Bobby's World

Bobby’s World

For a four-year-old, the world seems a mighty strange place. For a four-year-old who has Howie Mandel for a father, strange might be an understatement. Such was the case for the little animated star of the Saturday morning series, Bobby’s World. Continue reading...

House of the Dead

House of the Dead

Fans of first-person shooting games had already had their fill of taking out soldiers, terrorists and the like, but those were mere mortals. When Sega introduced House of the Dead in 1997, players would be forced to contend with a few more ominous adversaries - legions of hungry and undead zombies in need of a human flesh fix. It would take a handful of quarters and your trusty firearm to save your hide from becoming dinner. Continue reading...

Jenga

Jenga

Jenga is a game that required steady hands and nerves of steel. Forget Operation, forget The Game of Jaws - these were child’s play by comparison. You were going to need some serious intestinal fortitude to make it through a game of Jenga, where one wrong move, one unintended twitch of the wrist would bring the game crashing down around you much to the delight of your nerve-rattled opponents. Continue reading...

Lazer Tag

Lazer Tag

Lazer Tag was all the rage when it was introduced in 1986. It was the cops and robbers of the future, the ability to shoot light beams at each other and score points for direct hits. With a Starlyte gun, StarBelt, StarVest, and even a StarHelmet, players were well equipped to battle each other in 23rd century fashion - in playgrounds, backyards, or even better - in giant futuristic arenas, complete with space-age obstacles and concert light shows. If you were a kid in the late 80s, you certainly remember Lazer Tag and the extensive marketing campaign on television and in comic books that accompanied it. Continue reading...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Traditionally, when a film is only marginally successful at the box office, the likelihood of it ever spawning a television series is slim at best. Even more rare is when anyone associated with such a film decides to make the transition into television. But Buffy the Vampire Slayer apparently wasn’t concerned by these preconceptions, because it proceeded to render them null. Not only was this 90s series far more successful than the original film, it also had creator and screenwriter Joss Whedon at the helm. Traditions be damned. Continue reading...

Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi

It happens every day: another parent is sucked into taking care of a new pet. It might be the stray kitten Jenny found in the alley, the lizard Mikey picked up at school, the puppy bought by grandpa; no matter the critter and no matter how it got there, there were sure to be messes and catastrophes to follow. Worse yet, the biggest of these disasters would come once the excitement wore off and the poop-scooping, feedings, grooming and general maintenance would be foisted onto someone else: the parent.Throughout the years, a variety of tactics have been mounted against such irresponsible pet caretaking. From mice to fish, from ant farms to sea monkeys, these pets are brought onto the scene to test the mettle of the most strong-willed of children. As often as such ventures were successful, some were ill-fated, at least for the starter pets. Not to mention such efforts did little to thwart the incessant begging and puppy dog eyes. Luckily for parents and kids of the late 90s there was the Tamagotchi. Continue reading...

Pokémon

Pokémon

A combined love of collecting bugs and playing video games led to one of the biggest toy crazes of the 90s, when Japanese gamer Satoshi Tajiri concocted a little game called Pokémon. As the editor of his own gaming magazine, Tajiri had become enamored with the Nintendo Game Boy system, especially the fact that two systems could be interconnected, and he wanted to create a special game for the system. After six long years of work, Nintendo bought the rights to his game and the Pokémon craze was officially launched. Continue reading...

Tickle Me Elmo

Tickle Me Elmo

When we recall 1996, some might think of the Olympics, others might think of elections, but for a good portion of retail workers, moms, pops, grandparents and great many would-be gift givers, 1996 was undoubtedly the year of Tickle Me Elmo. It served as a reminder of the last true doll craze, the 1980s juggernaut called the Cabbage Patch Kid. Of course, there were Beanie Babies and a good number of other “popular” toys that emerged over the years, but none that could match the Elmo-mania that gripped the nation at that particular point in history. Continue reading...