McDLT

Forgotten Food: McDonald’s McD.L.T.

With Thanksgiving coming, I’ve gotta talk about some food, right?

The McDonald’s McDLT gets mentioned on its fair share of fondly remembered foods lists and for good reason. Of all the great, and horrible, things to ever grace the menu of McDonald’s, the McDLT was one of the best items they created. The fact that it had George Costanza pitching it in a commercial helped too.

It was a burger in similar size as Burger King’s Whopper sandwich and featured mostly the same ingredients. A quarter-pound beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese, pickles, and ketchup on a toasted sesame seed bun. The beauty of the McDLT though was its packaging. It came in one of McDonald’s signature styrofoam containers. But this one was slightly different from all the rest, as it featured two separate compartments instead of one. 

On one side, the bottom bun and burger patty rested, while on the other was the rest of the toppings and the top bun. This allowed the hot parts to remain separate from the cold parts until you were ready to put it together and eat. And that was the brilliance of it all. A fresh-tasting McDLT when the hot patty met the cold toppings.  What I could never figure out though, was why the slice of cheese was included on the cold side.  To me, it would have made much more sense to put it on top of the patty on the hot side so it could get all melty.  But apparently, I’m not a genius like the burger builders at McDonald’s. 

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Talking Mother Goose

Product of the Past: The Talking Mother Goose

So in what appears to be a marketing gimmick to capitalize on the success of the Teddy Ruxpin dolls, we’ve got The Talking Mother Goose.  A big, plush, goose that reads stories to you and moves…just like Teddy.

Teddy Ruxpin was a good toy to copy, as it’s sales were off the chart for a while there in the mid-1980s.  And what better “character” to get behind than Mother Goose.  Kids everywhere were familiar with her from hearing the stories and nursery rhymes.  That’s also not a bad selection of story titles that were available for this.  Worlds of Wonder was hitting on all cylinders at this point apparently.

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Oatmeal Swirlers

Forgotten Food: Oatmeal Swirlers

Today we’re going to take a look at one of the more interesting breakfast foods of the late ’80s and early ’90s…Oatmeal Swirlers!

I was very fortunate that my Mom didn’t work when I was growing up. My Dad made a good living and she was able to stay at home and raise us kids for the most part. At two different points, she took jobs and only worked for 6 weeks at each, so for 99% of my childhood, she was always home. This meant that every morning before school, she was up early and making home-cooked breakfast for the family. Most days that consisted of eggs and toast, or biscuits and gravy, and sometimes her home-cooked oatmeal. 

On the rare occasion when she or one of us had something going on early, she would turn to something quick like frozen pancakes or waffles or cereal. My favorite of the quick breakfast options however was instant oatmeal. I loved Quaker Maple Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. It was a staple of my breakfast diet then, and it still is now. No other instant oatmeal could touch it in my eyes. That is until I first saw a commercial for General Mills’ Oatmeal Swirlers. 

It was instant oatmeal that came with a squeeze pack of what I guess would be best described as jelly. You could squeeze out smiley faces, or words, or even play tic tac toe with the pack. It was awesome. When this stuff hit the market it took instant oatmeal to a whole new level. 

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Rudolph

CBS Will Ring in the Holiday’s With Broadcasts of Animated Classics

This holiday season, CBS continues its merry tradition as a destination for annual broadcasts of the beloved classics RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, as well as encore presentations of the animated specials FROSTY RETURNS, THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS and ROBBIE THE REINDEER, which is voiced by an array of celebrities, including Ben Stiller, Britney Spears and Hugh Grant.

2020 Schedule for Animated Holiday Specials on CBS


Friday, November 27, 2020
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT)

Frosty, that “jolly, happy soul” whose old silk hat full of magic has turned him into a musical Christmas legend, once again demonstrates his unique showmanship. Narrated by Jimmy Durante, the special also includes the voices of Jackie Vernon (as Frosty) and Billy De Wolfe (as Professor Hinkle).

FROSTY RETURNS (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

The magic still in his old silk hat, the holiday season’s perennially popular original dancing snowman continues his adventure and skates on the edge of danger. Jonathan Winters is the narrator with John Goodman as the voice of Frosty.

Saturday, November 28, 2020
ROBBIE THE REINDEER: HOOVES OF FIRE (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT)

In this animated special, Robbie must train to compete in the Reindeer Races to become a part of the sleigh team for Santa.

ROBBIE THE REINDEER: LEGEND OF THE LOST TRIBE (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

In the second of two 30-minute specials, Robbie battles Blitzen in an effort to stop his nemesis’s launch of a reindeer theme park. Britney Spears, James Woods, Leah Remini, and Jerry Stiller are among the additional stars to lend their voices.

THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)

This animated musical holiday special revolves around a gentle toymaker whose only wish is to deliver a toy to every child on Christmas. The voices of Betty White and Tim Curry are featured.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

Narrated by Burl Ives, who is also heard as the voice of Sam the Snowman, this favorite is a music story based on the popular song of the same name by Johnny Marks. It recounts the tale of a shy reindeer whose Christmas spirit is dampened because his shiny nose has made him the laughing stock of all of Christmasville.

TRN Podcast

The Retro Network Podcast #69: Reviewing a 1988 Toys R Us Flyer

In this week’s TRN Time Machine segment sponsored by the RetroDaze YouTube channel, Jason and I dissect and discuss the 1988 Toys R’ Us Christmas flyer featuring 16-pages of nostalgic playthings! You can view the entire ad here, and each page has been posted in a Twitter Thread for you to peruse while you listen to the podcast. Tweet us your memories of the flyer at @TRNsocial and we’ll pick our favorite comments to read back and discuss on next week’s show.

You can listen to the show below, and when you’re done, check out the posts Jason and I did each highlighting our five favorite toys from the ad:

Five Toys From a 1988 Toys ‘R’ Us Sale Paper – My list
5 Forgotten Toys From the 1988 Toys ‘R’ Us Christmas Flyer – Jason’s list

Crossfire

Five Highlights From a 1988 Toys ‘R’ Us Sale Paper

On this week’s episode of The Retro Network Podcast, Jason and I scoured through an old Toys ‘R’ Us sale paper from 1988. Even at just sixteen pages, the thing was loaded with all kinds of cool toys from the past. You can listen to us salivate over everything in the ad on the show, but here are five things from it that I want to highlight.

Army Gear Playsets from Galoob

Until we recorded the show, I was completely unaware of the existence of these incredible looking toys. They’re kind of like Transformers in that they’re two distinct toys in one. Like the M-16…you could play with it as a machine gun while running around chasing the neighbor kids, but you could also open it up into a playset for the Combat Troops.

Besides the M-16, it looks like there was also a flashlight that transformed into an air defense station, a watch that transformed into some kind of missile base, and a pistol that turned into a 3-level silo…and they had sounds!

Not to mention the combat troops themselves which you would obviously need to ramp up the fun with the playsets. And for just $3.99 you got ten good guys and ten bad guys to battle it out. This is a line I’m going to have to look into further.

Bone Age from Kenner

Way back when, well I guess in 1988 as it turns out, I saw commercials for what I thought were pretty cool looking toys. I never ended up having any of them, and they gradually slipped from my mind until just a few years ago. I searched high and low for a name for the toy line with no luck. Then I did what I should have done in the first place. I turned to Twitter for the answer and got it pretty quickly. Bone Age.

I had been enamoured with the “vehicles” and the like from the line, and still am today. So when we flipped the page in the sale paper and happened upon these things, I was ecstatic. These aren’t even the best representations of the toys in the line. It wouldn’t fit this post if I started adding in images from other sources, so you’ll just have to google them yourselves.

But the gist is that you’ve got these big skeleton dinosaurs and the cave men that ride on them I guess. But some of the other toys in the line are net launchers and other such fancy weapons. Maybe the coolest thing about them were that you got to put the dinosaur skeletons together before you played with them, adding another layer of fun to the toy.

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