Whether the words “back to school” fill you with wistful nostalgia or existential dread, there’s no doubting they power they hold. With the new term here many of us packing off kids of our own, the RIFT team decided to share a few treasured memories from our younger days. How many of these playground favourites littered the lives of you and your schoolmates?

Tamagotchi

What a concept – a toy that guilt-tripped you into playing with it and literally died if you didn’t take care of it! If the intention of these egg-shaped attention vortices was to teach kids about responsibility, they probably failed. Maybe you had a mate who claimed to have kept one alive for over a week, but we reckon they were probably lying.

Then again, chances are that kid’s got kids of their own now, so maybe they did learn something after all.

Casio classics

If you were a 90s kid, the chances are Casio ruled your school life. From the graffiti-spattered calculator in your bag to the scuffed-up G-Shock on your wrist, that company was the one-stop shop for all the coolest personal electronics.

Those watches in particular were built to last – too simple to go wrong and too rugged to break. A classic piece of tech from simpler days, when a digital stopwatch function still felt like a pretty exciting new idea.

Pogs

Great stuff – a supposed game of “skill” that was simultaneously the cause of a thousand playground wars and a first taste of gambling for millions of 90s schoolkids.

Weirdly, you can reportedly trace the origin of Pogs – or at least Pog-like games – as far back as 17th century Japan. All we know is that the Jurassic Park set was the best, no matter what those Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers loser fanboys said...

Pumped-up kicks

We’ve talked in previous RIFT Rewinds about the dark times, the Trainer Wars. From the air-cushioned glory of Reebok Pumps to the futuristic LED mayhem of LA Lights, 90s kids were literally prepared to mug each other for their footwear.

Potential victims had to wait until 1999 for an effective escape technology to be developed, in the form of Heelys – and that’s a whole other story...

Tech Decks

Want all the personal shame and peer mockery of being a total 90s nerd with none of the coolness and fitness benefits of actual exercise? Boy, do we have a toy for you! The Tech Deck (or simple “finger board” if you went off-brand) was pure genius. The skills were legit but the cost and injury rates were low. Anyone with time and 2 working digits on their hands could become a skateboarding legend in the comfort of their own home or classroom. Confiscations in schools ran high, and we’re willing to bet the resultant staffroom skatepark showdowns were super-competitive.

The one thread tying all of these 90s fads and phases together, of course, is the friends we shared them with. Then and now, being a good mate is about looking out for each other and sharing our good fortune around. That really is the point of our Refer a Friend system. Whether you’re helping out an old classmate or making new friends at work, putting them on the path to a tax refund is a great way to make those connections matter. At the same time, you’ll be lining up cash rewards and prize draw entries for yourself.

Making referrals is simple, whether you do it by phone, on our Refer a Friend form here on the site or through your RIFT app. If you don’t have your mate’s email address or phone number, you can even get them to contact us themselves. Just make sure they drop your name so we know who to give the reward cash and prize draw entries to!