Category: Do You Remember?

Random Stuff From My Retro Collection, Part 1

Hey there guys and dolls!  Like I’m sure a lot of you retro minded folks reading this do, I have a collection of retro goodies that is very near and dear to my heart.  While other people may collect sensible things like savings bonds, stamps, or slap bracelets, I have a collection that spans all fads and all years!  And while I love to show it off to people who come by my place, I realized that I rarely ever give a glimpse of it to you, the ones who would truly appreciate such a mess.  Imagine if you will, being a census taker and having to spend two hours listening to me rattle on about a styrofoam Big Mac container from 1985 with a small piece of hard cheese still attached to the inside.  The struggle is real.

But anyway, I just pulled out five random pieces of awesomeness from the mini museum we have here to share with you.  There is no connecting theme other that it’s all cool old shit.  Enjoy.

 

McDonalds Fry Guy

Fry Guy Happy Meal Toy from 1989

It’s the purple Fry Guy dude from McDonald’s Happy Meals!  What was his name?  Hoops?  Hell I can’t remember.  But this purple dude survived the great toy purge of 1992 when I turned 14 and decided I didn’t want to be see with toys any more.  And then it survived the purge of most things when I moved out from home in 2000.  And then it even survived when my parents moved in 2008!  Somehow, someway, this Fry Guy made it through all of that to end up in a toy box for visiting kids at my parents place.  Can you believe that?  Of all the things to make it back to my hands in present day, this dude did it.  I lovingly re-adopted him from my mom a few years ago and put him in a place of honor on a high shelf in the museum.

This iteration of the Fry Guys came as the toy in a series of Happy Meals in 1989.  They were all sports related, but I can’t remember what the theme of each was.  All I know is that I had several of these boogers, yet this is the only one I still have in my possession.

 

Tri-Klops

Masters of the Universe Tri-Klops Action Figure from 1983

This old Tri-Klops figure is starting to show his age, and I haven’t taken as good of care of him as I should have.  He’s a little dusty, and probably feeling a little un-loved.  Maybe I can fix that by putting the Evil Lynn figure right next to him on display.  That’s one goth chick that I bet could throw the loving on him in a serious way.

Anywho, Masters of the Universe was my first love when it came to toy lines.  I’d played with my fair share of toys in my first five years of life, but He-Man and his buddies were the first ones to really “hook” me.  Unfortunately, almost all of my own originals met untimely deaths earlier in my life.  I had to resort to picking this villain up on ebay some time back.  While I love the thoughts of still owning all of my originals, I’m fine with making due with someones else’s lost treasures via the internet.

I’d love to say that I can fully remember all my play time with MOTU figures, but I can’t.  I certainly had a fair amount of the figures and playsets, but never came close to having them all.  I do remember the core set of figures I had and played with on a regular basis, and Tri-Klops was in that group.  On the bad guy side, I had Skeletor, Tri-Klops, Trap Jaw, Beast Man, and Mer-Man….and on the opposing side of heroes was He-Man, Ram-Man, Man-at-Arms, Fisto, and Sy-Clone.  Man, those were good days indeed.  I look forward to the day when I have all those figures once again.

Continue reading “Random Stuff From My Retro Collection, Part 1”

Music Monday – Week of July 16th

 

Music Monday

US Top 40 Singles for the Week Ending July 16th, 1983

Here’s what’s going on this week on the Top 40 chart…

    • The Police sit at #1 for the second week in a row with “Every Breath You Take”. It’s going to stay there till September.
    • Michael Jackson slips back into the top 5 again. For most of the year, his songs will keep meeting each other coming and going up and down the chart.
    • Def Leppard is steadily climbing the charts with “Rock of Ages”. It has one of the most recognizable intro’s of any song in the 80’s: “Gunter glieben glauten globen” spoken in a comical, quasi-German accent. While the band’s members have joked about the phrase meaning, “Running through the forest silently,” it actually is just plain nonsense, spoken by producer Mutt Lange, used in place of the usual “One, two, three, four” beat count.
    • “White Wedding” by Billy Idol falls out of the countdown after peaking at #36. For one of the most recognizable songs to come out of the 80’s, it barely cracked the Top 40.

Do You Remember the Cups That Came in Packages of Oatmeal?

Oatmeal Cups

So here is another from the “do you remember?” category….plastic cups that came in boxes of oatmeal.  For years upon years, I never knew this was a thing.  Mainly because I was never around when my Mom opened the new boxes of oatmeal, and also probably because we didn’t buy the brands of oatmeal that was still doing this in the 80’s.

But even though I was totally unaware of this being a thing, I knew all about the cups, and they were favorites of mine.  How is this possible you may be asking, but sit tight and I’ll tell you how I could be at both ends of the spectrum at the same time.

My grandmother on my Mom’s side had a lot of grandkids.  18 of us to be exact, and more times than not, there would be at least 5 or 6 at her house at any given time.  As kids do, one would get thirsty, and so that meant all of us were thirsty, because Lord forbid if one of us was getting something the others weren’t.  So off the kitchen we would go, and we all knew which glasses were for us grandkids to use.  The plastic tumblers in shades of blue, green, yellow, pink, and clear.

Continue reading “Do You Remember the Cups That Came in Packages of Oatmeal?”

Watch me Teach My Daughter How to Play POG’s!

So I recently picked up some POG’s off ebay, thinking I would do some kind of video with them.  My oldest daughter showed quite a curiosity in them, so what better thing to film than teaching her how to play the game.  So we pulled them out, set up the camera, and away we went.  Check it out, and if you played POG’s back in the day, leave a comment and we’ll talk about it!

You can also check out the post from a while back about the history of POG’s here on Retro Ramblings.

 

8 Board Games I Love

Board games have long occupied space in closets and on book shelves, and have entertained families of all types and sizes for decades. While growing up, my brother and I spent many days and hours playing games, just like my daughters do today.

I admit, when the original Nintendo came along, I spent far less time with the conventional board game, and shifted most of my focus to video games. Even so, I have so many fond memories attached to board games, so here today I’m taking a trip down memory lane to look at six of my favorite board games from days gone by, and two more recent ones.


Monopoly

Monopoly

When I hear “board game”, Monopoly is the first thing that comes to mind. I would consider it the “Boardwalk” of board games, while all the others are “Vermont Ave” or “St. James Place”.

The current recognized version was first published in 1935 by Parker Brothers. It underwent a major resign in 2008 that saw Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues colors from purple to brown, and GO from red to black. It also changed the Income Tax to a flat $200, and upped Luxury Tax from the original $75 to $100.

When I was a kid, my family would play, but in the beginning, I was too young to be in on the game. When my time finally came, I instantly fell in love with it. I thought I was a big deal when I could barter my way to a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, or buy Oriental Ave. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand back then how the game worked and would usually be quickly put out of the game due to faulty business decisions.

As I grew older, I graduated from playing with family to playing with friends, where the playing field was a little more level. As an adult, my friends and I came up with a set of additional rules that we called “Survival Monopoly”. It threw in things like “everyone moves one chair to the left”, meaning that you now owned all of your neighbor’s property, and left yours behind to be taken over by someone else.

From the simple color schemes, to the simple rules, playing this board game these days always takes me back to another place in time. A place when I was sitting in front of the fire-place, with my brother and my folks enjoying the evening together. It’s one of the things that brings back some of the strongest feelings of nostalgia within me, and makes me ache to go back. But at the same time, the game helps me stay anchored in the present, as I love to play the game with my daughters. I see in their faces the same joys of playing the game that I have always experienced, and know that I am helping to create in them something that one day they will look back on with similar nostalgic feelings.

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Retro Round Table: Toys We Never Had

Toys We Never Had

It’s time once more for another Retro Round Table.  This time, my fellow Retro Knights have gathered around the table to talk about the cool old toys we always wanted by never had.  I like doing these round table discussions because I love to hear other people’s old memories just as much as I like sharing my own.

I’m joined again this week by Hoju Koolander of the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross of Rediscover the 80’s, Spyda-Man from 20 Years Before 2000, and Eric Vardeman of Eric V Music and Retro Ramblings fame.  So let’s get into the discussion, and when you’re done reading, join the discussion in the comments by telling us what toy YOU always wanted but never had.  Also, if you ever had any of the the toys we mention here, we’d love to hear your thoughts and memories on them.  Let’s go!


X-Men Mutant Hall of Fame

As a kid, I was pretty moderate in my toy purchasing. I’d have a few He-Man figures, a single Visionaries knight and a couple of Food Fighters, but never put all my eggs into one toyline basket. Instead I made friends with “more fortunate” kids who had mountains of action figures and treated their homes as toy libraries. I’d spend an afternoon playing with Dino-Riders, move onto Police Academy figures and then throw a couple of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into the Sewer playset, it was heaven. Plus, if I waited long enough, I could always find somebody’s old toys at a garage sale cheap. That’s how I got the Real Ghostbusters Firehouse and even some G1 Transformers in the early 90s. As a result, I rarely had that feeling of disappointment that came from not getting any one toy. But if I had to pick one gaping hole in my childhood toy collection it would be the Toy Biz X-Men Mutant Hall of Fame collector’s set. I am fully aware that it was just 10 old figures (several of which I already owned) stuffed into a fancy new box, but the presentation was just so impressive. It gave new perceived value to these characters and I desperately wanted this displayed on my shelf. Sadly, I think the retail price at the time was like 50 bucks and there was no way I was talking my parents into forking over that much dough in a single shopping trip. So I just stared and dreamed. Today I can see it for the exploitative re-packaging trick it was, but at the time Toy Biz dangled a brightly colored molded plastic carrot in my face and I never got a bite.

– 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!  I highly recommend you stop back by here next week, as Hoju’s awesome review of the 80’s mat classic movie, Body Slam, drops as part of our Wrestlemania Week.


Transformers Soundwave

The first toy that popped into my head when this week’s topic was unveiled was Transformers Generation 1 Soundwave! I never owned this toy as a kid, but my neighbor did. I loved playing with it because not only was he a badass, Decepticon robot, but he was also a kickass Cassette Recorder! To a young boy in the 80’s those were 2 great things rolled into one amazing blue and chrome plastic package. I still remember the feel of pushing the eject button to reveal the deadly sidekick cassete robot he hid in his tape deck!  I do have to say that I did own 2 of those cassette tapes. We had Laserbeak and Ravage. They both were pretty awesome, but the lasting memory I have of those guys is when my teacher took Laserbeak away from me because I was playing with him while we were on a class trip to the local library. I was so upset, I could barely learn about the Dewey Decimal system! I still don’t understand it to this very day! Every now and then I find myself scrounging around Ebay looking for a Soundwave in solid condition, but the prices go fairly high on this toy. One of these days I’ll be able to grab one and add it to my collection, just not today.

– 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. Continue reading “Retro Round Table: Toys We Never Had”

Do You Remember Green Stamps?

Raise your hand if you remember S&H Green Stamps.  For those of you without telepathy, my hand is high in the air.  That’s because I certainly remember Green Stamps.  Now, for those of you who don’t remember them, or aren’t old enough to know about them, let me give you a brief summary of what they were.

I guess the easiest way to explain them would be to say that they were like bonus points you get when you use your credit card, or frequent flyer miles that you can rack up with the airlines, but for everyday things.  The most common place you would get them were at grocery stores.  How much you spent on your grocery shopping trip determined how many green stamps you earned.  

 

Green Stamps

 

There was a little machine next to the register, and the cashier would dial-up how many stamps you had earned and it would spit them out.  The actual green stamps themselves were about the size of a postage stamp, and worked in much the same way, as you had to lick the back of them to stick them in the green stamp books.

 

Green Stamps

 

Now those books, once they were filled, could be used to buy all sorts of stuff from the Green Stamps Catalog.  It was usually the type of merchandise you would find at a Dollar General store, but they also carried some nicer items as well.  So for just doing what you normally would by doing your weekly grocery shopping, you earned some free shopping spree money!  These things were so popular, that the grocery stores used them as a way to bring in folks.  They would often run “double stamp day” promotions where you would earn double the amount of green stamps that you normally would.  This was a big deal in my house, and shopping day always lined up with double stamp day.

Continue reading “Do You Remember Green Stamps?”