Connect Four

Connect Four

Commercials come and go, but catch phrases live forever. The final quarter of the twentieth century heard just such a phrase moaned from the lips of one young boy after having lost a game to his sister. While no boy in his right mind wants to lose to a younger sibling, losing at Connect Four ranks with Sorry! and Risk in the pantheon of crushing defeats. Perhaps that’s why before Milton Bradley marketed the game in 1974 under the goal-oriented name “Connect Four,” it was simply and somewhat quietly known as The Captain’s Mistress. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Cocoon

Cocoon

With Robert Zemeckis lured away by Michael Douglas to direct Romancing the Stone, Hollywood producers turned to former Happy Days star-turned-director Ron Howard to direct this beloved sleeper from 1985 about an intergalactic fountain of youth. Howard's magical touch and an endearing cast transformed Cocoon into one of the biggest hits of the year. Continue reading...

B-52s

The B-52’s

There are plenty of party bands, but no other band can party quite like the B-52's. These leaders of the new wave movement took joy in being different, blazing their own trail with a unique combination of kitsch-culture and old-fashioned party music. In the process, they notched up a series of hit albums and influenced countless alternative-rock acts of the future. Continue reading...

Levi's

Levi’s

They are as much a part of American culture as Coca-Cola, probably the most iconic clothing item ever created. And just about every American in the last hundred years has, at one time or another, zipped or buttoned up a pair of the comfortable and highly durable jeans that have come to be known simply as “Levi's.” Continue reading...

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

While life has existed for millions of years on planet Earth, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that a game was invented to mirror it. Back in 1860, it was considered "America's Favorite Parlor Game" and when it was reintroduced by the Milton Bradley Company a hundred years later, it proved just as popular and remains so to this day. Continue reading...

Wham!

Wham!

A lot was happening in the music industry in 1985. Whitney Houston released her first album, Madonna embarked on her first tour, and an enormous collection of artists got together to record a little single called We Are The World. And then there was Wham! Consisting of two boyhood friends, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, they proceeded to dominate the radio and television airwaves, winning the hearts of millions of teenage girls along the way. Yes, in 1985, the pop music market belonged to Wham! Continue reading...

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

As if teenagers weren’t paranoid enough already, along comes 21 Jump Street to confirm that, yes, your new best friend could be a narc that would follow you around collecting incriminating evidence, ultimately busting you on some totally bogus charge during the slow dance at your prom. Not cool, dude. Continue reading...