Growing up in the 90’s, almost everyone would agree that life was so much simpler with only the emerging presence of technology. Fueled with creativity and known to live in the moment, the 90’s kids would turn literally anything from marbles, water bottles and even stationery supplies into something super fun and interesting. Today, most of the stationery items from the 90’s have become collectibles owned by vintage stationery lovers and most of the kids these days have hardly ever heard or seen half of these school supplies.
Are you already feeling a pang of nostalgia? Fret not, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back on the stationeries only a 90’s Malaysian kid would remember. Have some fun and check off the stationeries you used to own!
Stackable Point Pencils
These stackable point pencils were the next best thing to a mechanical pencil or for some, it was a level up from the average 2B pencil. It doesn’t need any sharpening - only replacing the lead pencil tip as soon as it gets blunt by stacking it at the top of the plastic tube. The 90’s kids had this in multiple colour tubes and even glitter ones. The only downside is if one of the pencil tips goes missing, the whole thing becomes unusable as the tips would retract into the tube - it’s really a have-all-the-pieces-together or cry in the corner situation.
Correction – Stickers, Pen & Tape
Tape that typo up! Back then, there were different correction supplies - from the white stickers (now also known as the self-adhesive labels) to the correction pens and then, the holy grail was introduced - CORRECTION TAPE. This correction stickers and tape became a staple in every Malaysian’s pencil case, almost like a must-have stationery for school. Sometimes, typos and errors were intentionally made just for the fun of swiping this tape across it - before carefully writing over it again.
Open up a pencil case of any Malaysian kid in the 90’s and you will find a good number of unused and really cool collections of erasers - the flags being one of them. What started of as a way to educate kids about different countries soon turned into an obsession and collection because the erasers were being used in a game of flip erasers - basically one would try to flip their eraser with a finger to get it on top of their opponent’s eraser in order to “win”. Every player would even have their own set of erasers with different flags on it to easily identify their challengers.
This one is a classic - one for ten! Almost every kid had one of these pens that can hold up to 10 different ink colours or ballpoint pen inserts. Obviously spoilt for choice, every pull at the side of the pen would change the color of the ink accordingly. This was just in time for the trend of the Biodata Book - the Facebook of the 90’s. With the range of colours available on the rainbow pen, one could creatively write about all their fun little information in the book and exchange with friends.
Shaker Mechanical Pencil
The Pilot Super Grip Mechanical Pencil made a debut around the late 90’s in Malaysia and it almost immediately became an essential stationery for school. What made it so popular was the “shaker” mechanism - allowing you to extend the lead simply by shaking the mechanical pencil up and down. It came with a grip and clip for ease of use and extra convenience as well.
Multi-Compartment Pencil Case
This pencil case had it all - from a compartment to hold pencils and writing needs to a built-in scissors compartment and even a pencil sharpener. It not only came with a magnetic cover, but the case had little buttons for each compartment as well. Press a button - out pops the eraser. Press another - there’s the sharpener. It was pretty much a vault rather than a pencil case! The best part, these pencil cases came with the latest animated cartoon of the time and yes, it may have been a little heavy and bulky, but did we mind? Not at all!
Well, that sums up the nostalgic things every Malaysian collected or owned as kids. What a vibrant and unique collection of stationery! That being said, most 90’s kids are now approaching the BIG 30 or might have already passed that mark and hence, would require more practical stationery to suit the corporate environment.
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