Weekend Reading 9/26/21

Welcome back to the Weekend Edition. It’s where I share with you faithful readers retro-inspired news as well as retro and nostalgia-themed stories and posts from around the web that I’ve come across over the last week…and sometimes some old favorites that I’ve bookmarked through the years. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we

In the News

More Nostalgia

Weekend Reading 9/19/21

  • You’ve probably gone a good portion of your life hearing about the ‘New Coke’ debacle in the mid-’80s and heard about how much of a flop, and an embarrassment, it was to Coca-Cola. But was it really? There are some who think that it was all a ploy to increase sales of original Coca-Cola. Read for yourself the story of how it all came about, and what resulted from all the uproar in 1985 in this piece from Damn Interesting, The American Gustation Crisis of 1985.

Video(s) of the Week

I’ve got not one, but two videos for you to enjoy this week. First up is a look at television in 1981. The 1981 fall season of television was a strange one due to the writer’s strike that was taking place in Hollywood. Networks had to put together whatever lineups they could since there were no new episodes of their popular shows of the time. Here’s a look at what the networks came up with in their place, and boy are there some real “gems” that hit the screen that season.

And for the seond video, in memory of the late, great Norm McDonald, it’s one of my favorite SNL bits of his, as he portrays Burt Reynolds, or should I say, Turd Ferguson, on Celebrity Jeopardy. RIP Norm.

Weekend Reading 09/05/21

Welcome to another Weekend Edition here on Retro Ramblings. It’s where I share with you fine folks all of the fun retro and nostalgia-themed news, stories, and posts I’ve found in my travels around the web over the week. Let’s hit it!

  • Unfortunately, we start this Weekend Edition off with some very sad news. America’s weatherman, Willard Scott sadly passed away at the age of 87 on Saturday. Scott was a fixture on NBC’s Today show from 1980 to 1996, and thus was a fixture of my mornings before school. While sitting at the breakfast table eating a big bowl of Morning Funnies cereal or a steaming hot bowl of Oatmeal Swrilers, I would watch Willard Scott giving out the weather or handing out birthday wishes to 100-year-olds on a 13-inch black and white television. He was also one of the best parts of the yearly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as he played sort of a color commentator for the event each year. He will be missed by fans nationwide.
  • Now that we’re into the month of September, the Halloween and Fall junk food game has really started ramping up. I’ve already found several cool things that I’ve highlighted in Junk Food Finds posts here on Retro Ramblings. You can check them out here and here to see what’s already hit store shelves. The one I’m most happy about is the new Monster Mash cereal, which will undoubtably be the biggest hitter of the season.
  • Also with the coming of September comes Dinosaur Dracula’s annual “Countdown to Halloween”. For those of you living under a rock, Matt dedicates September and October to the Halloween season on his blog and celebrates it with an awesome assortment of posts, videos, and podcasts that always hit all the right notes and entertains like nothing else on the web. His first entry to the series has already dropped, so head over there and watch his first video of the season, Mad Matt’s Latest Bag of Halloween Junk.
  • You know I love reminiscing about old foods that are no longer with us, and most of them you all enjoyed too. But there have been several items through the years that deserved their early demises. Now while I fondly remember several items on this list of Top 10 Bizarre Cancelled Food Products, some got what was coming to them.
  • Since you’re here reading this, you probably have a love of old toys. If that’s true, then you need to listen to last week’s episode of the TRN Time Machine Podcast with Jason and myself, because we go over more old toys we always wanted but never had. Give it a listen here and hear us talk about old toys like American Gladiator action figures, The Animal!, Battle Ball, Big Trak, and more.
  • I’d like to point you in the direction of a great follow on Twitter…@oldschool80s…or Old School TIm as we like to call him. Everyday he’s filling your timeline with great tidbits and anniversaries from the ’80s, and he writes fantasctic articles over at The Retro Network too! So besides giving him a follow on Twitter, also be sure to check out his archives over at TRN. I like to use space in The Weekend Edition to highlight great work by creative people, and Tim is one of the absoulte best.

In the News

More Nostalgia

Video of the Week

I had something else in mind for the Video of the Week, but in light of Willard Scott’s passing, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight his career a little. So this week’s video was taken from an episode of The Today Show from several years ago as a special tribute was paid to him and highlight clips were included. So enjoy this look back at the remarkable career of a remarkable man, Willard Scott.

Old McDonald’s Tray Liners

For this edition of Retro Ramblings, I’m doing something a little different. I’m highlighting a few old tray liners from McDonalds. You know what I’m talking about, those pieces of paper that would be on your tray. The ones you’d spend the whole meal going over with a fine tooth comb back before we had smart phones to stare at while eating.

Batman Returns

This old liner would certainly give you something to do while enjoying your Happy Meal. Batman Returns was a big deal in 1992 when it hit theaters, and this tray liner does a great job of building the hype for younger fans like myself.

Super Mario Brothers 3

My God this thing is beautiful. These were on the trays at the same time they were doing the Super Mario Brothers 3 Happy Meals. Not only is this gorgeous to look at, but it also featured games too! That was a bonus on top of the Super Mario Brothers 3 toy you most likely had already started playing with as soon as you could get it out of your Happy Meal box.

Happy Pail Happy Meal

Here’s another nice piece of artwork that once adorned plastic trays in a fast-food restaurant. I remember getting these Happy Meals at least twice…maybe in the same season, but I’m not sure. But I distinctly remember having the pail to play with at the beach, and again at the lake. I’d have to check to be sure, but I think they did these pails in more than just one summer.

McDonald’s McPizza

Oh goodness…the McPizza. One of McDonald’s epic failures from a financial standpoint, but at the same time, one of their most fondly remembered menu items. My cousin was a huge fan, but I could take it or leave it.

Shanghai Chicken McNuggets

There’s a lot of nostalgic love out there for the Shanghai McNuggets, and for good reason. The three sauces! Those new additions were so good. They even kicked the eating difficulty up a notch by adding chopsticks to the meal. I don’t think this meal in this incarnation would fly in 2022, but what a time it was to be alive back then.