See-N-Say

See ‘n Say

The premise is simple: pull the string and the toy talks to you. But a Mattel See 'n Say was so much more. It was an engaging and effective teaching tool, one that captivated every toddler from the 60s and beyond who ever tugged on that durable cord and heard a cow say moo. Continue reading...

Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell

On July 11, 1987, a prime-time special entitled Good Morning, Miss Bliss aired on NBC. Soon after, it became a series on the Disney Channel, starring The Parent Trap's Hayley Mills as the teacher, Miss Bliss. Among her students were a young Zack, Screech, and Lisa. Their principal was Mr. Belding, who could switch from best pal to stern disciplinarian at a moment's notice.The show moved to NBC in 1989, soon to become the network's first live-action hit since Land of the Lost in 1977. Playing with the big boys now, the show got rid of its title character as well as its title. Now known as Saved by the Bell, the new show featured Zack (the "preppie" stud), Screech (the nerd) and Lisa (aspiring dress designer), as well as their new friends Slater (the handsome jock), Kelly (the boys' object of desire) and Jessie (the intelligent girl). Continue reading...

Sega

Sega

Remember those old Charles Atlas comic book ads about the 98-lb. weakling who got sand kicked in his face by a bully, went home, bulked himself up, and came back a bully-kicking hero? Maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but Sega's home console story wouldn't be too out of place in Charles Atlas Land. And what's more, the former 98-lb. weakling is still surviving despite its departure from the home console business. Take that, beach bullies. Continue reading...

The Little Rascals

The Little Rascals

If the names Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Spanky and Froggy make you feel nostalgic, you probably grew up watching a syndicated series of entertaining black and white short films called The Little Rascals. Though they may have fallen somewhat off the radar in recent decades, this precocious group of kids provided countless laughs in decades past with their amusing predicaments and unforgettable personalities. Continue reading...

Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid

Few soft drinks share the pop culture significance of an ice-cold pitcher of Kool-Aid. A staple of summertime for literally generations of tykes, it is also a favorite among parents for it costs mere pennies per serving and is so easy to make - any youngster can whip up a batch on their own in just a few minutes - providing a perfect refreshment after a hard day's play. Continue reading...

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Tim Allen enjoyed a rapid rise in stardom in the late 80s/early 90s as a stand-up comedian. He owed his success to a hilarious routine that revolved around power tools and the primeval grunting males that covet them in their never-ending quest to be the king of all home repairs. Network execs at ABC thought that made for an interesting premise for a sitcom, and the foundation was laid for Home Improvement. Over the next decade, the series rose in popularity like a mighty skyscraper under swift construction. Continue reading...

Tetris

Tetris

Call it the Russian Revolution ... In 1987, software company Spectrum Holobyte, Inc., released a PC game designed by Russian programmer Alexey Pazhitnov. Dubbed Tetris (from the Greek word for "four"), the game was deceptively simple: Using seven different shapes, each made of four blocks, players tried to build complete rows at the bottom of the screen. But what appeared an easy task at first glance proved maddening once the pressure was on, which made this one addictive video game. Continue reading...

Mood Rings

Mood Rings

During the mid-70s, it was no longer necessary to wear your emotions on your sleeve; any appendage would do! Science and marketing merged to unleash one of the biggest fads of all time, the mood ring. Soon, everyone and their mother seemed to be wearing one of these jewelry accessories on their finger, making it easy for the bystander (if the ads were to be believed, at least) to tell what the other person was feeling. Continue reading...