Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong

He looked like just another pretty blonde head on a Mr. Universe body. A Ken doll with better pecs and a sporty bathing suit. But Stretch Armstrong, first released by Kenner Toys in 1976, was much more than muscles; he was malleable. Bend him, pull him, twist him, tie him in a knot, it didn't even faze him. He laughed at your puny attempts to harm him (note: toy did not actually laugh). Stretch's limbs could be pulled to four times their natural span and still manage to squeeze back to normal size, without unsightly stretch marks. No, we aren't pulling your leg. Continue reading...

The Wonderful World of Disney

The Wonderful World of Disney

Once upon a time, a kindly old gentleman appeared in our collective living rooms on Sunday evenings. He offered a glimpse into his imaginative world featuring a literal treasure trove of family entertainment. Offering a mixture of classic live-action films, nature segments, and the company's iconic animation, the show went by many names over the years, appearing on just about every channel at one time or another. Most fondly remember it as The Wonderful World of Disney. Continue reading...

Paperboy

Paperboy

Space hero, cowboy, mythic warrior...all pale in comparison to Paperboy, the arcade game that allowed the player to work his own virtual paper route. It's a game that might very well have been boring if it wasn't for the fact that the main character wielded newspapers like lethal weapons, just perfect for launching through a glass window. Continue reading...

SpaghettiOs

SpaghettiOs

Isn't it funny how food can serve so aptly as a time machine? The mere mention of some items can miraculously transport us right back to the kitchen table of our youth. Such is the power of SpaghettiOs, those tiny rings of pasta packed in a strangely-sweet orange sauce. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that they have left an indelible mark on our memory with that brain-adhesive catch phrase/jingle "Uh, oh, SpaghettiOs!" Perhaps that's why, even in adulthood, when we know we should never eat such things, some of us are still compelled to grab a can of the stuff on occasion and toss it into the shopping cart when nobody is looking. Powerful stuff. Continue reading...

Top Gun

Top Gun

In 1986, moviegoers flocked to the big screen for a glimpse into the life of a group of naval fighter pilots in training, making friends with two fellows named Goose and Maverick along the way, and being treated to generous helping of visual eye-candy and a rousing soundtrack. Top Gun not only thrilled audiences of all ages, it also fueled one of the most effective recruiting campaigns ever launched by the US Navy. Continue reading...

See-N-Say

See ‘n Say

The premise is simple: pull the string and the toy talks to you. But a Mattel See 'n Say was so much more. It was an engaging and effective teaching tool, one that captivated every toddler from the 60s and beyond who ever tugged on that durable cord and heard a cow say moo. Continue reading...

Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell

On July 11, 1987, a prime-time special entitled Good Morning, Miss Bliss aired on NBC. Soon after, it became a series on the Disney Channel, starring The Parent Trap's Hayley Mills as the teacher, Miss Bliss. Among her students were a young Zack, Screech, and Lisa. Their principal was Mr. Belding, who could switch from best pal to stern disciplinarian at a moment's notice.The show moved to NBC in 1989, soon to become the network's first live-action hit since Land of the Lost in 1977. Playing with the big boys now, the show got rid of its title character as well as its title. Now known as Saved by the Bell, the new show featured Zack (the "preppie" stud), Screech (the nerd) and Lisa (aspiring dress designer), as well as their new friends Slater (the handsome jock), Kelly (the boys' object of desire) and Jessie (the intelligent girl). Continue reading...

Sega

Sega

Remember those old Charles Atlas comic book ads about the 98-lb. weakling who got sand kicked in his face by a bully, went home, bulked himself up, and came back a bully-kicking hero? Maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but Sega's home console story wouldn't be too out of place in Charles Atlas Land. And what's more, the former 98-lb. weakling is still enjoying the happy ending after more than 15 years in the home console business. Take that, beach bullies. Continue reading...