Planet of the Apes Toys

Planet of the Apes Toys

Planet of the Apes started out as a simple science fiction book and ended up being one of the genres most long-lasting juggernauts. The initial film launched four hit sequels, a live-action television show, and an animated series. Naturally, the toy licensing opportunities these titles spawned were out of this world. Continue reading...

The Kids in the Hall

The Kids in the Hall

Perhaps one of the most endearing and yet, completely random sketch comedy shows to ever be broadcast, Kids in the Hall offered generous amounts of dark humor, surrealistic scenarios, and yes, a whole lot of acting in drag. All of this combined to make it a hit that has lived on perpetually in syndication, not to mention in the hearts of its loyal followers, ever since it was first broadcast on HBO in 1988. Continue reading...

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The Evolution Of Fonzie

When Happy Days debuted in 1974, it was a nostalgic look at 1950s family life as seen through the eyes of Richie Cunningham, all-American high school boy. But a minor character, the motorcycle-riding outsider named Fonzie, stole the spotlight and became of the most iconic and enduring characters in TV history. Retroland examines Fonzie’s complex character evolution over the course of the series’ remarkable 11 year run, and breaks them down to four critical phases: Continue reading...

Spice Girls

Spice Girls

Nobody could have predicted the monumental impact of the Spice Girls on the world of pop music. Their achievements are, in a word, astounding. With 55 million records sold around the world, and that’s thanks to a mere three albums, they are not only the most successful girl band of all time, they are the most successful English band to emerge since The Beatles. But, while their music represents the largest portion of their fame, they also managed a popular crossover into both films and television, all thanks to the provocative personalities of these five multi-talented women. Continue reading...

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Time May Change Him… David Bowie

There's a saying in Montana that if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. The same thing could be said for David Bowie (although we at Retroland would have a hard time finding anything about David Bowie to dislike). The ever-changing image and persona that is David Bowie is also a metaphor for the aesthetic changes of pop-culture over the last half-century. One look at a particular image of Bowie and we have almost no trouble identifying what year it was. Continue reading...

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Fun-loving, guitar-playing, history-flunking airheads Ted "Theodore" Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire, first came on the scene in 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. A time-tripping romp, the movie had the appearance of a teen comedy, but its silly humor and good-natured charm won over kids of all ages. Continue reading...

Grunge

Grunge

Kurt Cobain, Nirvana's guitarist/vocalist and resident grunge poet, asked kids to "Come As You Are." Dirty, wet, worn, downtrodden and nostalgic for better days, grunge was a lifestyle response to an unsettled restlessness felt by the teenage generation the media dubbed 'X.' After the conspicuous consumption and 'money is everything' mantra of the decadent 80s, the Generation X'ers rejected the shiny and new, preferring everything around them second hand. Their feelings, on the other hand were new, raw and aggressive. Continue reading...

Madballs

Madballs

It has long been understood by toy manufacturers that kids hold a fondness in their heart for all things disgusting and gross, and there has never been a shortage of toys that catered to this phenomenon. First, there were Creepy Crawlers, Wacky Packages and Slime in the 70s. In the decade that followed, the ante was upped with Garbage Pail Kids and a wonderful assortment of disturbing, dismembered heads forever known as Madballs. Continue reading...