Tempest arcade game

Tempest

Placing unsuspecting gamers right in the heart of a terrifying storm, Atari's Tempest literally put a whole new perspective on video games. With dazzling color vector graphics (an arcade first), the game was set in a gravity well, a forced-perspective structure with your claw-like yellow "Blaster" skirting around the outside rim. From inside the blackness, hordes of enemies approached, sliding up and around the walls, ready to destroy you on contact. Continue reading...

Battleship Game

Battleship

Strategically place your fleet out of harms way and pray that your number (and letter) doesn’t come up. In the seas of war, torpedoes are flying and coordinates barked at an ever-increasing pace. It’s going to take a little logic and a lot of luck to win this battle, all fought within the confines of dueling plastic L-shaped game boards. This is Milton Bradley's Battleship, “the classic naval combat game!” Continue reading...

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong

Even when apes are angry and throwing things at you, they still retain a certain adorable charm which is why the big gorilla on a rampage in Manhattan is actually the tragic hero of 1933's King Kong. Nintendo might have gambled on simian appeal but could not have foreseen the lasting popularity their Donkey Kong character would have for decades to come. The game, released in 1981, would spawn countless sequels, spin-off and imitators - and even launched the career of Donkey Kong's nemesis, Jumpman. Continue reading...

Airplane

Airplane!

David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams teamed up in 1980 to direct the spoof to end, or rather, start all spoofs. Airplane! took the disaster movie genre and wrung every hilarious contrivance from it, distilled the essence and presented audiences with pure comedy gold. With jokes and sight gags fired at a machine-gun pace, there is nary a minute of this film that isn't funny, even after years of multiple viewings. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

KISS

KISS

Imagine that you’re a kid just entering your teen years - right about that time in life when listening to music begins to coincide with the rebellious streak that accompanies adolescence. In the 50s, you might have latched on to the gyrating ways of Elvis Presley. The 60s might have drawn you into the psychedelic wonderland of The Beatles. In the 70s, however, it was impossible not to notice the fire-breathing, makeup wearing, blood-spitting stage antics and hard-rocking music of a band simply known as KISS. If the goal was to simultaneously rock and roll all night, while making the parental units noticeably uncomfortable, KISS was the perfect band. But, far from just being a cringe-worthy flash in the pan, KISS was a solid act, unleashing a string of enormous-selling records and filling concert halls the world over during their long and prosperous career. Continue reading...

McDonaldland Cookies

McDonaldland Cookies

There once was a faraway place called McDonaldland, inhabited by a clown named Ronald and all of his pals. And one of their collective talents just happened to be making some darned tasty cookies, McDonaldland Cookies. Sure, they may have tasted much like an ordinary animal cracker, but the residents of McDonaldland provided their likenesses. And for a kid making a coveted trip to McDonalds in the 70s and 80s, these were a must have finale to every meal. Continue reading...

Mr. Zog's Sex Wax

Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax

Is there any doubt that sex sells, not just a little, but really, really well? Well, if you remain unconvinced sit back and listen to the tale of a man who sold boatloads of innocuous surfboard wax and warehouses full of tee-shirts to millions of kids across America, many of whom didn’t even own surfboards – simply by throwing that provocative three-lettered word in the name of his product. Continue reading...

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

A family-based sitcom is dangerous territory. If the kids annoy, if the writing falls flat, if the family isn't realistic – all can lead to a quick demise. But every once in a while a show like Growing Pains comes along where everything clicks. This 80s series, which would go on to become one of the longest-running and most watched of the decade, had it all – clever humor eliciting unexpected guffaws, a cast of likable characters of all ages, and a clan that never seemed too “Hollywood.” Continue reading...