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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Some Forgotten Malaysian Fads

Every year people come out with thousands of new or novelty items for sale. Some are genuinely new and great ideas, some are repackaged old products, others are just plain dumb.

Some products sell like hot cakes and take the world by storm (although it may be quite difficult to see why), and then there are those that fail miserably in the market even after heavy promotion in the media.

Generally how can you tell if a product is selling well? You see plenty of imitation versions in pasar malams. But after a few months you’ll see them littered in your room broken or unused.

I can think of a few that has swept Malaysia in recent years:

Tomagotchi – I’ve never owned one let alone play one. But I remember a time when every other kid (and some adults) was feeding this thing. Even my friend’s 55-year mother was addicted. How this can be more engrossing than GameBoy is puzzling. Then there were the copycats, Hong Kong gangster game, Taiwan version, my pet versions, etc. Now thousands of these virtual pets lie decaying in the corner of the owner’s cupboards (alkaline battery probably leaking)

Orange driving glasses – this one was initially sold via Gallery Smartshop on TV. You know, that annoying informercial show that goes “If you call NOW, you will get a SECOND one free! Our operators are waiting…”. Basically, its orange coloured sunglasses, and its suppose make you see clearer while driving, by making everything, uh, orange. Apparently fighter jet pilots and riflemen wear them. Yeah, I bet the US Air Force also bought it from Galeri Smartshop.

Brick game – this one was about 10 years ago, basically it’s a cheap version of the famous Tetris. Even I had one, I bought it in Singapore. It had many different versions; (one was the exploding bricks) but all of them had this really annoying music and sound effect. When I got over my addiction, my dad started to play it, usually until past midnight (and he MUST play it at maximum volume).

Miniature flowers/animals made from coloured straws – At one time every lady in my office had one of these taped to their desks or PC. They were quite creative with it, they could make different kinds of flowers, cats, dogs, T-Rex, USS Nimitz with stealth bombers on board, etc. But as with all fads, this one died down quickly and the ‘masterpieces’ were left in the dust.

Scooter bikes – This fad preceded the current roller shoes craze. Since its was quite expensive, it was mainly for the rich kids. Some 20 years ago I remember there was a similar fad, a unicycle called ‘Le Run’. Anyone remember that?

I’m currently going through another new fad. Its called ‘blogging’.


  • Was it Tamagotchi or Tomagotchi? Oh well, don't know how they phrased it in Japan. But yeah, those were classic times.

    Urm, I think the first generation of Brick was exactly like Tetris till someone came up with the idea of bundling extra type of games into that longated device.

    There was a yoyo fad at one time too. I remember because I was such a Proyo addict. ROFL!

    By Blogger dannyFoo, at 5/11/2005 10:38:00 am  

  • not sure exactly how to spel it, coz i didn't own one... yeah i remembered the yoyo fad! it seems to come round every 4 years. there was one that lighted up and made a buzzing noise...

    By Blogger Simon, at 5/11/2005 11:03:00 am  

  • i didnt realize much abt the miniature flower/animal made of straws.. but hv u all seen decorations made by ONLY Toto 4D tickets? That's impressive, i hv a 'goose' in my house. :)

    By Blogger keng 坑, at 5/11/2005 07:21:00 pm  

  • Damn, I can't remember that stupid ewok looking thing that cost me RM100+. The one which can complain of hungry, need love etc. I hate that thing so much. What's the name liao? It was around that tamagotchi craze?

    By Blogger 5xmom, at 5/11/2005 07:25:00 pm  

  • keng - toto tix? i'm sure some people would have MANY of those lying around!!!

    5xmom - haven't heard of that one. maybe you can post it up once your camera is fixed? i'd like to see...

    By Blogger Simon, at 5/12/2005 08:39:00 am  

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