14 Vintage Products and Brands the Kids Think Are Cool Again


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Gen Z is the most tech-savvy in history, as they’ve grown up with advanced gadgets that their baffled parents can barely understand. But while you’d think they’re only interested in the digital products of the future, they’re fascinated with the tactile and tangible relics of the past, obsolete though they may be.

 Parents may wonder how their kids heard about the subpar technology they grew up with, but it makes sense that kids would gravitate toward it. We live in a crazed, fast-moving, tech-obsessed world, so the kids who grew up in it are finding comfort in things that move slower, feel more real, and, unlike NFTs, are actual products. Here are a few brands and products that adults forgot about decades ago but that kids are just now picking up.

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1. Stanley Cup

Thermoses have always been useful, keeping liquid refreshments at desired temperatures until consumers are ready to drink them. On January 9, 2024, Today.com reported that this product, which is now over 110 years old, is all the rage with the young, and that “#Stanley” had become a popular hashtag on TikTok among fans of the Stanley thermos brand. One video shows a girl who cannot be more than 10 years old unwrapping one that has been gifted to her, causing tears of joy. 

Image Credit: stanley1913.com/.

2. Lava Lamps

Lava lamps were already goofy 30 years ago in the 1990s, and anyone owning one was doing so ironically. Now, this groovy staple of Boomer rec rooms is so foreign and so outmoded that it seems like a newly invented product, so the kids are buying them and spacing out to the psychedelic patterns they make.

Image Credit: Amazon.com.

3. Chuck Taylors

Chuck Taylor sneakers by Converse have such a timeless look that they’ve never gone out of style in the first place. Generation Z seems to agree and love this evergreen piece of footwear history. Their grandkids will probably be wearing them in 75 years.

Image Credit: Cotton N Indigo / eBay.

4. Old Spice

Old Spice always had a reputation as your dad’s deodorant, and the old television commercials depicting it as a product only for sailors didn’t help. Luckily, the good people at Procter & Gamble must have realized that many teenagers smell bad and started redirecting their marketing toward youngsters. The stuff is still on pharmacy shelves, so clearly, it’s not just the old guard buying it.


Image Credit: oldspice.com.

5. Rotary Phones

Even in their heyday, rotary phones were patience-taxing devices that took forever to dial a single seven-digit number, especially if it had any nines. Kids are picking these things up for fun, so if you see one in your teenager’s bedroom, it doesn’t work. However, do your kids a solid by showing them how immensely gratifying it was to forcefully hang up on someone with one of those things and hear the “ding” echo and reverberate throughout the household.

Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay.com.

6. Levi’s 501 Jeans

Levi’s jeans are timeless and have not gone out of style in the almost 200 years since Levi Strauss & Co. was founded. What was not timeless was the button fly on the 501 brand, which made going off to make a number one take several minutes. Well, the button fly is back for some mysterious reason, thanks to people too young to realize what a hindrance it is to convenient washroom visits. They’ll figure it out the hard way like their parents did.

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7. Video Arcade Machines

There has never been a better time to be a gamer than 2024. The latest technology can bring a dazzling experience to even the most jaded teen right in their own bedroom. So it figures that there would be some novelty in the idea that long ago, if you wanted to play a video game, you needed bus fare to and from the mall and $20 in quarters. The experience of playing old-school arcade machines doesn’t hold a candle to anything you can do on a VR headset, but the kids are enamored with them nonetheless.

Image Credit: Maulsmasher / istockphoto.

8. Tamagotchi

Kids from the 1970s will remember getting their first pet hamster. They will also remember forgetting to feed the hamster for a few days and burying it in the backyard. Many domestic pet lives were saved with the invention of the Tamagotchi, a digital “pet” introduced in the 1990s that you carry around and care for. It’s made a comeback in recent years, and even though it makes sad faces if you don’t treat it well, it’s physically impossible for even the most forgetful kid to absent-mindedly starve it to death.


Image Credit: Amazon.

9. Doc Martens

Doc Martens footwear has been around forever, but they broke big among Generation X in the 1980s and went nuclear in the 1990s. Their popularity has waxed and waned over the years, but they never went away, and kids keep buying them. The moral of the story is that a good, durable product will find customers, whether those customers are in their 50s or are the kids of those people in their 50s.

Image Credit: dnaveh / iStock.

10. Vinyl Records

The past decades have seen multiple audio formats come and go, each claiming to sound better than the others. While vinyl records are a nuisance to care for (and god help anyone with a big collection who needs to move to another apartment), nothing sounds better, even in the lossless audio age. Having that big, 12-inch album cover to gaze upon and fondle for 40 minutes doesn’t hurt either.

Image Credit: VNagornyi/istockphoto.

11. Cassette Tapes

Unlike vinyl records, cassette tapes sound like garbage, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an audio format that sounds worse. At the same time, no one will ever get mad at you for dropping a pre-recorded cassette like they will if you drop their limited-edition colored vinyl import on the corner of the coffee table or accidentally sit on it.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.

12. Fanny Packs

You would be hard-pressed to find an accessory that looks worse than the fanny pack, which is a glorified bonus pocket that you strap to your waist. As a practical matter, they’re convenient, and their popularity during the 1990s is a testament to that. However, we hope the young people discovering them today are just wearing them ironically.

Image Credit: Traimak_Ivan / istock.

13. VHS Tapes

If you’re a fan of blank stares, tell your teenager to “be kind, rewind.” They will have no idea what you’re talking about, nor will they grasp the degree to which failure to rewind indicated a thoughtless cad with no regard for the next person renting “Sleepless in Seattle.” Still, the kids are having a fun time with VHS tapes these days, hopefully because they really enjoy getting up and changing tapes to watch all of “Titanic.”


Image Credit: istockphoto/stevanovicigor.

14. Old-School Razors

The electric razor was a great invention that saved people a lot of time, but sadly, modern science has yet to produce one that can give you a decent shave. Kids old enough to shave today are finding that there’s no substitute for shaving cream and a sharp razor, and they’re keeping the Gillette company in business as they seek to alleviate their newfound facial hirsutism.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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