Smarties

Smarties candy

You've just spent the evening knocking on every neighborhood door within sight, watching your pillowcase or plastic jack o' lantern gradually fill with tasty confections. Returning home, you eagerly dump out the rewards of your labor and scan to see what you've collected. And, much like every other kid who has ever performed this ritual, you are likely to come across a few rolls of little tablet-shaped candies wrapped in clear plastic. Both sweet and tangy, with a distinct powdery consistency, Smarties have been a staple of Halloween for over six decades. Continue reading...

Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers

Many boys harbor a fondness for bugs. Not only are they fun to play with, but there is also the realization of the sadistic havoc you can wreak with them. Every family member had a target on their back and if you played your cards right, you could evoke a scream of blood-curdling fear with just the right placement. Of course, like all of God’s creatures, the little critters wanted nothing more than to escape your clutches and, therefore, weren’t the most cooperative accomplices. If only someone could invent a bug that didn’t run away. Even better, if only you could manufacture an endless supply of inanimate insects all for yourself, imagine the terror you could induce. Mattel Toys, always plugged in to the secret desires of youth, came through by offering your very own bug factory. You know them as Creepy Crawlers. Continue reading...

Wax Bottles

Wax Bottles

Okay, you really weren’t supposed to eat them, but how were kids to know? After all, they were in the candy aisle. Technically though, the liquid inside was the candy, not the wax container that surrounded it - which didn’t stop kids from ingesting enough wax to turn their digestive tract into a candle, sans the wick. That’s right, we’re talking about the wax bottles of our youth. Continue reading...

Bump in the Night

Bump in the Night

Bedroom-dwelling monsters, those things that go bump in the night, have suffered from some pretty bad PR over the years. It would take the popular 90s series, Bump in the Night, to shed some new light on the creatures who lurk in the shadows and show them to be the friendly companions they truly are. Continue reading...

High Impact Football

High Impact Football

Football fans had something to cheer about in 1990 when proven programming whiz Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron: 2084) matched wits with the soon-to-be legendary programmer, Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat). The result of their collaboration was a particularly intense arcade version of the beloved pastime called High Impact Football. Sportsmanship would take the back seat, in favor of trash talking and crushing the bones of anyone who stood in the way on the field. Continue reading...

Slap Bracelets

Slap Bracelets

If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, there’s no point in denying you had one. Bringing out the masochist in each of us, the slap bracelet made it okay to hit yourself with something, all in the name of fashion. Let's take a look back and see what all the fuss was about. Continue reading...

Blossom

Blossom

One of the more popular sitcoms among the youngsters of the early 90s, Blossom consistently delivered the laughs each week for five seasons on NBC. And if you were one of the many adolescents tuning in, there was a pretty good chance you learned a life lesson or two along the way. Continue reading...

Kraft Easy Cheese

Kraft Easy Cheese

You might as well just admit it. You aren’t alone and it doesn’t make you a bad person. You open the pantry door and notice that crackers are in short supply. Undaunted, you grab the can of spray cheese, pause to look over your shoulder and make sure that nobody is watching you. Throwing caution (and calorie counting) to the wind, you tilt your head back, open wide, and let loose with an injection of cheesy goodness. You’re not the first to display this lack of self-control and you won’t be the last; the can just has a sort of hypnotic hold on you. Continue reading...

Trapper Keeper

Mead Trapper Keeper

One of the keys to scholastic success is to stay organized. And, thanks to the folks at Mead, students from the 70s and 80s could count on a nifty little helper to keep all those notes and assignments in their proper place. Introduced in the late 70s, the Trapper Keeper quickly became the organizer of choice for millions of students, who still fondly remember filing away their school work into the confines of this handy device. Continue reading...

Zoom

Zoom

Back in the 70s, you might recall watching a fun little TV series called Zoom, one of the first children's shows hosted entirely by kids. Created by WGBH, the public station in Boston, the series was aimed at grade-schoolers and featured a rotating cast of seven to ten kids who performed songs, dances, games and skits for their peers at home. It is still fondly remembered by a generation of former kids who faithfully tuned in each week. Continue reading...