Mad Magazine Trading Cards (1992)

Here’s another fun opening of an old pack of trading cards I did as part of The Retro Network’s TRNTV Wax Pack Flashback series. In this video, I open and thumb through a pack of Mad Magazine cards from 1992. Back in the day, I never was able to snag any of these, but eventually bought a set of the Spy vs. Spy hologram chase cards. Did I get lucky and pull a hologram from this pack? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Memory Jogger Podcast: The Dukes of Hazzard

In this Memory Jogger Mystery episode, Jason and Wyatt randomly choose from a group of topics (without any prior show notes) and see how much they can remember. After sharing their experience, they can then cheat by using the Google machine to find anything they might have missed from memory.

Leading off the show this week is the hosts’ reaction to their first voicemail regarding their previous topic of compact discs.

The random topic chosen during the show is The Dukes of Hazzard! Jason and Wyatt jog their memories of watching the hit TV show as kids, what toys they had, and overall thoughts on the series that aired for 7 seasons. Superfan Wyatt as tells about obtaining autographs of the stars while visiting Cooter’s Last Stand and the hosts remember their trip to Covington, GA in search of filming locations for the show.

Give the episode a listen in the player below, and since you’ll more than likely like what you hear, be ready to click on the Subscribe button to get more fun episodes:

Links to some of the things they discuss in the episode:

Some of My Favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons of the ’80s

For today’s installment of Retro Ramblings, I’m you with a few of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons from the ’80s. I put a couple of stipulations on myself for this one. First, only Saturday morning cartoons. No before or after-school syndicated cartoons, so that knocked stuff out like He-Man and G.I. Joe. Second, all the cartoons on this list had to debut in the ’80s, so no Scooby-Doo either. I’ll tackle all of those missing cartoons at some point in the future, but for now, let’s get into these Saturday morning cartoons of the ’80s!


The Smurfs

To me, The Smurfs were not only one of my favorite cartoons, but I think the case could be made that it was one of the best cartoons to come out of the decade. I loved the medieval setting along with all of the forest stuff in it as well. For some reason, I was always a fan of seeing stuff get built, and The Smurfs had a lot of that. I remember when Handy had to get everyone together to build a dam. I’m sure I pulled out some LEGOs and tried to recreate that at some point during that Saturday afternoon.

Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears

A lot about why I loved the Smurfs also applies to why I loved The Gummi Bears. Medieval theme? Check. Lots of forest action? Check. Getting to see them build stuff? Check off that one as well. Beyond the Smurfs though, the Gummi Bears had such rich colors in its animation, and the lore behind it I found more engaging than that of The Smurfs. It hit on all cylinders for me and was a cartoon that I dared not miss on Saturday mornings.

Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling

Being into pro wrestling like I was, there was no way I wasn’t going to watch this one. I can remember knowing about it well in advance of its debut, probably from constant hyping on WWF Superstars if I had to guess. But even though most of the plots had little to nothing to do with actual wrestling, it was still a really fun cartoon. As much as I enjoyed the animated part, I believe I enjoyed the live-action comedy scenes just as much.

Mr. T

I didn’t know any boy at school around my age who didn’t watch The A-Team. And I also didn’t know any boy around my age at school whose favorite character on that show wasn’t B.A. Barracus played by Mr. T. We were all totally enamored with the guy. Hell, I still am. I even wrote a feature for The Retro Network about 12 Things You May Not Know About Mr. T. So the cartoon was just a natural extension for me. I don’t know how or why they landed on the concept of having Mr. T coaching a teen gymnastics team, but whatever, it worked. The stories were simple, but the action was fun. And much like Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, I loved the live-action segments with Mr. T himself.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

My older brother had been into comic books since the late ’70s, and I would see his books and want to read them, but I was just at an age where they couldn’t hold my attention long enough for me to actually read them. So having this cartoon to watch at that time filled my need for comic book characters in a much easier-to-digest format. I loved it then for what it was, but now as an adult, I appreciate it even more when I go back and watch it because the show featured so many cool characters over its run. If you haven’t watched it in a while, I suggest you give it another look on Disney+.

That’s it for this edition of Retro Ramblings. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of more posts here for you to go explore.

Highlights From a Johnson Smith Company Ad

While the name may not ring a bell to everyone, I’m sure you grew up seeing these ads in comic books and marveling at the wonders they promised. Let’s check out some of the items offered that intrigue me in this very weird edition of Retro Ramblings.


Click the image for a larger, full-resolution version!

These ads changed through the years as new products were introduced, but I don’t think they ever really discontinued many items. I would assume everything was pretty much always available because I seem to remember actual bound catalogs being available at some point. I always wanted things I saw in these ads, but could never save any of my allowances on weekends long enough to get a money order to get anything with. So let’s look at some of the things I found interesting through my younger years in this ad.

X-Ray Vision Glasses

Ok. So what red-blooded pre-teen boy wouldn’t want something like this? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what we would have in mind when ordering these. That little line there about being able to see-through clothes probably sold more pairs of these than anything else. But according to the fabulous book, Mail-Order Mysteries, these were just an optical illusion created by feather-like things between two pieces of cardboard with little holes in them. What a bummer. I wish I had never read that, as I had spent my whole life wondering “what if?”.

Pocket Spy Telescope

Now this is a cool little gadget. Imagine carrying around a telescope in your shirt pocket. I know it couldn’t possibly magnify things too much, but for something that small that fits in your pocket, it had to magnify enough to make it cool. It could have been the start of a budding spy career.

Secret Weapon Spy Watch

Speaking of a spy career, this watch seems like it would have been great for that schoolyard profession. Mainly because if you got caught spying, you could fire a shot at whoever caught you to allow you to get away without being actually apprehended. Surely this watch would have gone unnoticed by anyone as being anything other than a normal old watch.

Smoke From Your Fingertips

I always had this idea that I could use this stuff to make classmates fear me. I mean, wouldn’t that be scary? If you were swelling up against some kid in your class, and all of a sudden he popped a puff of smoke from his fingertips in anger, wouldn’t that make you take a step back? That’s what I had in mind when I wanted to get my hands on this stuff. Bud sadly, it apparently was just some goo that went between your fingers, and when you pulled them apart, it came apart in tiny strings that just kind of looked like smoke. Curses. Foiled again.

1001 Free Things

So this may very well be the best value on the whole page. I mean, it only costs $1.25, and you’re gonna find out how to get over 1000 things for free! Nothing else on the page can even come close to this kind of value. Maps, toys, games, jewelry, coins, stamps…c’mon, this thing is the mother lode. Of all the things I’ve highlighted here, I think this is the one I wish I could go back in time and order. Even if it was junk, I think it would provide days and weeks of cool fun as you browsed the listings, possibly sent away for some of the free stuff, and then waited anxiously for it to arrive. Simpler times.

Classic Cereal Commercials

This edition of Retro Ramblings is kind of a combined post. A combination of a classic commercials posts mixed with a forgotten foods post. It’s two great tastes that taste great together! Let’s watch some old cereal commercials and let our mouths water and our memory glands tingle.


Honey Nut Cheerios starring Hulk Hogan (1985)

My earliest memories of eating cereal center around eating Cheerios. I guess my Mom wanted me to eat a healthier cereal like that instead of the really sugary kinds. That was until I saw this commercial. Being the huge wrestling fan that I was, I wasn’t hearing anything about not switching my Cheerios to Honey Nut Cheerios because Hulk Hogan liked them. It wasn’t long until the switch was made, and then once the sugary cereal barrier was broken, there was no turning back.

Mr. T Cereal (1980 something)

Of course, I was on the A-Team bandwagon from the beginning, and yes, B.A.Baracus was my favorite character. Then the Mister T cartoon hit, and I was all in on that too. So when Mr. T cereal dropped, I was down. I can’t even remember what it tasted like, but the commercial mentions brown sugar, so it was a sweetie. And since I had already popped my sweet cereal cherry, this was a logical step. But the song in this commercial. I ain’t gonna lie, that’s just a bad jingle. But with the excitement and the urgency in the vocalist’s voice, you knew you just had to get to the store and get a box of this.

Smurf Berry Crunch Cereal (1983)

Back in the early to mid-’80s, what kid worth their salt didn’t like the Smurfs? It was hard NOT to like them because the little blue bastards were everywhere. They had the hit cartoon, toys, pajamas, clocks, socks, velvet posters, and so much other crap, you really couldn’t get away from them. And then came the cereal! And if you were already a fan of the cartoon, this commercial was just like an extension of that. It made it feel like buying a box of this stuff was your duty as a fan. I bought in hook, line, and sinker. But of all the cereals on this list, this may have been my favorite. It was pretty much like Cap’n Crunch Berries cereal, but with a more fun theme. In the future, we’ll have to cover the sequel cereal, Smurf Magic Berries. That stuff was the shit too!

Kellogg’s Nut & Honey Crunch (1987)

This cereal was so good. Since in theory, it would seem healthier than the other cereals already mentioned, I guess my Mom was more than ok with buying this for me. And of the cereals on this list, this by far had the best hook to the commercial with everyone saying the name of the cereal, but whoever is around takes it the wrong way. It was a simple gag that they could do a lot with, and they did. Like the spoof at the end with the cowboys. I imagine calling one of those tough sumbitches “honey” would have resulted in a beatdown of the first order. It was a different time. But the cereal was damn tasty.

Kellogg’s Big Mixx Cereal (1990)

What in the hell is that mascot supposed to be? If you listen to the people in the commercial, they’re just as confused as I am. While it may come across as hokey, it’s still a pretty cool visual mixing up the different animals to emphasize the mix of the cereal. The moose head is the best part, and that’s not up for debate. I don’t ever remember having this cereal, but these days, it seems like I would embrace it like a warm blanket on a cold night. This is one that needs to come back to store shelves. And bring back the commercial too. It’s one I wouldn’t mind sitting through while streaming an old episode of Buck Rogers or something equally as awesome.