Toys Pinoy kids play with before smartphones and tablets

Toys Pinoy kids play with before smartphones and tablets

Kids nowadays are very much exposed to technology and gadgets. They have smartphones, tablets, drones, PCs, and game consoles. But kids from, let’s say twenty years ago, don’t have a lot of those. Sure we had the Family Computer but we mostly spend our time playing these.

Author’s note: Techie toys are excluded from this list so gadgets like game consoles, Game Boys, Brick Games, and Tamagotchi sit this one out.


Photo via MySweetCupofTea

Back then my collection includes Dragon Ball Z, Ghost Fighter, BT X, and Zenki. There were also big ones with Marvel characters on it. But these cards are not actually for collecting like NBA cards but you use these to battle with friends and the winner, of course, takes home most of the cards, and most likely to be the target for battles the next day. “I-sa! Dala-wa!, Tat-lo! A-pat! Li-ma!” Remember that?


Photo source

You play Pogs like Teks, but since Pogs are circular and thicker, you can also play it by “slamming” it. Pogs are more collectible than Teks because of the limited editions especially the Slammers. I remember having a fiber glass Slammer once.


Photo via SmartParenting

Holen or marbles can be played indoors and outdoors. Playing it requires some skills as you need to flick a marble and hit the grouped marble inside a circle. Think of the break in the game of pool. Any marble that went outside the circle is yours. Precision and accuracy is the name of the game.


Photo via ecowastecoalition

It’s basically a top made of wood and shapped like an egg and an iron nail sticking out and you spin it by twirling a string around it and skillfully throwing it on the ground. It is mostly played outdoors since you need enough space to throw it properly. Not to mention it has the potential to injure someone. I remember a friend going home with the top’s nail stuck on his foot. Still, it’s one of the most enjoyable toy to play with.


Photo by MarketManila

Sipa is the National Sport of the Philippines. It is similar to Sepak Takraw and originally played with a rattan ball. But on the streets kids used an improvised toy using a metal washer with plastic straws as its tail. Like with Holen, Sipa requires precision and accuracy especially if you want to exhibit tricks and fancy kicking styles.


Photo via mashhinmin

Mostly played indoors especially during a bad weather, and for some reason girls dominate this game.

Plastic propellers


Photo via scitoyscatalog

We didn’t have fancy drones then so we play with these. It’s basically a plastic propeller attached to a stick and you make it fly using your palms and a twisting motion.


Here’s another toy with a string and it’s one of the most popular toy in the world. It comes in different shapes and sizes and mechanism. The Yo-yo also requires skills especially if you want to perform tricks.

Water guns and pellet guns

Before arcade gun games, airsoft, and Nerf guns, we played with water guns and pellet guns. These toys, especially the water gun, are still around and mostly played during summer. The pellet guns though are now left to the big boys.

Rubber bands

Rubber bands are not just for making loom bands. Back then we used to play with them by performing tricks that shows fancy shapes. Boys usually use this as ammo for rubber band guns or to power miniature crossbows.


Did I write that right? Taching? Anyway, the game is similar to playing Holen but instead of marbles you use plastic action figures. The action figures played are usually flat so they can easily slide on the ground when tossed. (Sorry, can’t find a photo.)


Before Minecraft we have brick-based games like Lego. Legos are expensive though so we played with knock-offs or anything similar as long as you can build something out of the tiny pieces.

Trading card games

Photo by geekspodcast

We’re going up the price ladder now. Today we have digital card games on tablets and PCs like Hearthstone, but before that we played with real cards like Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card games like the ones mentioned are still available and being played today.

Tamiya cars

Tamiya cars are plastic model cars that needs to be assembled. It comes with its own motor and powered by batteries. The assembly part alone is already enjoyable but the best part comes in customizing and upgrading your Tamiya. After that you can now race it with other Tamiya cars on a miniature track.

Gundam models

Photo by Tony Wong

Like Tamiya cars, Gundam toys are plastic-model kits that need to be assembled. Passionate builders take it up a notch by custom painting and involving them in photography. Like Tamiya cars and trading card games, collecting original Gundam models is an expensive hobby.

How about you guys? What were the toys you played with back in the days? Feel free to add to this list at the comments field below.

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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65 Responses

  1. Neil says:

    Taching lang ang hindi ko alam…
    Kulang dito ng chinese garter, kahit lalake nakikisali sa girls… Those were the days… Many things/ people have changed…

  2. eric jay says:

    Sarap i-reminisce ng mga laruang ito.
    And I still have a shoe box full of teks and pogs.

  3. nego says:

    A collection of Yugi-Oh, Pokemon, Duel Masters and other trading card games. Nasa game box drawer ko pa din hanggang ngayon :)

  4. Adamus says:


  5. Agawan Base at Tom Sawyer wala sa listahan. Hohoho!

  6. ANY says:

    What the hell men gunpla is not a toy get your facts right. gundam models cant even be played with its just for show , and according to toy story toys can and should be played with …so gunpla will nwever be and has never been a toy…….

    • aNon says:

      Technically, they’re still toys. People will always generalize them as toys. Besides, Gunpla’s main target has always been children. And if kids build Gundam models, there’s a huge chance that they’re gonna play with them.

      And “Gundam Models can’t be played with”? Dude, when you mess with the articulation of your Gunpla, that already qualifies as “playing with them”. Don’t deny the truth that in the end, we’re all just collecting and playing with TOYS.

  7. mark says:

    still some of this games can be experience hahaha…. pero noon rare na talaga ang trumpo at ang hirap rin laroin ( 21st century kid) and gundam models(there were also gundman action figures)

  8. spike minoda says:

    I still remember all of them when I’m was a kid. Even 2000’s kids knew these toys!

    My college friend loves to collect some Gundams ESPECIALLY some discontinued ones and rare ones.

  9. Bamboo2 says:

    Power Rangers collectibles

  10. peter says:

    kulang pa ito,

    1.RIO bands – I used to play it. ‘Dampa’ is the name of the game.
    2. isa pa yung pinipit na tansan na nilagyan ng tali ng sako ng bigas, hinahasa pa namin ito sa bato para tumalas at maputol yung sa kalaban, hindi ko matandaan yung pangalan ng laro na ito.
    3.Saranggola a.k.a kite, nilalagyan ng pinong bubog yung pisi para makapagpaektad ng kalaban na saranggola.

    • 'em says:

      Yung malambot at magaan na rubber band para sa dampa!

    • meow says:

      yep. i was really surprised the list includes rubberbands but did not mention how it was used dominantly for dampa (boys) and chinese garter (girls).

      any boys who has got an arm length of rubber bands was considered a badas$$!

  11. Milhouse says:

    Sadly, kids do not how to be imaginative and entertain themselves anymore. They are merely relying on smartphones and tablets for entertainment.

    • abuzalzal says:

      What’s really worse is that smartphones and tablets have rendered today’s kids dumb. Heck, some kids out there will even go as far as to cry out loud if their smartphone/tablet is not with them.

      Damn kids and stupid parents nowadays.

    • rape says:

      Natumbok nyo brad!!!!

  12. 90s Boy says:

    Taching or tatsing, we play it in our province in Quezon, me draw a circle or Square, we put random toys, we have Manuhan (Line distant to the Circle) to determine who will play first and then from The line drawn,you will aim for the toys in the circle and if u knocked the toy from the inside, you can continously play until you get all the toys, and you will take em all :) . Alsoour version of playing holen is you will put Opponents Holen in the ground and you will aim to hit it from ur eyes, or depends on the rules you set, if you hit the opponents holen, you win.

  13. kek says:

    Sir, nakalimutan mo ata ung


  14. accel says:

    Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Color not on the list?
    Man, I use to play with these devices during lunchbreak and recess time when I was in grade school.

    Super Mario Advance, Megaman Zero, Megaman Battle Network, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Pokemon…

    Damn, I remember it like it was yesterday.

    • nice says:

      ” Author’s note: Techie toys are excluded from this list so gadgets like game consoles, Game Boys, Brick Games, and Tamagotchi sit this one out. “

  15. omar1234ph says:

    It’s actually spelled JOLEN, not HOLEN.

    when I was a kid we would say, “Mag-jo-lens tayo”.

    • bryan_mmx says:

      that was my initial reaction too back then when my friends where talking about 90s stuffs during college reunions, but come to think of it. kids from different school would say “holen”. I’m guessing they pronounced it J as H much like some words like J(H)esus or J(H)avier.

      Googling it now, there doesn’t seem to be a record of it. But I’m also betting on Jolen that was pronounced as Holen in different areas.

  16. Tony says:

    I played all of it. Nakakamis din pala yung totoy days.

  17. remmy says:

    Im glad that my kid was guided properly by us, well my daughter loves to play outside than stick inside the house and play with gadgets (Tablets, PC, Laptop, PS4, Wii all of that clattered in my place and can be used anytime if she wanted to), for some reason she get bored to it very quickly except watching movies on it which is she only do it watching on TV or Laptop, she never use table as she find it tiresome, pero once na tinawag na sya ng mga kalaro nya sa labas, ay ayun nasa labas na iniwan naka buhay yung mga gadgets.

    I think with proper guidance, it can be balanced heck I can still saw them playing chinese garther and other outdoor games. Plus shes highly sociable unlike yung mga kids ng mga kaibigan na hawak nila is gadgets.

  18. Warren says:

    Pitik ballpen!

  19. dzandueta says:

    Similar to teks and trading cards, the “trump” cards (e.g. racing cars, tanks). :)

  20. 90's kid says:


    sangkatutak na board games

    i forgot the name- yung toy na may tubig sa loob, pinapashoot yung parang ring sa shark ata yun

    alcohol/perfume/baby oil bottles as substitute sa water gun

    plastic balloon (although disposable ito)

    hula hoop

  21. Royce says:

    Omg.. I did not play teks with ghost fighter or bt x… Pina nunuud ko na lang sila nun haha… Wat we played with wer teks with pictures of filipino films.. And ultraman.. ???? still have that …

  22. c says:

    90s kids mabuhay!

  23. Dants says:

    Pick-up sticks… :)

  24. bryan_mmx says:

    actually, no one really knows how it’s spelled haha.

    and you forgot boomerangs (didn’t last quite long though)

    plastic balloons

    Matchbox (take note, capital M)

  25. Kabayan says:

    You forgot shato, Shack-bang, Taguan, Langit Lupa, Maro maro or Moro moro, Tumbang preso, Chinese garter…

    these games are one of the reason why those who where born in the late 70’s or early 80’s are more durable than those born in the 90’s o early 2000’s.. provided of course they live a healthy lifestyle. :)

    • EFFING READ says:

      we’re talking of TOYS here not games.

      chinese garter = rubber bands/ropes
      tumbang preso = lata

      anyways, where is the classic stick and tire (rubber/wooden/metal/plastic) combination played all around the world?

  26. Yo Mama says:

    Slinky – yung hellical spring na ang pinakasikat na “trick” o phenomenon is yung bumaba sa hagdan

    usually metal o plastic na rainbow colored.

  27. Jed Libed says:

    Tansan and colorful candy wrappers, anyone? pitpit na tansan = singko at yung di naman pitpit ay piso. Sama na din si BeyBlade and Crush Gear. Pretty nostalgic po ang post nyo, and nowadays, I am asking, where did all of these go?

  28. Junny Lee says:

    This reminds me of my childhood,.. of all, trumpo lang ang di ko nasubukan :)

  29. Kisses says:

    Kisses na pinapaanak sa cotton na may alcohol! LOL

  30. Mirror says:

    My god! tumpok na tumpok! I have everything on the pix except the legos. Guess it is indeed true na i was ultra spoiled by my mom. haha. guess i really had a fun childhood. missed those days

  31. igniculus says:

    wala bang naglaro ng barbie dito? yung barbie ng ate ako ang naglalaro at ginagawan ko ng mga out-of-this world costume.

  32. wired_boy says:

    how bout SUNGKA? pasok din sya dito i guess, kasi my sipa na na-mention

  33. jm says:

    batang 90’s ahahaha lahat ng game na to nasa smartphone na

  34. Touching Ball! is one of my favy when I was in elementary :)

  35. tadashi says:

    BEYBLADE and LETS GO ! Rocks ! haha !

  36. Gela Ramos says:

    syatooooooooooooooo!!! :)

    tumbang preso…

    agawan base…

    luksong tinik/baka…

    yan ang mga larong pinoy na nawawala na ngayong henerasyon… :(

  37. caress says:

    sama mo na din ung pickup sticks. ung makukuha mo lang un hindi mo magagalaw. ung parang ganun.

  38. 'em says:

    Sana nasa listahin din yung “Super Trump” – yung mga cards na either about jet fighters, naval ships at mga kotse. Ang paglaro niya, pataasan/pababaaan ng stats like maximum cruising speed, maximum power etc.. Kahit di alam dati kung ano ang mga yun, basta nakatingin lang sa value. Hehe

  39. kris says:

    RC para sa rich nga lang noon hehehe.. Remembering the old times, and realizing how old are we.. hahahaha..

  40. Jojo says:

    Meron pa iba nung panahon ko na mas earlier …. mga Matchbox cars. Collectionables.

  41. chubibo says:

    this is how i remember them – turumpo and tanching. you left out pickup sticks and siyato, habulang taga and patintero.

  42. trololol says:

    we know all these because we are the 90’skidmasterrace

  43. Teddy says:

    Asan ang Beyblade & Crash Gear?

  44. dapat kasama chinese garter, nba trading cards, sarangola. :)

  45. ung KARET/KARIT gamit yung PINITPIT na TANSAN na may TALI..

  46. Emz says:

    Yung Teks talaga.. bka meron pang nttgaong teks dyan… bka pwedeng pag usapan.. hahaha.. salamat

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