Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Anyone who has ever endured the horrors of holiday travel can appreciate this endearing tale of a man simply trying to get home to see his family. His adventurous and hilarious journey made Planes, Trains and Automobiles, released in 1987, a box-office hit for John Hughes and remains a beloved favorite among millions. Continue reading...

The Bugs Bunny Show

The Bugs Bunny Show

A half-hour of sheer fun kicked off every Saturday morning, with kids across the nation curled up in a blanket and a box of cereal at their side, ready to be entertained. All the Warner Bros. favorites were there – Bugs, Elmer, Porky, Daffy, Wile E. and their many colorful cohorts – taking turns in one cartoon misadventure after another. The Bugs Bunny Show, in its many incarnations, meant that the weekend had arrived – to millions of children over a 40-year broadcast run. Continue reading...

Follow That Bird

Follow That Bird

The Muppets were able to turn their humble beginning on the long-running children’s educational show, Sesame Street, into their own highly successful television show, and eventually a few box office successes as well. At some point, Big Bird must have thought, “If they can do it, so can I,” so he took his own stab at film stardom in the 1985 feature film, Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird. 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...

You Can’t Do That On Television

You Can't Do That On Television

One of the first big hits to emerge on the up-and-coming Nickelodeon cable channel, You Can't Do That On Television (YCDTOTV) quickly endeared itself to young viewers with its bathroom-humor-laced sketch comedy performed by kids. But the show will always be best remembered for introducing the young populace to green slime, a substance that is now a trademark for the Nickelodeon brand, thanks to this long-running series that was required daily viewing for many an 80s kid. Continue reading...

Fisher Price Movie Viewer

Fisher Price Movie Viewer

Sure, if you compare it to the technology introduced in recent years, the Fisher Price Movie Viewer looks pretty darn antiquated. But for a youngster growing up in 1973, the idea of being able to play your own movies on a handheld device, wherever and whenever you wanted, was cutting-edge stuff. Let's look back at this well-remembered toy. Continue reading...

Super Ball

Super Ball toy

It looked like an innocent little ball, nothing so special about that. But how many ordinary balls are made of a space-age sounding material called “Zectron”? And more importantly, how many balls have the ability to leap to staggering heights with a simple toss? Only one, the oft-imitated ball of legendary status, the little rubber sphere that managed to live up to its lofty name - the Super Ball! Finally, science put its efforts into something that everyone could enjoy. Continue reading...

Pac-Man

Pac-Man

It’s a yellow circle with a wedge missing that goes around a maze eating dots and dodging ghosts. That, in a nutshell, is the most iconic, legendary video game ever to hit the arcade. Ask anyone with access to electricity to identify Pac-Man and they’ll get it right 99.999% of the time. Created by Toru Iwatani of Namco in 1980, the game had an inauspicious release in Japan but enjoyed a far better welcome in the United States (where it was distributed by Midway). Overtaking the popular Space Invader, Pac-Man became a staple of arcades across the country and spawned a veritable media empire that is still thriving today. Continue reading...

Jiffy Pop

Jiffy Pop

Popcorn has been an American staple since Native Americans brought it to the first Thanksgiving. It grew in popularity throughout the country as street vendors hawked it and eventually became a staple at movie theaters in the 1900s. Once television came into being and attendance at movie theaters waned, so did the popularity of popcorn-- that is, until marketers began tying home television watching with the fluffy snack. And presto! There was once again a niche for those beloved kernels of puffy corn product. Continue reading...

Eight-Track Tapes

Eight Track Tapes

By today’s standards, where the world is filled with portable music emanating from iPods, the eight-track tape seems rather (click) antiquated. Big and bulky, the endlessly-looping tape contained within also had this annoying habit of (click) interrupting songs midway through with an audible click as they moved through each of their quadrants. Furthermore, the intended order of songs was often disrupted, and occasionally (click) long periods of silence lingered between tracks. Having said that, they allowed, for the first time, the ability to bring music of one’s choice into (click) an automobile, as well as a portable listening device – something previously impossible. Continue reading...