Published July 02, 2013
LOS ANGELES – If you still remember all the “Macarena” moves, devoured Dunk-A-Roos while watching “Full House,” cried when your Tamagotchi died, or vacillated between bouncing around your bedroom to “MMM Bop” and rocking out to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” then it’s time for a trip down memory lane.
Pop culture aficionados Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont have followed up the success of their 2011 book “Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes & Trends of the ‘70s & ‘80s,” with their logical sophomore offering: “The Totally Sweet ‘90s: From Clear Cola to Furby to Grunge to ‘Whatever,’ the Toys, Tastes and Trends That Defined a Decade.”
“The ‘90s were a decade of great change. The way people lived their lives in 1990 looked completely different from the way they lived them in 1999,” Fashingbauer Cooper told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “This book explores toys, treats and trends that brought us into the new millennium.”
The biggest change, according to the authors, was the evolution of technology.
“One thing we discovered was that, unlike the ‘70s and ‘80s, a lot of the things that came about in the ‘90s are still around today. We have a giant cell phone in the book, and now we will always have some type of mobile device that connects us,” she said. “The ‘90s is really a start for a lot of those things.”
Bellmont noted that one thing that proved truly interesting during their writing was the quantum leap technology took over the 10-year period. Things that were big and clunky in the early part of the decade were transformed into small, sleek devices by the end.
“Even floppy disks were exciting because we could transport our data around with us, but even then they were 1.44 megabytes,” he continued. “Today, that’s the size of a small photo we take on our phone. But by the end of the ‘90s, technology allowed us to be able to store a ton of information.”
Billed as something of a “pop culture encyclopedia,” the book showcases more than two hundred 90’s-born items, along with humorous stories that trace the history and current status of some of the memorabilia. Of particular importance are the shows that prompted millions of Americans to huddle around that old fashioned cathode-ray-tube TV week after week.
“’Family Matters’ and Urkel was a big one and continues to entertain me even today. A lot of people also had a connection with the show ‘Saved By the Bell’ with Screech,” Bellmont said. “Not saying it was a deep show, but it entertained a heck of a lot of people in the ‘90s, and people are still really connected with it today.”
For Fashingbauer Cooper, it was all about Kelly, Brenda, Donna and Dylan.
“I was a huge ‘90210’ fan, embarrassing. But that was my nighttime soap opera,” she laughed. “I was also really into ‘The Real World’ in the old days before it became all about hot tubs and hooking up. They had real jobs and were trying to find their way. That was one of the first reality shows that at the time was more serious and documentary, and less Kardashian-like.”
And what goes around comes around.
“In the ‘90s we got Furby and Tamagotchi, these things became digital and smarter. Now Furby is back and at twice the price,” Fashingbauer Cooper pointed out. “People are buying more super technologically advanced ones on Amazon, and I can’t believe how expensive they are.”
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.