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.

Catalog Pages: 1982 Sears Wish Book featuring G.I. Joe

I love going through old catalogs from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to reminisce on the fashion trends, gadgets of the time, and especially the toys.  The Sears Christmas Wish Book is the jackpot of catalogs as far as all that is concerned.  They almost act as time capsules, taking you back in time for a look at how things were each year.

Today I’ve got a heck of a page from the 1982 Sears Wish Book, as it features almost all of the original toys from the G.I. Joe:  A Real American Hero line!  This G.I Joe line is my favorite toy line of all time, so it has been a lot of fun looking back at this page.  Let’s take a tour of it.

Sears Wish Book GI Joe

As you can see, this page has all the heavy hitters…with the exception of the HAL.  There are a couple of the larger action vehicles at the top, along with the exclusive Cobra Command Missile HQ, sets of different figures, the smaller vehicles and action sets, and a sweet G.I. Joe tent!  Let’s go in for a closer look.

Cobra Missile Command HQ

So here is a closer look at the Cobra Missile Command HQ, and from reading the description at the bottom of the page, it comes with the three Cobra figures in the box above, which means you get Cobra Commander, a Cobra Officer, and a Cobra trooper!  Seems like an absolute bargain for just $10.99 even for 1982

Continue reading “Catalog Pages: 1982 Sears Wish Book featuring G.I. Joe”

Walking Tall Movie Ads from TV Guide

I miss what I call the “glory days” of TBS back in the late 80’s through the early 90’s.  Those days when they would show cool old movies from the Turner collection, and the Walking Tall series is a great example.  They always done a fine job of advertising their programming in TV Guide, and below is a great example.  They were showing all three Walking Tall films in consecutive nights, and ran a different ad for each night in TV Guide that week.  Check out the three ads below.

Walking Tall Part 1

Walking Tall Part 2

Walking Tall:  The Final Chapter

Retro Round Table: Favorite 80’s Movies

We’re back once again for another Retro Round Table!  This time, we’re talking about our favorite movies from the 80’s.  There were a lot of memorable movies in the 80’s, and we are all nostalgic about one or more of them.  While I am more fond of old television shows from the 80’s, I do have a favorite movie from that decade too, and so do my friends, so I invited them over once again to share their memories as well.  I’m joined today as usual by Hoju Koolander from the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from Eric V Music, and new to the round table starting this week, we welcome in Spyda-Man from the great retro blog, 20 Years Before 2000!  Let’s get to it and see what movies we all loved!


Fletch
This was like asking me my favorite album! So MANY to choose from. However, if I have to pick one…it’s Fletch.
So quotable. So hilarious. It’s Chevy Chase at his literal peak. In the four years leading up to this, he’d done Caddyshack, Seems Like Old Times, Under The Rainbow, Modern Problems and Vacation. All quality comedies. After this, though, all you have is Spies Like Us and Three Amigos. My high school buddies and I watched this movie again and again and again. And quoted it just as much. I’m 48 now and STILL quote it.
Go read through these quotes and you’ll remember: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089155/quotes

– Eric Vardeman

Give Eric a follow on Twitter at @Eric_Vardeman, and you can find his retro memories right here on Retro Ramblings!  His new weekly feature here on Retro Ramblings, Music Mondays, is awesome too.  He looks back at the songs gracing the Top 40 list from 35 years ago in 1983!  He’s also a talented singer/songwriter, and you should check out his music at EricVMusic


Goonies

My favorite movie from the 80’s has to be The Goonies! Not only is it my fave 80’s flick, but possibly my favorite movie of all time! I never actually did see The Goonies when it was released to theaters in 1985, but when it hit the VHS market a few months later it became a staple at sleepovers and parties. The main reason why I love this movie so much was because the story and relatable characters from The Goonies captured mine and my childhood friends imaginations. I mean, we planned entire weekends around attempts to recreate the epic story of Mikey and The Goonies’ quest for treasure to save the Goondocks! I even tried to come up with my own inventions to help us on our crazy adventures just like Data. You know, in case some devious ex-cons tried to stop us. The best Goonie idea I came up with was hiding the netting that held our Christmas Tree to the top of our car, up my coat sleeve. It was supposed to eject out in a flurry of awesomeness and wrap up anyone who stood in our way, but mostly it just caused my arm to get itchy. Nothing we ever did compared to the hunt for One-Eyed Willie’s riches, but we had a whole lot of fun trying. The closest we came was finding my brother’s collection of fools gold in his desk drawer. The Goonies was not just a movie to us, but it became a part of our lives and I will never forget the great memories The Goonies added to my childhood.

– Spyda-Man

You can check out Spyda-Man’s retro home on the web at 20 Years Before 2000.  You can also follow him on twitter @20_Years_Before.


Troop Beverly Hills

There are so many movie icons of the 80s to choose from when considering my favorite film of the decade. Heroes like Rambo or Batman, funny fellas like the Ghostbusters or Bill and Ted, but in my heart I know the top spot goes to Phyllis Nefler and her pack of spoiled rich girls in 1989’s Troop Beverly Hills. Oh, how I LOVE this movie, let me count the ways. First off the film features so many familiar 80’s sitcom stars including Shelley Long from Cheers, Craig T Nelson from Coach, Emily Schulman from Small Wonder, Ami Foster from Punky Brewster, Audra Lindley aka Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company and Tori Spelling from Beverly Hills, 90210 to name a few.Then there’s the fact that I grew up in a fairly affluent part of Southern California where I observed this life of privilege firsthand and totally knew ridiculous kids and parents like this. Oh and did you know that the animated opening title sequence was produced by John K, creator of the infamous Nicktoon, Ren and Stimpy? Plus, you gotta love the theatrics of selling girl scout cookies by holding a celebrity fashion show and performing a Tina Turner style pop song. Finally, Shelley Long totally reminds me of my own Mom when she took on the role of Cub Scout Den Mother for me and my friends the year this movie came out. Endlessly sweet, fun, fashionable and a little dingy, my mom IS Phyllis Nefler. I still own the VHS copy of Troop Beverly Hills we bought from our local video store, despite now owning the film on Blu-Ray and treasure it like a family heirloom. Beverly Hills what a thrill!

– Hoju Koolander

You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved!  Be sure to check out his latest piece over at Retro-Daze, Retro Magazine Round-Up: Black Belt!  Oh, and one more thing….stay tuned to Retro Ramblings, as Mr. Koolander has another fun movie review coming up soon as part of our Wrestlemania week.


Ghostbusters

So difficult to pick just one as my favorite. However, I will choose one that I’ve passed along to my kids. Ghostbusters was so impactful for my 8-year old brain in 1984. I don’t remember if it was the first movie I saw in the theater but judging the evidence, it was clearly my favorite as a kid. I remember spinning the 45 record single of Ray Parker Jr.’s theme at my birthday party that year as we played musical chairs. I received a light blue sweatshirt for Christmas with the iconic logo and the words “Back Off Man, I’m a Ghostbuster!” I remember eating the cereal with the glow-in-the-dark box and watching The Real Ghostbusters (and Filmation Ghostbusters) cartoon. And when Ghostbusters II came out, it impacted me all over again except this time it was Bobby Brown’s “On Our Own” on cassingle.

Ghostbusters has so many memorable scenes, quotable lines, and just something for everyone. There’s horror, comedy, romance, and adventure all in one film topped off with one of the coolest cars in cinematic history. I’ve seen the original film twice when it was re-released in theaters. On the 30th anniversary, I took my oldest son who was 9 at the time. He loved it. Probably not as much as I did when I was his age but he still saw why I’ve clung to it all these years. And now, the evidence is overwhelming. Just this month the film has come to Netflix and he initiated a viewing on his own. While many can’t get past the technology and fashion in ‘80s films, Ghostbusters is one of a select few that is truly transcendent among generations.

– Jason Gross

Jason is the creative force behind Rediscover the 80’s and is always posting some of the best retro content you’ll find anywhere on the web.  His twitter feed is a heavenly slice of the 80’s, so you should give him a follow there at @rd80s.  He and I collaborated last year to compile out list of our ten favorite episodes of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  Check out his five here, and then give my five favorites a look too!


Karate Kid

I started out thinking this was a very hard topic to narrow down to just one pick, but it didn’t take very long for me to realize that the honor of my favorite movie from the 80’s gets bestowed on The Karate Kid.  I fell in love with the very first time I saw it.  Back in the days before my family had a VCR, my cousin Tim and his family had one.  They lived beside us, and my uncle Ernest would go to the new movie rental store in town and pick up a movie most summer days, and during the hottest part of the afternoon, we would settle down in his living room and watch a flick.

Tim and I weren’t the only two kids who loved The Karate Kid.  When we got back to school that August, all of our friends were imitating the crane kick, and the movie was our main topic of conversation for a long time.  But it was more than just the crane kick.  It was the “wax on, wax off” scene, and all the fights Daniel had with the Cobra Kai gang before the All Valley tournament.  Heck, it even inspired many of my friends to join the local karate class.  The closest I got to that was the set of Karate Kid pajamas I had back then.

– Retro Rambler

Of course you can follow along with me here on Retro Ramblings, but you can follow me on twitter @yesterdayville, and like my Facebook page.

Wax Pack Flashback: Rocky II Trading Cards From Topps 1979

Rocky II Wax Pack

Rocky 2 Trading Cards

Rocky II Trading Cards

Rocky 2 Wax Pack

Rocky II Trading Cards

Wayne’s World VCR Board Game Ad from the 90’s

Wayne's World VCR Game

M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Wrestling Toys

M.U.S.C.L.E. Men started out as a manga comic in the late seventies in Japan called Kinnikuman. It proved to be so popular, that an anime series of it was adapted and ran from 1983 – 1986, and focused around an intergalactic form of professional wrestling. Toy company Bandai quickly started producing the little two-inch figures as the show’s popularity soared. And like so many other things, when it became popular there, toy companies in the United States took notice, and Mattel launched its own line of the little pink warriors. Since the name Kinnikuman translates to “Muscle Man”, Mattel named the line M.U.S.C.L.E., as an acronym that stood for “Millions of Unusual Creatures Lurking Everywhere”. M.U.S.C.L.E. Men were produced from late 1985 – 1988 before finally fading from store shelves. Although their popularity was short-lived, it was impressive, as M.U.S.C.L.E. was listed as one of the 10 Best Selling Toys of 1986.

The little pink M.U.S.C.L.E. warriors were not really posable in any way, and were so small that you couldn’t really do much with them. But the fact that they came in multi-packs, and that they were marketed as “wrestlers” was enough to hook me initially. It was intriguing to see who would win in a fight between someone with a motorcycle for a body or a human with a ripped body and the head of a wild boar. Of course, who won that battle was up to the kid in control of the action. That is, until the Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring Wrestling Arena came on the market.

It was a small yellowish-orange contraption with glorified rubber bands for ring ropes, and a plastic arm that held the two combatants. You and a friend would do battle by moving your wrestler side to side, Rock ’em Sock’em Robot style, in an attempt to knock your opponent off if his plastic control arm. If you did, you were the winner. The key was to find one whose body was slightly too big to fit in the controller, and then force him into it anyway. He would then be almost impossible to beat. My best friend and I would play this for a while, and each match, we would select a combatant. The winner would win the losing figure from its owner. Both his and my collection of these increased and decreased, depending on who had the better day of competition.

 

The big drawing point for me was two-fold. First, their small size made them easily transportable. It was quite easy to stuff several in each pocket and head off somewhere and take the action with me. The second part was the cheapness of the toys. For a kid with a light allowance, being able to pick up multiple little M.U.S.C.L.E. warriors in one package was quite the draw. They were typically available in cardboard and plastic pack of four figures for around $1. Then there was the clear trash can stuffed with 10 mighty M.U.S.C.L.E. Men for the low price of $3. So as you can see, a kid could grow their collection quickly with minimum allowance spent.

 

Retro Round Table: Foods We Miss

It’s time once again for another Retro Round Table!  This time, we’re talking about our most missed foods from day’s gone by.  There have been a lot of fast food choices and snacks that have come and gone over the years, and we are all nostalgic about one or more of them.  I write all the time about foods I miss, and could do an entire list by myself.  But there’s more than just me in this world that miss these great old snacks, so once again I invited some friend to share their memories too.  I’m joined today as usual by Hoju Koolander from the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from Eric V Music, and new to the round table starting this week, we welcome in Spyda-Man from the great retro blog, 20 Years Before 2000!  Let’s get to it and see what we miss!


Crunch Tators

The retro food I miss most has to be Crunch Tators by Frito Lays. They were hot and spicy potato chips with a really hard crunch and were available in the late 80’s and early 90’s. There was an alligator on the front of the bag for some odd reason that I could never figure out and they came in two flavors: “Hoppin’ Jalapeno” and “Mighty Mesquite BBQ”. They remind me of my freshman and sophomore years of college. Ate ’em all the time.
Incidentally, A bag of the “Mighty Mesquite BBQ” flavor chips can be seen in Home Alone (probably my all time favorite Christmas movie) in the scene where Kevin is watching Angels with Filthy Souls and eating a rather large ice cream sundae.
– Eric Vardeman
Give Eric a follow on Twitter at @Eric_Vardeman, and you can find his retro memories right here on Retro Ramblings!  His new weekly feature here on Retro Ramblings, Music Mondays, is awesome too.  He looks back at the songs gracing the Top 40 list from 35 years ago in 1983!  He’s also a talented singer/songwriter, and you should check out his music at EricVMusic

McJordan Special

Let me set the stage for you…The year was 1992 and The Dream Team was taking the world by storm in Barcelona, the Chicago Bulls were coming off their second consecutive NBA championship and Michael Jordan was the biggest sports figure in the universe! Jordan’s celebrity led to endorsement deals including everything from NIKE to Gatorade to McDonalds! Not one to pass on a cash grab, McDonalds created the McJordan Special burger in his Airness’s honor! This exquisite burger consisted of a quarter pound beef patty, cheese, onions, pickles, bacon and a special BBQ sauce! Jugs of this limited-edition BBQ sauce show up on eBay from time to time, but you’ll have to spend a few grand to grab one. Why did I choose this particular burger? Because in the summer of ’92 my family vacationed in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We drove from Jersey to NC and along the way we stopped at numerous McDonalds restaurants not only to get a taste of the limited edition McJordan Special, but to collect the Dream Team collectors cups you would get with every meal order! We ended up collecting the whole set and I still drink from them every now and then and when I do it reminds me of the tangy, bacony goodness that was born in the early 90s to capitalize off the greatest basketball player of all-time, Mr. Michael Jeffrey Jordan!

– Spyda-Man

You can check out Spyda-Man’s retro home on the web at 20 Years Before 2000.  You can also follow him on twitter @20_Years_Before.


Slice

Since we’ve had several drinks resurrected in the past two years, I’m longing for another soda I remember from my childhood, Slice. Technically, Pepsi has only discontinued Slice in the past decade after a failed attempt in diet soda market. Of course, Sierra Mist and even Tropicana has taken over Slice flavors from PepsiCo over the years but we’ve never seen the full line of flavors I remember in the ’80s.

With successful comebacks of Ecto Cooler, New York Seltzer, Jolt Cola, Surge, and Crystal Pepsi over the last couple years, now is the time for a Slice revival. Give us some of the traditional flavors like Apple Slice, Mandarin Orange Slice, Pineapple Slice, Fruit Punch Slice. If you need to add more than 10% juice it had back in the day to satisfy the health nuts, that’s fine. But if we get the Slice back, please give me the commercials with fruit being launched into streams of water.

– Jason Gross

Jason is the creative force behind Rediscover the 80’s and is always posting some of the best retro content you’ll find anywhere on the web.  His twitter feed is a heavenly slice of the 80’s, so you should give him a follow there at @rd80s.  He and I collaborated last year to compile out list of our ten favorite episodes of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  Check out his five here, and then give my five favorites a look too!


Fruit Swirl Bars

While many of my favorite childhood flavors like the spicy crunch of Keebler’s Pizzarias have been lost to the ages, there is one combination of fruit flavor and texture that I miss above all others. Coming out of the fruit roll-up craze of the mid-80’s that gave us bizarre variations like Pudding Roll-Ups, Fruit Swirl Bars by Fruit Corners were a delicious anomaly that I’ll never forget. Imagine a lab experiment gone horribly wrong as a mad food scientist tried to combine the dimensions of a granola bar with the sticky sweetness of fruit roll-ups, then dropped a few yogurt covered Sunkist Fun Fruits Creme Supremes into the mix. The results were a deliciously gooey monstrosity that could barely hold it’s form, yet terrorized our tongues in the very best way with a burst of tangy fruit flavor that was mellowed out by the stripes of vanilla cream running throughout. For the short time they were available, these were my go-to pre-school lunch treat and I can’t believe there has never been an off-brand revival of the recipe available at questionable gas stations nationwide. I recently found a commercial for Fruit Swirl Bars on one of my old Saturday Morning VHS tapes so you can enjoy the celebration of this delicious snack in live action here

– Hoju Koolander

You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved!  Be sure to check out his latest piece over at Retro-Daze, Retro Magazine Round-Up: Black Belt! 


Russet Valley Potato Chips

Man I miss a lot of old foods.  Most of the foods I miss don’t really pertain to the taste as much and the nostalgic memories surrounding them.  I could name any number of items as my choice, but for today, I’m really missing the old Eagle Snacks Russet Valley Potato Chips.  Way back in 1979, Anheuser-Busch launched a line of salty snacks to go along with the beer called Eagle Snacks.  One of the snacks they rolled out with was Russet Valley Potato Chips.  They were a kettle cooked chip, and used russet potatoes instead of the more traditional new white potatoes for making their chips.  This gave the chips a distinctive dark color and an amazing taste.

I still remember the first time I ever tried them.  My brother brought home a large metal can adorned with the Anheuser-Busch logo, and inside were two bags of these glorious chips.  From the first one I out in my mouth, I was hooked.  We ate so many bags of those chips in the late 80’s that I started growing potato eyes all over my body.  Sadly, they went away in the early 90’s.  It was years before I found a substitute.  Now while not quite as good as the Russet Valley chips, Cape Cod brand makes a dark russet potato chip that is pretty dang swank.

– Retro Rambler

Of course you can follow along with me here on Retro Ramblings, but you can follow me on twitter @yesterdayville, and like my Facebook page.


Well that does it for our opinions on the matter.  But what about YOU?  What old food or snack do you miss?  Join in on the conversation by leaving your opinion in the comments section below.