Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Join the Return to the ’80s Facebook Group

Hey Everybody, in order to keep things fresh and exciting, I created a new Return to the ’80s Facebook group. This will be a great way to bring the 80s community closer. I would love all of you to join, if you are on Facebook. Feel free to post anything ’80s related in the group, such as your favorite music videos, ’80s movies or TV shows that you are watching, or any memories you have. You can also post pics. They can be pictures of you from the ’80s, or from any concerts of ’80s artists. Let’s have some fun, and make new friends. Join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/returntothe80s/.

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Coming Soon: Another ’80s Crossover Event

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Hi Everybody, we have exciting news! Next week will be another ’80s crossover event. Return to the ’80s is once again collaborating with 80s Reboot Overdrive, along with Weegiemidget, Killer Kitsch, and Rediscover the 80s. This time, the subject will be our Top 3 80’s Christmas Gifts.

If you would like to join in on the conversation, please email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com, and tell us your top 3 Christmas gifts, whether it be a gift that was given, or received, or most wanted and not received. We may read your email on the air for our next podcast, if you’d like.

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Man Crates: Old School Memories (Part 1)

Now that I’m 5 years into this blog, I am being contacted by some cool companies more and more often. I am excited about this new company, that has contacted me, called Man Crates. They ship awesome gifts which come in a wooden crate that needs to be opened with a crowbar. There are many different packages available. For example, there is a Personalized Barware crate, Exotic Meats crate, Grill Master crate, Outdoor Survivor crate, a Retro Gamer crate, and…wait for it…an Old School crate. This Old School crate contains a Slinky, a Rubick’s Cube, a Yomega Yo-Yo, a Pez dispenser, and a ton of old school candy.

I was challenged to share my memories, and share what items would be in my crate. So, let’s have some fun, and take a trip down memory lane!

I was born in 1970, so I have almost as many memories of the ’70s as I do of the ’80s. So, we’ll begin there, and work our way through the ’80s.

The Early Years: 1970-1974

I don’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But I do remember that before I was old enough to go to school, I would need to take an afternoon nap. I’m sure toddlers and little kids do need to take naps. However, I think I had to take naps so I would be out of my mother’s hair while she watched her “stories” (a.k.a., Days of Our Lives, Another World, and The Doctors). But, at 3:30, it was time for me to watch my “stories”. This would consist of reruns of Batman (the Adam West version, obviously), then the grandaddy of all kids shows – Sesame Street (Who else here remembers Mr. Blooper…I mean Mr. Hooper?), Mr. Rogers, and The Electric Company (my favorite). I think Zoom was on after that, but I don’t ever remember watching it. The Electric Company was my introduction to Spiderman and Morgan Freeman.

Crate items:

Here are some items from that time period that I would include in my crate:
The Official Sesame Street 2 Book-and-Record Album and The Year of Roosevelt Franklin

I have mentioned several times on this site that my first cassettes I ever owned were Kiss Unmasked and AC/DC Back in Black. But The Official Sesame Street 2 Book-and-Record Album and The Year of Roosevelt Franklin were my very first albums. They were both released in 1971. The Sesame Street album had classics such as the Sesame Street theme song, “Play Along“, “Everyone Makes Mistakes“, and “Sing“. “Sing” was one of my favorites. And I just found out fairly recently that this song was so popular that The Carpenters actually covered this.
The Year of Roosevelt Franklin also has some great songs. “Roosevelt Franklin Counts“, “Just Because“, and “Mobity Mosely’s Months“. OK, I’m going to be 45 next month, and I’m over here jammin’ out to some Roosevelt Franklin! I don’t know anything about children’s programming these days, but I seriously doubt there is any that has music as good as this! These albums are going in to the crate!
And, one more thing related to this period that is going in the crate is the first toys I remember having – Sesame Street finger puppets.


The Early Years: 1974-1976

A great part of many kids’ childhoods were Saturday mornings. The earliest cartoon I remember watching was The Jackson 5ive. Not long after that, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids took over as my favorite cartoon…until I discovered Superfriends. Some other cartoons I remember from this time were Scooby Doo (until that dratted Scrappy Doo came along), Speedy Buggy, Josie and the Pussycats, and all the other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. They weren’t all cartoons on Saturday mornings, though. I loved all the Sid and Marty Krofft shows. I always hear about H.R. Pufnstuf, but I have never seen that one. My favorites were Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,
Far Out Space Nuts (Gilligan in Space), The Lost Saucer (Gomer Pyle in space), and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (starring a pre-Marlena Deidre Hall). I also loved the Star Trek animated series.

It was during this time period that I began watching the original Star Trek with my dad. I loved fire trucks, so I loved Emergency!, which is always on the Me channel these days. Of course, that went hand-in-hand with Adam-12. Another favorite show of mine was The Six Million Dollar Man. It was also during this period when The Muppet Show began. So, I graduated from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show.

I didn’t just sit around and watch TV. It was during this time that I learned how to read. I learned with Fun With Phonics. There were books, and records that went with them. The soothing voice of the lady on the record would talk me through the books. By the time I reached kindergarten, I was reading books.

OK, that’s enough yapping. Time to throw some stuff in my crate.

Crate Items:
I used to love my Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids action figures.

 

Some other action figures I had that can go in the crate are my Star Trek action figures, Six Million Dollar Man action figures, and the original G.I. Joe.

 

I also had Scooby Doo Colorforms:

 

I failed to mention how big Fisher Price items were in the ’70s. I had a ton of Fisher Price toys. My favorite was probably the garage. You put the car in the elevator, and when it reaches the top, it rides down the ramp.

 

I cannot find a picture of the Fun With Phonics set I had. But, I would include that in the crate. I will also throw in my first two books: Silly Billy and The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party

 

The Early Years: 1977-1979

1977 was a transitional year for me. In May of that year, we moved from our apartment in Providence to a house in Warwick. I finished up my last month of 1st grade with my parents driving me to school. Previously, I had walked to school.

I made new friends and went to a new school in the fall. 1977 is a very important year for people of our generation. It was the year Star Wars came out. Star Wars actually made it easier for me to make new friends. We all had an instant connection, talking all about Star Wars, and what happened in the movie – before any of us had actually seen the movie. I still don’t know how we were able to do that, but we did. In those days before the internet, word of mouth was literally word of mouth. Not only was the movie incredible, but the merchandising was a dream come true for kids our age. Action figures came into prominence. I also got all kinds of Star Wars books, and had a Star Wars lunch box. Star Wars also created a seismic shift in entertainment. There were many space shows and movies that were created. There was Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, and even Star Trek made a comeback, as a result of the success of Star Wars.
People of our generation are now making movies and television shows, and I think it’s pretty obvious. Not only is Star Wars returning to the big screen this year, but Star Trek has made a comeback, and the super hero movement is stronger than ever. There was a lot of super hero shows and movies in the late ’70s. I remember watching Spiderman, Captain America, and a show I loved – The Incredible Hulk. And of course, Superman was a huge success.

Now, let’s put some stuff in the crate.

Crate Items:

Duh. How about some Star Wars action figures!?

May as well include my old lunch box too.

 

I also had this Star Wars book…

star wars

I would also like to include my Incredible Hulk trading cards

 

 

The late ’70s was also the beginning of the video game movement. We will really delve into this next time. But, in the late ’70s, I remember playing pong a lot. I’m not into video games at all anymore. But, if I had a Pong system in front of me, I could play this thing for hours!

 

 

One thing I never owned, but wanted, was the Evel Knievel Stunt Set. So, we’ll throw this in the crate.

The late ’70s was also a time when I learned how to ride a bike. My bike was ok. But, I would have much preferred a Huffy. So, I’ll throw a Huffy in my crate.

 

 

Well, that will wrap things up for now. I will continue this series next week. And don’t forget, be sure to visit Man Crates in the following places:

mancrates.com

Man Crates on Facebook

Man Crates on Twitter

Did any of these things bring back memories for you? What would you include in your crate? I will continue this series next week as we get into the ’80s.

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The Liebster Award 2: Electric Boogaloo

Less than a year after I was nominated for The Liebster Award, we now have a sequel thanks to Vinnieh! Vinnieh has a totally awesome movie web site. You should go check it out early and often at https://vinnieh.wordpress.com/. There are a lot of movie reviews – for old and new movies, as well as other articles about actors/actresses. There are other fun articles as well. For example, as we just passed Valentines Day, there were a couple of appropriately themed articles – What are the sexiest scenes in film? and What are your favourite romantic movie scenes?. In the midst of all this, there is a series of James Bond reviews happening over there. And it looks like we are heading into the ’80s Bond films now. So thank you very much vinnieh!

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.

OK, here are the questions I need to answer:

  1. Do you prefer watching a film in the cinema or at home?  I would prefer going to the theater. But since I don’t get much of a chance, I usually watch at home.
  2. Do you have any unique talents? OK, You have to swear to God you won’t laugh: 
  3. What is your ideal day like? All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.
  4. Which actor or actress do you think is the most gorgeous? This is a tough one! I could come up with a long list. But, off the top of my head, I’ll have to say Vanessa Williams. She was Miss America in the ’80s for a very short time. And I just saw her in something on TV not too long ago, and she still looks gorgeous!
  5. What do you enjoy the most about blogging? Interacting with people all over the world, and making new friends. Obviously, I love to Return to the ’80s, but back then, I would have never dreamed it was possible to make friends all over the world.
  6. What posts of yours is your personal favourite? One of my favorites was ’80s Back to School Accessories. I just whipped it up in less than 30 minutes, and it was a lot of fun. I also love the Top 40 Countdowns. We are long overdue for a new one. But, real life and being buried by this year’s New England snow keeps setting back my schedule. I’ll try to pick this back up within the next week or two.
  7. What’s the best holiday you have ever been on? On my honeymoon, we flew across the country and spent a few days in San Diego, drove up to Anaheim, went to Disney for a few more days, then went on a cruise for 7 days.
  8. Have you ever met anyone famous? Not really. About 11 or 12 years ago, we were in an empty Miami airport very early in the morning. I was at one of the stores looking through some overpriced books. This may sound crazy, but I got a chill down my spine and felt the temperature drop.  Then I heard somebody behind me complaining very loudly, saying that he can’t believe they didn’t have a cart for him to ride in, and he had to walk. My wife was standing in front of me, and her eyes went wide open. I turned around and it was O.J. Simpson surrounded by an entourage of people walking by us. Then about 10 minutes later another entourage of people were walking by us. And in the middle of them was Todd Bridges!
  9. Describe yourself in three words. Awesome, bodacious dude
  10. What film have you watched and never want to watch again? Bill Cosby: Himself. I remember watching this concert movie on HBO all the time before The Cosby Show came out. I believe I was 12 or 13 at the time. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard. A year or 2 ago, I saw this come on TV again, so I tried watching it. I didn’t laugh once. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. And now with all the accusations that have come to light, I definitely can’t look at him the same way again.
  11. Do you enjoy awards season and are you excited for the Oscars? I enjoy the spirit of awards season as the arts get celebrated. However, I can’t get excited for the Oscars. It’s too political for me. If the winners were selected by merit, instead of by sucking up to the right people, I could live with it. There is no way you will ever convince me in any time or galaxy that Annie Hall was a better movie than Star Wars. And the year that Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan, I checked out for good. I may check out the opening, if I think of it, to see if the host does a good job, or if it is a train wreck. Either way, I may be entertained for about 15 minutes.

And now the nominations for the award as chosen by yours truly:

Uncanny Pop
what about the twinkie?
The Animation Files
A Redhead at the Movies
Confessions From a Geek Mind
Flashback/Backslide
Stitch Boom Bang!
Driving MsMiranda’s Blog
RobbinsRealm Blog
Digital Shortbread
My Live Action Disney Project

And now my questions for my nominees:

1. Who was your favorite MTV VJ?

 

 

 

2. Which of these is your favorite Star – Wars, Trek, Battle Galactica (original or reboot), or Search?

3. Which celebrity did you have a crush on in your childhood or teen years?

4. What blog posts of yours are your personal favorites?

5. What is your favorite television show?

6. If you were in The Breakfast Club, which character would you be?

 

 

 

 

A. The Brain (Brian) – Anthony Michael Hall
B. The Jock (Andy) – Emilio Estevez
C. The Criminal (Bender) – Judd Nelson
D. The Princess (Claire) – Molly Ringwald
E. The Basket Case (Allison) – Ally Sheedy

7. What is your favorite genre of music?

8. Have you ever met anyone famous?

9. What is your favorite vacation destination?

10. What is your favorite ’80s movie?

And the last question is

Yo, Return to the ’80s, I’m really happy for you, Imma letchu finish, Imma letchu finish, but Beyoncé had the best questions of all time!

What the hell was that?!?!? Um, awkward. Anyway,

11. Which awards show is your favorite?

If you were not listed in the nominee section, and you want to have fun answering the questions (the ones posed to me and/or the questions I posed), feel free to enter your answers in the comments.

Thanks again to Vinnieh. This was a lot of fun!!

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