Uno

Uno

Nothing brings a family together like a nice game of cards. But many games are either too complex for the little ones to get a handle on, or too simplistic for the older crowd to enjoy. Then, along came Uno - a card game that could be learned in a few minutes but proved addictive enough to keep families playing until the wee hours of morning. This balance of simplicity and challenge has made Uno one of the most beloved card games of all time. Continue reading...

Valley Girl

Valley Girl

Like, oh my god, there was once this faraway place where teenage girls like totally created their own bitchin’ subculture and language. All right, perhaps it wasn’t so far away - a stone’s throw from downtown Los Angeles actually, in the suburban San Fernando Valley. These trendy inhabitants came to be lovingly known as Valley Girls, thanks to a memorable 1981 Frank Zappa song, “Valley Girl” in which he and his daughter Moon Unit openly mocked their lifestyle and their “Valspeak.” Two years later, the romantic comedy Valley Girl was released, paying homage to this little slice of Southern California subculture. And the result was nothing short of gnarly…fer sure. Continue reading...

View Master

View-Master

Sure, there have been plenty of technological breakthroughs over the years that make something like a View-Master seem more than a bit antiquated. But there is such a simplistic charm to this little plastic box that allowed the young mind to travel to faraway lands, once visited or never before explored, and see them in all of their three-dimensional splendor. Everyone who has experienced the pleasure of a View-Master distinctly remembers the little lever and the clicking sound it made when advancing to the next frame. And any tourist of earlier decades can remember a time when seemingly every destination, not to mention every department and toy store, displayed racks containing hundreds of little discs. Today, we look at the history of, and our fascination with, the View-Master. Continue reading...

Wacky Packages

Wacky Packages

In the 70s, there was hardly a store that didn’t have a proud display of Wacky Packages right next to the cash register. Sold in the same packaging as baseball cards (which was no surprise since a company named Topps created them), they were literally irresistible to darn near every little kid with a few extra cents in his or her pocket. And the appeal was very simple – wonderfully demented versions of product art that every kid knew from the grocery story aisles. They were funny, they were completely politically incorrect, and much to the horror of every parent, they were backed with an adhesive – meaning that not only could they be affixed to school folders and lunch boxes, but also every square inch of wall, door or furniture within their path. Continue reading...

Wacky Wall Walkers

Wacky Wall Walkers

In the 80s, it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a rubber octopus slowly make its way down a wall - a slimy and slithering slinky of sorts. The critter retained its hold, thanks to its remarkably sticky eight legs which adhered when thrown, then methodically walked towards the ground under the merciless forces of gravity. The Wacky Wall Walker would become a toy fad that gripped the entire nation like no other, to the astounding tune of a quarter of a billion of the wiggly beasts being sold in a few short years. Continue reading...

Wall Posters

Wall Posters

Once upon a time, there was no more fitting way to show your loyalty to your favorite teen idol or rock star than to adorn your bedroom wall (or ceiling) with a full-sized image of their smiling mug - staring at you lovingly, as if to say “You are the only one for me.” And if celebrity worship wasn’t your thing, perhaps you just wanted to ogle your favorite automobile, sports team, or a cat hanging from a pole reminding you to “Hang in there, Baby!” And if you happened to own a black light, there were hundreds of psychedelic scenes just waiting for their fluorescent colors to be vibrantly illuminated in your darkened room. Today, we take a look back at the iconic artwork that many of us spent hundreds of hours staring at through the course of our adolescence. Continue reading...

WarGames

WarGames

Home computers were quite the fad in the early 80s but most people didn’t know what exactly could be accomplished with them other than very simple word processing programs and rudimentary games. WarGames, released in 1983, showed the world the advantages (and disadvantages) to be had from computers’ increasingly important role in our lives. Continue reading...