About Mickey

Mickey was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. He is the co-founder of TheRetroNetwork.com, runs ComicBookAdArchive.com, and is the host here at Retro Ramblings, a blog filled with nostalgia. When not writing about old stuff, he's out fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. He also makes damn good chili.

WWF Wrestlers Performing Land of 1000 Dances

Anytime I’m down or feeling blue, nothing picks me up quite like watching the wrestlers of the WWF from the 1985-ish era singing “Land of 1000 Dances”. Not just for the silliness of the song, but also for the exagerrated actions of the wrestlers in the video.

If you’re having a bad day, this should lift you a little. If you’re already having a good day, this will make it a little better. And yes, that’s Meatloaf playing the drums. Your day is already a little better because of that last sentence.

O’Boisies Potato Chips

Those little Keebler elves have made a lot of tasty treats in their day.  Unfortunately, a lot of them left the shelves far too quickly.  O’Boisies, for me, is the primary example of this.  They hit the market in the mid-late ’80s and were gone by the early ’90s.

Keebler always tried to claim that O’Boisie’s weren’t a “chip”.  I’m not sure what they thought they were, but they were the finest example of a potato chip that I can think of.  The flavor in these things packed quite a punch.  It seemed like they had a higher salt content than other chips, and their main feature was little pockets of air baked into them.  This made them one of the crunchier chips I can recall….and when it comes to potato chips, I want them crunchy! 

You could get O’Boisies in Original, Sour Cream & Onion, and BBQ flavors.  I’ve never been a fan of BBQ chips, but I was all in on the other two flavors.  You could always find these chips in our pantry for an after-school snack, or a Saturday afternoon pick-me-up while playing Nintendo.  But my favorite memory of them is that my Mother and I would sit at night snacking on them while watching Nick at Nite when my Dad was out of town and my brother was at work.  And in recent years, she and I would mention them to one another and reflect back on those good times. 

Toys I Never Had: Hit Stix

Now while I don’t remember very much about this toy, I DO remember being super pumped when I saw the commercials. The producers did a very good job at making these things sound incredible. Supposedly, you could walk around playing “air drums” but actually produce drum sounds. Pretty cool concept.

They were a combo of fluorescent orange and yellow, a pretty extreme and eye-catching color combination back in the early ’90s. Each stick had a thin cord running from it to a sound box that you wore on a belt. All you had to do was make a striking motion in the air like you would while playing actual drums, and the sticks registered this “hit” and sent a signal to the soundbox that emitted a sound as if you had just rapped a snare drum.

I wanted these things so much. I would lay around and daydream about being the coolest kid in school if I had those things. Walking through the halls, playing a radical solo, with lots of girls following me and talking about how cool I was. I even joined the school band and chose to play percussion, just in the hope that the band director would let me play Hit Stix instead of an actual snare drum.  Sigh. It just wasn’t meant to be I guess.

Wrestlemania 2 VHS Tape Advertisement

With Wrestlemania 40 about to kick off this weekend, I’ve been thinking back on some of my favorite memories of the yearly event that launched way back in 1985. And my earliest memory of Wrestlemania is watching the Wrestlemania 2 VHS tape with my cousin Tim.

I wasn’t into wrestling yet when the first Wrestlemania took place in 1985. And I was just starting to get into the WWF when Wrestlemania 2 rolled around a year later. I became aware of their existence during the buildup to the event. But when the VHS hit our local video store, Tim and I couldn’t wait to watch it and we weren’t disappointed.

The cage match main event between WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy was a big draw for us, as was the 20-Man Over the Top Battle Royal that featured stars of the NFL mixing it up with WWF grapplers. A third match was of particular interest to me as one of my favorites of the time, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat would be in action.

Tim and I watched that tape twice when we rented it and loved every second of it. Even today I go back and watch the whole event about once every two years. Wrestlemania 2 usually isn’t high on fans lists of best Wrestlemanias, but the nostalgia I have for the event has kept it solidly in my top ten.

But that $39.95 price tag in 1986 though, holy cow, how did people afford these things back then?!?

Pizza Hut Street Ball

Pizza Hut has had some of the best premium items in the history of fast food, and maybe one of their coolest offerings was their Street Balls they rolled out during March Madness for a few years in the early ’90s. Kinda like I’m doing with this post…trying to capitalize on the season. The street balls were non-standard-looking basketballs with custom prints that reflected what Pizza Hut thought the culture on the streets was like.

I had the one featured in the video above and used it all the time in my driveway shooting hoops by myself or playing a game of Around the World with my neighbor. I somehow felt like it made me a better player, but it probably just made me look like an even bigger doofus than I already did as a skinny, pasty-white white boy in the rural Appalachians trying to dribble between my legs on the way for a layup.

While I actually did play basketball in school and was a really good shot from downtown, I just didn’t look like a real ball player. What made matters worse was the fact that every one of us lanky kids who got one of these balls would bring them to practice trying to look cool. That doesn’t work when everybody brings one.

But I’ll say again, these street balls were a great piece of promotion by Pizza Hut, and anyone who was around back then surely remembers them.