As we wade through another holiday shopping season, look back at Esquire's list of popular holiday gifts that sent parents a-tramplin over the years.
2011: Let's Rock Elmo -- This Elmo didn't just laugh or babble. The hottest toy of Christmas 2011, Let's Rock Elmo came with a mic, tambourine and drum set and can sing versions of "What I Like About You" and "It Takes Two."
2010: Apple iPad -- It's the first of its kind: a slim tablet that lets you seamlessly glide between movies, music and browsing the Web. With Wi-Fi and 3G, everything from racing simulators to magazines are just a touch away.
2009: Nook eReader -- Barnes & Noble's e-book had a second screen while Amazon's Kindle has just one. Throw in its Wi-Fi and the Nook was set for a Christmas KO.
2007-08: Apple iPod Touch -- The first touchscreen and Web-enabled iPod went from annual fanboy fantasy to national must-have, largely because it came at a fraction of the iPhone's price tag.
2006: PlayStation 3 -- Sony's response to Microsoft's Xbox 360 inspired such anticipation that pre-sale units hit $3,000 on eBay (retail topped out at $599), while mothers and mouth-breathers alike camped out for days to buy one in person.
2005: XBox 360 -- Xbox 360 started production a mere 69 days before its launch. Customers lucky or savvy enough to recognize the potential profits of Microsoft's dilemma cashed in, as 40,000 units ended up on eBay within a week.
2004: RoboSapiens -- The remote-control, 14-inch-tall humanoid robot was capable of performing 67 preprogrammed actions and movements, including break dancing, farting and belching.
2002-03: Beyblades -- Hasbro released these customizable "fighting" spin-tops in Japan simultaneously with a hit cartoon. World domination followed soon thereafter.
2001: Bratz dolls -- 10-inch "teenagers distinguished by large heads and skinny bodies" -- were an instant hit. By Christmas 2001, they were well on their way to generating billions.
2000: Razor Scooters -- The original Razor scooter won Toy of the Year for establishing itself as a "classic mode of transportation, like bikes and skateboards."
1999: Pokemon -- With the Japanese cartoon a sensation, kids demanded more, and the video-game series came to rival even the Mario titles in popularity, inspiring "South Park" to parody the whole phenomenon.
1998: Furbies -- After retailing for $35, Furbies skyrocketed to $100 a pop, not to mention "collector's items" like "tuxedo Furby" and "biker Furby."
1997: Tamagotchi -- Housed in an egg-shaped computer, these digital pets required feeding and poo-cleaning, but the hard work paid off with the occasionally redeeming happiness monitor. An estimated 70 million Tamagotchis have been sold to date.
1996: Tickle Me Elmo -- When squeezed, Elmo would chortle. When squeezed three times in a row, Elmo would begin to shake and laugh hysterically. Needless to say, this was something Sesame Street watchers everywhere needed to have -- now.
1995: Beanie Babies -- First conquering Chicago and then spreading nationwide, Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, and dozens of other $5 bean-bag creatures devoured our hearts.
1993-94: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers -- Five racially diverse teenagers with superpowers fought evil aliens for a TV smash, and so came a line of toys featuring the Rangers and their "Zords" -- the giant robotic dinosaurs they used to combat the evil aliens.
1992: Barney Talking Doll -- "Barney & Friends" was aimed at a younger crowd that found it irresistible to watch a man in a purple dinosaur suit sing. The talking doll brought the tunes all day long.
1991: POG -- It may have the least likely Christmas smash: a milk-cap game played during breaks by Hawaiian dairy workers. A two-person contest involving a flimsy discs and a slammer, POGs gave kids the chance to take their friend's Christmas present supply away in minutes.
1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Adolescent abnormal reptiles Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo discovered the ancient art of Ninjutsu from a giant talking rat to fight ninjas while eating pizza.
1989: Nintendo GameBoy -- The first eight-bit handheld video game system to utilize cartridges, GameBoy went anywhere and didn't force you to play the same game over and over again.
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