Look back at top toys when we were little girls, boys

Vanessa Berrios, Entertainment Editor

With the decade behind us, nothing feels better than saying goodbye to that last decade and looking at a recap of all the things that were popular. Let’s have a blast from the past to see how old TV shows, movies, and toys/games have evolved since the beginning of the decade such as “Soul Surfer,” “Just Dance,” and toys like the American Girl dolls and hoverboards.

The decade of 2010 to 2020 has come to a close, and one thing is for certain: the top toys, movies, and tv shows from the beginning of the decade have changed throughout the years. With technology advancing so rapidly, people’s interests have advanced as well.

One example of a game that was popular at the beginning of the decade and has evolved throughout the years is the Wii game “Just Dance.” Released in North American in 2009, mid-November, the game’s developer, Ubisoft, has released a new game every year to coincide with the most popular music.  Despite an onslaught of negative review when it first hit the market, by October 2013, it had collectively sold over 40 million units making it Ubisoft’s second-largest franchise.

“I remember when I got my first ‘Just Dance’ for Christmas, I was so excited that I use to play with almost every day,” said Talia Pondiscio, a senior at Palm Beach Central. “Although it used to be one of my favorite games to play on the Wii, I, unfortunately, haven’t played since I was younger.”

In the year 2010, one of the most popular toys in the country was the American Girl doll, selling 32 million since the initial doll was released in 1986.  The company produces dolls, books, and magazines to represent the different cultures and historical time periods in the US.  Although the American Girl doll started production in 1986,  The dolls hit an all-time peak in 2010 with girls all across the country asking for their dream doll. It became such a popular toy for young girls because the dolls showcase a variety of different ethnicities, faiths, styles, and careers. 

The children growing up in the past decade have experienced technology and its advancements, not necessarily through computers, but through what they use to entertain themselves. Technology has allowed children to go from playing with Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels to riding Hoverboards everyone fantasized about in the matter of a couple of years.

First appearing in M.K. Joseph’s 1967 novel The Hole in the Zero and then popularized again in the “Back to the Future” franchise, hoverboards became a tweaked reality when American businessperson Shane Chan brought the idea to life in 2013 when he “wanted to create a new form of transportation that hasn’t been made before.” Chan went straight to the drawing board when he thought of creating a device that was self-balancing and electric.

The board doesn’t actually hover in the air.  It’s a self-balancing electric board almost like a reverse skateboard so instead of facing your body to the side, you a gliding down the street facing front. Since Chan introduced them officially in 2015, over 2.5 million hoverboards have been sold in the US alone.

Besides toys and games, TV shows and movies have changed throughout the decade as well. The camera quality, CGI technology, special effects, and motion graphics/pictures have all improved and changed throughout the decade, meaning that tv shows and movies at the beginning of the decade are very different compared to the end of the decade.

The movie “Soul Surfer,” based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton’s shark attack and her journey after, was released in the year 2011. “Soul Surfer,” one of the top movies of the year in 2011 pulling in just over $47 million, never showed the full visual of the shark biting Bethany Hamilton’s arm because Hamilton,  who was very involved in the production of the movie, believed it would be too traumatic for younger filmgoers.   

“No hate on movies like Soul Surfer, I used to think that scene with the shark was super cool and scary when I first watched it, but now watching movies like ‘The Meg’ and ‘End Game’ that fully showcase everything without it looking unrealistic is amazing compared to what it would have looked like 10 years ago,” explained junior Lily Remillard.

Although many things have changed and evolved within this decade, the game Candy Crush and LEGO blocks have remained constant and popular from the beginning to the end of the decade.

The game “Candy Crush Saga” is a free game released in 2012, where the goal of this game is to defeat each level as the puzzles continue to grow in difficulty. “Candy Crush Saga” was a huge hit when it was available through Facebook and instantly hit millions of users within the first year of release.  Since its release date, the popular and colorful game has been downloaded over 2.7 billion times.  

LEGO Blocks were invented in the year 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen. While multiple changes and designs have been made to the toy, LEGOs still remain a top toy for boys and girls of all ages since its invention to this day. LEGO partners with many major companies to make figurines that are similar to popular items and characters of that company. One of the more profitable partnerships came with Lucasfilm who licensed the Millennium Falcon out to LEGO.  This spaceship, which has 7,541 pieces, became the most sold LEGO set of all time. 

Some other top tv shows and movies produced in this decade was the tv show “The Flash” in 2014, the movie “La La Land” in 2016, and the TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2017. As for the year 2020, masks were the most popular product because of the coronavirus pandemic. This decade has had multiple events occur but it is nice to be able to look back through the years and see all that used to be popular and how it has changed/evolved during the years.

“In this decade, we saw lots of changes in movies, toys, and games,” said Pondiscio. “With technology constantly advancing I can’t wait to see what else is in store to change for the coming decade.”