Archive for the ‘Remember This?’ Category

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Popples… Throw them at your siblings!

July 13, 2007

popples.jpgI don’t know what caused me to remember these, but somehow they popped into my mind this morning. Popples… I haven’t thought of them since I was about 6 years old, yet still I remember them. They began as a TV show that ran from 1986-87, and quickly became popular toys.

Popples were brightly colored stuff animals, and resembled teddy bears in a way. They had pouches in their backs, and you could invert them so the Popples actually went inside the pouch and became a ball. I think what I liked best about these toys, was I could make it into a ball and throw them at my sister.

I know me and my sis each had one, or maybe they were both hers… I can’t really remember. My only real memories involved us playing “throw the Popple”. One of us would stand on the couch, and the other person would chuck Popples at them. Having your little sister agree to let you throw things at her? What an awesome game.

The Popples in the TV show were quite the trouble makers. The kids in the show tried to keep them a secret, but the Popples always came along and messed things up. When the kids tried to clean their room, the Popples would come along and make it a mess. Thinking about it now, why the hell did the kids want to keep Popples around? They seemed more trouble than they were worth.

The Popples cartoon series has been released on DVD in the UK, but has yet to see a North American release.

Check out this original Popples commercial:

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Visionaries, the forgotten 80’s cartoon

June 29, 2007

visionaries.jpgThere was a show that I just loved as a kid, but have rarely ever seen or heard from since I last saw it back in 1987. The show was called “Visionaries”.

The show, according to Wikipedia, was “set on the planet Prysmos, located in another dimension, the Visionaries consist of two groups of knights — the Spectral Knights and the Darkling Lords, both of whom have their magical powers gifted from Merklynn after successfully completing a quest to reach Merklynn’s shrine on Iron Mountain. Each character had a different power that reflected their personality and could be activated by reciting a special verse.”

From what I remember, the show was about these mystical knights that wore cool futuristic armor suits with hologram symbols on their chests. Each knight had a different symbol, usually in the form of an animal, and could transform into that type of animal.

My favorite character was Feryl, who could transform into a Wolf. I remember I had the toy, which sadly, did not turn into a Wolf. It was still extremely cool, and was always one of my favorite non-Tranformers toys.

The other “good guy” characters would turn into animals such as a lion, bear, fox, eagle, cheetah or dolphin. The various animals allowed them to explore different types of terrain and battle on all sorts of landscapes.

The evil Darkling Lords would also “transform” into animals like the gorilla, lizard or shark. Apparently those are “evil” animals.

An interesting fact is that the character of “Cindarr” was voiced by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime. The leader of the Darkling Lords, “Darkstorm”, was voiced by Chris Latta. Latta voiced such legendary bad guys, such as Starscream and Cobra Commander.

I don’t really remember the actual plot line of the episodes, but I sure remember the cool characters, and the cool hologram chest plates and of course the animals, as well.

I was surprised to learn that this show only lasted 13 episodes. It seems to me I watched a helluva lot more than 13 episodes. More than likely, I watched each one several times as most kids usually do with their favorite shows and movies.

As far as I know, there is a region-2 DVD series released, but if anyone knows of a Region-1 DVD (U.S. & Canada), please let me know. I haven’t been able to find any information on one.

I’d be shocked if anyone else out there remembers this show, but for some reason it’s stuck in my mind as a very cool show, and one that I wished had lasted longer. I still remember going from video store to video store with my Mom trying to find copies of the show on VHS.

You can add Visionaries to the list of incredible shows that boys of my generation were fortunate enough to grow up on. From Transformers to G.I. Joe to Ninja Turtles, we were a lucky bunch.

Better than all the crap like Pokemon and Digimon and whatever ‘mon show that is popular these days. My kids are going to have all the great 80’s and early 90’s cartoons on DVD. They won’t be watching any of these horrible new cartoons, or disturbing puppet-like shows that air on television for today’s children.

> Read My Top 10 Childhood Heroes

> Read My Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Superheroes

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Remember the Nirvana baby?

June 26, 2007

nirvana.jpgAnyone who grew up through the early 90’s probably owned Nirvana’s album, “Nevermind”. It made headlines for it’s album cover, which actually showed a baby’s penis. As you can see, the baby is chasing a dollar bill under water. It’s odd, but highly effective, and very creative.

This CD was released September 24, 1991 (Ok, wow I suddenly feel really old). It contained such classic hits as Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are.

Anyways, getting to the point of this post. So, you remember that little baby? Well, he’s 17 years old now.

Check out the goofy looking kid that the baby turned into, by clicking here.

Apparently, Curt Cobain didn’t have much influence on him, as he didn’t go grunge, he went gangsta.

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Remember This… ?

May 25, 2007

excitebike_cover.jpgExcitebike

I’ve never been that into video games. I’ve always had the latest in video game technology, going from Nintendo to Super Nintendo, to Playstation, to XBox and I now own an XBox 360. Still, I don’t think I’ve ever played games that were nearly as enjoyable as those that were released back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The games nowadays are beautiful pieces of art. They are difficult, complex and intricately designed, and they look amazing on a 42” Widecreen TV. But in the end, they just aren’t as fun as the games of my younger years.

One of my favorite games of all time is Excitebike for regular ol’ Nintendo. It was one of the first video games I ever owned, and I played it for hours on end. Like most of the earlier games, it was great because of it’s simplicity. Anyone could pick up a controller and get a handle on the game quickly, and enjoy it right from the start.

The game consisted of racing across a 2-D track that had hills, jumps and other various obstacles for you to avoid and/or use to your advantage. You could either do a time-trial or race against a number of opponents. One of my favorites was to race against a bunch of other bikes, and try to knock them off the track by smashing into their rear tire. I’m sure anyone who played the game remembers the fun you could have with that.

You could also build your own track, and make it as difficult as you’d like.

Nintendo 64 released a sequel called Excitebike 64, and there has recently been a second sequel released for the new Wii, called Excite Truck.

Excitebike… you will forever live on in my mind as one of the most enjoyable video games I have ever played.

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Remember This… ?

May 24, 2007

ticklemeelmo.jpgTickle Me Elmo

Every year, there seems to be that “must have” toy at Christmas. In 1996, the case was as profound as ever. The frenzy that happened involving the “Tickle Me Elmo” doll was absolutely insane. Parents were literally brawling in the store aisles, fighting to get the last Elmo doll on the shelf.

I remember shopping in Toys R’ Us with my Mom, looking for a present for my sister. I saw some of the Tickle Me Elmo’s, and thought that she’d like one. We decided to get it the next time we were at the store. This was a few weeks before everything went mad, and right before it became nearly impossible to find one.

Tickle Me Elmo was originally priced at around $30, but at the height of the obsession, it was going for upwards of $1500 on eBay. Parents were easily paying $400 and $500 without thinking twice (I remember seeing several of the Elmo toys in the local Classifieds for prices of up to $700).

I never really understood why there was such a demand for this stuffed toy. It said a few cute things, but was nothing all that special. It basically comes down to hype and supply and demand. Whether it was intentional or not, “Tyco” (the company that made the toy) didn’t produce enough of them, thus creating the massive demand.

I remember, about a week before Christmas, several more of these were released. Thanks to that, on Christmas morning my sister got to unwrap her present, and sitting in the box was a brand new talking Tickle Me Elmo doll. A doll we purchased a week before Christmas for around $30.

My Mom and I had a pretty good laugh when we found some sitting on the shelves, a few days before Christmas, at- which in comparison to $1500- a pretty good price.

A few weeks after Christmas, I was walking through the toy section at WalMart, and there sitting in the discount bin, were a few Tickle Me Elmo dolls for $19.99. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I was the guy who paid $1500 for one just a few months earlier.

In September 2006 a new Elmo doll, called TMX (aka Tickle Me Elmo Xtreme, or Tickle Me Elmo 10) was released. According to Wikipedia, “rather than simply vibrating like the original, the TMX rolls around on the floor laughing and smashing his fist on the ground, begging for the tickler to stop.”

Thanks to promotional campaigns from Amazon and Toys R’ Us, there were huge pre-sales on the toy, and just like the toy from ten years previous, some people just had to have it, and went to extreme ends to get one. One person from Tampa, Florida was actually threatened with a gun over the new version of the toy.

Apparently some of the TMX dolls were in such limited quantities, they went up to nearly $2,000 in price.

Haven’t people learned from the past? I guess not.

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Remember This…?

May 3, 2007

teddy_grahams.jpgTeddy Grahams

I know these are technically still around, but I haven’t thought of them for years. Last night Michaela randomly said to me, “hey do you want some Teddy Grahams”? Seeing as we did not have any Teddy Grahams in the house, this was a horrible thing to say. Of course I want Teddy Grahams, but I wasn’t thinking about it until you mentioned it! Hell, I haven’t thought of them for about 10 years.

I remember loving these as a kid. The honey flavor was my favorite. They also came in chocolatey chip, cinnamon and chocolate. The cinnamon ones were great as well.

They have even been mentioned on pop culture shows such as Conan O’Brien, The Simpsons, and featured on an episode of “Strong Bad Emails”.

I definitely remember the classic song they had in the commercials…

“We just want to eat, tasty teddy grahams. Scrumptious bunch of bite sized bears, full of golden graham. Oh let them be, your teddy grahams. (Delicious graham snacks in honey, cinnamon and chocolate.) Just want to eat those teddy grahams!”

I think I’ll have go to the grocery store after work and see if I can find these anywhere. The craving won’t go away!

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Remember This… ?

April 16, 2007

variety-roll-ups.gifI remember when my Mom brought home a new treat called “Fruit Roll-Ups”. I had never had anything quite like them before. They were a lot like fruit leather, but had a much more candy taste. They came in cool colors like red, green or yellow instead of the not-so-pretty “poo” color of fruit leather.

They tasted pretty good as well, but I remember them being a pain-in-the-ass to un-wrap, and they were incredibly sticky. They seemed to take forever to chew, and you always ended up with bits and pieces of the roll-ups stuck in your teeth.

Later on, companies came up with the idea to have “punch-outs” on the fruit roll-ups. There would be little shapes or characters that you could punch-out of the sheet of roll-up. Throw a Ninja Turtle on a green fruit roll-up, and every kid wanted one.

I may be wrong on this, but fruit roll-ups eventually ushered in the invention of the much tastier “fruit snacks”.

I’m pretty sure fruit roll-ups are still around, although I haven’t had any in probably 10 years.

Some people also managed to be creative with fruit roll-ups, and along with twinkies created “Fruit Roll-up Sushi”, seen here:

twinkiesushi.jpg