American Graffiti

American Graffiti

In 1973, as the Vietnam War wound down and the Watergate hearings fired up, it is no wonder that Americans were nostalgic for the simpler days. Filmmaker George Lucas certainly was, as he took us all on a virtual trip back to a small town in California, circa 1962, in his acclaimed film, American Graffiti. Filled with fast cars, angst-filled teens, sock hops, carhops, and a smorgasbord of classic rock and roll, American Graffiti won the hearts of anyone who happened to live through that bygone era, and many that didn't. Continue reading...

Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb was the youngest scion of the 1970s ruling music family, the Bee Gees. The Anglo-Australian clan dominated the pop charts during that decade and helped their little brother achieve rightful fame on his own. Not just another token teen idol, Andy also co-wrote the songs and played his own instruments. And then he left us too soon. Continue reading...

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 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...

Apple II Computer

Apple ][

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...

ArkIIFinal

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...

atropop

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...