Monday, June 5, 2023
HomeGadgetsRanking the '90s Gadgets Seen on TV

Ranking the ’90s Gadgets Seen on TV

As Seen on TV Gadgets From the ’90s, Ranked

The ’90s were a time of innovation and creativity, but also of some truly ridiculous infomercial products. From the Juiceman Juice Machine to Tony Robbins’ Personal Power, these gadgets promised to make our lives easier and better. But how many of them actually delivered? Here, we rank 24 infomercial gadgets from worst to best.

The Worst:

24. Tony Robbins’ Personal Power

While Tony Robbins’ self-help audio cassette program may have inspired countless grifters and motivational speakers around the world, it’s hard to argue that it actually helped anyone become their best selves.

23. Popeil Automatic Pasta Maker

The Ronco Pasta Maker presents a manufactured problem (homemade pasta takes a long time to make) and provides you with a gadget to fix it. It’s peak 1990s infomercial bullshit.

22. The Juiceman Juice Machine

The Juiceman Juice Machine’s infomercial appeals to everyone’s worst fear in the ’90s: being fat. Testimonials include lowered blood pressure, heightened libido, quitting smoking, and more solely based on the nutrients you’re gonna get by using the Juiceman. Research indicates, however, that juicing offers no leg-up over just eating fruits and vegetables.

21. Great Wok of China

While it’s refreshing how few gimmicks there are with the Great Wok of China, it’s still just a wok. It’s a reminder of just how many foods and cooking techniques we take for granted today (hummus, sushi) that seemed wildly exotic to Americans in the ’90s.

The Middle Ground:

20. Purr-Fect Punch

The Purr-Fect Punch is an all-in-one embroidery kit that can make embroidered designs for dirt cheap. Despite the low barrier of entry, this product likely only appealed to young kids or the elderly.

19. The Jet Aire Professional Hairstyling System

While it was advertised to those who couldn’t help but succumb to bad hair days, the Jet Aire Hairstyling System was just over-engineered and didn’t set itself apart from more readily available curling irons.

18. Miracle Blade III

The Miracle Blade III knife set is super ugly and unnecessary, but it’ll get the job done if you’re desperate to cut a pineapple in mid-air.

17. Hairagami

The Hairagami promised to give you the perfect bun in seconds, but its complicated instructions made it kind of a hassle to use.

16. Gopher

The Gopher promised to help you pick up hard-to-reach items with ease, but how many people actually needed to grab a tennis ball from under their couch on a daily basis?

15. The George Foreman Grill

While the George Foreman Grill became a cultural phenomenon in the ’90s, it’s hard to argue that it’s the best indoor grill on the market. It’s also worth noting that Foreman has been controversial in recent years, with accusations of domestic violence against him.

14. California Beauty

The California Beauty massager promised to help users lose weight and “tone their abs” with its vibration technology. While it’s unlikely to do much in the way of weight loss or toning, it may provide some temporary relaxation.

13. Ped Egg

The Ped Egg promised to help users remove calluses and rough skin from their feet. While it’s not the most glamorous product, it’s relatively effective and has stood the test of time.

12. The Ab Roller

The Ab Roller was supposed to give users “six-pack abs” with its rolling motion. While it may help build some core strength, it’s unlikely to give you a six-pack without a healthy diet and overall fitness routine.

11. The Slap Chop

While the Slap Chop may not be the most cutting-edge kitchen gadget on the market, it’s relatively effective and has become a bit of a cultural icon in its own right.

The Best:

10. The Shake Weight

While it may be easy to write off the Shake Weight as a silly gimmick, it’s actually a pretty effective workout tool that can help build arm strength.

9. ThighMaster

The ThighMaster may have been marketed as a tool for women to tone their thighs, but it’s actually a pretty versatile piece of workout equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises.

8. George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine

While it may not be the best indoor grill on the market, the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine is still a solid choice for anyone looking to cook healthier meals at home.

7. The Flowbee

While its name may sound ridiculous, the Flowbee is actually a pretty innovative hair-cutting tool that can help people achieve professional-looking haircuts at home.

6. OxiClean

While it may not be the flashiest item on this list, OxiClean is a household name for a reason. It’s a relatively effective stain remover that has been used by millions of people over the years.

5. Proactiv

While Proactiv may not work for everyone, it has helped countless people achieve clearer skin. It’s also worth noting that the company has been involved in some controversies over their subscription service and accusations of deceptive advertising.

4. Magic Bullet

The Magic Bullet may not be the most advanced blender on the market, but it’s still a solid choice for anyone looking to make smoothies, shakes, and other blended drinks at home.

3. Snuggie

While the Snuggie may have become a bit of a cultural punchline over the years, it’s actually a pretty useful and comfortable blanket that remains popular to this day.

2. Bowflex

While it may be a bit of a pricey investment, the Bowflex is a versatile workout machine that can help users achieve a full-body workout in the comfort of their own home.

1. The Clapper

While it may seem like a silly gimmick, the Clapper was actually a pretty innovative product for its time. It allowed users to turn their lights on and off with just a clap, making it easier to control their home’s lighting without getting up from the couch.

Related Facts:

– The Juiceman Juice Machine was endorsed by television personality Jack LaLanne, who was known for his fitness and health-related television programs.
– The Magic Bullet was endorsed by celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Heidi Klum.
– The Snuggie was famously parodied on “Saturday Night Live,” but still managed to become a best-selling product.

Key Takeaways:

While many of these ’90s infomercial gadgets may seem silly in retrospect, some of them actually had real value for their time. From the Clapper to the Magic Bullet, these products provided real solutions to problems that people faced in their daily lives. Of course, there were also plenty of gimmicks and useless products thrown in for good measure. Overall, the ’90s were a strange and wonderful time for infomercial products, and many of these items continue to live on in our memories (and in our closets).


While the ’90s were full of weird and wonderful infomercial products, some of them were definitely better than others. From the pointless Pasta Maker to the innovative Clapper, these gadgets ran the gamut from ridiculous to genuinely useful. While it’s easy to laugh at these products now, they represent a fascinating time in American culture and provide a glimpse into the hopes and fears of a generation.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular