Sandy Duncan, Wheat Thins and her Glass Eye?

wheat-thins

Whenever I think about Wheat Thins, I can’t help but associate it with the ad campaign starring the very talented Sandy Duncan. My family would obsess over these ads, not because we loved Wheat Things, which we did, but because we believed the urban legend that Duncan had a glass eye, and we were obsessed with spotting it. We would stare at the screen looking for tell-tale signs or odd movement. It was oddly morbid and an activity my Grandmother tried to stop.

She knew the truth about Duncan’s eye. Sandy had a tumor removed from her left eye years before, but had not had the eye removed. Despite my Grandmother’s cold hard facts, we could not be persuaded to think otherwise and Duncan and her non-glass eye would always be an object of entertainment and fascination in our household for years to come.

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

8-bit Ghost Bullies are strong in a group, but cowards alone

I am not sure the logic follows completely based on gameplay, but I think the imagery and sentiment of the words are appropriate in this piece posted to the Social Arcade.

bullies

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

Witness the ‘Fall of Grayskull’ Teaser Trailer

Fall Of Grayskull

I’ve always been a huge fan of Masters of the Universe and this includes the much-derided feature film starring Dolph Lundgren. When news reached me a few years ago that a new film could be on the way, I was excited. Special effects and budgets have improved dramatically in the years since the last movie and a new He-Man on the big screen would have been a welcome treat. Alas, with every passing month, my confidence that the film might make it to my local multiplex diminishes but all is not lost!

Thanks to a recent Kickstarter campaign, film-maker Daniel Benedict is about to bring us Fall of Grayskull and from the brief teaser below, it is looking awesome!

Visit the Fall of Grayskull movie site for more about the film or the Castle Grayskull Man website for more from Daniel and we’ll have the full trailer here on The Retroist when it is released.

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

Ten of my Toys from the 1980s that I still own

We all had favourite toys growing up in the 80s. Chief among them, He-man. Sadly, after a purge found out about after the fact, I no longer have my collection. Which was just about complete, by the way. Oh, well. I thought I’d spotlight the only two figures known to have survived the purge. Stinkor, and Man E Faces, as well as about the other childhood toys that I’ve managed to hang on to.

eighties-toys-01

He may not have his armour nor his weapons, but Stinkor is still holding on. Stinkless, though he may be. I’ve thought about trying to duplicate the smell, but decided that it wouldn’t be the same.

Man-E-Faces. A fun little guy. Like Stinkor, he doesn’t have his weapons, but he’s right there next to Stinkor. Two old soldiers that have managed to survived. He’s in pretty good shape for what I put him through in the 80s. Stand tall and proud, Man-E-Faces. And bow-legged, too.

Tomy Tutor Play Computer

Tomy Tutor Play Computer

While I had a real computer to play with, an Apple II, I still had a lot of fun with this when I was little. I could sit for hours winding up the little yellow knob and watching the pictures move. This little guy is, right now, sitting on a shelf in my closet, dreaming of what used to be.

eighties-toys-04

eighties-toys-05

Ah…Batman. Batmania 1989. How could you ever be forgotten. I remember seeing the movie in the theater in the mall. The theater was just across from the greatest arcade ever concieved of by mankind. Space Port. Which had a counter set up to sell all sorts of Batman stuff. Little pvc Jokers that hung from a string, and for me at least, the batmobiles. The summer of 1989 was just magical. I’ve managed to hang on to some of the toys I had. Primarily the diecast Batwing and Batmobile. The Batmobile came in different sizes. The standard Matchbox/Hotwheels sized one and one that’s about 3 times larger. Oh, the fun I had with these when I was a kid. And, I’m not ashamed to admit, the fun I’ve had quite recently. I don’t know the exact location, but I’m pretty sure that I have a radio controlled Batmobile around here somewhere….

eighties-toys-06

eighties-toys-07

Rainbow Brite. I would probably get beat up for this today, but when I was a boy kid, I had plenty of girly toys. Rainbow Brite being one of my favourites. I no longer have the big baby sized doll nor the smaller, only few inches tall doll. But still hanging on, are two little Sprites, Champ, the blue, and Spark, the yellow. For years, I only knew that I still had the blue Sprite. But not too long ago, I found the yellow one down behind our washer and dryer. After a quick bath in the washer, he (or is it she?) is just about as good as new. Both of my old friends now sit proudly in my room.

One really odd toy I found in my room a while back is a sheriff Socket-Popper. I don’t recall getting this when I was a kid, so I’m at a loss. But it’s a cool little toy, nonetheless. There were several of these things where you could pop off, hence the name, the head and arms and legs and swap them between each other. That’s pretty much all I can say about them. Like I said, I don’t remember anything about them.

eighties-toys-09

Popples. Now THIS is something that I can talk about. Popples were little, depending on which version you bought, balls of fur that you could unfold into a fun, puffy toy. There was a bunch of different coloured popples. The one that I remember, and still have, is PC Popple. One of the best things about the Popples was the live action movie that Shelly Duvall made in the early 80s. Unfortunately, this special isn’t on dvd. Though, it is on an old VHS tape that can be found….if you don’t mind spending far more than you’d ever spend on a single dvd. It can be found for much cheaper as a bootleg on certain sites, though.
I still have P.C. Popple sitting in my closet. He’s not as brightly coloured as he once was. And his fur lays a little flatter and could use a good cleaning, but P.C. is still alive and kicking.

eighties-toys-10

Freddy Teddy. This is the very first stuffed animal that I ever received. He, too, is still around. And best of all, his squeeker still works. Apparently, Freddy is quite expensive if you’re interested in one. I looked on ebay and found them for anywhere from 24 dollars up to about 70 dollars. Glad my mom didn’t pay that much.

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

Do you remember Pillow People and Pillow Pets?

pillow-people

Pillow People and Pillow Pets were a line of stuffed rectangular toy pillows with faces designed on them that started around 1986. I would not say they were a huge hit, but for a year or two they were a very visible toy line in commercials.

It was an interesting idea for a line of toys because the accessories were pretty obvious, if you have the pillow, you are going to need some sheets and that is exactly what you could get to finish your Pillow People collection. I guess if they caught on in a bigger way we could have had Quilt Pals, Area Rug Buddies and Shower Curtain Chums.

I do not remember seeing the toys in the mall toy stores I visited and maybe that was because, like they say in this commercial, they were available in the home furnishings departments of stores. This is an interesting idea to attract parents to pick up a toy, but what kid would think to look there for one?

Recently a new line of Pillow Pets started showing up in TV commercials. I am not sure they are associated with the original Pillow People/Pets. They looked very different from the 1980s toy line.

pillow-pets-modern

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

Scream Factory Presents: Squirm Collector’s Edition (1976)

When Squirm originally was released in 1976 in my neck of the woods it actually played at the 62 Drive-In, I guess my Father didn’t think it was appropriate for me to watch because we didn’t catch that particular film. It may have had something to do with me staring in horrid fascination at the original theatrical poster while standing in line at the concession stand.

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.

The first time I was able to see Squirm it was being broadcast on the late, late show on Tulsa 23, a wonderful TV station that was only available to us by way of rabbit ears. Thanks to some particularly gruesome effects by Rick Baker it was a horror film that has stuck in my mind and certainly makes me…ahem…squirm when I get a chance to watch it. Our friends from Scream Factory were kind enough to send us a press release about their upcoming Blu-Ray release, set to hit shelves on October 28. Scream Factory is making sure that our Halloween is going to be chock-full of tasty treats for us horror fans this year!

Image courtesy of Scream Factory.

Image courtesy of Scream Factory.

From the Press Release:
“On October 28, 2014, SCREAM FACTORY™ is proud to present SQUIRM Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on home entertainment shelves everywhere. Arriving for the first time on Blu-ray™, this highly anticipated release contains insightful bonus content, as well as a collectible cover featuring newly rendered retro-style artwork, a reversible cover wrap with original theatrical key art. A must-have for creature horror enthusiasts and movie collectors, SQUIRM Collector’s Edition is priced to own at $29.93 SRP.

***Avid fans and collectors please take note: those who order SQUIRM Collector’s Edition from ScreamfactoryDVD.com will receive the exclusive 18”x24” poster featuring the newly commissioned artwork! These are only available while supplies last.***”

Special Features included on the Blu-Ray:
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Jeff Lieberman
NEW – EUREKA! – a look at where the idea for SQUIRM came from with Jeff Lieberman
NEW – DIGGING IN – interviews with writer/director Jeff Lieberman and actor Don Scardino
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spot
Still Gallery

So follow the link provided up top to pre-order your copy of Squirm today so you can get your hands on that exclusive poster!

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.

This 1967 Remco “Star Trek” Asto-Helmet Is Certainly…Interesting.

Now I may have missed the classic Star Trek episode where the crew of the Enterprise met an Alien sporting this helmet, but I would have though that seeing an ambassador or villain in the series sporting a bright yellow helm with bug-eyes would have stuck with me. Even Mr. Spock seems to be a little confused by it in that photo on the box!

Image courtesy of the Vintage Toy Archive.

Image courtesy of the Vintage Toy Archive.

Not that this would stop me from wearing the Star Trek Astro-Helmet to work every single day if I owned it, assuming I could fit my fat head into it. I really like the Command Insignia on the side of the helmet with flames shooting out of it! A huge thanks to the Vintage Toy Archive as always for the wonderful scan of the original box.

Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.