virtual Boy user who wore glasses. Good luck wearing that headset and your spectacles at the same time.

Did this awesome ad sell a vicious lie?
Shout 'n' Shoot is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list '90s Toys Whose Commercials Were Way Better Than The Real Thing
Photo: Cap Toys Inc/Fair Use
2 56 VOTES
Shout 'n' Shoot

What Was Promised: The Shout 'n' Shoot promised the most intense water fight any preteen could ever imagine. The commercial showed a voice-activated, multi-directional water headset that sprayed your opponents with nothing but a word.

What Was Delivered: Aside from the fact that the Shout 'n' Shoot made its users look like idiots while they were wearing the contraption, the voice-activated soaker, while functional, ran out of water quickly.

Did this awesome ad sell a vicious lie?
Easy-Bake Oven is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list '90s Toys Whose Commercials Were Way Better Than The Real Thing
Photo: Hasbro /Fair Use
3 80 VOTES
Easy-Bake Oven

What Was Promised: A night of fun with your friends, with the possibility of making real-deal cakes and confections - provided what you wanted to eat was smaller than a human fist.

What Was Delivered: First of all, the light bulb wasn’t even included with the oven, so you had to hope one of your friends kept a 30-watt bulb in their backpack. But even worse, the ovens didn't actually make beautiful pastries. The results tended to be puck-shaped cakes that didn't taste so good.

Did this awesome ad sell a vicious lie?
Cool Tools is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list '90s Toys Whose Commercials Were Way Better Than The Real Thing
Photo: Tonka/Fair Use
4 48 VOTES
Cool Tools

What What Promised: In the Cool Tools commercial, a group of kids are given a set of miniature tools that look and feel just like the set Dad uses. The toy tools allow the kids to help out with home projects - just what every kid wants.

What Was Delivered: In actuality, Cool Tools were just small facsimiles of actual tools. There wasn't much the "tools" could actually do. They could bonk stuff and mess with screws, but as far as accomplishing anything around the house, they were useless.

Did this awesome ad sell a vicious lie?