Weekend Reading 06/19/21

Here is this week’s curated collection of retro, geek, and nostalgia-themed posts and articles from around the web for you to relax with this weekend. If you know of something I should check out you can leave the link in the comments and I may add it to next week’s edition.

Video of the Week

While recording this week’s episode of the TRN Time Machine Podcast, Jason off-handedly mentioned the video he done at one point called Memory Jogger: The Movie. It’s a film he shot when he returned home a while back, and he and childhood Wyatt went back to all of their old haunts to check things out. I’m highly intrigued by it since I’ve heard a lot of Jason’s story and plan to watch it. I figured I’d make it the video of the week for this Weekend Edition so we could all watch it together. Enjoy.

Weekend Reading 06/13/21

Here’s this week’s curated collection of fun retro and nostalgic posts and stories from around the world wide web that I’ve come across this week. And remember, if you know of something you think I would enjoy reading, then leave a comment with the link so I can check it out!


From the Retro Ramblings Archives

Video of the Week

Watching Chad open that pack of American Gladiators cards made me really nostalgic for the old show, so I headed over to YouTube to find a clip of the greatest moment of the series to share with you. It’s from the 1992 Grand Championship episode and features an incredible ending. The video only features the final Eliminator obstacle course so it’s not that long, but I promise, it’s worth your time to watch the climatic sequence.

A Tribute to Nerds Cereal

You know me and food. We have a love/hate relationship. I love it when it’s around, but I hate it when it’s gone. Just like Nerds cereal. Loved it from the moment I saw it…and have hated the loss of it since it left store shelves. It’s just one of many kinds of cereal I miss. Let’s pay it a little tribute here in this edition of Retro Ramblings.

The Nerds candy itself hit the market in 1983 and was an immediate hit with kids everywhere. Due to the huge success of the candy, Nerds cereal came along two years later.  It hit the market in 1985 and featured the same gimmick that made the candy popular by featuring not one, but two flavors in every box. And since you could get the candy in several two-flavor varieties, the cereal followed suit and offered two different, two-flavored options as well. You weren’t restricted to a lone new cereal on the shelf, oh no, you had your choice of boxes where one featured the dual choices of Grape N’ Strawberry, and the other box featured Orange N’ Cherry. 

If you take a good look at the two boxes pictured above you’ll notice another super-cool feature about Nerds cereal. So not only did you get two different cereals in each box, but you also got two different cereal premiums in each box! They were going all-in on the two cereal theme by putting a prize in each side of the box. And not only that but there were different prizes offered in each of the two boxes. That was a savvy marketing gimmick right there. I’m sure kids all over the country used the argument with their parents that they needed all four toys in an attempt to get more of this fantastic cereal.

It wasn’t just the fronts of the boxes that featured the premiums to be found inside as the backs of the boxes did as well. As a matter of fact, the pictures below show that each box featured a different back panel design for each of the cereals inside. They were truly treating this as two different cereals which just happened to be housed in the same container.

I do wonder about something though. Did both boxes of Nerds cereal come in the same case, or were grocery stores having to order a case of each? Based on my experience in the grocery business, I would think each set of flavors would have been ordered separately, but maybe this was different. If any of you reading this have any idea, please let the rest of us know.

And if all these fantastic features weren’t enough to make Nerds cereal memorable, Ralston and Nerds went even further to double-down on the dual variety theme when they introduced the special Nerds cereal bowl.

    For just a couple of proofs of purchase and fifty cents, you could send away and get the official Nerds cereal bowl.  That thing was so awesome.  It was divided into two different compartments so you could enjoy both flavors in the same bowl, yet still keep them separate.  But the sweetest feature of it was that it had a gate built into the dividing wall of the bowl!  You could raise the gate a little and let the milk flow between compartments.  Or you could raise it all the way and let both cereal flavors mingle together.  As far as main-in offers go, this one is in the top ten of my lifetime.

    I’m not sure if I had the bowl or not. Part of my brain seems to remember it, but the other half tells me I’m crazy because if I did actually have it, I would have never let it go. In the past, I’ve sat and stared off in the distance trying to dig into the deepest recesses of my mind searching for the answer to this question.

    Nerds cereal was perfect for its time. It had a great product that it was based on (the candy), it had several unbelievable gimmicks, and it had an eager audience waiting to eat it up (all of us 7-year-olds). In today’s much more health-conscious environment, I don’t know that Nerds cereal could get made. But I know one thing, if it did, I’d take the ride all over again.

    Highlights From a 1989 KayBee Toys Ad

    I love sifting through old catalogs and sale papers from the ’80s and early ’90s. They’re filled with so much nostalgia with so many toys I had, and those I didn’t have but wanted gracing every page. For this Retro Ramblings entry, I’m going to highlight a few cool things I found in a KayBee Toys sale paper from 1989.

    Nintendo Games!

    I’ve already documented my love for all things Nintendo here on the blog, and this ad for games is certainly in line with my love for all things Nintendo. Featured in the top left is my favorite game for the system, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. I also see some of my other favorites including Bionic Commando and WWF Wrestlemania. I could sit and look through old game ads all day and continue to drool over just how awesome we had it with our game systems back in the day.

    Play-Doh Make-a-Meal Spaghetti Factory!

    Play-Doh was never really a top toy in my book unless I had a cool playset like this for it. There was just so much you could do with sets like these with all the various presses and cutting tools. Besides making plates of spaghetti and meatballs like the set intended, you could do other things with them. Like make your own cool monsters with long stringy hair. The various playsets offered almost limited play that other toys couldn’t.

    Micro Machines Super City Tool Box Playset!

    In the past, I chronicled my fascination with the Super City Tool Box in a Classic Commercials post. While I never actually had the toy, I always wanted it. I had more than my fair share of Micro Machines, and several playsets, but this one always eluded me. I’m going to have to track one down on eBay now I think.

    1989 Baseball Cards!

    1988 was the zenith of baseball card collecting, well, until Covid-19 hit in 2020 and the hobby exploded all over again. But with 1988 being such a banner year for the business, it was no surprise that a ton of cards were also produced in 1989. Not all of them were good. Like these Bowman cards featured here in the paper. I had some Bowman ’89 cards in my collection back in the early ’90s, and they just weren’t good. They were slightly larger than other cards and were troublesome to get to fit into card pages. Plus they just seemed to be of cheaper quality. But all of that said, that would have been a good price to pick up a complete set of anything back then since finding all 492 cards in single packs would have cost a fortune.

    Domino Rally Basic Set!

    So in the early ’90s, I thought Domino Rally was just so cool. Forget the fact that I could have just taken all the sets of old school dominos that were scattered around our house and accomplished the same thing, I had to have the brightly colored, thin plastic dominos that came in these sets to set up and then knock over. Plus, Domino Rally sets came with cool pieces like bridges and loops that had dominos attached that you could add to your falling masterpiece. These things really upped the falling dominos game to new heights.

    Sega Genesis!

    Being 1989, I’m thinking this is in the early days of the release of the system. That and I don’t see Sonic the Hedgehog’s mug plastered all over the ad. I do see Altered Beast though, and I know that was an early hit for the system. I was always a Super Nintendo guy, and I always will be. But even in saying that, I would be a fool to not want to highlight this from the ad. Any old game system is worth a mention in posts like these.

    Well, there’s six highlights from an old KayBee Toys sale paper from 1989. I encourage you to check out our full scan of the entire thing in the Time Capsules section of the site and pick out your own highlights. If you do, drop them in the comments below so I can check out what you thought the top picks were. I always get excited about stuff like that.

      Weekend Reading 06/06/21

      Here is this week’s curated collection of some fun retro and nostalgia themed articles from across the web this week. I hope you can find the time to sit back, relax, and take a few strolls down memory lane with what I’ve found for you this week.

      Curated Links