For Digestion’s Sake – Thanksgiving Ads (1940s-1990s)

Holiday traditions in the United States grow and change over the years, but there’s one constant: everyone wants a piece of your holiday spending money.  These Thanksgiving ads ranging from 1942 to 1991 showcase the different angles these companies took to try and get at your wallet. In doing so they speak to the design…

Sad, Sorry, Spooky – “Halloween Party” (1950s)

As if I needed further contradiction to my lament on the stale modern state of Halloween than the one I received from my four-year-old son, here’s seven minutes of proof that Halloween in the 1950’s was about as exciting as eating a rice cake. The title is misleading; there’s no “Party” here.  Instead there’s a…

Five Things – 05.15.17 – Fall Has Come To Millbrook

Nintendo Fun Club – April 1988 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link I played the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for about an hour this morning. I didn’t have a ton of time to play, so I didn’t want to get into anything too big. Instead I just collected some food and…

Five Things – 1.30.17 – I Guess You’d Look Like A Garden

Isaac Asimov’s Robots VHS Mystery Game This 1986 VHS game envisioned a murder mystery set in the universe of Isaac Asimov’s Robot books.  Loosely based on the book Caves of Steel, it’s an ambitious effort and carries a high production value – particularly for the mid-1980s, when so many were getting away with so much less….

Five Things – 01.16.17 – Once Or Twice In History

Kid n’ Play Cartoon I’ve watched Hammerman. I’ve written about Hammerman.  This is no Hammerman. Kid ‘n Play premiered in 1990 on NBC. It followed the by-then-standard formula of a cartoon celebrity show where the featured celebrities appear in live-action wrappers at the beginning and end of each story, and a mediocre effort is sandwiched in-between….

Five Things – 12.19.16 – Go Find Your Mother

The Spirit of Christmas This strange Christmas special first hit broadcast in 1953, presented by “Your Telephone Company”. It was really Bell Telephone, but for some reason that’s never mentioned in the special. That’s just the first of many things that feel….off….about this video. The unnamed host addresses us in a poor overdub, explaining how…

Five Things – 11.28.16 – I Doubt My Feet Can Disco

The Burger King Kingdom McDonaldland gets some flak for its suspicious similarities to the world of H.R. Pufinstuf, and alot of that flak is deserved, but at least there’s some charm and originality to McDonaldland that redeems the effort.  Burger King’s 1976 attempt to rip off McDonaldland, on the other hand… there’s no redemption here. We’ve talked about…

Five Things – 11.21.16 – He Collected Old Things From Ships

Sapphire & Steel If there was ever a premise that deserved a better go than it got, it’s the 1979 ITV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Sapphire & Steel. Sapphire & Steel focuses on the adventures of the two titular characters, transdimensional Operatives charged with keeping our timeline intact. Not really clear on what’s meant by ‘our’ timeline – Earth’s? This whole dimensions?-…

Five Things – 11.14.16 – Ticky Tacky

Homes Of The Future Walter Cronkite takes us on a 1967 journey through the home of 2001. Like most “blank-of-the-future” media from the ’50s and ’60s, lots of predictions hit the mark and others are way off.  A house with a recirculated water supply, drawing power from its own fuel cells, and a central point…

Five Things – 10.31.16 – All Manner of Ghoul and Monster

Once Upon a Midnight Scary The title of this 1979 Horror Anthology gives me a “Jonathan Livingston MURDER” vibe. That’s a compliment. Once Upon a Midnight Scary is made up of three children’s (scary) stories and was broadcast on CBS in October of 1979. Vincent Price – he of the infinite availability – hosts the set,…