By Alison L. Sprout

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Election years are best remembered for their presidential candidates rather than for their products, but in 1992 the line between the two blurred. Hence the appearance of Ross Perot on this year's list. The political newcomer qualifies because he marketed himself with all the zeal due a consumer product, and poured millions of dollars into advertising to establish himself as a household name.

White high-schoolers and college students have joined their black brothers and sisters in donning the hip-hop clothing of rap singers. Harmony in dress code may not bridge the racial chasms tragically exposed by the spring riots that followed the Rodney King verdict, but it cannot hurt. As can be seen on the following pages, Fortune's 12th annual roundup of hot products also includes expensive toys whose sales should be helped -- just in time for Christmas -- by a stronger economy. Some winners made it simply because they hit it big during 1992, others because of their technological advances or superior design. Recaptured childhood pushed another contender into the company of champions. Anyone for ice cream?