Tech Deck Fingerboards

Another example of nineties toymakers going HAM on miniatures. Tech Deck fingerboards are small skateboards that can be manipulated and “ridden” using your fingers. Fingerboards were initially produced as keychains for skate shops but evolved into a standalone product. Boards had all of the features of a full-sized skateboard, including moving wheels, trucks, grip tape, and graphics. They exposed younger audiences to skateboarding culture and created new marketing opportunities for skateboard brands and companies.

Tech Deck fingerboards were a much safer alternative to actual skateboarding, which allowed enthusiasts of all ages and abilities the chance to participate in the trend. While they may have looked like a novelty trinket, Tech Decks allowed for the same functionality as real skateboards meaning users could learn the tricks they saw in their favorite video games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Mastering an ollie or a kickflip took time and dedication. Still, it didn’t require the blood sacrifice that actual skating often demands.  

In the nineties, Tech Deck boards became a popular collector’s item, similar to Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards. Thanks to some savvy marketing and brand licensing agreements, the miniature boards began to feature the same graphics as full-sized versions from brands like ELEMENT, Girl, Toy Machine, and Zero. Portable and inexpensive, it was easy to sneak a quick Tech Deck sesh at recess or inside your middle school desk. An entire industry popped up around the trendy toy, from tiny rails, half pipes, and other skateboard settings to miniature BMX bikes. In the early 2000s, Teck Deck partnered with McDonald's to include plastic fingerboards as Happy Meals toys.

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