Looking Back at Electric Football

Electric Football

 

With the Superbowl coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at a time before video game systems emulated the fun of football inside the home.  A time when you really had to work to set up your plays, and then hope that everything worked perfectly, and the little football players actually went where you wanted them to.  So here’s a look back at what “playing football” was like before things like Coleco Football, Tecmo Bowl, and Madden football games came along…..

Ever since enterprising toymakers hit on the gimmick of combining electricity and sports, many a fan has whiled his rainy-day hours away over miniaturized electric versions of his favorite outdoor games. Few U.S. sports are as popular as American football, so it came as no surprise when electric football became the king of this toy trend. These games have been popular for over five decades and continue to enjoy a fervent following today.

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GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie Review

 

I’ve always been a movie fan, but for just as long I’ve been fascinated by the world of professional wrestling. In fact, during my weekly visits to the video store I often stacked a copy of Royal Rumble 1991 or The WWF’s Most Unusual Matches on top of the latest Jim Carrey film.

 

 

There was just so much to love about intensely sweaty tough guys threatening each other and then backing up those threats with cartoonishly violent attacks in the squared circle. Let me put it this way, the day I inherited my teenage neighbor’s LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars figures and ring, it felt like I had won the lottery.

Getting back to my video rental history, while Hulk Hogan’s star vehicle No Holds Barred was a frequent watch, there was one wrestling tape I never dared to take home for fear of the horrors that were promised by the VHS box art. That film is the very subject of this review, I’m talking about GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie.

 

 

Just look at that masked psycho on the cover, clamping on a vice like headlock and forcing the veins on his opponent’s head to pulse to the point of bursting. That’s terrifying. Luckily I had a friend who was willing to help me face my fears, you know him as the Retro Rambler.

When Mick reached out to suggest the wrestling film Body Slam! as a possible subject for an episode of my podcast SequelQuest, I laughingly said, “Not GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie?”, fully unaware that I would soon be challenged to watch and review this seemingly nightmare inducing piece of celluloid.

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Construx – One of the Best Toys of the 80’s

In 1983, Fisher-Price rolled out it’s newest toy creation.  It was called Construx, and was possibly the most versatile building/construction toy since the erector set.  It featured plastic beams in various lengths, multi directional connectors, plates, axles, wheels, pulleys, and much more.  What you could make with Construx was really only limited to your imagination.

 

Construx

 

Next to Lego, Construx was the greatest building toy that I ever laid hands on, and in some ways, it surpassed Lego. The size of the pieces and the way they were designed allowed for larger projects than Lego could handle, which allowed for such projects as bridges, buildings, and any other thing you could dream up. These were awesome if you had a fertile imagination…which my brother and I did, and we used our Construx to build goose neck trailers for our Tonka trucks to pull along, fork lifts to load those trailers, and a host of other equipment to be used with them.

 

Construx

 

The first set that I had was the Bridges and Tower set that came out in 1983. I remember it not being exactly easy to follow the directions and complete the build, but not so hard that I had to have help either. I just had to take a little longer than my older brother did to complete it. But when it was done, oh my was it ever a fun thing to play with. He and I ended up using those Construx bridges to enhance the fun in our G.I. Joe adventures. As a matter of fact, just about everything we built with the Construx were to play with some other toy line we had. Rarely did we build anything just for the sake of playing with the Construx. I would put together swords and ninja stars when I would watch a martial arts movie and then let my imagination run wild. I would use them to construct obstacle courses and run my G.I. Joe men through their paces trying to re-enact the latest episode of American Gladiators. We used them to build tunnels and other things to go along with our Hotwheels fun.

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That Time When McDonald’s Tried to Sell McPasta

McPasta

 

McDonald’s has tried a lot of off the wall menu items in their time. Some are fondly remembered like the McD.L.T., and others are still scorned to this day (I’m looking at you here Arch Deluxe). But a few products have come along that most of the population totally missed out on, and McPasta was one of them.

In 1990, McDonald’s decided they would try to add some entrees to their menu that weren’t hamburgers or Chicken McNuggets. They dreamed up this concept of McPasta dishes and roasted chicken legs, and felt sure it would be a big hit. Before they released it to the masses though, they went the test market route.

A small area in New York was selected, as well as chain of franchise stores in Northeast Tennessee for this new line of McPasta products. Fortunately, I lived in a part of southern Virginia where that franchisee had two locations, and they put the product in those two stores as well.

You can check out the New York Post story on this test from 1991 here.

What they offered was a selection of Spaghetti, Spaghetti with Meatballs, Lasagna, and Fettuccine Alfredo. Each dish came with a garlic bread stick as well. They also decided to offer roasted chicken legs as a side item, as well as mashed potatoes. How those last two items fit in to the McPasta lineup I’ve yet to figure out.

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The Chrononaut Chronicles: NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem – June 8, 1988

 

The Chrononaut Chronicles
NWA Clash of the Champions II: Miami Mayhem – Wednesday, June 8, 1988

– It’s Mayhem in Miami as the Four Horsemen run wild at the second Clash of the Champions! Ric Flair and Lex Luger sign a contract for an NWA World Title bout at the 1988 Great American Bash, Sting & Dusty Rhodes challenge Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard for the NWA World Tag Team Title, Barry Windham defends the NWA US Title against Brad Armstrong, and much more!

 

Miami Mayhem

– LIVE from Miami, Florida! Jim Ross is stationed outside the James L. Knight Center as limousines arrive to the building eight years before the nWo made it their gimmick. JR claims that a host of celebrities and dignitaries will be in attendance, and the disappointment is immediate as the first limo contains Lyle Alzado, Frances Crockett, and a dude who has some affiliation with the ownership of the Chicago Blackhawks. The star power doesn’t stop there, though, as the next limo opens up and out come NWA promoters Gary Juster and Elliot Murnick. Somehow, this qualifies as a pretty big deal.

 

Lyle Alzado
Man, they’re really pulling out the big guns tonight!

 

– Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle are on commentary. No offense to Bob, but is there some reason he can’t be standing around the parking garage while JR handles the play-by-play?

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Top 5: Favorite Action Figures

 

Each Tuesday I do a quick “Top 5” list, and instead of doing some kind of big write up, I do it in pictures instead.  I’d love to see others join in the fun as well and chime in on the same topic on your own site, social channel, Instagram, podcast, or wherever you share your opinions online.  I’ll be posting under the tag #Top 5, so if you do the same we can all see everyone else’s list.

This week, it’s my Top 5 Favorite Action Figures.  Let’s go to the list…..

 

Snow Job

Snow Job from the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Line

With the skis, Snow Job was one of the most played with action figures I owned.  I killed many a snow day out of school going on special missions with Snow Job.

 

Jitsu

Jitsu from Masters of the Universe

While others may have other MOTU figures they were more fond of, but there was just something about Jitsu that struck my fancy.  That deadly golden karate chopping right hand of his made for a fearsome foe for He-Man in my world.

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30 Years of Royal Rumble Statistics

Royal Rumble

29 Years of Royal Rumble Statistics

On January 24, 1988, the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) presented their first ever Royal Rumble match.  The event was held in Hamilton, Ontario Canada and kicked off what has now become a yearly tradition.  On Sunday January 28, 2018, WWE will present the 30th annual Royal Rumble on the WWE Network.

The Royal Rumble match itself is a unique wrestling match concept.  It is a battle royal type match, where wrestlers are eliminated from the contest when they are thrown over the top rope, and their feet hit the floor.  To add intrigue to the contest, the match starts with only two wrestlers in the ring.  Then, every two minutes, another superstar joins the match.  The match continues on in this way until all 30 competitors have entered.  A wrestler can be eliminated at any time.

With the nature of the match itself, and with 29 years of history behind it, it’s obviously going to have some interesting historical statistics associated with it.  So here today, we’re going to take a look at some of the more interesting statistics from this great event!


First Man to Win the Royal Rumble:  “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – 1988

Jim Duggan

The very first Royal Rumble match only featured 20 competitors, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan was the 13th entrant to the match.  He became the first man to win a Royal Rumble match when he eliminated the One Man Gang.

 

Multiple Time Royal Rumble Winners:  7

Royal Rumble Winners

Hulk Hogan won the event in 1990 and 1991, Shawn Michaels was the victor in 1995 and 1996, Triple H claimed the top honor in 2002 and 2016, John Cena won in 2008 and 2013, Batista claimed victories in 2005 and 2014, Randy Orton claimed the top spot in 2009 and 2017, but “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is the only man to have won three Royal Rumble matches with victories in 1997, 1998, and 2001.

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