A close-up of the Collect-O-Rama display case showcasing the Kid Collector Exhibition.
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John M. Olin Library, Collect O'Rama Case

Kid Collector: Artifacts from Growing Up in the ’90s

The Collect O’Rama table is a space for individuals to share unique personal collections. Kid Collector: Artifacts from Growing Up in the ‘90s highlights Associate University Librarian Nadia Ghasedi’s colorful toys, games, and cultural artifacts from the 1990s.

The Collect-O-Rama Display case at Risa’s Landing on Level 2 of Olin Library. The Display Case here shows the Kid Collection Exhibition wherein toys and artifacts from the 1990s are shown.

As a kid, my family took road trips. Being the youngest of four, I was relegated to the far back of the van. Until I got my Gameboy in 1992, my primary source of entertainment was the kid’s meal toy from our most recent fast food stop. I quickly became fixated on collecting as many Happy Meal toys as possible. I similarly became obsessed with the troll dolls for sale at our neighborhood pharmacy, Medicine & More, in west St. Louis County. Given the “work” I endured to collect these treasures, I was always unwilling to ever part with them. And as I grew older, they–in addition to the other relics on display–became interesting in a new way.  These seemingly worthless pieces of plastic had become cultural touchstones. They are interesting examples of popular culture and commercialism from that decade.

Nadia Ghasedi, Associate University Librarian

Collectors are everywhere among us. Their passions are many and varied. If you are a collector or know of a collection for potential display in this table, please send information to the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections (spec@wumail.wustl.edu).