7 Fads You Won't Forget

Popular among both children and adults, the line started with basic frogs, dolphins and bears. Over time, it grew to include seasonal animals and celebrity lookalikes, like the Princess Diana bear introduced in 1997 after the royal's death.

Bamsey said the craze-inducing creatures fit the mold of a fad but said the shorter life cycle is part of its offering.

"Creating and selling 'fads' can be a wise business choice if the category/product lends itself to that," he said. "It's all about generating interest and intent to buy. And some products are unlikely to be sustainable over time."

Since Ty Inc. is a low-profile, private company, sales figures are difficult to come by. But while the company still sells the plush toys, it no longer grabs headlines and inspires buying frenzies the way they used to. However, now that a Beanie Baby fashioned after the President Obama's dog Bo is in the works, maybe they're poised for a comeback.

The Macarena

A favorite at weddings and bar mitzvahs once upon a time, Los del Rio's Macarena is No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs list

The popular song -- and unforgettable accompanying line dance -- peaked during the summer of 1996. But after the song's success, the band fell out of the mainstream, winning the top spot on VH1's top one-hit wonders list in 2002.


In 2004, the social networking Web site was a media industry darling, making it on to Time magazine's list of the 50 Coolest Web sites that year. But those days are long gone.

It's still popular in some parts of the world, analysts said, but its popularity in the United States has plummeted as other sites like Facebook and Twitter have taken its place.

"Friendster, the original social network, exploded then imploded. Facebook worked out the errors made during that wave and took it all to another level altogether," said PSFK's Fawkes.

The site was launched in 2003, giving users a place to connect with existing friends, friends of friends, their friends and more. By June 2005, the site claimed more than 16 million worldwide subscribers.

According to its Web site, Friendster now has about 100 million members worldwide, but it isn't even listed among the top 10 social networking sites. According to Compete, Friendster was the 18th most-visited social networking site in January 2009, with about 7 million visits. Facebook, ranked No. 1, had about 1.2 billion visits in the same month.

Ring Pops

"The quintessential fad," said Ira Matathia of Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, about the pacifier-like ring pops.

Manufactured by the Topps Company, the wearable sweets were introduced in 1977, but they really became popularized in the '80s. The edible jewelry is tough to find these days, though it still makes appearances on the fingers of stars like Lindsay Lohan, Fergie and others.

Garbage Pail Kids

Another Topps creation, released in 1985, Garbage Pail Kids were once the trading card of choice for kids and adolescents.

Meant to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, each card featured a character that had suffered some kind of abnormality. The cards' success led to the production of a live-action movie and animated television series that briefly aired in Europe.

The fervor has died down, but the cards are still around. Its Web site gives visitors the option to build and raiser their own kids.

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