Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper

Halloween costumes are a cherished part of childhood, transforming ordinary kids into superheroes, monsters, and celebrities for that one special night at the end of October. While many constructed their own costumes out of old clothes and face makeup, the rest of us relied on a man named Ben Cooper, who offered an entire plethora of choices, each residing in a small cardboard box which contained a plastic mask and accompanying vinyl garment to be worn over street clothes (and winter coats, depending on where you lived). For a child growing up in decades past, picking out a Ben Cooper costume at the local store was one of the most anticipated shopping trips of the year. Continue reading...

Benson

Benson

Considering the controversy that consistently surrounded the popular 70s serialized sitcom, Soap, one might have expected its only spin-off to follow in the same tradition. As it turned out, Benson, which followed the career of cantankerous butler, Benson DuBois, was pretty mild by comparison. Fortunately, his razor-sharp tongue remained intact enough to handle the incompetents surrounding him, and endear him to millions of television viewers. Continue reading...

Berzerk

Berzerk arcade game

Battling herds of enemy robots was an interesting enough premise for a video game. And without any sound effects, Berzerk, released in 1980, would likely have still been popular simply for being an action-packed shooting game. But add in a talking robot voice and suddenly the game stands out from all the others surrounding it and it beckons one to play. Continue reading...

Big

Big (film)

Every young boy's fantasy came true for little Josh Baskin in 1988's Big. Thanks to a mystical carnival machine, little Josh became big Josh overnight, only to discover that the adult world wasn't all it was cracked up to be. With Tom Hanks in the "big Josh" role and former Laverne and Shirley star Penny Marshall directing, Big captured the innocence of childhood with humor, tenderness and insight. Continue reading...

Big Jim

Big Jim action figure

As the Vietnam War raged on in the early 70's, the public had tired of their usual fondness for war-related toys. Heck, even G.I. Joe took on more of a Steve Irwin persona, choosing a life of rugged adventure over another tour of duty. But he was no match in the brawn department to the one and only Big Jim. This was a man's man - a sports hero, martial arts master and adventurer, all wrapped up in one beefy package. Continue reading...

Big League Chew

Big League Chew

For many a decade, young fans of America’s favorite pastime watched their heroes stuff enormous wads of chewing tobacco into their cheek, a particularly dangerous habit that most parents didn’t want their kids to emulate. Then, in 1977, a veteran ballplayer named Jim Bouton was sitting in the dugout, watching the younger players follow in the footsteps of their chewing predecessors, when it occurred to him that someone ought to make a gum that looked like chewing tobacco, in the hopes that it might serve as a healthier substitute for this nasty habit. The result was Big League Chew. Continue reading...

Big Red

Wrigley's Big Red

It’s one of those jingles that somehow manage to be stickier than the gum. It sticks to your brain cells like a wad of silly putty sticks to shag carpeting. It’s the ad campaign that eventually made Big Red the most popular cinnamon gum on the market. Continue reading...

Bit-O-Honey

Bit-O-Honey

Chicago has long held a reputation as the candy capitol of the United States. And, in 1924, the Schutter-Johnson Company launched a unique new chew to the windy city, one that would delight children and dentists alike. Christened as the Bit-O-Honey, it was guaranteed to give a kid’s jaw muscles a workout like no other. Continue reading...

Blondie

Blondie

New York City was a hotbed of punk and new wave activity in the mid-70's, overflowing with groups like The Ramones and The Talking Heads. Blondie emerged from this scene and became an international sensation with their blend of pop hooks, punk-ish edge and clever lyrics. They scored a long list of musically-diverse hit singles that defined the new wave sound and transformed their glamorous lead singer, Debbie Harry, into an alternative sex symbol. Continue reading...

Bomb Pops

Bomb Pops

For many a former kid, the arrival of summer coincided with the joyous ringing of faraway bells, ones that signified the approach of a little white truck, filled to the brim with frozen treats. And assuming your parents were generous with their spare change, you would soon come face to face with a vast menu of choices plastered on the side of the truck. With so many items to choose from, a great many gravitated loyally to the most patriotic of Popsicles - the Bomb Pop. Popular for over 50 years now, they have proven that they are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet. Continue reading...