Tag: 80’s

Top 5: Fads I Was Into

Top 5 Fads

 

So this week I’m starting what I hope to continue as a regular feature, where 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 #Top5, so if you do the same we can all see everyone else’s list.  Next week, I’ll start putting the topic up on the site on Mondays so you have some time to work on it.

This week, the topic is “Fads I Was Into”.  I was certainly into my fair share of various fads through the years, and here are the 5 I was most into…..

 

01:  Rock and Wrestling

While I missed the start of the craze, I was all aboard by mid-1985.  I watched the wrestling shows, had the LJN figures, the thumb wrestlers, watched the cartoon, and talked endlessly about all the goings on in the WWF with my friends at school.

 

 

02:  Hacky Sack

In the late 90’s, you could find me in the courtyard at college, or the back room at work fooling around with a Hacky Sack….for a few months anyway.

 

 

03:  Comics Boom of the Early 90’s

While the speculator market may have started with X-Men #1, I jumped in head first with the Death of Superman story line, and stayed in through about 1995.

I’ve written in the past about this period in my life, and you can check it out here:  The Beginning of My Comic Book Fandom in the 90’s

 

 

POGs

04:  POG’s

Man did I ever love playing POG’s.  We used to play for keeps, with whatever you pulled from the board, you kept.  Normally it was just the cheap off-brand milk caps, but once a week we’d all play with out best and most expensive ones.  That was a fun hobby that I wouldn’t mind doing all over again.

 

Zubaz

05:  Zubaz

Yeah, I wore them.  A lot.  I don’t know what to say.  Forgive me.

If you don’t want to jump in fully on social media, then chime in in the comments section below.  I want to see what fads you were really into too!

 

Others Playing Along This Week.  Check Out Their Lists Too!

Dave at Banzai Retro Club – I can’t believe he was into rolled up jeans…

 

He-Man Sweat Suits from 1984

He-Man

I came across these in the 1984 Sears Wish Book catalog and instantly new I had to share them with the world.  Now I can’t remember for certain if I ever actually owned any of these, but my mind wants to say yes.  I know I sported SOME kind of He-Man themed sweat suit apparel when I was young, I’m just not sure if it was any of these featured here.

My Mom had this habit of buying me sweat suits to wear to school.  Instead of wearing whatever the latest fashion was, I was always stuck in boring old seat shirts and sweat pants.  Except when I wore my He-Man set.  I was a bad ass on those days.

The Mega Haul of Christmas 1986

 

Two weeks ago, I spent quite a bit of time working on, and posting the article, 1986:  The Year Santa Became Real, for the Christmas season here at Retro Ramblings. In it, I go into detail about how my Christmas experiences took a huge upturn in 1986, and mentioned several awesome toys that I got from Santa Claus that year. I didn’t have the space in the article to go into a lot of detail on each of those toys, so this whole article is dedicated to just that!

Cobra Terror Drome

The big one that Christmas morning in 1986 was the G.I. Joe Cobra Terror Drome. At that time in life, my world revolved around four toys. G.I Joe, Masters of the Universe, Construx, and Legos….with G.I. Joe being at the top of the list. Knowing this, it was no surprise to my parents that the biggest hit of the holiday season would be this huge G.I. Joe play set.

It had room for plenty of figures, so massive battles were a foregone conclusion. I stockpiled this sucker with every bad guy I had in my collection, and then began a full on assault with all of the good guys I could find. Even Bo & Luke Duke in their 3 3/4″ figure form and the General Lee got in on the action on the side of the Joes!

 

More Dukes of Hazzard:  Looking Back at Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise From the 80’s

 

 

Cobra Terror Drome

The initial battle was a stalemate, with Cobra barely able to hold off the tremendous might of the Joes, as they retreated back a little ways to regroup and plan for a second assault. Now of course this stalemate was only to ensure that the Terror Drome was intact to play with again the following day. I spent a while Christmas afternoon interacting with various parts of this set. The Cobra vehicles re-fueled at the re-fueling station built into it, while some of the top Cobra brass interrogated a captured Joe down in the holding cell area.

The shine of this toy didn’t wear off anytime soon, but I had gotten quite a few other new toys this Christmas that required my attention, so I had to let the action cool down a little so I could get on to some of the other stuff like…..

Continue reading “The Mega Haul of Christmas 1986”

Christmas Mornings of the Past, Part 1

No other time of the year holds more nostalgic memories for me than Christmas.  All my life – from a kid, up through today – I spend all year long looking forward to this time of year, and making plans to make it as special as possible for my kids.  The climax of the whole season is Christmas morning itself.  That magical time of the year when you get up real early, and rush to the Christmas tree to see what Santa Claus has left for you.

It seems that Christmas morning is kind of a tally sheet for the year doesn’t it?  Like, as a kid, you had all these things you wanted all year, and all those wishes would culminate in that one single morning.  If you got a lot of loot, or very cool loot, your year was a success.  If not, well…better luck next year kid.  At least that’s the way it went in my mind all those years ago.  I had a few of what I thought were less-than-stellar Christmas mornings, but then 1986 came along and changed all of that.

Nowadays, I like to look back on different people’s Christmas mornings of years past and marvel at how cool it must have been to be in their shoes on those mornings so long ago.

Christmas Morning

So first up, this kid looks pretty pleased to have gotten the Go Bots Command Center play set under his tree on Christmas morning.  I was a big fan of the Go Bots cartoon, but only ever had two of the action figures….Loco and Dive-Dive.  Now while I wish I had more of the figures, and would have loved the Command Center, I never put it on any of my Christmas lists because it wouldn’t have been very much fun without a lot of the action figures to go along with it.

In the background on his right, someone has gotten some kind of G.I. Joe play set, because we can clearly see the opened box.  I’ve gotta take a few points away from this kid now knowing that he chose to pose with the Go Bots toy when he could have been posing with the G.I. Joe one instead.

I can’t really tell what his brother is holding in the background, but just in front of it is a nice looking piece of gold ribbon, which indicates their Christmas presents were probably well wrapped and made for a very nice presentation.  And I am almost certain, that on the far right of this photo, you can see what is the box of a G.I. Joe Cobra Rattler!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that these kids had a pretty damn good Christmas.  A Go Bots play set, and a couple of G.I. Joe toys means a big Christmas morning, regardless of what other loot they may have found.

More Christmas Memories:  Making My Christmas Wish List From the 1986 Sears Wish Book

Man these kids really hit the jackpot!  You can clearly see a buffet of G.I. Joe play sets including the Cobra Rattler, Cobra Vamp, G.I. Joe Wolverine, and the G.I. Joe Dragonfly helicopter!  I don’t see any carded figures in the picture, but one can only assume these kids already have several of those.  I’m sure there was quite a battle fought between the Joes and Cobra later on this Christmas day.

Continue reading “Christmas Mornings of the Past, Part 1”

The Year Santa Became Real

By the fall of 1986, my thoughts were starting to turn to the coming Christmas season, and anticipation was starting to build for the holiday. The hope of children isn’t easily pushed to the side, but back in those days, I would be lying if I said that Christmas didn’t feel a little lacking.

Admittedly, I personally never felt slighted on Christmas morning. Whatever was under the tree from Santa Claus always left a lasting impression on me, even if I sometimes felt the little internal tug of wanting a little bit more. But when I would return to school, and see and hear about all the cool things my friends and others had gotten for Christmas, I would get a little jealous.

I was a good kid. I never caused trouble at school, and I definitely knew better than to cause trouble at home. I did my chores and I ate my vegetables, so why did I seem to be farther down Santa’s Nice list than some of the other kids? “Jonathon pushed Samantha down and hurt her arm”, “why did he get a huge Lego set and I only got a trumpet?”. “Zach punched me in the arm all year…hard.” “Why did he get a cool G.I. Joe HISS Tank and all the Dreadnoks figures and I ended up with a set of cars?” Such are the worrisome wonderings and questions of a kid who is not aware of all the comings and goings of adulthood.

What I didn’t know or understand back then, and actually I’m still learning and gaining a greater perspective on now, is that times were very tough for my family in the early eighties. My Dad was a self-employed business man. He bought and sold new and used conveyor belts to coal mines, and as the coal business went, so did my family’s financial well-being.

1983 was a very tough year. My Grandfather’s alcohol addiction was in the last stages of consuming his life, and my Dad spent more time helping my Grandmother, both emotionally AND financially, than he did on the business. The first week of December, my Grandfather passed away. Christmas was lean due to dealing with the emotional struggles of losing someone close, and the fact that so much time had been spent away from the business.

1984 came along, and so did the large-scale United Mine Workers of America strike in West Virginia…..primarily against the A.T. Massey Coal Companies and subsidiaries. West Virginia was always the bread basket of my Dad’s business. When strikes occurred, it crippled his business and our financial well-being for quite some time, and unfortunately, this strike would not be over quickly.

1985 came, and the strike was still on. It wasn’t resolved until late in the year. Too late for lost income to be made up. Several straight years of lean and underwhelming visits from Santa Claus was wearing on my faith in the man.

But then came 1986. The strike had been resolved, and with the mines back in full-time operation, orders poured in from all sides. It was a VERY good year. Not so coincidentally, Santa seemed to fill his sleigh completely just for my family. I guess he was making up for lost time.

Continue reading “The Year Santa Became Real”

Wax Pack Flashback: Masters of the Universe Cards from 1984

Wax Pack Flashback

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, trading cards were a big part of my everyday life.  I would spend plenty of my allowance on packs of baseball cards as well as non-sports cards of all kinds.  Then I’d smuggle my cards to school and trade them with friends, or sometimes just drool over their collection.  There was actually a summer where every single day with my friends was spent trading cards.

There is something very nostalgic to me about opening a pack of cards.  I’ve went on a bit of a binge lately and purchased a lot of old wax packs on ebay.  Everything from old baseball cards to Dick Tracy movie cards to Young Indiana Jones Chronicles cards.  I’ve bought a lot.  So with that said, it’s time to start opening these bad boys up and seeing what’s inside in what I like to call Wax Pack Flashback!

Up first is a pack of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cards from 1984.  This was an 88 card set, that also featured 21 different stickers, with one being randomly inserted into each pack.  The cards are in the animated style of the He-Man cartoon, and actually re-tell the episode titled “Like Father, Like Daughter” in comic strip form.  They used scenes from the episode along with word bubbles to tell the story, and the backs of the cards went more in-depth about the story being told on the front of the card.

 

He-Man Trading Cards

 

Just looking at the pack, it scream cool.  It’s funny, but I was a super huge mark for all things He-Man back in the day, but at the time, I didn’t even know these cards existed.  When I first came across a pack of them, I thought the packs themselves just looked really cool.  The packs featured four different characters on them.  He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, and Orko.  I’ve got one each of the He-Man and Skeletor packs featured prominently in a display case in my living room.

 

 

The back of the pack shows the Topps logo quite well, but nothing else of note really.  A lot of card packs from this era would feature some kind of candy ad on the back of the wrapper.

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