Category: ’80s

My Favorite Halloween Treats

This post is sponsored by  StickerYou was created to empower businesses and individuals to make the best custom die-cut sticky products – whether it be for their marketing or personal expression. They enable you to make what matters stick!  Any shape, any size, any quantity!

The Halloween season is upon us, and I thought it would be fun to go back in time to the days of trick-or-treating and look at just what were some of my absolute favorite things to find in my treat bag at the end of the night.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it was hard for any treat to be classified as “bad”, but we all had the favorites that we hoped to get a sack full of by the end of the night.  Here are my 10 of my favorite Halloween treats!

Continue reading “My Favorite Halloween Treats”

Why Wendy’s Ain’t the Same Anymore

I never thought that talking about my love of old food would garner much attention.  Boy was I wrong.  I had put this post up a couple of years ago, and then took it offline when we launched The Retro Network.  But just this week, two different people contacted me saying they were looking for it.  How about that.  Well, here it is again, and I’ll leave it up this time so all of you faithful followers can find it from now on.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, when my old man would come home each weekend from working out-of-town, he would always take the family out to eat on Friday or Saturday night.  Places like Western Steer and Bonanza were frequent favorites, Pizza Hut was a rarity, and when we weren’t going to one of those places, the destination was Wendy’s.  So it’s fair to say that I visited Wendy’s a lot in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what set it apart from its competition back then, and what made it stand out.

So let’s get to it, and take a look at how much Wendy’s has changed since those days, and not really for the better.


Their Commercials Are Not Near As Good As They Used to Be

So first up, let’s take a look at what brings an establishment to people’s attention, and makes them want to visit in the first place, the television commercials advertising the place or products.  For years, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas was a fixture in commercials for the chain.  He looked like he could be your own grandpa, and put forth a welcoming personality that seemed to not feel like an over-produced commercial, but rather an invitation to dinner from an old friend.

Wendys Dave Thomas

These days, we get this young yuppie girl they call “Red”, where the commercials focus more on trying to be funny (and failing), or hip, and don’t do much to get a vibe across to the viewer as to the core values of the restaurant.  Heck, they barely focus on the food they are promoting.  With the Dave Thomas commercials, you got a little humor, but he almost always put forth his philosophy of making good, old-fashioned hamburgers.  Check out this classic commercial below and see what I’m talking about.


Man, there’s something about an old Wendy’s commercial with Dave Thomas that really takes me back.

The Logo and Signs Have Changed

One change you may not have noticed is that they have dropped their old slogan of “Old-Fashioned Hamburgers” from their advertising.  It’s gone from their logo now, and more and more of their location’s signs are being changed to the newer logo.  This is a small change, but it’s symbolic in that they are trying to get away from their past, and what made them unique in the first place.  The fresh hamburgers.  They still make them like this, so why not use that fact in advertising?!?

Wendys Logo

Continue reading “Why Wendy’s Ain’t the Same Anymore”

Classic Commercials: Masters of the Universe Toys

If you’re on this site, then I probably don’t need to tell you just how big He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was back in the ’80s.  For a couple of years there, you couldn’t get through life without being bombarded with He-Man merchandise.  I know I certainly fell victim to the never-ending stream of advertisements and tie-ins, and I’m better off for it since He-Man remains one of my favorite toys of all-time.  So here today, I’m just taking a look back at some of the old commercials for the toys, and reliving those great times.


So this is supposedly the first commercial aired for the toy line.  I have no way of verifying that, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.  It features He-Man, Skeletor, and Castle Grayskull.  Whether it’s the first commercial or not, it certainly is from very early in the run as there are no other figures mentioned or shown in the ad.

Continue reading “Classic Commercials: Masters of the Universe Toys”

Wax Pack Flashback: 1989 Batman Trading Cards From Topps

Hey, do you remember how much fun it was opening a new pack of trading cards back when you were young?  Sure you do.  Whether you slowly opened the pack to take it all in, or just ripped away at it to get to the gum inside, we’ve all had our experiences thumbing through a freshly opened pack to see what treasures are waiting inside.

Well I certainly loved the experience back then, and I still do today.  I’ve got a ton of old unopened packs laying around, so I’m recapturing that old feeling by opening them up, and I thought I would try and share a little bit of that excitement with you by posting the pictures.  There’s no commentary on these things…as I’m just showing you what I found inside the pack.  But who knows…maybe you never got to open a pack like this and just wonder what the cards looked like.  Well, here’s your chance to see.

This pack I’m opening today is 1989 Batman Series 2 from Topps.  They were a tie-in item from the movie, and was just one of the thousands of different pieces of marketing material tied to the movie.  Enjoy, and try not to be jealous that it’s me opening the pack and not you.

Continue reading “Wax Pack Flashback: 1989 Batman Trading Cards From Topps”

New Coke (1985 Recipe) Review

If you’ve been very active in the retroverse on social media, you probably already know that Coca-Cola got on the Stranger Things bandwagon and re-launched New Coke as a promotional tie-in with the Netflix series.  You may also know that they kinda underestimated the demand for New Coke, and the insane amount of traffic from people wanting to order it crashed their website for a day.

I didn’t even try to log on and order on the first day.  I patiently waited until the next day before placing my order.  By then, everything had died down and I had no problem logging on and quickly making my request for that sweet nectar that was once the bane of the soda world.

Stranger Things New Coke

I’m sure I had New Coke back in 1985, but it’s been so long ago, I had no memory or what it tasted like, if I liked it back then, or if I wretched at the thought of it.  It was a no brainer for me to order one of the Stranger Things packs, as I knew I would be putting one of the cans on display in my retro museum, and would most certainly be popping the top on the other can to indulge in whatever it is it had to offer.  Getting the two Stranger Things glass bottles was just a bonus.

So without dragging this on any longer, here is the video review of New Coke.  Since my daughter JJ has a food review channel on YouTube, it was appropriate that she joined me and had her first ever taste of New Coke.  We simulcasted the video on The Retro Network channel too, so that’s the version of the video I’m using here.  Bear with her.  She is at that age where it’s cool to be negative and contrary.  I mean, it’s not actually cool.  She and her friends just think it is.  Enjoy the video though.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Supercards ’87

Growing up in the mid-late ’80s, one of my greatest joys would come when I would go to the grocery store with my Mom and be able to pick up a new wrestling magazine.  It never mattered to me which one I got as long as I got one.  If you know anything at all about the glory days of the Apter magazines, you know that the Cadillac of wrestling magazines was Pro Wrestling Illustrated.  One reason it was considered the best was because of its full-color coverage of various events.  One of the things I really looked forward to each year was their coverage of the spring super cards like Wrestlemania.

Well, I recently picked up some old wrestling magazines from eBay, and one of them was the Pro Wrestling Illustrated with coverage of Supercards ’87!  After salivating over the 19 pages of greatness multiple times, I thought I would share them with the world so others who used to enjoy this stuff could relive how great it was.  So what follows is all 19 pages of PWI’s coverage of Wrestlemania 3, Crockett Cup ’87, Parade of Champions ’87, and UWF Super Blast.  Enjoy!


Continue reading “Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Supercards ’87”

What I’ve Been Watching

Last Sunday, I settled in on the couch with my Queen, and we plowed through six movies.  It was a lazy day, and we just went from one movie to the next with no real rhyme or reason as to what we were watching.  It was so much fun, and something I hadn’t done in more than ten years.  We enjoyed it so much, we are going to do it again this weekend!  I’m going to be putting up reviews of all the movies, but to whet your appetite, here is what we were watching.

Point Break (1991)

After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a federal agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), infiltrates the suspected gang. But this is no ordinary group of robbers. They’re surfers — led by the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) — who are addicted to the rush of thievery. But when Utah falls in love with a female surfer, Tyler (Lori Petty), who is close to the gang, it complicates his sense of duty.


Dantes Peak

Dante’s Peak (1997)

Volcanologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) and Mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton), finally convince the unbelieving populace that the big one is about to hit and that they need to evacuate immediately, only to discover her two children have gone up the mountain to get their grandmother. With Earth‘s clock racing against them, they must rescue the kids and grandma before the volcano explodes in a fury of flame and ash a million times more powerful than an atomic bomb.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Watching”

A Few 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.

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.


– Mickey

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

NBC unleashed a pretty swank lineup in 1985 with a lot of cartoons that are still enjoyed to this day.  It may not have been evident at the time, but The Smurfs would go on to become a powerhouse for the next 34 years, and will probably continue to be one for still a long time to come.  Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears debuted in 1985 and was one of the slickest looking shows on any of the networks.  Alvin and the Chipmunks went on to be another powerhouse in the pop culture world, and Mr. T was near his zenith, so his Mister T cartoon was flying high at this point as well.  It’s Punky Brewster was piggy-backing off the success of the live action prime time show on NBC, and The Snorks was a Smurfs clone that went on to moderate success of its own.  Kidd Video and One to Grow On were minor hits in their own right, and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends helped to capture the young comic books fans to round out the block.

Watch this short commercial where NBC is pimping some of their shows for the coming Saturday Morning:  1985 NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons Promo.  Commercials like that used to get me pumped up for the coming Saturday morning.

1985 CBS Saturday Morning Lineup

CBS countered with a decent lineup of their own.  They were banking on the mega-popularity of the World Wrestling Federation and Hulk Hogan in 1985 and made Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling the cornerstone of their 1985 lineup.  Much like NBC and the Smurfs, CBS had a powerhouse in their midst with Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies cartoon, and the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show featured iconic characters that had been bankable for years.  The Berenstain Bears were well known to kids everywhere since most kids had read, or at least heard, a lot of their stories from the popular books, so this looked like it could have been a big hit for them.  Dungeons and Dragons was on the tongue of most kids in this time frame due to the popularity/taboo of the game.  The Wuzzles, CBS Story Break, and The Young Astronauts rounded out the lineup.

A staple of 1980’s cartoons was the preview shows the networks would run to advertise their new Saturday morning lineup for the fall.  These would usually air in primetime on the Friday night before the new lineup and new episodes debuted the following morning.  One of my all-time favorites of these was the one CBS did in 1985.  It was called the All-Star Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Saturday Spectacular, and it aired on Friday night 9/13/85 to get kids ready for the following morning’s cartoons.  As I said, CBS was really banking on Hulk Hogan and wrestling for their cartoon lineup, and their preview show really hammers it home.  You can watch the whole thing below.

1985 ABC Cartoon Lineup

ABC rolled out a lineup in 1985 that was full of bankable properties.  Star Wars was still a mega-hit in all walks of pop culture, so ABC had a pair of Star Wars themed cartoon in their lineup with Star Wars: Droids, and Ewoks.  They had all the stars of the always popular Looney Tunes with their Bugs Bunny Show and doubled down on the Scooby-Doo franchise with The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo and Scooby’s Mystery Funhouse.  While NBC featured Marvel’s Spider-Man, ABC rolled out DC’s Super Friends in Super Powers Team:  Galactic Guardians.  The Super Friends had already proven to be popular through years past, so milking them a little more was a smart move.  The fun but short-lived The Littles, ABC Weekend Special, and American Bandstand rounded out their lineup.

So that’s everything that the three networks were offering us kids back in 1985.  But the problem with 1985, is that we didn’t yet have Tivo or any other time-shifting technologies that would allow us to watch multiple cartoons from the same time slot.  So us kids were forced to pick and choose what we watched.  I’m going to run through what I watched and the channel surfing I had to do.  Here is how everything lined up on Saturday mornings in 1985.

1985 Saturday Morning Lineup

Several of the best shows ended up being on opposite of each other which really sucked.  Some of the cartoons that I ended up loving, I never got to see in its original run.  I had to catch them later in syndication or part of something like USA’s Cartoon Express.  But here’s how MY Saturday mornings in 1985 shook out…

The network’s programming schedule didn’t start until 8 AM, but at 6 AM I was already settled into the recliner in the living room (that’s where the big TV was) with a bowl of cereal in my lap and ready to start the day.  But my Saturday mornings didn’t start with cartoons.  Nope, it started with classic television.  My local CBS affiliate would run re-runs of The Honeymooners at 6, and I Love Lucy at 6:30.  This is the era when I fell in love with those shows, and I watched them every Saturday morning.

After that, at 7:00 am, they ran old episodes of Tennessee Tuxedo and His Pals, followed by The Dudley Do-Right Show at 7:30.  Tennessee Tuxedo was my favorite cartoon of that anthology genre, so I never missed an episode when it was airing in those years.  Along with the Tennessee Tuxedo shorts, there was also Commander McBragg, Aesop & Son, and Peabody’s Improbable History.  While I’d love to say I loved them all equally, Commander McBragg was the bee’s knees back then.

Well enough with the pre-show stuff, let’s get down to the actual network schedules that got off to a roaring start at 8:00 am.  While I loved Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes in general, I remember watching the Berenstain Bears and The Snorks in the early mornings on Saturdays.  I’m not quite sure which one I was watching during this season because I seem to recall the whole of both series.  In another season, one of them may have been at another time slot.  I know I watched Bugs Bunny at one point around 10 or 11 am on Saturdays, so maybe it moved in another season as well.

At 8:30, I was all in Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears!  I must have seen some hype commercials for it at some point because I was super stoked to see it.  It never disappointed either.  I love the fantasy/medieval themes in stuff like that, and the colors were so rich that I was hooked instantly.  My favorite episodes were the ones featuring Cubby as The Crimson Avenger, and the one where Tummy and Gruffy went and found Gusto on his island.  I don’t believe I’ve ever watched an episode of The Wuzzles, and have no plans to watch any of it here in later life either.

I wasn’t in on Star Wars yet, so Droids and Ewoks escaped me at that time.  At 9 am it was all about The Smurfs at my house.  I’ve always loved them and introduced my kids to the classic episodes when they were younger.  That helped carry on a tradition too as way back when my Mom would take a break from doing housework and watch some of the Smurfs with me.  It was a cartoon that she kind of enjoyed too.

I would watch the Smurfs for the first hour, but I had to cut and run before the last half hour because at 10 am it was time for Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling!  Pro Wrestling was my biggest hobby and attraction back in those days, so there was no way I was going to miss it each and every week.  The show had Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Tito Santana, Hillbilly Jim Junkyard Dog, Jimmy Snuka, Captain Lou Albano, and Wendi Richter on the good guy side of things, and featured Roddy Piper, Iron Shiek, Nikolai Volkoff, Mr. Fuji, and The Fabulous Moolah rounding out the bad guys side.  And let’s not forget “Mean” Gene Okerlund was in there as well.  Along with the cartoon shorts, it had the live-action sequences which were a lot of fun for a wrestling fan.  And who can forget the legendary music video shown on the show multiple times featuring all of the WWF stars performing Land of 1000 Dances.  It’s still epic today.

Watching “Mr. Woderful” Paul Orndorff kiss his biceps never gets old.

So that was on for an hour, and then it was time for Alvin and the Chipmunks at 11 am.  I believe I watched each and every season of Alvin, and in 1985 it didn’t have any competition that would hold my attention.  Well, Scooby might have, but I never like any subsequent version of Scooby acter the Where Are You run.

For my tastes, the 11:30 am slot is the weakest.  I never watched Kidd Video, and only occasionally watched Dungeons & Dragons.  Which is a shame now, because these days my kids are big into D&D and I’m their dungeon master.  If I had known how life was going to turn out, I probably would have watched it back then.  But I dug The Littles when they were on, and it was a passable series, even if it was on the short-lived side.

It’s funny, but my mind always seems to remember cartoons ending at 12.  But looking at these lineups, that didn’t appear to be the case in 1985.  I was a huge fan of The A-Team, and Mister T was another hit in my mind.  He was in one of my favorite prime time shows and had been an integral part of the WWF scene all year, so I was on board for his cartoon.  Like Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, it had live-action features mixed in with the animation that I really liked.  Side story:  Once during this era, we had Saturday school.  I gave my Mom a list of the shows I wanted to be recorded, along with detailing the times and channels.  Mister T was one of those episodes.  I would play that homemade VHS so many times through the years that it finally fell apart.  Can you imagine how cool it would be today to still have that?  A tape full of Saturday morning cartoons and commercials from 1985?  What a gem that would be.

And then wrapping up my cartoon viewing was Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  I absolutely adored Spidey, Firestar, and Iceman, and tuned in every week.  I just wish the show could have run longer than it did.

Even though there were still a couple of cartoons left in the day, at 1:00 my cartoon viewing ended because it was time for NWA Mid- Atlantic Wrestling on my local NBC affiliate, followed by WWF wrestling at 2.  Once wrestling was off the air, it was time to play with my He-Man and G.I. Joe toys before getting dressed to head out to eat at the family.  Which was usually somewhere like Pizza Hut.  You know, Back in the Glory Days of Pizza Hut.

So what about you?  I want to hear your tale of what YOU watched on Saturday mornings in 1985.  I’m always fascinated by other’s cartoon viewing habits.  Drop me a line in the comments below and share and we’ll go back and forth arguing over what 1985 cartoons were better.

In the meantime, if you want to relive my 1985 Saturday mornings with me, pour yourself a big bowl of Morning Funnies cereal or make a bowl of Oatmeal Swirlers oatmeal, settle in, and watch through the playlist below in order.  Enjoy!