Happy Days

Happy Days

Back in the 70s, television viewers received a romanticized view of the 50s, thanks to a sitcom called Happy Days, which followed the daily life of the Cunningham family, their friends and a soon-to-be hoodlum hero named Fonzie. It went on to become one of the most popular series of the decade and today, we pay tribute to this iconic sitcom. Continue reading...

Dynamite

Dynamite Magazine

If you were a kid of the 70s and 80s, there’s a pretty good chance that you remember Dynamite magazine. One of the most popular kids-oriented publications of the era, Dynamite was where you learned about your favorite celebrities and teen idols, played games and puzzles, and got some really cool stuff, like a 3D King Kong poster (glasses included). Published from 1974-1992, and distributed by schoolteachers through Scholastic Press, Dynamite was a magazine that most every kid wanted to check out for at least a few minutes, and if you didn’t order your very own issue, you tried to borrow (or steal) a friend's copy. Continue reading...

Freshen Up

Freshen-up gum

Let’s face it, there have been few technological advancements in chewing gum since it first became popular. Sure, new flavors have been introduced, formulas have been perfected to produce better bubbles, and various shapes have come and gone over the years. But 1975 marked a new era with the introduction of squirting gum. The first company to go down this path was Adams, with their spearmint-flavored Freshen-up gum. Continue reading...

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Wonka Bars and golden tickets, Oompa Loompas and a chocolate river, snozzberries and lickable wallpaper, golden eggs and seven-course gum, Everlasting Gobstoppers and the Wonkavator. In a world of pure imagination, all things are possible. This was the world of Willy Wonka - candy man, inventor, and scourge of naughty children. Like the Roald Dahl book on which it was based, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was a dark fantasy with strong ideas about the nasty habits of children. It is also one of the most beloved children's films ever created. Let's take a stroll to the chocolate factory and revisit this childhood classic. Continue reading...

Astro Pop

Astro Pop

The Space Age was in full swing after World War II. Swift technological progress and widespread economic growth gave birth to a culture in love with rockets, space stations, and dreams of life on the moon. Every kid wanted to be an astronaut, and every week, a new toy or TV show was there to feed that dream. Spangler Candy of Bryan, Ohio, (founded in 1906) met this demand with the snazzy, rocket-shaped Astro Pop. This lollipop, a thin inverted cone of hard candy on stick, suggested a three-stage rocket: a red cherry-flavored lower section, a dark green lime middle, and a long yellow tip of lemon. Continue reading...

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos game

Scientists claim that hippos (Hippopotamus amphibious) are herbivores, but millions of kids can attest otherwise. Their experience suggests that these gentle beasts have an insatiable appetite for little white marbles. Many a feeding frenzy has been observed during the course of a rousing round of Hungry Hungry Hippo. Continue reading...

Sea Monkeys

Sea Monkeys

For the child seized by the creative spirit, when construction toys like Legos were simply not enough, Sea Monkeys satisfied a tyke’s urge to meddle in the realm of biology. Aided by an intensive ad campaign appearing in every comic book in the 1960s and 70s, Sea Monkeys sparked the imagination and intrigued the junior (mad) scientists of America. Continue reading...

Intellivision

Intellivision

The video game console wars of the early 80s were reminiscent of the video format wars a few years earlier, where VHS won the popularity contest hands-down, yet Betamax still boasted a better quality. In this arena, the Atari 2600 played the role of the VHS tape and underdog challenger was Mattel’s Intellivision, a fine little video game system that never quite captured the same spotlight, but will forever be remembered by many from that era as the superior system. Continue reading...

Schoolhouse Rock

Schoolhouse-Rock

When it comes to scholastic studies, most kids loathe having to memorize things. When it comes to song lyrics, however, most kids can master them after only hearing the words a handful of times. With this in mind, Schoolhouse Rock debuted in 1972, catching children off-guard with their infectious little tunes that taught important lessons about history, science and grammar - without most kids ever realizing what was going on. How well did it work? Well, decades later, many of us can still remember the lyrics to some of our favorite Schoolhouse Rock segments as if it were yesterday. Let’s take a look back at these perpetually-popular educational shorts. Continue reading...

Tonka Trucks

Tonka Trucks

Let's face it: There are few ways to demonstrate the invincibility of a toy that are as convincing as having an elephant stand on it. And, as viewers of the highly successful 1974 commercial could readily attest, the imagery merely re-enforced a fact that every boy in America already knew; Tonka Trucks are virtually indestructible. This reputation of durability has made Tonka easily the most recognizable name in toy trucks for over 5 decades. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...