Obsolete Trends that Still Sell (80s and 90s Trends)

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Trends come and go. You could be forgiven for thinking this was a new thing, that only the digital age could produce fads that are the biggest thing in the world for a few weeks or months and are then forgotten about entirely. But these trends have been coming and going for hundreds of years and in some cases, the ones that you thought disappeared off the face of the earth continued to make a healthy profit and, in some cases, to grow bigger than ever.

SodaStream (In the UK)

If I asked you to guess when the SodaStream was invented off the top of your head, what would you say? If you’re in the UK you might think back to your childhood in the 80s and remember your parents buying one when they were all the rage. But they were around long before that.

These machines were invented at the turn of the 20th century and within the first decade of this century they were being sold to upper class families, including the British Royal Family. They didn’t make it onto the commercial market until the late 1950s though. They were at their peak in the 70s ad 80s, with the UK market being the biggest, but they continued for decades after that and are still going strong.

These days they focus on more healthy drinks and depending on where you are in the world you might even think they are new. Only in the last decade have they really taken off in the US and it is said that they can be found in 1 in 5 Swedish homes. However, in the UK they are nothing like the brand they once were.

To learn more about these machines and what they can offer, check SodaServe for the best water taste.

MAD Magazine

This is not really a “flourishing company” but it’s still alive. MAD Magazine was a humor magazine that was founded in the early 1950s and was a breath of fresh air at the time, providing satire from some of America’s best writers. It was popular with kids and adults alike and had more than 2 million readers during its peak in 1974.

Those numbers were quick to drop off though, and MAD just couldn’t stay relevant in the digital age. Sites like Cracked.com, a personal favorite of mine, are more relevant and more active. MAD still has a place in the market though as evidenced by their circulation of over 260,000. This may be a fraction of their peak total, but it’s enough to keep them going, especially as they are now owned by Time Warner.

The internet is awash with joke sites and comedy sites and you don’t have to go far to find free content to make you laugh. So even though the print format is still working for them, it is steadily dropping off and will be gone before long.

Disposable Cameras

It seems absurd to suggest that there could still be a need for disposable cameras in an age where there seems to be a camera attached to every gadget we buy. You can press a button on your phone and have a picture in seconds, so surely disposable cameras went the way of tracksuits and Backstreet Boys and died out in the 90s?

Well, not quite. In 2016 Fujifilm earned over 6.5 million from disposable cameras, which was up from the 3.9 million they earned the year before and less than the 7.5 million they expect to earn this year.

The people buying these cameras seem to be in their 20s, which means it’s not just about nostalgia and more about exploring a medium that hasn’t typically been available to them. They’ve grown up with instant digital pictures and the ability to store, delete and print on demand, but are returning to disposable cameras so they can snap something a little more tangible.

Disposable cameras are a little more advanced than they once were, but the idea is the same.

Classic Phones

For the last decade or so there has been an increase in the number of people calling for the classic Nokia 3310 phone to make a reappearance. For the most part, it felt like nostalgia, with people pining for the day when phones were cheap, basic, durable and didn’t promise to do everything. But this turned into something else entirely when the phone was re-released in the summer of 2017 and instantly flew off the shelves. In fact, the manufacturers were struggling to keep up with demand, even though the phone has been obsolete for 17 years.

There are some minor improvements, including a better battery and display, but it’s not a smartphone and the only thing resembling an app is the 2D Snake game.