Tag: 90’s

Retro Rerun Review: Fifteen

 

Welcome back to Retro Rerun Rewind! This week, I’m reviewing the classic Canadian teen drama Fifteen. Do you think I meant to say Degrassi? Because this isn’t Degrassi. This is Fifteen. 

The Show: Fifteen (known as Hillside in Canada)

Ran for: 4 seasons. 65 episodes aired between 1991 and 1993.

What it’s About: Well, Canadian teens doing Canadian Teen Things, of course. It was a teen soap about kids at a school— Hillside School, obviously— and the serious things teens have to deal with: drugs, divorce, dating, drinking, maple syrup shortages, moose attacks.

My Relationship with It: Until I started compiling a list of shows for this column, I had never heard of Fifteen. At all. I mentioned it offhand to a friend at work, though, and she practically punched me in the mouth in her unbridled excitement. “Fifteen?! I LOVED THAT SHOW! GAAAAHhHHHHHAH!!” She exclaimed punchily as she punched the air in an excited manner. So, if you were rich enough to have Nickelodeon in the early 90s like Jessica, maybe you knew and loved Fifteen. Not me, though.

This Episode: Season 1, Episode 8— “Lean on Me.”

So the theme song sounds like it was composed by a robot built to specifically write music for late 80s/early 90s television shows. It is great. And instead of showing the actor’s name during the opening credits, it shows the character’s name. That’s weird. Also, they all have very generic names. Dylan, Brooke, Theresa, Ashley, Matt. And you know who plays Billy, right? You guessed it, it’s Ryan Reynolds. Rad.

It starts with Cindy the Environmentalist hanging up a poster about saving the earth and then getting really bitchy with someone who says hello to her. I’m already confused. Why is Cindy like this? Is there a history here? Maybe I shouldn’t have started in the eighth episode. Anyway, that scene just like… ends.

Now we’re at a diner— maybe it’s The Max! Maybe Slater will show up and say something super sexist! A small boy in a poofy red shirt named Jake is talking to a very whispery blonde girl. The blonde girl is worried about someone’s drinking problem. (Okay, the quiet blonde is Ashley, and she is worried about her boyfriend Matt.) Anyway, it is established that: 1) Ashley shouldn’t be talking to Jake, 2) Jake should talk to Matt because they are best friends, and 3) Ashley hasn’t done homework in a number of days. Neither one touches their milk; he doesn’t touch his something-that-looks-like-a-cinnamon roll, and I swear to God, I have no idea what is even supposed to be on her plate.

Back at Hillside, the girl who was yelled at by the environmentalist is still at the table, perhaps paralyzed with fear. A plainly dressed boy with floppy hair approaches and makes disparaging remarks about the environmental poster, then says he is getting bad marks in science and if he doesn’t course correct, will not be able to go to “the concert.” I can’t tell if the girl with the book cares or not. No one in this show seems to really like each other or even care that they are all in the same television show.

Okay, so then we learn that she’s sort of miffed because floppy hair kissed her a few days ago and then acted like it never happened. Oh, and not only that, but then when she went over to his garage a few days later, she saw that Brooke was there. Damn. But floppy haired boy swears that Brooke has the hots for a boy in the 12th grade. Then he storms off.

ENTER RYAN REYNOLDS. He looks like the epitome of 1991. it is quickly established that he is this girl’s brother. Exposition is given that they don’t see each other that often anymore, though, now that they live in “different places.” Double damn.

Ryan Reynolds explains that he’ll need to stay at their mom’s this coming weekend because dad, who he lives with, is out of town, but then sister is like, “why don’t we stay at dad’s instead, we can throw a party,” and Ryan Reynolds starts to try to talk her out of it, but then a nameless teen with cool soccer-guy hair walks by and says, “oh, you’re throwing a party this weekend? Cool!” and, well, there you go.

In the locker room, we learn that the guy who overheard about the party is the potential lush, Matt. He’s chatting with his best friend Jake who is still wearing his poofy red shirt. Jake is fiddling with his shoes and complaining about push ups, or something, when he decides it is time to go ahead and accuse his friend of being a drunk. I feel like this will go well.

In response to Jake expressing his concern, Matt says, and I am not kidding about this, “I AM A BIG BOY, GET OFF MY CASE,” and he storms out of the locker room. Jake tries to slam his locker shut but it bounces back open which you can tell was an accident.

Now we’re in the hallway and here’s Brooke and she runs into Matt and asks if he’s heard about the party. I’m not sure what the point of this scene was, exactly, but Brooke looks like a hotter version of Molly Ringwald so I’m totally OK with it.

The environmentalist approaches and she is ranting about all of the paper the school wastes. She is making a scene and she looks like a lunatic. (Side bar: why do they make environmentalists so aggressively unlikable on television shows? Can’t we all agree that we SHOULD care about the environment, and a good first step is to make the characters who are passionate about it less annoying? Great job, Hollywood.) Anyway, now she’s bitching about tuna fish sandwiches. I really, really detest this girl. A handsome dork joins her and also begins complaining about tuna fish. A crowd is watching.

The handsome dork is named Olaf, and Brooke and Matt make fun of him for being from Norway though I’m not sure how you’re supposed to believe them because he does not have any sort of accent whatsoever. The crowd disperses and the environmentalist girl calls everyone “zipperheads” which, I don’t know, could be very insulting in Canada.

Now we’re back at The Not Max, and Dylan is pensively writing song lyrics. God, I hope he shares them with us!!! Brooke is there, and she wants to see them, but he won’t let her. She sits down to talk and he finds out that she broke up with the older boy. He’s very moody and I don’t think he cares. She says, “there IS someone I’m interested in, though.” Dun-dun-DUNNN! And just like that, he is coerced into asking her to the party.

Later, Ol’ Floppy Haired Dylan is back at the school (these kids all seem to come and go an awful lot) and he runs into Ryan Reynolds’ sister, who I just realized is dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder. She asks him if he is coming to her party, and he acts really rock star about it, but I think he’s basically onboard. He grimaces and says, “I’ve gotta run.” He looks constipated. All of these people look constipated, actually.

Little House rounds the corner and runs into Hot Molly Ringwald. She starts telling her about how Dylan is taking her to the party. FINALLY it feels like something exciting is happening. Then Little House leaves and Ryan Reynolds comes up. And please, let’s just pause for a moment and enjoy his shirt.

Wow.

Then Hot Molly Ringwald points out that Olaf, the handsome environmentalist, is sitting quietly in the corner by himself. Seriously. That’s what he’s doing. He’s sitting there, by himself. He’s waiting for someone to play chess with him, I guess. He talks to Ryan Reynolds and the whole scene is very… uncomfortable. Ryan Reynolds is acting—and I’m not trying to be funny here, because it is not really a funny thing— like Olaf has previously done something to him. Something molesty, perhaps. I really don’t know what’s happening anymore.

Now we’re back at the diner— dear God, will this ever end— and Little House is talking to Poofy Shirt. He has been to the diner twice today, at least that we are aware of. She is blathering on about Dylan and she’s like, “of course he doesn’t like me, why would ANY guy like me,” and Poofster is all, “lots of guys like you,” and she’s all, “name one,” and he gets all squinty eyed, like a diminutive, Canadian Clint Eastwood, and he says that maybe he does.

Little House leaves as Poofy Shirt tries unsuccessfully to profess his love, and here comes the crazy environmentalist girl, and I swear to God, if this scene doesn’t end with her choking to death on a mini corndog, I’m smashing my computer with a hammer. She sits down and starts talking about her favorite Canadian football team the goddamned environment, of course. She notices Poofy Shirt’s drawing of a frog (?) and gushes about how much she loves it.

In the next scene, we’re FINALLY somewhere other than the school or that godforsaken diner. It’s a shack in the middle of a junk yard!!! Sweet!

Apparently this is where Dylan and his Canuck Good Time Boys Band practices. He’s sitting there with a guitar that I’m pretty sure doesn’t have strings. He’s talking to Ryan Reynolds about Ryan’s sister. Then Dylan asks him to take his math homework back to school the next day because he’s not going. “I think I’m gonna skip school and just practice.” Then he kicks Ryan Reynolds out. This is how serious he is about rocking— he’s too busy to hand in his homework. (He’ll do it, he just can’t be bothered to return it.)

Back at the diner, we’re in a different booth than normal and the whispery blonde is whispering her concern to Matt about his drinking. He gets pissed. It’s a mercifully short scene.

And now we’re back at the junkyard rock shack. Dylan— who has been in the same blue t-shirt for several days now—is talking to Brooke. She’s getting on him about skipping school. He changes the subject to “I heard we’re dating, what’s going on there?” And she says, “are we?” And he starts approaching her and his hands are all cramped up for some reason like he has severe arthritis. I think they might kiss, but he also might try to hockey-fight her.

Okay, nope, they kiss, and the sound is nauseating. It sounds like a fat hand smacking a wet roast. And then it’s over. That’s it. That’s the end of the episode.

There is no party. The environmentalist doesn’t self-immolate to protest the cafeteria’s use of plastic forks. Little House doesn’t burst into the shack and murder suicide Dylan, Brooke and herself.

I feel, in short, horribly let down.

Would I Watch Another Episode?: God, no. Okay, well, for money. Pay me $200 and I will reluctantly watch another episode of his terrible program. It was just so bad. The acting was hideous, the scenes were extremely slow and uninteresting, the writing was plodding and tedious. When it comes to Canadian teen dramas, I’ll stick with Degrassi, thanks.

Grade: 2/10

Forgotten Food: Fast Food Edition

 

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written before, then you already know that I associate nostalgic feelings and memories with food more than any other subject.  I’ve written several pieces in the past diving into the subject, and today, I’m going a little deeper.  This isn’t going to be like the mega post, Back When Pizza Hut Was an Experience, or an angry diatribe like Why Wendy’s Ain’t Like It Used to Be.  No, this is going to be some quick hits about some old fast food choices that I loved, but are no longer available.  As you also know, there are plenty more foods that I miss, but for today, let’s just hit these bygone classics.


 

McDLT

The McDonald’s McDLT gets mentioned on it’s fair share of fondly remembered foods list, and for good reason. Of all the great, and horrible, things to ever grace the menu of McDonalds, the McDLT was one of the best items they created.

It was a burger in similar size as Burger King’s Whopper sandwich, and featured mostly the same ingredients. A quarter pound beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese, pickles, and ketchup on a toasted sesame seed bun. The beauty of the McDLT though was it’s packaging. It came in one of McDonald’s signature styrofoam containers. But this one was slightly different. It featured two separate compartments instead of one.

On one side, the bottom bun and burger patty rested, while on the other was the rest of the toppings and the top bun. This allowed the hot parts to remain separate from the cold parts until you were ready to put it together and eat. And that was the brilliance of it all. A fresh tasting McDLT when the hot patty met the cold toppings.  What I could never figure out though, was why the slice of cheese was included on the cold side.  To me it would have made much more sense to put it on top of the patty on the hot side so it could get all melty.  But apparently, I’m not a genius like the burger builders at McDonald’s.

It was released in the early 80’s to much fanfare, but was eventually pulled in 1990 due to pressure from environmental groups protesting their use of the styrofoam containers. Once the divided container was gone, so was the magic of this burger. It was later re-released as the Big ‘n’ Tasty burger, but without the separated ingredients, the burger fell flat.

 

More Forgotten Food  |  The Time McDonald’s Tried to Sell McPasta

 

When I first discovered it as a kid, I was at the age where I was getting a little old for Happy Meals, and found the McDLT to be a perfectly acceptable replacement for it. I’m guessing it was basically the novelty of it that turned me on to it, but it was a great burger in it’s own right so that kept me coming back for more.

As a side note, McDonald’s lost a little luster to me with the fall of those original containers. Each container was a different color to represent what was held inside, and even the McNuggets had a little compartment built-in to hold the sauce cup. I understand the environmental impact and agree with the decision to stop using them, but dang, they looked cool, and figure prominently in my memories of McDonald’s and childhood in general.

The timing of the fall of the McDLT kind of lines up perfectly with my ascent to teenager from childhood.  Maybe that’s why it holds such a special place in my memories, and why I miss it so.


Hardee's Patty Melt

Back in 1992, Hardee’s stumbled across a major hit when it introduced it’s now legendary Frisco Burger.  They combined grilled sourdough bread (in a round slice) with a 1/4 lb burger patty, two slices of Swiss cheese, bacon, mayo, and tomatoes and turned them into a culinary masterpiece.  After strong sales upon release, they were looking to duplicate that success. Enter the New York Rye Patty Melt.

Introduced roughly 4 months after the launch of the Frisco burger, the New York Patty Melt was the heir apparent to their first hit.  Unfortunately, it was not to be. Sales of the Patty Melt didn’t come close to those of the Frisco burger, and it was dropped from the menu about 6 months after it’s introduction.  But man, that was a great six months.

The New York Rye Patty Melt borrowed from its famous cousin and used a regional favorite bread by using New York Rye.  Sliced the same way as the Frisco (round), it too was grilled and paired with a 1/4 lb beef patty. A layer of melted cheese, along with soft grilled onions finished off this burger.  Like most kids, I wasn’t a big fan of onions, but on this burger, they fit right in. But for me, the real star of this taste sensation was the rye bread. I had never had it before, but this burger moved the bread up my list of favorites in a hurry.

As is the case when doing a piece like this, I was quite disappointed when I went to order it one time only to be told that it was no longer available.  If my Father hadn’t been standing there beside me, my fourteen year old self may have let out a string of curse words aimed in the cashier’s direction. Luckily however, the Frisco Burger was still available, and it ranked pretty high on my list back then too.  But for me, the Frisco Burger was always the Sundance Kid to the New York Patty Melt’s Butch Cassidy.

These days, the Frisco Burger is still on the menu, and since it has been a top item for over 26 years, Burger has gotten in on the action with their Bacon Swiss King burger.  If you would happen to be wondering how it compares to the original Frisco burger, you can check out the comparison video my daughter and I filmed for her food review Youtube channel.


Chilito

Ah, the Chili Cheese Burrito from Taco Bell.  A lot of people in this world only know it by that name, but back in my day, it was known as “The Chilito”.

It featured chili flavored beef, Taco Bell’s iconic red sauce, and melted cheese rolled up in a soft flour tortilla and would run you anywhere from $0.69 to $0.99, depending on the time frame when you enjoyed them.  For me, that time frame was the mid-90’s after I started driving. My friends and I on small budgets, due to part-time jobs, would load up on these due to their cheapness on nights of cruising around.  Way back then, you could count on Taco Bell to deliver the goods, not only in taste, but in value as well.

 

More Forgotten Food  |  KFC’s Modern Chicken Littles Have Nothing on the Originals From the 1980’s

 

Taco Bell had these available from the late 80’s through the early 90’s before discontinuing them as a regular menu item.  Some franchises decided to keep them however, and you can still find them on the menu in roughly 12% of Taco Bell stores nationwide.  A while back though, while traveling in North Carolina, I was in a Taco Bell that had a poster up celebrating the triumphant return of the Chilito.  Unfortunately though, I didn’t even notice the poster until I had already placed my order.  Maybe I should have placed a second order, with which I might could have recaptured that magical taste and feeling of the Chilito.  Or, maybe I would have been disappointed by this newer version at a much higher price.  I decided to let things be, and wait until another time to sample the modern Chilito.  I still haven’t, and am not sure I should.  Sometimes the memories are better than what you find today.

Now, at least I stop at just writing about missing the Chilito, but here’s a dude who wrote a whole song about Taco Bell taking it from the menu:


McDonald's Super Hero Burger

Historically, the Big Mac has always been the largest burger on McDonald’s menu.  But for one glorious month in 1995, it played second fiddle to the Super Hero Burger.  With it’s 3 (that’s right, 3!) burger patties on a hoagie length bun, with two different slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo….this sucker was a monster.

The Super Hero burger had two promotional tie-ins attached to it.  First and foremost, it was available during the release of the movie Batman Forever, and Batman, Robin, Riddler, and Two-Face all figure prominently in the advertising spots for this burger.  Secondly, 1995 was the year that McDonald’s released a different burger every month, and this was the Burger of the Month.

I was driving by this point in life, so that meant I spent a fair amount of time “cruising” through town.  Most nights, a stop by the local Mickey D’s was how we ended our night, and for that month that this super burger was on the menu, it was what we ordered.   We probably could have kept this item on the menu all by ourselves based on how many of them we consumed, but as expected, when the month ended, so did the Super Hero Burger.  Alas, another fast food item was added to my list of fondly remembered food from back in the day.

I’m not the only super fan of the Super Hero Burger, and someone over at DudeFoods.com got tired of waiting for McDonald’s to bring it back, so they tried their hand at creating their own.  You can watch the video here.


In closing, I want to say that I’m thankful to have even gotten to try all of these items in the first place.  My dad would take us out to eat on the weekends when he was in town, and that provided ample opportunity to indulge in so many great menu items from a variety of places.  And as the saying goes, it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

So tell me, what extinct fast food items do you miss and wish was still around?  What memories do you associate with them?  We all have a story, and I would love to hear yours!  Just drop me a line in the comments below, and tell me that story.  Heck, I probably have memories of YOUR favorite too.  Also, did you have any experiences with the items on my list above?  Tell me that too!  The next time I talk about food here, it’ll probably be about dining experiences that no longer exist, or my favorite snacks, or something else of the sort.  But until that time comes, hit me up in the comments below, or on Twitter @yesterdayville.

Retro on the Web

Welcome to the first, yet latest edition of Retro on the Web.  I say that because this is the first installment to be labeled as “Retro on the Web”, but it’s just a fancy new title for my old Picks of the Week.  So anyway, this is where I turn you on to fun retro content from around the web that you may not have seen yet.  The majority of this post is links to other places, so as a disclaimer, let me remind you that the links to outside sites open in a new tab or window.  With all that said, let’s take a look at whats going on in the world of retro this week.

 

Rank Em

The Retro Rambler joins the Rediscover the 80’s Podcast to Talk About Our Favorite Television Shows That Debuted in 1988

So last week, I joined our good friend Jason Gross (@rd80s on Twitter) from Rediscover the 80’s on an episode of his podcast to go through our favorite television series that debuted in 1988.  Upon getting prepared to record the show, I found that 1988 was not the best year for new shows, but somehow we managed to each put a list of 5 together and turned out what I thought was a pretty fun show.  A lot of nostalgia shows through, and some shows we are actually quite passionate about.  You can check out the episode on your favorite podcast service, or you can go directly to it hereJason’s Rediscover the 80’s Podcast is always a good listen, and he has several themes that he rotates through including Rank ‘Em episodes, Memory Jogger, and his Rediscovered series.  I highly suggest subscribing to his podcast feed so you don’t miss anything.

It’s not the first time that Jason and I have collaborated on projects.  Last year, he and I each did a piece on our sites where we ranked our Five Favorite G.I. Joe Cartoon episodes.  You can check those out here:  Mine and his.  He has also been a regular guest on my Retro Round Table pieces, and you can read through them all at your leisure here.

And if hearing me guest star on podcasts gets your motor running, check out the show I did with Dave on the Banzai Retro Club podcast talking about old non-sports trading cards.  It’s a hoot.

 

Hoju Koolander Has an Awesome Time on a Classic 80’s Inspired Sleep Over

So my good friend from over at Retro-Daze, Hoju Koolander (@hojukoolander on Twitter) , recently traveled to the west coast for a rad retro weekend at an 80’s inspired sleepover with another fellow Retro-Daze alumni Jeff.  There was lots of pizza eating, Nintendo playing, cereal enjoyment, comic book talk, and late night movie fun to be had by all.  Read about the whole experience in Hoju’s great piece, Rad Retro Weekend.  Stay tuned, as there is a part 2 coming as well.

As you may already know, Hoju is also a regular participant in the Retro Round Tables, and he hosts one of the best podcasts on the market, SequelQuest Podcast, where he and his buddies conceive sequels to favorite movies that never had one.  He has also reviewed a couple of old wrestling flicks here at Retro Ramblings, and you should check those out as well:  Grunt! The Wrestling Movie Review  |  Body Slam is Rock and Roll Wrestling

 

It’s Masters of the Universe Month at HorrorMovie BBQ!

Everyone’s favorite fun retro horror writer Chad has turned his online home, Horror Movie BBQ, into Eternia for the month of August.  What does that mean you ask?  Well, he is focusing the entire month on things that revolve around The Masters of the Universe, and this year, he has a focus on the bad guys.  The MOTU universe is filled with iconic and interesting baddies, so there is a lot to work with.  He has already put out some great stuff that have brought a ton of memories flooding back as I’ve been reading.  Hit the links below to what he’s already dropped, and follow him on Twitter so you don’t miss anything else from this great month of content.

Welcome to MOTU Month 2018!
A Trip to the Slime Pit
Stinkor Smells Like a Winner
Mosquitor Doesn’t Suck

 

Summer Vacation Rolls On at The Rad Years

The Rad Years is a retro blog that I only discovered recently, and boy did I pick the right time to hit the place!  For over the last month, there have been articles galore dropping that all have summer vacation as the theme, and each one has been dripping with pure nostalgia.  I’ve read most of what has been put out thus far, and have identified with, and enjoyed all of it.  If you’ve not discovered this site yet, do yourself a favor and hit it up ASAP.  Here’s some links to some of the summer articles I’ve enjoyed the most thus far.  There are plenty more there to choose from though, and check them out on Twitter too.

Saturdays in the Summer
Summer Blockbusters:  My Obsession With Dick Tracy
Friday Nights
Comic Book Shopping

 

Press Your Luck Michael Larson

Big Money No Whammies!  The Michael Larson Story

This one is found right here at Retro Ramblings, and is my latest piece.  I tell the tale of Michael Larson, who in 1984 went on the game show Press Your Luck and turned their world upside down with the most amazing bit of game show play you will ever see.  It caused quite the scandal behind the scenes at CBS, and caused them to lock the episodes in their vault for almost 20 years.  You’ll also learn about the downward spiral of Michael Larson following his appearance on the show.  Read the whole thing here.

And since you are already here, you can check out some of my other recent hits:

Remembering Micro Machines
Opening a Pack of Jaws 3-D Trading Cards From 1983
Lawn Darts – One of the Most Dangerous Toys of All Time
Going on Wagon Train in the 1980’s
A Visual History of McDonald’s Clam Styrofoam Packaging

 

The Best of the Rest

There is a lot more great retro and nostalgiac content floating around the web, and here is the rest of what I’ve enjoyed recently.

8 Most Offensive Zero Heroes Trading Cards From 1983 – Rediscover the 80’s
Check Out Atari’s Video Games:  A Public Perspective From 1982 – Retroist
RoboCop is a Violent, Brilliant Thrill Ride – Retro Injection
Alf is Returning From Melmac in a Reboot – MeTV
Family Ties:  A Hit TV Show All On It’s Own – Click Americana
6 Candy Myths We All Foolishly Believed Growing Up – MeTV
The Pepsi ‘SEX’ Can From 1990 – Dinosaur Dracula
80’s Lessons We Should Take Note Of – Like Totally 80s
Leonardo DiCaprio is Set to Produce a New Reboot of The Facts of Life – MeTV
Target Has Released New Throwback Board Games – Do You Remember?
The Fantastic and Troubled History of the Video Phone – Flashbak
Little People Love – Plaid Stallions
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue – Saturday Mornings Forever
10 Colorful Facts About Munsters Go Home – MeTV
How Your Favorite Stores Got Their Interesting Names – Do You Remember?

And Since It’s “Back to School” Time In Most Places, Here Are Some School Days Classics

My High School Soundtrack – Rediscover the 80’s
Trapper Keeper: The Ultimate 80’s School Supply – Rediscover the 80’s
Retro School Supplies – Hoju Koolander
17 Vintage Back to School Ads You Would Never See Today – MeTV
19 Totally 80’s School Supplies That Will Take You Back to the Reagan Era – MeTV
15 Cartoon Lunch Boxes That Every Kid Brought to School Back in the Day – MeTV
Memory Lane:  Back to Grade School – Do You Remember

 

Well that’s it for this edition of Retro on the Web.  For next time, if you know of something you think I would enjoy and should highlight here, drop me a comment with the link, or hit me up on Twitter @yesterdayville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Micro Machines

The 80’s probably spawned more cool toys than all other decades combined.  There were the heavy hitters like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Mask that everyone remembers, but then there are those toys that were totally awesome, but don’t get mentioned nearly as much.  One of those was Micro Machines.

 

micro machines

 

Micro Machines debuted from Galoob Toys in 1986, and hung around through the late 90’s.  Their claim to fame was the fact that they were 1/4 scale of Hot Wheels, and kids loved their extra small size.  Micro Machines came in a wide variety of vehicles that included cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, construction, planes, boats, There were also vehicles based on licensed properties such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Power Rangers, GI Joe, James Bond, and Indiana Jones.  For 3 – 4 years, they were the largest selling toy car line in the country, with dollar sales that exceeded the combined sales of Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Majorette!

Hot Wheels, only smaller. That’s not exactly true, but it’s what I though when I first saw Micro Machines. A friend of mine brought some to school, and I thought they were so cool, if for nothing else, that they were a lot easier to smuggle out of the house than actual Hot Wheels. But what I found when I got my first “collection” was that these were fine toys in just about any application.

 

Micro Machines

 

What I liked best about them, was that in the early years, you would get five vehicles per package. Instead of having to settle for one fire truck, you got five. Or maybe you got a fire truck plus other emergency vehicles to go along with it. You didn’t have to decide whether to get a bulldozer or a front end loader, but instead you got them both plus a dump truck, a concrete truck, and an excavator. It was a whole construction set in one package. Why settle for one fast corvette when you could get five from varying years. And while the cars may have been small, their play was as big as anything else on the market. They held up just as well as Hot Wheels did under my play conditions.

 

MORE TOYS  |  Five Fun Matchbox Toys

 

The play sets that went along with them were well designed too. They would transform from play sets to normal looking things like a can of car wax, or some other similar product. There were so many sets to choose from too. You had planes, ships, construction equipment, fast cars, service vehicles, army mobiles, and many others. I got older and lost interest in them just before they picked up the Star Wars license, but there were three lines that I favored over all the others.

The Semi Trucks they had were awesome. They came out a few years into the line and were a great addition, as you could round out your “city” with these.  There were flat beds, box trailers, and tankers of all different kinds.  Coming from a family whose Father drove a truck on occasion, it was cool to have these to mimic his job with.

 

Micro Machines Semi Trucks

 

Another was the addition of Micro Machines train sets. They were in scale with the rest of the line, and even came with their own tracks.  There were several different sets to choose from, each in their own color scheme and type of train.  I always wanted multiple sets just to have enough track to actually do more than a circle loop with.

 

Micro machines Trains

 

And last but not least were the monster trucks. All the popular ones of the day were available in either two or three packs, I can’t remember which, but I had a ton of them. Grave Digger, Carolina Crusher, Equalizer, Mad Dog, and many others were available for your car crushing needs. And again, these were in scale with the rest of the line, so you could line your cars up and run over them with the monster trucks.

 

Micro Machines Tuff Trax

 

Micro Machines was an awesome toy line, and a fun part of my childhood.  It doesn’t get the nostalgic attention that other popular lines from the 80’s do, but it will forever be one of my favorites.

 

Listen to Me on Banzai Retro Club’s Podcast on Old Trading Cards

Recently I had the opportunity to sit in with Dave on an episode of his Banzai Retro Club Podcast to talk about old non-sports trading cards.  As you know, I’m a big fan of old cards, so I was ecstatic when I got the invite.  We spend well over an hour discussing everything from Marvel Universe cards to New Kids on the Block cards, and all the way back to Smurfs Super Cards.  There’s a lot of fun talk and plenty of informative discussion that you’ll get a lot of enjoyment from if you ever collected any kind of cards.  Check it out by clicking on the graphic below.

Then head on over to my Twitter page to enter the contest we mention on the show where YOU can win a grab bag full of old unopened packs of cards!  Just head over to @yesterdayville for all the details.

Popular Cartoons We All Miss

Popular Cartoons

(The following is a sponsored guest post from the folks over at StickerYou!  Check them out for cool retro themed stickers and vinyl graphics.  You can even create your own!)

Let’s face it, life was much simpler when we were younger. I’m sure we can all remember waking up at the crack of dawn and making our way to the sofa to eat breakfast and watch some classic cartoons. We’ll never have enough time to go over every single show we all loved, but here are some that really pulled on our heartstrings and still fill us with nostalgia to this day.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cowabunga dude! This iconic show was the pinnacle of cartoons for many of us. Not only this, but the Turtles also appeared in multiple other movies and shows, making for some of the best crossovers ever. This show was so popular that there are still series and movies made about them to this day. It’s even rumored that a new show, “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” will make its debut around September 2018. Hopefully it’s filled with even more pizza!

 

More Cartoons  |  What You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite 80’s Cartoons

 

Transformers

The Transformers

Who doesn’t love robot superheroes? This classic series first aired September of 1984, although movies are still being made about Transformers to this day. This show also gave birth to “transforming” toys, most of which were cars that turned into robots. Since this time, transformers have continued to remain popular, and will captivate the younger generation for years to come.

 

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball

Often considered one of the masterpieces of television animation, Dragon Ball was the introduction to anime for many people growing up. With the great array of characters, vivid and dreamy landscapes, and epic martial arts, there was truly never a dull moment. This show was later adapted into further series’ including Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super – even more are sure to come!

 

Real Ghostbusters

The Real Ghostbusters

Where do we even start with this one? There are so many awesome things about this show and movie that all of us can surely remember. The awesome tech and gadgets used throughout the series, the above-average animation, and all the goo and the slime you could ever dream of – this truly is peak nostalgia when it comes to Saturday morning cartoons. The movie, which came out in 1984, is also a must-have for your collection.

Of course, we can’t list all of the shows/movies on this list – there are hundreds of shows that we will never forget from our golden age. Wanna keep the nostalgia alive forever? It’s never been easier! Print some custom vinyl stickers or temporary tattoos of your favorite characters at StickerYou! With no minimums, it’s easy to create some awesome custom products, without breaking the bank.

Five Fun Matchbox Toys

Matchbox

Growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars were a big part of my play time.  Both lines produced a lot of really fun cars and play sets, and here are just five of my favorites from the Matchbox side of things through the years.  Don’t worry, I’ll cover the Hot Wheels side of things at some point in the near future.

 

Matchbox Car Wash

Matchbox Super Spin Car Wash

After a long day of play in the dirt and mud of the hills around our house, a good car wash was just what the cars and trucks needed.  This car wash was kind of automatic…as in you had to get the car in the wash and then turn a crank and it would go all the way through.  It featured real water jets, a foam roller “scrub” brush, and a spin dry feature.  The perfect play set for getting all of your cars clean before packing them away for another day.

Watch the commercial for the Matchbox Super Spin Car Wash HERE

 

Days of Thunder

Days of Thunder Cars from Hardees

In 1990, Jerry Bruckheimer’s Days of Thunder movie starring Tom Cruise hit theaters to a great reaction, and merchandise based on the movie started to flow.  One of the better pieces of merchandise to come along were the replica cars from Hardees based on the stock cars from the movie.  The five main cars featured in the movie were in the set, which allowed us younger viewers of the film to recreate all the action at home.

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