Gremlins

Gremlins

In the 1980s, Steven Spielberg became a superstar director with hits like E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, people often forget he scored just as many hits by producing films for his filmmaker buddies, including box-office champs like Poltergeist and The Goonies. One of the finest of these productions was Gremlins, a good old-fashioned monster movie that was just as funny as it was scary. Continue reading...

Aggravation

Aggravation

It's always been hard to find that "family game" balance. Make it too hard, the little tykes wouldn't get it. Make it too easy, and nobody else would want to play with the little tykes. But sometimes, that rare game got it right. Take, for example, the case of Aggravation, a board game marketed by Lakeside that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient game of Parcheesi. Continue reading...

The Year Without a Santa Claus

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Based on a children's story published in Good Housekeeping in 1956, The Year Without a Santa Claus imagined every child's worst nightmare - what if Santa decided to take a year off? The story might have faded into obscurity, except stop-motion animation gurus, Rankin-Bass decided to give it new life in 1974, with a star-studded television special that won the hearts of many a kid. Continue reading...

Alpha-Bits

Alpha-Bits

Waging war against illiteracy, one bowl at a time, Alpha-Bits are the alphabet soup of the breakfast table. Introduced by Post cereals in 1958, they quickly won the hearts of kids everywhere who loved the sweet taste, not to mention the ability to spell words in their cereal bowl. Continue reading...

Aqua Velva

Aqua Velva

The teenage years are a troublesome time. All a boy wants to do is be found attractive by someone, and success is unlikely if one isn’t smelling their best. But hope could be found in a soothing blue liquid - as males in generations past took a cue from dear old dad and liberally splashed on the unforgettable scent of Aqua Velva. Continue reading...

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

There’s nothing like taking the family on a little getaway to the wilderness, where the wild animals roam free and everyone can get in touch with nature. Such was the premise of the John Hughes comedy, The Great Outdoors. Released in 1988, the film paired funnymen John Candy and Dan Aykroyd together for the first time as polar opposite brother-in-laws, and their chemistry alone propelled this funny film. Continue reading...

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

Parents tend to spend countless hours striving to impart ethics and morality upon their children. But lecturing isn't always effective and, hey, you can only make them watch so much Davey and Goliath. Thankfully, Milton Bradley introduced a board game that offered a little assistance in this department, yet was still fun for kids to play. They took an ancient Indian board game, made it a little less scary sounding, and the result was Chutes and Ladders, one of the most popular board games ever devised for the younger set. Continue reading...

All in the Family

All in the Family

All In The Family was one of the most critically acclaimed and groundbreaking sitcoms of the 70s. In a way that no other show had ever attempted, the series reflected and commented upon the social upheaval of the country through the eyes of a typical American family. It inspired both devotion and controversy, and became one of the most successful television series of all time. Continue reading...