Christmas Day in Rainbowland – 1985 Holiday Toys

1985! The world got some good stuff in 1985 like Cherry Coke, Classic Coke, “We Are The World”, and Back to the Future. 1985 also found society in the middle of a huge media shift to the home video market.  VCR players were finally somewhat affordable to the average Joe and this would cause the…

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…

We Had A Near Riot – 1983 Holiday Toys

1983! What a year! Sally Ride became the first woman in space! ARPANET started using the Internet Protocol, effectively creating the internet as we know it! National Lampoon’s Vacation, Trading Places, and Return of the Jedi came out in theaters! The Police released “Every Breath You Take”! Motorola released the first consumer mobile phones! (Also the video…

Thanksgiving Is Tomorrow – The Facts of Life Reunion (2001)

I don’t normally push into the 2000’s here, but I guess it was just a matter of time.  And technically you could argue that this movie’s a reunion of a show from the ’80s so that makes it an ’80s thing. Also it’s almost Thanksgiving here in the US and Thanksgiving happens in this movie,…

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…

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…

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…