Crazy Climber

Crazy Climber

Crazy Climber brought to mind the ancient myths of poor mortals cursed to repeat the same quest over and over again with no end in sight. That's not to say it wasn't fun. In fact, it was addictively so, enough to lure arcade aficionados to spend their hard-earned quarters ascending skyscraper after skyscraper in this endearing (and enduring) game, released by Taito in 1980. Continue reading...

Super Soaker

Super Soaker

So many scientists insist upon wasting their time on the boring stuff – medicine, space exploration, computer circuitry. It is the select few, the ones who understand the importance of playtime, that truly make the worthwhile contributions. In the 60s, it was the tireless hours in a laboratory perfecting the Super Ball, simply so that millions of kids could have the opportunity to play with a ball that could bounce over a house. And in the 80s, one brave scientist would re-invent the whole concept of water warfare. Put away those water balloons, holster that measly water pistol – there was a new breed of aquatic artillery on the block and its name was Super Soaker. Let’s take a look at the origins of this terrific toy. Continue reading...

Good Times

Good Times

Spin-offs of popular shows are common, but how often do you get a spin-off of a spin-off? Not very often, but the hit sitcom Good Times provided the best possible example. The story begins with Maude, a series starring Bea Arthur that was a spin-off from All In the Family. On Maude, the title character had a sharp, independent-minded African-American maid named Florida. Maude and Florida's verbal duels became a highlight of the show, making the Florida character very popular with viewers. When that popularity got too big for a co-starring role to contain, Florida got her own spin-off series, Good Times, in February of 1974. Continue reading...

Sonny and Cher

Sonny and Cher

The singing husband-and-wife duo of Sonny and Cher emerged in 1962 and, three years later, landed a huge #1 hit on the charts with “I Got You Babe.” They followed with more hit records and in 1971, they decided to give the medium of television a try, starring in their first special, The Sonny and Cher Nitty Gritty Hour. The reviews were great and it wasn’t long before CBS was asking them to consider their own variety show. That same year, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour debuted as a summer replacement series. Within a year, it was an undeniable hit and a weekly staple within many of the nation's households. Continue reading...

Crocodile Dundee

Crocodile Dundee

Inspired by a visit to New York that left him feeling like a true fish-out-of-water, Australian film star Paul Hogan sat down and helped pen a script that would go on to become one of the most successful films of 1986. The story of Crocodile Dundee enchanted moviegoers of all ages, and made Hogan a household name. Continue reading...

Boggle

Boggle

If you've ever played Scrabble, you know the feeling of staring slack-jawed at your opponent for seemingly hours on end while he tries in desperation to form a word out of four E's, a J and two O's. Maybe in those impatient moments, you cursed the makers of the game for not imposing a time limit in the rules. Or maybe, you were just better-suited for a word game introduced in the 70s called Boggle. Continue reading...

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids

1983 was a rather memorable year, one that saw the introduction of Swatches, the Chicken McNugget and Hooters. But for parents, it might be best remembered as the year when getting your child what they wanted most for Christmas meant enduring the inconvenience of long lines and a mob-like atmosphere. Yes, friends – this was the year of the Cabbage Patch Kid frenzy, perhaps one the craziest holiday seasons on record. Continue reading...

Benson

Benson

Considering the controversy that consistently surrounded the popular 70s serialized sitcom, Soap, one might have expected its only spin-off to follow in the same tradition. As it turned out, Benson, which followed the career of cantankerous butler, Benson DuBois, was pretty mild by comparison. Fortunately, his razor-sharp tongue remained intact enough to handle the incompetents surrounding him, and endear him to millions of television viewers. Continue reading...