Five Things – 12.5.16 – I Can’t Sell It To You

Deck the Halls With Wacky Walls Wacky Wall Walkers were a very popular toy for a brief period in the early 1980s.  They were these rubber octopi that were sticky; you threw them against the wall and they would slowly “walk” down until the adhesive gave out and they just fell to the floor.  Super popular…

Five Things – 04.18.16 – Foxes Will Be Destroyed

Future Magazine Covers The relatively short-run Future, and later Future Life, magazine featured sci-fi stories and futurology from 1979 to 1981.  It included some pretty top-shelf contributors like Harlan Ellison, Roger Zelazney, and Issac Asimov and the interviews of high profile figures in the science and science fiction community are impressive but what really stands the test of…

Five Things – 03.07.16 – Tiny the Mustache Twirler Is Pointing At Me

Popular Science Covers Here’s a roundup of some gorgeous covers of the long-running Popular Science magazine. Retrofuturism bliss ahead! I particularly love this one featuring automotive issues as devils!   Blankety Blanks This 1977 game show is an Australian version of The Match Game. Pretty much line-by-line. They even had their own Charles Nelson Reilly! It’s probably my own…

Five Things – 11.23.15 – An Attractive Customer Is Courteously Assisted

1. Boosting is a Business – Here’s a 1950 informational film detailing various techniques used by “professional” shoplifters.  The tactics used range from pedestrian “grab-and-put-it-in-your-pocket” theft to coordinated operations involving multiple people  Beyond the actual shoplifting there’s a lot to love about this film: the locations, the fashions, and the little slice-of-life glimpes you get…

Five Things – 11.16.15 – The Battleground Is The TV Set

1. 1986 Hardees Training Video – On the surface this is a pretty pedestrian video as far as 1980s training films go – there’s no music video, no stylized effects, no imaginary flights of fancy.  Upon deeper inspection there’s some good stuff here, though, and a pretty good snapshot of 1986 life. While there’s not…

Five Things – 09.14.15 – The Faint Pressure Of Starlight

1. Mars and Beyond – This episode of Disneyland, the ABC show that would eventually become The Wonderful World of Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and about a dozen other variations on that title, presents the history and future of speculation on the rest of the Solar System and man’s eventual place in it. This episode…

Five Things – 09.07.15 – Of Course You Want To Memorize Some Commands

1. The Martinettis Bring A Computer Home – It’s strange to see Apple playing this sort of game, but the ’90s were a different era for the company.  This 1995 infomercial presents the Martinetti family and their experience with their first family computer, the Macintosh Performa. This half-hour “program” plays like a sitcom without jokes,…

Five Things – 06.15.15 – I’m Doing Business And I Am In The Dough

1.  The Drak Pack – What if Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster had kids? I can buy Dracula and maybe Wolfman, but I have a hard time seeing how that was possible with Frankenstein’s Monster.  What if the descendants of those monsters inherited their powers? Medium believable. What if those kids were ashamed of the menace…

Five Things – 05.18.15 – Polished Floors Are Man Traps

1. The California Raisins: The Grape Escape – Here’s a puzzler: it’s the ’90s and the California Raisins can do no wrong as a franchise. Neither can Capcom, the developer of such hit original franchises as Mega Man and licensed home-runs like the Duck Tales games.  So why was it that a NES game based on the California…