The Cure

Any child of the 80’s may not have heard much of the Cure until their pre-teen years, but arguably one of the best albums belonged to this UK sensation.  In 1989 the Cure released the album Disintegration.  If this isn’t in your record collection; go out and buy it or download it today.

Yes I know the lead singer looks like a character from an episode of Fraggle Rock directed by Tim Burton, but the music speaks for itself.  Many a pasty faced teen dressed in black lace, clutching a daisy, and gently swaying in the corner; marked the larger fan base of this group, but for the epitome of pop-Goth the Cure can’t be topped.

I wish I had something more biting to say, but you can’t harp on something as genuinely entertaining as this.

Check out some of their videos:

Visionaries and Holograms

Visionaries

For those of us who were kids in the 1980’s, especially if you are male, you may remember the TV series/Toy Line called Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Though the story and design were par for the course in the 80’s, their main selling feature as toys was the “magical” holograms on their chests and staves. Here is a nice site recording their history and brief existence.

It’s funny how many things had holograms in the 80’s and just how often we as kids were taken to believe that they were somehow really high tech. I am surprised that cell-phones or ipods haven’t been modded with holograms integrated into their designs yet.

  • There were the rather similar Supernaturals, who had torsos made of holograms and perhaps a shield to match. With names like Mr. Lucky and Weird Cat, you know the designers phoned it in on that one.
  • There were the BAT figures from GI Joe.
  • Countless stickers such as this A-Team Lazer Blazers collection.
  • I am certain Trapper Keepers had holograms to some extent.
  • Here’s a wonderful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cearal box with hologram.
  • And let us not forget the hologram glasses still in use for poker tournaments.

Whether you like them or not, holograms made hundreds of children believe that the future of entertainment was to be found in the illusion of depth via an overproduced likeness of something real. And they ended up with Britney Spears. Okay, so they were right.

Reebok Pumps

Reebok Pumps

A wonderful marketing tool, Reebok Pumps had a generation of young boys stopping sports games so they could “pump up” their relatively overpriced shoes.  As if that small cushion of air in their sole could acutally affect their inability to hit a free throw or overcome their lack of any athletic ability.

The pair I had for playing Junior High B-Ball looked something like these (see above).  They were fun to wear but I had resist the urge to cut open the bottoms and see what was on the inside, almost every time I put them on.

Hey it could have been worse.  They could have had some sort of pump handle that flipped out or required an attachment.  Not that the pump on the tongue was really that comfortable.

Scandal – The Warrior

I have always wanted to do some MST3K voice overs for tons of music videos. Short of that I hope to feature as many video commentaries as I can. To start let’s look at a video that always makes me smile.

Artist: Scandal featuring Patty Smyth
Song: The Warrior
Released: 1984

I guess the co-protagonist is Jeff Goldblum as Die Fledermaus or is that Upholstor the Car Interior Avenger?

Ballet as produced by Marvel Comics.

0:47 You would think the netting villans would always be knocking things over and getting snagged on things. I bet they’re a blast at the beach though.

1:20 Bubble wrap girl is a tonf of fun at parties but is just embarrasing during the moment of silence at a funeral.

1:40 Some sort of tropical fish reference perhaps. Maybe their birds, all I know is that they aren’t very effective at fighting.

1:50 Bride of Frankenstein as painted by Chagal.

2:225 Bill Maher decides to keep score as Refereedum the Counting Mime.

My question is what are they keeping score on, levels of artistic suicide?

If this was on ice I could understand the horrible costumes.

Ah there is the steam, necessary or any 80’s video.

3:34 Luckily someone was there to catch her as no artist other than perhaps David Lee Roth can handle this much spandex in one video.

The funny thing is that as a kid I found this video entertaining. On some level it is still enjoyable and the song is catchy and a great 80’s party staple. All in all Patty Smyth is a wonderful musician that got a little too close to a video producer who wanted to start a new genre of music video action heroes.

Skip-It

Skip It

Before childhood obesity crippled our nation, toy companies began to release semi-innovative ways to perform average childhood actions. One such invention was a toy called Skip-It.

Add together the dynamics of a leg fastened tether ball, the potentiial for harm of a medieval mace, and some glitter,(and later a counting mechanism) and you have the next new toy craze for 1990’s America. Or so it seemed.

Granted this “toy concept” had been around since the 1960’s, this new “space age” design got parents to buy it for their kids.

I always was a bit frightened of the immediate threat of a being cracked in the shins by an overzealous young girl and my getting to close to the Skip-It. Thanks for the broken ankle Tiger Toys!

Here’s a commercial for the “new and improved” Skip-It from 1994.

The most entertaining piece of this puzzle comes via the Wikipedia entry for this toy:

Marshall Swails of Irmo, SC won the 1995 World Skip-It Open at the 1995 Toy Congress in Wolfsburg, Germany. He skipped 300,546 times on his custom glitter filled Skip-It. What was remarkable about this achievement was that nobody cared. He worse(sic) simple white, canvas Keds and a pair of skin tight BIKE bicycle shorts with his name on the side. He did not wear a shirt.

Hypercolor Clothing

Hypercolor image (Used without permission)

For those of you who didn’t have some article of Hypercolor clothing, let me refresh your memory. Imagine a shirt that knew when you were sweating, nervous, or had just been groped or physically assaulted by someone nearby. Well, that notion came to reality when Hypercolor clothing was invented.

The concept didn’t stay around forever as the fad died within a year or so, but in its day this trend was quite popular for the same kids who like snap bracelets and gummy shoes. (Though these shirts weren’t nearly as fun or interesting.)  Much like mood rings to the generations before, Hypercolor shirts were a fun ice breaker and “one trick pony” but never really had much permanence.  This wasn’t due to the product just being rather trivial, the chemical that caused the change to happen was easily damaged if washed improperly.

Though you may be able to find some Hypercolor clothing to this day, I can only imagine the insanity in a school setting when the administration would see kids groping each other trying to imprint their hand on their friend’s shirt. Instant school board hate list for this fad I am afraid.