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10 Most Embarassing Toy Fads Ever


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The holiday season is the time when the herd instinct comes out in force, with parents stampeding to buy the trendiest toys for their good girls and boys. Here’s a dive back into the dumbest toy fads to ever hit the shelves.

10. Pogs

A Hawaiian juice brand had little cardboard discs inside their caps with stuff printed on them, and somehow this became an insane trend in 1993.

9. Tech Decks

Skateboarding is, was and will always be cool, but grinding a miniature board around with your fingers is a one-way ticket to lamesville.

8. Zhu Zhu Pets

These idiotic battery-powered hamsters were inexplicably the hot toy of the 2009 Christmas season, and nobody could figure out why.

7. Tamagotchi

Electronic toys make great fads, and Bandai’s primitive virtual pet moved a staggering 70 million units over its brief lifespan.

6. Tickle Me Elmo

Spurred by a few TV appearances, the Tickle Me Elmo doll was 1996’s must-have toy, despite being incredibly annoying. Scalpers sold them for hundreds of dollars and riots broke out in stores.

5. Bratz

These hideously ugly big-headed dolls first hit the market in 2001 and, against all odds, became a must-have item despite their tastelessness.

4. Homies

These vending machine figurines created by cartoonist David Gonzales were overwhelmingly popular in the late 1990s, despite portraying what some considered racial stereotypes.

3. Pet Rocks

Probably the dumbest fad of the 1970s (and that’s saying a lot), these gray stones packed in a cardboard carrying case sold over a million units a year and a half.

2. Webkinz

The digital evolution of the Beanie Baby concept, these stuffed animals synched up with an online game that hypnotized millions of kids.

1. Silly Bandz

They’re just rubber bands, people. Sure, they’re shaped like animals, but that just means you can’t actually use them as rubber bands. At least they’re cheap.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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