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I'm Remembering
October 3, 2010 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm Remembering has pics of things that people aged 30-40 will remember from their childhood and adolescence. Who could forget Tiger Handheld games, Hypercolor shirts, Paint With Water books, Surge soda, Scholastic Book Club, Slice cola, Madballs, Ring Pops, and, last but not least, Zack Morris's cellphone?
posted by reenum (136 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
30 to 40? I'm in my 20's and most of these things fall squarely in my childhood. DON'T MAKE ME FEEL OLD YET!!!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:33 AM on October 3, 2010 [35 favorites]


tight rolling
slap bracelets
garbage pail kids cards
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:35 AM on October 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm 28, and I remember most of these things!

I had a wonderfully visceral moment when I saw this, and could taste it. Haven't thought about them in years, possibly decades, but now I want one. Quite probably a lame madeleine, but there you go...
posted by kalimac at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


30 to 40? I'm in my 20's and most of these things fall squarely in my childhood. DON'T MAKE ME FEEL OLD YET!!!

To be fair, some of these things aren't even dated; they still make Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, for example.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2010


Looking at these things does make me feel old. But I'm glad the internet is there to assure me that things like Boglins did indeed exist because... well, trying to explain them to someone who doesn't remember them.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2010


er, "try to explain."
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2010


holy shit, they actually have garbage pail kids on the front page.

lite brite
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:39 AM on October 3, 2010


micro machines
make it stop
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am 29 and everything there is recognizable to me, great stroll down memory lane.
posted by Fizz at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2010




Nostalgia Is A Weapon.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I want to smell a red one so bad right now.

They're "non-toxic" - don't you know what that means?!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:44 AM on October 3, 2010


M.U.S.C.L.E.s
posted by jcruelty at 10:45 AM on October 3, 2010


Wacky Packs needs a mention. The enjoyment of funny Photoshops 15 years before Photoshop existed.
posted by chambers at 10:49 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda"
posted by Rhaomi at 10:51 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't this part and parcel of hipsterdom- the fetishization of every random nostalgic memory from our latchkey childhoods? Yes, yes, we all had similar upbringings with shared toys and teevee shows- this doesn't mean we need a lite brite in our cubicle or an ironically unironic ALF t-shirt. That doesn't make you cute, or cheeky, or hip. It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

Now get off my lawn
posted by hincandenza at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2010 [18 favorites]


I don't remember Surge soda, and I didn't know Slice cola was gone. I'm not with-it when it come to the carbonated beverages, it seems.
(Don't make fun, whippersnapper! You'll be in your 30s someday, too. And fetch me my Moxie!)
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2010


Just because the boomers insist we make obeisances to every single forgettable bit of pop culture detritus from their childhoods until the last one of the fuckers drops dead doesn't mean we have to do the same thing, you know.
posted by enn at 10:58 AM on October 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Or to put it another way, isn't this site just a purified form of countless FPPs reminding us of some show or toy or game we loved so much as kids, and becomes a pathetic remembrance-fest of "Oh wow I saw/had/did that when I was a kid- I'm shocked, shocked that I wasn't the only person who watched that nationally broadcast/syndicated program!"

Yes you're getting older and no you're not special. Now seriously, get the eff of my lawn
posted by hincandenza at 11:02 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Merlin
Simon
posted by Gilbert at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow, i had a RadioShack Armatron! it was so badass. and loud.

i got $100 for Christmas one year and bought two sets of Laser Tag. it got rained on and died :(
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

Putting a lite-brite in my office sounds like a blast!

As far as me being childish, I shall direct you to this rebuttal.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:06 AM on October 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Micro Machines

"Micro Machines come in collections of five.
Micro Machines come in collections of five.
Micro Machines come in collections of five.
Micro Machines come in collections of five.
Micro Machines come in collections of five."
posted by metaxa at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2010


Just because the boomers insist we make obeisances to every single forgettable bit of pop culture detritus from their childhoods until the last one of the fuckers drops dead doesn't mean we have to do the same thing, you know.

Well, of course it doesn't, because the Baby Boomer detritus will still be around lording over all of the subsequent detritus and reminding the subsequent detritus about how good it all was until the Baby Boomers' grandkids are dead, at the very minimum. So any post-boomer detritus remembrance is ultimately meaningless anyway. Strawberry Alarm Clock and "The Brady Bunch" will always beat a-ha and "Family Ties" in a cage match.
posted by blucevalo at 11:11 AM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


reenum's picks had a much better hit rate for me than the linked site as a whole. Lots of products with source material I know but not the product itself (eg: Gremlins cereal). And lots and lots and lots of stuff I've never heard of (much of it I think my niece would know).

However, page 6 had an OMG! moment for me, in this. I've never met anyone else who knew this game existed. Not a soul.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:14 AM on October 3, 2010


That could have been me with the cabbage patch kid in 1983...but I got two. Ha!
posted by vincele at 11:19 AM on October 3, 2010


Big Trak
posted by swift at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I had those ET t-strap shoes. I also had Miss Piggy sneakers. And I remember wanting to like that Cappio stuff so bad because there wasn't a Starbucks yet and I thought coffee drinks seemed super elegant.
posted by padraigin at 11:26 AM on October 3, 2010


For some reason, this immediately put me in mind of 2-XL.
They only have the lame-looking '90s version.

The audio files from the first link made my head spin.
posted by Casimir at 11:26 AM on October 3, 2010


yes, i'm before the bomers, i remember things from the 40's and great years of the fiftys, but i had a distrubing dream last night = i dreamed i was talking to Freddie Mercury about music, and he was standing in front of me.
posted by tustinrick at 11:30 AM on October 3, 2010


I spend an inordinate amount of time visiting The Imaginary World site, pining for my lost youth.


Seriously, someone help me.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:34 AM on October 3, 2010


I'm 38. I don't remember ... any of this.

Seriously. None of it. I thought I might have dim memories of Surge cola, but then I realized I was confusing it with something else. None of the rest of it looks even vaguely familiar.

I grew up in suburban New Jersey. I watched Satuday morning cartoons fairly religiously for much of my childhood.

WTF? Did I stumble into an alternate universe at some point? What *is* all this stuff?
posted by kyrademon at 11:49 AM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I grew up in suburban New Jersey.

I grew up in inner city Manchester and even I remember almost half of it. Some of it I wasn't even aware was American.
posted by shinybaum at 11:55 AM on October 3, 2010


Oh, that giant phone. Did you know it had a switchboard and a row of operators seated inside?
posted by Cranberry at 12:01 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nostalgia gets visited by the Suck Fairy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:06 PM on October 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pretty sure Surge was a brief mid-90's thing. I remember during either my freshman or sophomore year (class of '00), kids were drinking it at lunch every goddamn day. It was basically Mountain Dew, but more X-TREEEME, on account of the sky-divers and bungee-jumpers in the commercials.
posted by hegemone at 12:15 PM on October 3, 2010


It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

No way, those hypercolor shirts are baller.
posted by saul wright at 12:23 PM on October 3, 2010


I love(d) Orange Slice. [My mouth actually just watered just from typing that.]
posted by bayani at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2010


I remember the Scholastic Book Club very fondly, but that's it out of the original list. Now Merlin, that brings back memories. I SO desperately wanted one. Finally got it when we were moving away from the US. :)
posted by bardophile at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2010


The Korean War
Ike
Schwinn Bikes
I Love Lucy
Princess Phones

... oh wait...
posted by HuronBob at 12:27 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I order books from the Scholastic Book Club for my two year old daughter now.
posted by gaspode at 12:27 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah, looks to be a pretty wide nostalgia grab if it includes things from the mid-70's through the mid-90's. Almost better to split it into "child of the 70's/80's/90's" sub-sites for that unfiltered nostalgia thrill.

Still very cool, though. And on preview: Scholastic still exists? That makes me very happy.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:28 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Surge had those commercials where a bunch of hyped-up dudes would put together makeshift obstacle courses and Jackass-esque races and whatnot, then somebody would yell 'Su-u-urge!' and they'd all compete for a bottle of soda.

Also and perhaps relatedly, it had a lot of caffeine.
posted by box at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm in the 30 to 40 bracket and many of these items don't ring a bell. It's a combination of my family having little money, my mother being pretty nutrition-conscious, and living out on a farm and seldom getting to set foot in a corner store or even seeing what other kids had. So I don't recognize most of the candy and food or beverages. I recognize some of the toys because I saw them in commercials or because my friends had them — I didn't have many toys and the ones I did have were very basic, like Barbies and a teddy bear. I do have fond memories of the Scholastic book club, because the very few new books I ever got as a child were from there.

So I'm not getting the nostalgia hit that some of you are. It's more like taking a trivia test where I either know the trivia or I don't. And it reminds me of how I'll sometimes, when at the grocery store, see cereals that I know I wanted to try as a child, but never got to try because my mother would never buy any but the relatively healthy ones — Cheerios, cornflakes, Shreddies, Rice Cripies, Wheetabix. Now I see some of those sugary cereals and even though I now could buy them if I wanted to, I think, ugh, they look completely revolting. and reach for the Cheerios. You can't go home again if you were never there in the first place.
posted by orange swan at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


kyrademon, I'm 39, this is a little too young for me. Something childish from 1988? I was a junior in high school. I don't think this is 30-40, it's more like early 20's to early 30's. This is too young for a 40 year old.
posted by MythMaker at 12:32 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm 40 and a lot of this stuff doesn't really ring a bell.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:39 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah see, less this; more this.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:40 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


(and this one I played the hell out of. And this one that my brother-in-law had, which I adored.)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:43 PM on October 3, 2010


Bah; less this, more this!
posted by washburn at 12:44 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


See now that was released a year later, in '79, but I don't recognize it at all. (looks like something I would have liked, though)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:50 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah Surge was a mid-90's thing, I don't know what it's doing there with all that 80's stuff.

One of my friends had a break-in a few months ago. The burglar took weapons, jewelry, and his Armatron.

A lot of those posts aren't loading for me, but I sure would throw in:
rub-on transfer books
Choose Your Own Adventure
Big Wheels
Spitting Image
Casey's Top 40
Max Headroom
Shrinky Dinks

What's with all the hate for nostalgia? I don't see what's wrong with fondly remembering stuff you used to enjoy.
posted by heatvision at 12:51 PM on October 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I think America forgot Dr. Slim Goodbody. Then again he does look like kinda creepy in tights

On youtube, a ditty about teeth.

When my german rellies visited, I remembered I had to roughly translate his name to Herr Schlank Guterkörper.
posted by aeroboros at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh man, that football game!

Surge was, IIRC, ca 1997, so... Yeah, not really "from our childhoods" I was moving out on my own and drank the hell outta Surge during that time period...

But - Anyone remember Bubble-Eez? ("Bubble ubble Eez. Bubble ubble Gum") had the astronaut in the ads - came in a plastic six pack and was round and squishy soft gum (don't recall if it had a liquid center, but perhaps?)

Then BURPLE??? That accordian-styled container filled with powder to make your own kooldaid style drink? Just pull it up, add water, and shake? (never had it. I was too busy eatin gov't cheese -- hey. That's not in there! Damn you! Just as well, it's not a particularly cherished memory)
posted by symbioid at 12:55 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scholastic Book Club is something more than people in their 30-40s remember. I'm in my 20s and used to order books from the catalogue and so did my mom back in the 1960s.
posted by zarah at 12:56 PM on October 3, 2010


However, page 6 had an OMG! moment for me, in this. I've never met anyone else who knew this game existed. Not a soul.


I've seen it! My elementary school had a copy stashed way back in the office, in the pile of rainy-day activities. Pretty ratty by the time I got to it, but I thought it was AWESOME.

Anyway, one more from the 20-somethings (and early 20s at that) who remembers a lot of this stuff. Although like Durn Bronzefist, the ones reenum pulled out ring more bells for me. Funny that, because I get the sense we're on opposite end of the target age range.
posted by sigmagalator at 1:10 PM on October 3, 2010


I am the same age as the curator of that site: 31.

So yeah, if you were born in the tail end of the 70's/beginning of the 80's, you will recognize nearly every single item posted. There's a bit for those older or younger, but being around 30 seems to be the sweet spot for "I'm Remembering."
posted by Windigo at 1:14 PM on October 3, 2010


OK, Durn Bronzefist --I do remember playing the baseball game your brother-in-law had, at some point. Whew! Turns out I haven't gone insane and forgotten my childhood after all! I'm just way, way too old to have encountered this stuff!

Um, yay?
posted by kyrademon at 1:20 PM on October 3, 2010


Kyrademon, I grew up in suburban New Jersey, and watched Saturday morning cartoons, and I remember all of this stuff. Dunno what that means, but there's some anecdata for you.

Also:

Fashion Plates
Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific
General Cinemas "Feature Presentation" bumper (YouTube; 28 seconds). I could never figure out what the hell that background was supposed to be, but damn that's a catchy tune.
Stay Alive, the board game hawked by Vincent Price (YouTube; 30 seconds)
Stop Thief! board game
Going to the stationery store to buy sheets of stickers to trade (from rolls and rolls of perforated sticker sheets).
Sandra Boynton's Chocolate: The Consuming Passion book.
"I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on!"
Spirograph
Capsela

And Gilbert, Merlin and Simon were just the best.
posted by tzikeh at 1:32 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh hey I know the lady who makes this! She is really funny. Go Hillary!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:35 PM on October 3, 2010


Oh, one more -

Free To Be You and Me (YouTube, but audio only--DAMN I love this song). The album featured the voice talents (either telling stories or singing songs) of:

Alan Alda
Harry Belafonte
Mel Brooks
Dick Cavett
Rita Coolidge
Billy De Wolfe
Roberta Flack
Rosey Grier
Michael Jackson
Kris Kristofferson
Shel Silverstein
Tom Smothers
Marlo Thomas
Dionne Warwick
Cicely Tyson
Carol Channing
The New Seekers

It makes me melancholy that so many messages contained in this storybook / record album / movie (all of which I own or owned) have yet to come to fruition. Also that Target has co-opted the song to sell crap.
posted by tzikeh at 1:40 PM on October 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Fudgsicle soda??? Someone please tell me that sucked so that I don't spend the rest of my life wishing I could try some.

I'm 26 and recognize less than half of this stuff. I think early 30s is the sweet spot, but then I didn't watch tv as a kid, so I may have missed some things that other people my age know about. Two things I didn't see that I would include are Glo Worm and Lady LovelyLocks.
posted by naoko at 1:49 PM on October 3, 2010


I think it's more like an age range of 20–30. Which, to the ripe old age of 40, IS STILL A CHILD. So no nostalgia for you tikes yet.
posted by theredpen at 2:02 PM on October 3, 2010


The site is up and down for me. Every other page says it's under maintenance. So I can't tell if has Orbitz, the sine qua non of recent-retro products.

Bonus points for that image search. "Related searches: blue pepsi"
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:04 PM on October 3, 2010


Isn't this part and parcel of hipsterdom

No, I don't think it is, and I long for the day when we'll reminisce nostalgically about the quaint compulsion that everyone used to have for trotting out the word "hipster" with an eyeroll to describe every single thing "the kids these days" are doing. It seems to me that this kind of thing can be understood within the framework of post-modernism, with no derisive reference to "hipsters" being necessary: the common memories created by mass production and mass media, the speed of cultural turnover that makes things from just a few years ago seem quaint and outmoded, the sort of double-awareness which lets us appreciate the outmoded things in a new context, etc.

I think there are lot of interesting things to say about this kind of thing and the cultural forces behind it, but just dismissing it with the H-word is not one of them.
posted by JohnMarston at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2010 [23 favorites]


Interesting, but both paint with water books and Scholastic Book Club (among others) were around when I was in grade school (early 70s) and are still around today (as the parent of a 5 year old I know about these things). And I just saw Ring Pops for sale today. It's kind of tough to be nostalgic for stuff that is still around. The comments in this thread though have some real nostalgia. Wacky Packs ruled! Orbitz, on the other hand was one of the nastiest things I have ever put in my mouth (although not as bad as pickled pigs feet).
posted by TedW at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2010


^I'm 26 and recognize less than half of this stuff. I think early 30s is the sweet spot, but then I didn't watch tv as a kid, so I may have missed some things that other people my age know about.

I'm also 26 and I remember nearly everything on here. Striped Chips Ahoy, The Nintendo Cereal System, the David Bowie Read poster (wow).
I would add My Buddy, PJ Sparkles, those bicycles that had plastic to make them look like dirtbikes, and Power Wheels.
Fun Fact: I went to elementary school with the kid who is wearing the red headband in this WWF Wrestling Buddies Commercial.
posted by Demogorgon at 2:22 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember making my own Hypercolor t-shirt to wear to school.
It was just a plain white t-shirt onto which I stenciled the word 'Hypercolor'.
posted by Flashman at 2:24 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with Hypercolor shirts was, once you'd been wearing them for a few hours they warmed up to your body temperature and only changed colors if you put something cold on them. Fun if you're outside and someone has a hose; less fun if you're, say, in a doctor's office.
posted by cmyk at 2:25 PM on October 3, 2010


Needs more Gigglesnort Hotel.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:33 PM on October 3, 2010


I'm also 26 and I remember nearly everything on here. Striped Chips Ahoy, The Nintendo Cereal System, the David Bowie Read poster (wow). I would add My Buddy, PJ Sparkles, those bicycles that had plastic to make them look like dirtbikes, and Power Wheels.

I have no idea what any of this is except for My Buddy and Power Wheels (and those only vaguely). It really must be the no tv thing. Thanks mom, I'm a freak.

However, I would like to note that a) I worked at the toy store in the background of the Colonial Williamsburg picture, and b) I briefly dated the brother of the child star of a movie that makes multiple appearances on this blog (but I have never seen the movie myself).
posted by naoko at 2:35 PM on October 3, 2010


It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child.

Thought like a child. Felt like a child.

Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

But I unpacked most of them when I got there.
posted by Evilspork at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


BATTLE BEASTS
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:56 PM on October 3, 2010


Definitely lol'd at the "Book It" button on pg 3. I definitely had a few of those sitting around. That rainbow-in-space was sweet as HELL in 1st grade. Plus that personal pan pizza we got for reading enough books was pretty much the only reason my mom would ever let me get pizza.

Honestly, most of my childhood memories are of jealousy that other kids got to have junk food my mom wouldn't let me have. The Squeezits on the first page also gave me a little moment of "Man, I always got those at my friends' houses"...along with sugar cereal, white bread, pizza, lunch meat, American cheese...

And OMG I had the Pee-Wee's Playhouse lunchbox on page 5, in red. It came with a matching thermos. I think my parents still have that lunchbox someplace. I felt like I was too old to be carrying a Pee-Wee lunchbox in 1st grade and my parents assured me that Pee-Wee was actually really cool. I now agree with them, but at the time, it felt pretty dorky.
posted by little light-giver at 3:02 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah, you're not missing anything not knowing what Micro Magic milkshakes are. You'll be spared the eyerolling when all this stuff comes back the way others have mentioned above.
posted by Demogorgon at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2010


Don't break the Ice
Blip
Lincoln Logs
Erector Set
Big jim with Kung-Fu Grip
Pong for the TV
Tab
Tough Skin Jeans



I was born in 1966....
posted by Hoosier Prospector at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2010


Fudgsicle soda??? Someone please tell me that sucked so that I don't spend the rest of my life wishing I could try some.

It did. My great uncle must bought a case of the shit at some point, cause every time my parents dragged me out to Levittown, PA, he would emerge from the garage with a can of foul brown fizzy liquid that I'm sure he thought was a huge treat for me. It wasn't.

Christ, fudgesicles taste like burning to begin with. So hmm, maybe you want to take my opinion with a grain.
posted by DLWM at 3:11 PM on October 3, 2010


I hardly remember any of this stuff which makes me think that we were poorer than my parents let on!
posted by thorny at 3:16 PM on October 3, 2010


Hmm, no, fudgesicles themselves are awesome, so I'm not sure I can trust you.
posted by naoko at 3:25 PM on October 3, 2010




I'm 29 and I remember most of this stuff, though honestly, I was trying to repress the memories of my New Kids sleeping bag. And that time that I barfed in my Popple...

Though oh, man... the Fraggle Rock happy meal toys. I loved the hell out of those things. Fraggles in vegetables on wheels! Doesn't get better than that!
posted by sonika at 3:31 PM on October 3, 2010


However, page 6 had an OMG! moment for me, in this. I've never met anyone else who knew this game existed. Not a soul.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:14 PM on October 3


I still have this game in my closet. But, I still have never met anyone that has ever heard of Star Wars Battle Command. I played it so much that it stopped working about 2 years later.
posted by nimsey lou at 3:35 PM on October 3, 2010


I don't see it there, but the happiest getting objects has ever made me was my birthday when I got both the Star Bird Avenger and Star Bird Intruder. This list reminds me of that.
posted by meinvt at 3:39 PM on October 3, 2010


Yeah, agreeing with the others on Surge. I'm 37, and that was big when I was in grad school. It got me through some boring evening classes.

I had some of the Sweet Pickles books. I had a Merlin. But my read-along books were records, not cassettes. I used to play them on my Holly Hobbie record player. And when I was a kid, Coke came in glass two-liter bottles.
posted by candyland at 3:40 PM on October 3, 2010


Needs more pogs.
posted by mullacc at 3:59 PM on October 3, 2010


M.A.S.K. (was awesome)
posted by Burhanistan at 4:00 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am 27 and I had a Boglin.

Surge was seventh grade for me. I remember the ads on Channel One News. (Man. Channel One was evil.)
posted by Neofelis at 4:07 PM on October 3, 2010


It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

And this makes you sound like a old, grumpy curmudgeon. Who pissed in your Smurf Berry Crunch?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm 26 with a 31 year old older sister, and this hits the spot perfectly for me. I pretty much remember everything on here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:12 PM on October 3, 2010


I hardly remember any of this stuff which makes me think that we were poorer than my parents let on!

I mostly remember the commercials. At the time I think the science of marketing to children was really just starting to be understood; I look at commercials now for kids' products and think they're much more sophisticated and probably more effective than they were in the late 80s and early 90s. I'd say at the time I saw a lot of commercials that I thought were stupid and pandering, and probably like a third of commercials made me lust irrationally for the product being advertised. I really doubt commercials are so easy for kids to see through, nowadays.

In other words, I think probably your issue was not poverty, it was that you didn't watch enough Saturday morning cartoons.
posted by little light-giver at 4:15 PM on October 3, 2010


It must be said that if anyone is going to goggle over Our Lost Years, an utterly brilliant blog (and also soon-to-be book) is that of MetaFilter's own GaelFC, called Gen Xtinct. Less of the 90's, more of the 70's-80's, but all of the tubular and radical.
posted by pineapple at 4:16 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


29 here. On the dozen or so pages I clicked through, I failed to recognize maybe five or six items.

Television is a powerful thing.
posted by brennen at 4:20 PM on October 3, 2010


My mom was the manager of a Kay Bee Toy store when I was growing up. This site just reaffirms my belief that my mom is and was totally awesome, as I had quite a lot of the toys and games featured on here.
posted by kerning at 4:23 PM on October 3, 2010


Yes, yes, we all had similar upbringings with shared toys and teevee shows- this doesn't mean we need a lite brite in our cubicle or an ironically unironic ALF t-shirt. That doesn't make you cute, or cheeky, or hip. It just makes you a child who won't let go of childish things.

Well, I think C.S. Lewis said it best:

"Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

If you're not going to dance under the sprinkler, then get off my lawn
posted by PsychoKick at 4:25 PM on October 3, 2010 [36 favorites]


I'll be 40 exactly 2 months from today. Very little of this shit made me nostalgic. Mainly because, a lot of it (the food items especially) are still around, and also because that list leans awful heavy on rather obvious stuff from the '80's which was a shitty fucking decade no matter what thopse of you who were into Barney at the time think you remember.
posted by jonmc at 4:32 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


SO GRUMPY
posted by Burhanistan at 4:37 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's odd that commercial products elicit such feelings of nostalgia. I guess we're truly a consumer culture.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 4:46 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was all "eh, yeah, whatever, I remember that" and then I saw this and was all OMG MEMORIES LIGHT THE CORNERS OF MY MIND, MISTY WATERCOLOR MEMORIES OF STUFF FROM WHEN I WAS A KID....
posted by Lucinda at 4:47 PM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm always going to unironically ironically enjoy '80s nostalgia. I'll be playing 8-bit games until I die -- and why shouldn't I, if generations can live and die with bridge, mah-jongg and dominoes?

Still and all, I can't jump into this site with much delight. It occurs to me that the public embrace of nostalgia for '80s childhoods is part and parcel of the fact that grownup life, for the children of the '80s, eats. "Behold, the world is a sucked orange," as someone once said. High unemployment, global disasters, coming climate change, a miserably polarized political climate . . . it's not much fun to be grown now. What is the reward? Employment is fleeting. Parenthood is an eighteen-year grind because our atomized society, for all its good points, has isolated young parents from the traditional auxiliary sources of assistance and care. Sure, we've always got drinking and sex, but . . . well, leave me my NES and my Rainbow Brites, is all I'm saying.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Eh, a lot of the stuff on the site doesn't hit my specific demographic. Also, just posting the pictures of each item feels kinda...thin.

An entire page off a web site devoted to "My Friend Mandy" dolls, on the other hand, is something else again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:58 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A couple years ago for no reason I bought some dinosaur and unicorn "oilies" stickers off eBay and put them on my laptop.

They looked awesome for about a week and then the heat from the case melted them and they leaked toxic sticky crap everywhere. I deserved it.
posted by nev at 5:33 PM on October 3, 2010


I'll be over at the century-old-books-post just a bit further down.
posted by eeeeeez at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2010


Makit Bakit. Sun-catchers: small metal stained glass frames that you filled with pellets of colored plastic that melted in the oven into stained glass.

As with coloring in between the lines, you graduated to a new level of competence when you could fill each of the little compartments neatly with no holes or blobs of different colors.

They are no longer sold, perhaps out of fear of VOCs or burns. Now you just get ready-made plastic suncatchers which you color with paints. Feh.
posted by bad grammar at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Remember when is the lowest form of conversation:" - Tony Soprano

I was at backyard cookout with some friends, and the conversation turned to collecting, and I brought up my Hot Wheels collection, and some of my friends were surprised to find out that I have quite an extensive collection of Hot Wheels. Most of the surprise was not because it seemed out of character, but because unlike the other goofy stuff I tend to have around, my collection of little toy cars resides packed away in boxes in a storage closet. Not really a "glass case in the TV Room" kind of collection.

And the answer to my friends' query of "Why Hot Wheels?" was that they were my favorite toy as a kid, and I could never bring myself to toss them, and as I grew older, it just became a thing I bought without thinking much about it. When I was a kid, Hot Wheels had 3 things going for them. They were durable, inexpensive, and small enough to fit in a pocket or backpack. We didn't have a lot growing up, and we moved a lot, and bigger toys were always too expensive, or on the rare occasion I got one, there was never enough room to toss it in the back of the car as we moved on to the next tiny apartment. Being a kid with a single parent also means spending a lot of time in grown up places, sitting quietly while mom attended to adult stuff. My little pocketable $1 cars were my best friends back then.

...and then somebody piped in about some toy they remembered, and then somebody else mentioned some candy or cereal, and my remembered experience of something that actually meant something to me just became a bunch of 30-somethings listing things they saw in commercials as a kid.

People seem to love playing the meaningless nostalgia game, but my usual response is "why?" I don't care what you remember, tell me why you remember it. Otherwise, I have plenty of my own memories to pass the time with.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Makit Bakit is no longer sold in physical stores in my area, I meant. There are many sites online that sell the kits. Perhaps where I live is unusually litigious.
posted by bad grammar at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2010


OMG I remember the Snapple Lady! WTHHHHHHHH???
posted by cthuljew at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2010


What happened to all these things?! I only JUST learned that they stopped selling the Monster cereals. How in the world could they take Count Chocula off the shelf?? Next you'll tell me that they've stopped selling Crispy Critters, Quisp, and Kellogg's Pep!

My mom used to buy me loads of those paint with water books because she was afraid to actually let me paint with paint. Except she was also afraid to let me have a bowl of water to use with the books, so she would put down a week's worth of newspaper and ensconce me in paper towels. I don't know what kind of a klutz she thought I was.. That sucked the fun right out of my Voltron painting with water!

Slap bracelets! I remember that my mom FINALLY said I could get one, and I was going to get to pick one out at Claire's at the mall. All of a sudden the scaremongers on the news reported that someone accidentally cut their hand off with a slap bracelet, and I never got one.

You know what I always wanted?! One of those clear plastic corded telephones. You could see the innards of the phone and it was all colored neon. I always went into Spencer's to look at those phones.

Squeeze-Its! Those weren't so great.

And, hey, (some of) you snarky hipster curmudgeons of Metafilter won't dampen my nostalgia with your... snarky hipster curmudgeonly comments! If you don't like reminiscing, don't reminisce, but don't rain on the parades of the nostalgia-obsessed! I LOVE remembering, and there's nothing wrong with that!
posted by Mael Oui at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh man I forgot about Surge, Educational Keyboard and 2-XL. This site brings back to many memories I wish I was a kid again.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:18 PM on October 3, 2010


Can we mention the bits of that generation that weren't utter crap -- they do exist? Not everything that gets marketed to kids has to suck. For instance, the current generation of kids have Pixar, and many of us had Sesame Street when growing up.

Even though it's just a homage, this video always manages to induce all sorts of nostalgia.
posted by schmod at 8:29 PM on October 3, 2010


I'm amazed at how many of the Fisher Price toys I had when very little. They seemed generic, but are actually quite delightful in their design, and without excessive branding.
posted by HeroZero at 8:38 PM on October 3, 2010


Nostagia---consisting of νόστος, nóstos, "returning home", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος, álgos, "pain" or "ache".

Nuff said.
posted by sourwookie at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


schmod - speaking of Sesame Street, I doubt they ever topped this moment.

That kid in the background, up on the "fire escape", is having WAY too much fun. Not that I blame him.

posted by Greg_Ace at 9:11 PM on October 3, 2010


No but seriously - Sweet Pickles were the most amazing books. They were just so freaking great.
posted by DoktorFaustus at 9:27 PM on October 3, 2010


Ah, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars! My mother has all my old die-cast autos. She lets my two-year-old nephew play with them. Frinklike, I keep trying to tell him that he doesn't enjoy them on as many levels as I do.

It never works. He keeps vrooming and having fun.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:46 PM on October 3, 2010


and also because that list leans awful heavy on rather obvious stuff from the '80's which was a shitty fucking decade no matter what thopse of you who were into Barney at the time think you remember.

Barney and Friends first aired in 1992.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:03 AM on October 4, 2010


I really want to watch the Chipmunk Adventure movie now. And I want to eat some cinnamon roll cereal while I do it.

Aw man, I just watched the My Mother song from Chipmunks Adventure and it made me all verklempt because I haven't seen my mom in a long time. Thanks a lot, Chippettes.
posted by mandanza at 12:06 AM on October 4, 2010


Mael Oui -- According to wikipedia:
In the recent past, the three cereals still in circulation could be primarily found during the autumn months[6][7], in time for Halloween. As late 2010, information such as nutrition data and historical factoids can still be found the official General Mills website[8].

Target and Walmart are among the stores that have been known to carry these scarce cereals during and around October. They can be found year-round in some Walmart Supercenters and on Amazon.com[9][10].
So there's hope yet. Just not year round, I guess. Boo. (sad, not ghost)
posted by symbioid at 7:50 AM on October 4, 2010


Remembered by Myk

This site isn't so much remembering as pasting in photos. I was expecting at least ... something. Humorous puns?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2010


At first I passed this link by thinking I wouldn't get any references as I am 24. Thankfully I investigated it and see that it fits my age range right on, give or take a few references.

Cabbage Patch doll? His name is Loyyd (adamant on the two y's since I could speak apparently) and he is still around with me nowadays. Chipmunk Adventure? I keep around my VHS tape of it despite not having a VHS player (and have a digital version now for watching when I get a desire to). Remembering the awful experiences of a drippy and plasticy Ring-pop, etc. I have a set of Pogs and a marble collection hanging around here somewhere too.

I know some people might think I'm a bit juvenile or even just silly for keeping a hold on some of these things, especially when some just move along from house to house in a packed up box somewhere. I guess I kind of view these items as relics of my childhood, they let me remember those times easily and they let me reflect on the nature of value (at one time this marble meant the world to me). Eventually I'd love to set up a little display box with some highlights, for old time nostalgia's sake. As discussed in a recent AskMefi question, there is a balance between fondly displaying select nostalgia pieces and letting them somehow hold you back from going on to new parts of your life. For me, the love of my doll Loyyd stems from his reason for being in my life (he was given to me at 1 year old when my parents discovered I would have a sister soon, after that point I never wanted and thus didn't have any other stuffed animal or doll but him) and the fact that we have been together for all of my trials and learnings while growing up. Sure it's just a mass produced doll, but he is my mass-produced doll, with scribbles on his bald head and worn old clothing/faded and chipped paint that now renders him unique in the world. Back when I lived in an apartment with spontaneous fire drills, some of the folk found it cute that I would be outside in my pyjamas with Loyyd in my arms. I always smile - they wouldn't find it strange to bring a pet outside, and what more is Loyyd than a pet who was at some time "alive" via the means of a child's imagination?
posted by Meagan at 8:23 AM on October 4, 2010


This one still gets stuck in my head.

I begged and begged for one of these, but much like the others (The Barbie Perfume Factor, The Holly Hobby Easy Bake Oven, Fashion Plates, the kid-sized weaving loom) I begged for so endlessly, I think I used it about twice.
posted by thivaia at 8:34 AM on October 4, 2010


One word: Jams.

That is all.
posted by slogger at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2010


Iron-on t-shirt stores where you pick out a shirt and then you go flipping through the record crates of iron-ons to pick the one you want and you take it up to the counter and then you go and get an orange julius and when you come back your t-shirt has been prepared and is hot from the press and smells like chemicals.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:59 AM on October 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow, I had forgotten about Slim Goodbody. I'm sort of trying to imagine they kind of reactions someone would get today for trying a similar shtick.

I'm sure someone out there would find a reason to be loudly objectionable about it.
posted by quin at 10:00 AM on October 4, 2010


Complete and total self-link, but those of you who find this just a little too young for you may appreciate Gen X-tinct, our look at the lost toys, tastes and trends of the 1970s and 1980s. (Facebook link here.) Our book, "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?", comes out in June from Penguin.
posted by GaelFC at 12:13 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Complete and total self-link, but those of you who find this just a little too young for you may appreciate Gen X-tinct, our look at the lost toys, tastes and trends of the 1970s and 1980s.

Funny. I'm a little too old for the FPP, and a little too young for yours (though I remember more from yours - Hootie the Owl, crying Indian, etc.).

It's amazing how tightly packed the consumer-culture generations are. I am (38), and I suppose Gen X-Y: GI Joes, Vans, Jams, Jellies, Smurfs, ColecoVision, basketball shorts that grew in length by 500%, Hubba Bubba vs. Bubblicious, Danger Mouse, Dukes of Hazard, Miami Vice, and of course, Star Wars everything.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:51 PM on October 4, 2010


One of the comforting things about watching A Christmas Story is knowing that children of generations past were just as obsessed with overpriced, useless crap as we are today. (I'm thinking of the Ovaltine decoder badge more so than the Red Ryder BB gun (which, holy crap, is still being produced--who knew?), although I suspect that by Memorial Day, if not Easter, the latter either would have ended up broken, confiscated as a result of a hit or a near-miss on some other kid, a neighbor's window or dog, etc., or simply forgotten until you caught some raccoons going through the trash.) In general, the colors may change--there seemed to be a time in the eighties when almost literally every other thing in Target had at least a trace of acid green on it--but kids are always wild for the cute, colorful junk.

I'm not sure what the point of this is, really, aside from bog-standard random nostalgia. Some of this stuff seems pretty embarrassing (bonus points if you're still nostalgic for it despite the embarrassment), but other stuff, not so much. Scholastic Book Club was a good idea, even though I was always reading ahead of my grade level in school so I didn't have much use for it personally. (And, yes, it was around when I was a kid in the seventies.) I encountered Surge when they were test-marketing it in Memphis; they were giving out cans on Beale Street, and I was a little puzzled by the timing, since it must have at least been fall--I was wearing a coat big and sturdy enough to carry six cans of the stuff in my pockets. It was OK for a Mountain Dew clone, but nothing that I missed when it left the shelves. (I did miss Josta, though.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:10 PM on October 4, 2010


(I did miss Josta, though.)

I thought Josta tasted exactly like Faygo Rock N Rye. With extra caffeine.

I'm probably the only person in the world (outside of focus groups) who liked Crystal Pepsi. That stuff was fantastic. After it bombed, I could get 12-packs for $1.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:15 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This brought so many memories back, and I'm only 28 and I remmeber most of these things too!
posted by Gisela at 3:03 PM on October 4, 2010


Barney and Friends first aired in 1992.

True, but the direct-to-video Barney and the Backyard Gang movies first came out in 1988. I had the first three of them, and I maintain that they are less godawful than the tv show.
posted by naoko at 3:29 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm, if it helps, I loved Crystal Pepsi. I never did a taste test as to how different exactly they were. But I remember a year when my regular Saturday morning breakfast was a Crystal Pepsi and some Funyuns. (I was fourteen and I was choosing my own food for the first time. It's a long story.)
posted by Countess Elena at 3:43 PM on October 4, 2010


Man, now I really want some KFC Chicken Littles. Best cheap lunch ever.
posted by xedrik at 10:01 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


More anecdata - I'm 32 and this is spot on for me.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 11:15 PM on October 4, 2010


Oh jeez, now I have the "Skip-it" commercial stuck in my head. "But the very best thing of all, there's a counter on this ball, so try and beat your very best score, see if you can skip a whole lot more!"
posted by IndigoRain at 12:43 AM on October 5, 2010


"Rub-a-dub Doggy, soft little doggy, he can take a bath with you!"
posted by box at 7:47 AM on October 5, 2010


I thought I mentally caught a melody for that, box, but then realized I was singing it to "My Little Pony".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:30 AM on October 5, 2010


Halloween Jack: "One of the comforting things about watching A Christmas Story..."

A wonderful memoir co-opted as a terrible apologia.

Don't mind me, I just keep re-reading The Shrinking of Treehorn
posted by Rat Spatula at 9:46 PM on October 5, 2010


Count another fan of Crystal Pepsi here. Except. I hated that we had a gathering (not a pep rally - what are they called, where you like, have the whole school gather for something special, like a speaker? I digress...) that was all anti-drug propaganda supposedly, but really, it was just one looooooooooooooooong drawn out Pepsi commercial with VAN HALEN (and that horrible Sammy Hagar and that horrible "Right Now!" song...

That was the worst enforced commercialization of the school that I had experienced. Now that I'm older I realize it for what it was, at the time I just thought it was this really bad anti-drug propaganda. Both are bad, but it's like the anti-Reeses, two bad tastes that go worse together.
posted by symbioid at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


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