Author: The Retro Rambler

I'm the Retro Rambler, and this is my online home where I relive all the stuff that made my childhood cool. I've never really grown up, and don't really want to either. Enjoy your stay here, and come back often to see the latest memories we're posting. Drop me a comment when something strikes you and we'll chat about it. Retro Ramblings....your childhood lives here.

Some Awesome Toy Ads From 1984

I was flipping through some old comics books the other day, and came across some random title from 1984.  As I was flipping through it, I came across a bevy of kick-ass old advertisements.  These are too cool not to share, so here are five toy ads that I think you’ll like.

Masters of the Universe Monogram

We’re starting things off with my favorite one of the batch.  Up until I saw this, I never had any idea that Monogram made model kits of the MOTU vehicles.  I was big into model kits back in the day, and He-Man was my hero, so how this escaped me for all this time is mind-boggling.  This Talon FIghter and Attak Trak just look bad-ass, and I wonder if any of these kits could still be found on ebay?  If so, I bet they will cost a small mint.  I’m going to have to look into that.

Power Lords

So I must have missed out on Power Lords.  Knowing what I do now, I know that the line debuted in 1983, and each of the figures featured a “shape changing” ability.  Or better stated, you pushed a button on the figure and the top half would spin around revealing a Lord Power side.  These figures look cool, but I’m just not sure of the playability.  I mean, would you have played with these guys by themselves, or tried to mix them in with other figure lines?  If this dud walked up to Skeletor and flipped around like that, Skeletor may just laugh at him. Or on second thought, maybe he would recruit him to help take over Castle Greyskull.  In any event, the ad itself is pretty rad.

Matchbox Puffy Stickers

Back in the day, I was kind of into stickers in general, but puffy stickers were the cream of the crop.  I had a binder that i put loose leaf paper in, and then plastered all the pages with stickers.  I called it my “collection”.  And Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars were a go to toy for me.  I don’t remember this promotion at all, and that sucks because my old man would be a car every week, but I guess we never sent away for the free stickers.

In case you missed it, quite a while ago I did a piece called 5 Fun Matchbox Toys.  Check it out.

Remco Toys

Now here’s an ad for several of the Remco action figure lines.  Most of their ads you see feature multiple figures from the same line, but this is just a glimpse at several of their offerings.  The Warlord line was a lot of fun, but I never had any of the Hercules or Arak, and until I saw this ad I had no idea they made Sgt. Rock figures.  That’s pretty badass.  My brother and I would have worn out Sgt. Rock figures if we had them back then.

He-Man Atari

We’re ending this the same we started it, with a Masters of the Universe ad.  This one is quite the beauty too, as it’s an ad for the Masters of the Universe game for Atari.  Up until about a year ago, I was oblivious to the fact that He-Man was on Atari.  This is another one I truly wish I could have had as a kid.  Of course, I’ve heard that the game was quite tough, and really only featured you trying to fly the Wind Raider.  Still, I wish I could have experienced it for myself.

If you’re itching for more of these cool old toy ads from 1984, go check out our Patreon page where I’ve put the rest of the ads I found.  You can check it out here.  If you’re interested in helping support Retro Ramblings by becoming a Patron, you can get access to exclusive content for just $3.00 a month.

Superman Peanut Butter

Superman Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a staple in most American homes.  You can find it cabinets, in lunch boxes, and in lunch pails all across this great country.  It’s patriotic….right behind apple pie. And you know what else is patriotic? Superman by gosh!  You slap Superman’s name and image on a jar of peanut butter, you have the ultimate weapon against communism.

At least that’s what a lot of us kids growing up in the ’80s in rural southwest Virginia thought anyway.  We’d spend a lot of our time at recess after lunch playing Superman vs The Russians on the school playground.  No joke. We had our bellies full of Superman peanut butter and were battling the red menace to keep our playgrounds safe.  It was serious business. I even started a super secret spy club in school to help combat the threat that we were exposed to on the news every night.  But I digress.

Anyway, I’m not sure Superman peanut butter tasted any better than Skippy, Peter Pan or Jif.  Actually, from what I’ve read online, Superman may have even been a cheaper variety than those others listed.  No matter the cost, that brand of peanut butter…it’s glass jar, and Superman on the label is what I still identify as the epitome of peanut butter from my childhood.

As a sidebar, I can explicitly remember one distinct point of time when I was eating Superman peanut butter.  It was January 28, 1986. We were out of school that day due to snow. I was sitting in the floor of our basement where I usually played, with a Superman peanut butter sandwich in front of me as I watched the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  It was one of those moments where you always remember where you were and what you were doing….and I had Superman peanut butter to make me feel a little better as I watched those events unfold.



Saturday Morning Cartoons of 1985

Saturday mornings in 2019 are a far cry from the Saturday mornings of 1985.  Hell, it’s been that way since the late 1990’s when the networks started phasing out their cartoon lineups in favor of other programming on Saturdays.  I’m not sure what caused the change unless it was the fact that cable television was a staple in most homes by that time.  But one thing I do know, Saturday mornings in the ’80s and early ’90s were the bomb for kids.  All three of the big networks stuffed their Saturday morning lineups with some of the best cartoons ever produced, and we ate them up!

We all had our favorites, and we all had the ones we weren’t fond of.   Channel hopping was commonplace for us kids on Saturday mornings as our favorites were usually spread across all three networks.  And back then, that took a little effort.  I had to keep getting up to change the channel between shows because I don’t remember having a television with a remote control until the late ’80s.  Not that it really mattered though because it was worth the effort to get to the cartoon I really wanted to watch.

Let’s take a look at the Saturday morning cartoon lineups from 1985 and talk about what our favorite offerings were!

1985 NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons

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The Story of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake

We are deep into the month of March, which means we’re also deep into Shamrock Shake season.   Have you had yours yet?  Me, I’ve had several, and hopefully will have several more before they’re gone for another year.   The Shamrock Shake has been a tradition for me for many years now, and apparently, I’m not alone in my love them, as McDonald’s estimates they have sold over 70 million of them since their debut in 1970.  Well, McDonald’s official story is that it debuted in 1970, but a McDonald’s franchise owner in Connecticut, Harold Rosen, claims he invented the shake in 1966.

But for the point of this, let’s go with the official McDonald’s story.  Even though it was created in 1970, it was 1974 when the Shamrock Shake entered itself into the Pantheon of McDonald’s products.  Around that time, the daughter of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill was battling Leukemia.  Fred and his family wanted to stay as close to her as they could during her treatments at the hospital, so they camped out on the sofas and benches in the waiting rooms of the hospital.  Fred Hill saw many other families doing the same thing and knew there just had to be a better way.

Continue reading “The Story of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake”

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors Cartoon

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

Based on a popular toy line, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors aired in syndication from 1985 through 1987. The central character, Jayce, traveled the universe searching for his scientist-father, Audric.

Audric, an agricultural genius, had developed a magical root capable of feeding the world, but the evil Sawboss had turned his creation against him. The mutated plant-creatures, known as the Monster Minds, worked under Sawboss’ direction to spread evil across the cosmos. Jayce still held half of the magic root, and only by reuniting it with his father’s half could peace be restored.

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Super Mario Brothers Minifigures Available in the Minifigure Market

Listen up all you retro gaming fans…..Super Mario Brothers minifigures are now available!  Nintendo’s earliest icons, Mario and Luigi now have minifigure versions, and you can get a set of your own through my Minifigures Market store on ebay.

The stars of Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 2, Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, and countless other games would look great displayed in your retro collections.  These are not official LEGO releases, but they were made from genuine LEGO parts with a UV printing process.  These things are totally compatible with all LEGO pieces and sets, and are the exact same size as all standard minifigures.

Just $6.00 + shipping will get you a set of these swank Nintendo collectibles.  Check them out in my store here.

Plus, there’s plenty more retro themed minifigures in the store to check out like Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots more.  If you’ve not checked out Minifigures Market yet, swing by and have a look!

Fall Preview Flash Back: Step by Step from 1991

Step by Step

Ahhh, Step by Step.  I remember when this debuted as part of ABC’s TGIF block back in 1991.  I spent my Friday night’s with TGIF, and generally watched every show they put on, and this one was no exception.  I was familiar with Patrick Duffy from all the years I spent watching Dallas with my folks, so it seemed familiar somehow.  Another plus was that I was also familiar with Staci Keanan from My Two Dads which had been a favorite of mine.

Now I wouldn’t say that I was “hyped” to see the debut, but I certainly didn’t mind the looks of this new show.  I wasn’t disappointed by any means, as it became another staple of my Friday night viewing habits for most of it’s run.  I didn’t watch it all the way through it’s run, as I turned sixteen in 1994, and at that point spent a fair amount of my Friday nights working, or cruising with my friends instead of being hunkered down in front of the television.

Before that though, my Friday nights consisted of going out to eat with the folks, hitting the local department stores so Mom could do her weekly shopping, and then heading home where the rest of the night was spent in my room snacking and watching the TGIF lineup.  Stuff like this really hits the old nostalgia bone and has me missing a classic Friday night from the early 1990’s.