Ants in the Pants

Ants in the Pants

Few wonders of nature captivate a child quite as much as the insect world, and don't think that this magnetic attraction didn't catch the attention of toy manufacturers. Beating the big boys to the punch was the Schaper Company, who practically cornered the market on bug-based games. Continue reading...

Apple II

Apple II Computer

The year of 1977 was one filled with numerous events to get all nostalgic about – Elvis Presley died, Roots first aired on television, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, Star Wars premiered on the big screen, and the Atari 2600 home gaming system was released. The event that perhaps had the most significant impact on the future, however, was the release of the first personal computer. Continue reading...

Apple Jacks

Apple Jacks

Neither flavored like apples nor shaped like jacks, Apple Jacks is similar to (and to some palettes, indistinguishable from) its more famous Kelloggsian cousin, Froot Loops. The crunchy little orange and green multigrain O's, famous for their sweetened non-apple taste, nevertheless remain a popular breakfast cereal among the all-important "children" group. Continue reading...

Ark II

Ark II

When the Saturday morning series Ark II debuted in 1976, it bore little more than a slight resemblance to its biblical counterpart. Sure, there was a post-apocalyptic world and a small group of survivors determined to repopulate the earth. And yes, they had an Ark of sorts, alhtough this one was a tad more advanced than its gopher-wood constructed ancestor. It was more of a high-tech Land Rover on steroids. Missing, however, were the countless pairs of animals - although to their credit, they did have a monkey. Regardless, Ark II made enough of an impression on young tykes in the 70s to stick around for a few years on television, then live on in their collective memories for decades beyond. Continue reading...

Asteroids

Asteroids

Of all the arcade games released over the years, a mere handful have reached iconic status, games that if you lived in a particular generation, there was little chance that you had escaped their magnetism. The Atari mega-hit Asteroids is certainly deserving of this special status. Released in 1979, during the era of Star Wars, it utilized simple black and white vector graphics, an (at the time) impressive array of buttons, and a repeatability factor that was unparalleled. 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...

Astronaut Food

Astronaut Food

Throughout most of the 20th century, it was no secret that dreams of space travel captured the hearts and imaginations of just about every tyke in existence. As the 60s arrived and astronauts started venturing out into this unexplored territory, one particular area of interest was the food that the astronauts took with them. And realizing some serious marketing potential here, numerous manufactures decided to give young consumers a taste of what these brave explorers were munching in their zero gravity environment. Continue reading...

Atari

Atari Video Computer System

The granddaddy of all platform and handheld game stations, the Atari Video Computer System remains a classic. In the tradition of trench warfare and bayonets, Atari maintains its appeal despite its antiquity. And like Kleenex or Xerox, the word itself became synonymous with the activity it represented. In the late seventies and early eighties, nobody played video games. They played Atari. One had to go to the arcade or to the corner of the local sandwich shop to play video games. Atari, on the other hand, offered a comparable selection of games, required no quarters, and could be played at all hours from the comforts of your living room. Let's look back at this innovative video game from yesteryear. Continue reading...

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Not since the era of Ed Wood has a movie been so delightfully bad it was actually good. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! was so bad, in fact, that one might actually surmise that the filmmaker purposefully set out to make the worst movie possible…and they would be right. Producer John De Bello was determined to make a spoof of the horrifically bad 1950s-style horror films, and he succeeded so magnificently that the movie set the benchmark for bad movies for perhaps centuries to come. Let's take a look back at this unforgettable film, released in 1978. Continue reading...

Bandanas

Bandanas

For just a simple square of cloth, the bandana enjoys a long and storied history. Far from being a mere fashion statement, its uses are as varied as the palette of colors and styles that are readily available. Today, we take a look back at this versatile cloth that has served the masses so well over the years. Continue reading...