Bazooka gum

Bazooka

Okay, so Bazooka gum isn’t the first commercially produced bubble gum, nor is it the first to contain a comic strip on the wrapper. That hasn’t stopped it, however, from becoming an iconic candy for well over a half century. It’s about as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, with its patriotic red, white and blue wrapper and its availability in just about every drug store for a mere penny or two. As a result, it’s mere appearance unfailingly brings back fond memories of childhood to anyone who ever took a moment to read a Bazooka Joe comic or save up a stack of the wrappers to turn them in for a prize. Continue reading...

BB Bats

BB Bats

Some candies are so teeth-adhesive that one wonders if a dentist invented them. And while the little rectangular suckers known as BB Bats might not have been invented by one of these white-coat-wearing sadists, they have probably made as many dentists smile as the kids that chomp into them. Continue reading...

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Nobody ever said it was easy to be dead. But, no matter how exasperating eternal life might be, a recently deceased couple learned the hard way that one should be careful of what they wish for – they just might get it. Such was the plight of the Maitland family in Tim Burton’s wonderfully quirky and decidedly dark 1988 comedy, Beetlejuice. Continue reading...

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 arcade game

Berzerk

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

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

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...