10 playthings that remind most Thais of their childhood

While some of the items have been left behind by the march of time, some still remain and have been modified to meet the demands of the younger generations, or even collectors.

The Nation

The Nation



File photo provided by The Nation.

January 15, 2024

BANGKOK – There are at least 10 items that most Thais would associate with their childhood. Some of the items are now rarely seen in Thailand, left behind by the march of time. Some of them have been modified to meet the demands of the younger generations, or even collectors.


This small egg-shaped handheld video game became well-known among Thai children since its debut in 1996. Children who were born in the 1990s usually took this item in their pockets due to the digital pets’ cuteness and functions that supported taking care of their pets.


Yo-yo is among items Thai boys had a chance to play with in childhood. It became very popular among Thais between 2004 and 2005, thanks to a Japanese animation Super Yo-Yo.

Paper doll

If boys have yo-yo, many Thai girls might have had a chance to play this item. Variants of paper dolls have been launched to attract collectors at a cheap price.

Water ring toss game

This water-powered handheld game enables children to be patient in shooting rings on stakes.

Snakes and ladders

A board game for two or more players regarded as a worldwide classic. The object of the game is to navigate one’s piece, according to the roll of the dice, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped by climbing ladders but also pulled down by snakes.


A multiplayer business-themed board game aiming to demonstrate that an economy that rewards individuals is better than one where monopolies hold all the wealth.


A game to shoot marbles into a hole or other balls to show who is the best shooter was popular among Thai boys in the past. The victor gets one of the rivals’ marbles.

Gamo banknotes

These fake banknotes attracted children to the many cartoon characters on them. The first Gamo banknotes depicted Japanese superhero “Spectreman”, which had been dubbed “Gamoman” by Thais based on the protagonist’s name.

Blowing balloon

This item allows children to blow into a balloon. However, blowing balloons has been banned in Thailand as it contains “ethyl acetate” that could affect children’s health.

Mini 4WD

These racing cars became popular among children between 1999 and 2000, thanks to Japanese animation “Let’s & Go”. The Mini 4WD still exists among some Thais even after they have grown up.

In Thailand, Children’s Day is observed on the second Saturday of January, which falls on January 13 this year.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has announced the Children’s Day motto as: “Have a broader perspective. Think constructively. Respect differences. Join forces in building democracy.”

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