Poppin’ Breakin’ Music Machine – 1984 Holiday Toys

1984! Bring it! 1984 gave us some cool stuff – the world’s first Macintosh computer, the first untethered space walk and, course, UK “Supergroup” Band Aid was formed. Robots seemed to be the order of the year for the holiday season – there were high-end offerings, low-end offerings, things for kids and grown-ups alike.  Society…

A Ride on Sunshine – The Dream Called EPCOT (1981)

If you were at the Magic Kingdom on a hot summer day in 1981, you might have ducked into a little theater to catch some A/C and seen this video.  “The Dream Called EPCOT”, a promotional film for the upcoming EPCOT park, a “we’re working on it” update to anyone wondering what was up with…

I’m Not Exaggerating – The Sierra Newsletter (Spring 1988)

Sierra On-Line spent the ’80s and early ’90s building an impressive catalog of adventure games, titles that were pointed to as examples of the best the technology of the moment could offer.  They built franchises that stood the test of time: King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Quest For Glory all…

Good Spookin’ Terms – Halloween Ads (Various)

It’s funny; when I look back at my personal Halloween memories there aren’t many that reflect the actual act of trick-or-treating. There are a couple, sure – one year some big kids stole my haul, an actual pillowcase full  of candy, so technically a trick-or-treat memory but one I’d rather skip – but by and…

Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)

Is there a Will Vinton seasonal TV special that’s not an absolute classic? If there is, I haven’t seen it yet. 1991’s “Claymation Comedy Of Horrors” continues the streak, with some of the best stop motion work I’ve ever seen. The story? Eh. But the animation? Classic. “Claymation Comedy of Horrors” opens with a flashback…

A Halloween Joke – The Crown of Bogg (1981)

Before ALF, there was Bogg.  Paul Fusco, most known for being the creator of ALF, bestowed this Halloween special upon the Showtime pay-TV audience in 1981. I call it a Halloween special because a) it happens to take place at the same time Halloween occurs and b) that’s how Showtime pitched it to viewers.  Past…

USA Cartoon Express – Monster Bash (1993)

The USA Cartoon Express broke a lot of ground in the 1980s and 90s with its approach to a kids block. Tucked away on the then-still-nascent cable giant lived a one to two hour block, depending on where it was scheduled, that was all for kids.  The block was a full takeover of the network,…

That’s Why Tony Gets The Big Money – Pick Axe Pete (1982)

There are clear winners and clear losers when you look across the history of video game franchises.  Some winners undoubtedly deserve their accolades, the perfect combination of charm and gameplay (looking at you, Mario!) Sometimes the winners becomes losers in the long run as their reputation becomes tainted by lackluster followup titles (looking at you,…

Put A Label On It! – Casio Devices (1980-90s)

When it came to ways to get technology  into your day-to-day life, Casio had some pretty big ideas.  Looking in hindsight from the vantage point of a world that has all-in-one smartphones in it, the number of big ideas they had really stands out. And that’s sort of the problem for Casio: they were all…

This Fantastic Collection – Chipmunk Punk (1980)

Here’s another quick dose of Chipmunks – something that came out in the ‘80s but is more in line with the pre-TV-show Chipmunks.  It’s “Chipmunk Punk”, a “fantastic collection” of top 40 hits that really couldn’t be less punk at all.  The only thing remotely punk about this collection is the artwork, and that doesn’t…