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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 IN REVIEW: The Year In Fads

Do any of you remember a show on television called "Dr. Fad"?

I know I certainly do.  It used to air on quite a few television stations in the early 1990s, and it was a game show where kids competed against each other to create wacky new inventions that could potentially become a brand new product.  The show was hosted by Ken Hakuta, who had success as an inventor himself.  If you recall playing with a Wacky Wall Walker during the 1980s, you can thank him for it.  He invented it, and it became one of the biggest fads of that decade.

You know, fads are interesting things.  Sometimes, a fad starts up, and quickly becomes a cultural phenomenon, like "Beatlemania" or Pokemon.  Sometimes they pop up out of nowhere and stick around for a year or two (Skip-Its, Pet Rocks, and those velcro hand shields that allow tennis balls to stick to them).  And sometimes they die out as quickly as they came (and to this day, I'll never understand the appeal of dying your hair with Kool-Aid).

Well, in this retrospective of 2015, I am going to take a look at some of the biggest fads to come out of the toy, book, video game, and fashion scenes to create a list of the biggest trends of the year.  Some of them I could see lasting a long time, while others were starting to become stale by March.

So, what was 2015 the year of?


You could easily say that Lego has experienced a bit of a renaissance period during the last couple of years.  With the Lego Movie being one of the biggest (pardon the pun) blockbusters over the last couple of years, and Simpsons and Scooby-Doo Lego Playsets being sold on store shelves, Lego has never been cooler (or more expensive)!

So, what happens when you combine the love of Lego with the love of video games?  Well, you get Lego Dimensions, the hottest new toy/video game of the year. 

Released on September 27, 2015, the game (which is available for PlayStation 3/4, XBOX 360, XBOX One, and Nintendo Wii U), allows you to play with your favourite Lego characters in fourteen different Lego themed worlds based off of your favourite films and comic books.  It truly is a game in which you can never get bored, and you can buy additional character pieces you can use to play with in the game.

There is a catch though.  You have to build the characters yourself.  What fun would it be if it came already assembled?


Would you believe that THIS was the game that everyone wanted this Christmas?  And would you believe that the store I work at could never keep enough of it in stock?  And really, the way you play the game is simple.  You crank some sort of lever that is attached to a pie plate covered in whipped cream (which you have to buy separately, might I add), and the goal is to not get hit in the face with the pie.  Seriously?  You could play the game a lot cheaper by just using the whipped cream.  I bet a year from now, this game will be forgotten about.


Okay, so this fad isn't exactly new.  It's a television show that has aired on Nickelodeon since August 2013, and it features a little boy and his team of seven pups who go around Adventure City and use their skills to save the lives of everyone around.  In preparation for this blog entry, I watched a couple of episodes of the show, and I can definitely understand why so many like it.  It also explains why our store was completely devoid of Paw Patrol merchandise the week before Christmas.  It seems like the longer Paw Patrol stays, the more popular it gets.


If there is one hairstyle that makes me cringe every time I see it, it's the stupid man bun that celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham have rocked over the years.  2015 seemed to be the year in which the style (hopefully) peaks.  A lot of guys have purposely let their hair grow out so they can pull the hair up in a bun and wear it that way.  You know what, why not just cut the thing out and wear your hair short.  The only people who can rock the bun hairstyle are librarians, food service workers, and possibly Marge Simpson.  Enough with the man bun already!


Remember that picture of that dress that nearly broke the Internet earlier this year?  The one that some people argued about for days?  Yeah, that was kind of entertaining for all of a minute.  For what it is worth, the dress is supposed to be black and blue. 


So, Kelly Osbourne bucked the trend in 2013 when she started wearing her hair in a purplish-grey colour.  At the time, she was a standout.  But now that a lot of A-list talent seem to be going towards the silver hair dye to turn their hair into the same colour as their grandmother's, it's starting to become a little boring.


Another colour that seems to be in for hair colour is pink - likely inspired by the resurgence of Jem and the Holograms for the cartoon's 30th anniversary.  Though, I see the pink hair making more of an impact than the lacklustre movie.


Okay, I don't mind the fact that the beard is one of the trends of 2015.  If you can grow one (I can't), I say rock it.  But glitter?  No.  Just no.


Definition of Netflix:  An online based television and film database that you can watch at your disposal - for about nine bucks a month.

Definition of Chill:  Another word for rest and relaxation.  Sometimes with a special friend, it can mean so much more than that...if you get what I mean.

Therefore, Netflix and Chill means going over to a special friend's house to watch movies and do things that can mean so much more than that...if you get what I mean.


From lightsabres to action figures to video games to even Star Wars cereal, the release of the seventh Star Wars film certainly has piqued people's interest in grabbing as much Star Wars memorabilia as they possibly can.


2015 is the year of the minion.  Seriously, look around any toy store and you'll see it.

And finally...


I should clarify that I mean adult as in adults can use them, not adult as in "published by Playboy".

No longer are Crayola crayons and colouring books restricted to children any longer.  Several companies have now issued colouring books for adults as a stress-reliever.  The pictures that have to be coloured are a lot more complex than the pictures you might see in a Paw Patrol or Minion colouring book, mainly because the book printers assume that most adults have the motor skills necessary to stay inside the lines.  That said, some of the designs in these books are absolutely beautiful, and it makes me want to buy one of these books so I can relieve my stress.  Which at times can be a lot.

Those are just a few of the fads of 2015.  Are you guilty of taking part in any of them?  Or are there any that I've missed?

Tomorrow, we take a look at the news stories that defined 2015, as well as remembering all the famous faces we lost this past year.

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