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The Transformers in Kid Stuff Record’s “Satellite of Doom”

It is time for some theater of the mind! So sit back and enjoy a Transformers’ audio adventure from Kid Stuff Records, the very scary, “Satellite of Doom”. In this classic read-a-long tale…

Megatron and Soundwave kidnap thousands of humans and force them to bury tons of coal in the desert. Sealing the humans in the cave they set off high temperature explosives that turn the carbon in the coal and humans into a gigantic diamond lens that they plan to launch into space. Bumblebee discovers the Decepticon launching site and Optimus Prime sends Skyfire to take it out, but he fails. Megatron launches the lens into space and uses it to focus the sun’s rays and melt the shale in the Rocky Mountains into oil. Optimus again sends Skyfire to stop the lens and Prowl instructs Ratchet to build extra fuel tanks for the Autobot jet’s trip to space. Despite his best efforts the diamond is unharmed and Skyfire burns up on reentry of Earth’s atmosphere. As the boiling oil threatens to kill millions on the West Coast, the Autobots build a mile long mirror to reflect the lens rays back on it, shattering it. The Autobots launch an assault on Megatron’s base, but the Decepticon leader and Soundwave escape in their drilling mole machine.

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So open up that record player, recline on some shag carpet and enjoy this eighties audio masterpiece.

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Kenner’s Gun that Shoots Around the Corner

There she is, your quarry. You have hunted her from one side of the house to the other. Creeping along silently, waiting for the perfect moment to pull the trigger on your toy gun. The problem is, you sister is much larger than you. She can move more quickly and if she catches you, she will lay a sibling beating on you like you have never seen. Not only will noogies be doled out liberally, but your trusty weapon will most likely be captured in the ensuing one-sided melee. How do you buy enough time to escape her wicked clutches? You could attempt to shoot from a distance or from cover, but from a distance, she won’t feel the soft spongy ball hitting her and shooting around the corner reduces accuracy. So what do you do hotshot?

You pick up a Kenner’s Gun that Shoots Around the Corner. No longer are you a slave to lines of fire that would lead you to take dangerous chances. Now you can take the shot and in the moment of confusion, make a break for the safety of her closet, where you will hide behind that giant stuffed dog she won at the Carnival five years ago. It is a brilliant hiding place and the last place she will ever look. Just try not to giggle when she is standing around all confused as to where you went.

Remember, you are a little brother – a demon’s whisper in the dark. You were born for this work and thanks to Kenner’s Gun that Shoots Around the Corner, you are the best.

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star-rider

Only the Coolest Future Protectors of the Galaxy owned a Star Rider

The Star Rider was an amazing imagination enhancement toy. A simulated control panel for a star fighter that made noises and allowed the lucky kids who owned it to take play time up to Warp Speed. This was an item I asked to get for at least two Christmases, but alas it never showed up. I would learn from my Mother much later on that she passed up a lot of toys that I would ask for because she thought that I would outgrow them quickly. Oh, little did she know just how long I would stay a child (I still want the Star Rider).

As you can see from the photo, this kid not only looks happy, but super cool as he jets across the pretend universe in his open air Star Rider. Clad in his sweater and dungarees, he is ready to B-BROOM, WARP and ZAP the evil alien forces that would threaten our planet and his fellow Star Rider Cadets. For under $60 bucks, that seems likes a bargain to me.

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You think your Mobile Phone is expensive? Check out this Mobile Phone Pricing Plan from the 1980s!

When Gary Burton decided to pick up a new phone for his classic eighties car, he thought, “Why not add the ultimate eighties car accessory, the cellphone?” So he hit the antique mall and picked up the Uniden beauty you see above. That in itself is pretty great, but what he found with the phone is even more magical. A copy of the Cellular One phone plan.

As you will see, what we see as complexity in our phone plans, is nothing compared the menu of choice you had back in the eighties (I think late eighties). If you were to pick any of the plan that included minutes, they are all local and at $99.99 you are still only getting 360 of those local minutes. That doesn’t even include the $30 activation fee and what I assume are a bunch of taxes, plus whatever the phone guy is going to charge you to hook this up in your car. It makes today’s phones look simple and downright affordable by comparison. I wonder if in 30 years, people will look back at how much we pay for what we get and laugh at the simplicity of our current phones and the limitation of our phone plans? (No Mars texting included??? That is sooo shazbot!)

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*Thanks to Gary for sharing this find with us and allowing us to post this here.

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A Young Ed O’Neill helps sell Pabst Beer in 1983

Before he was on Modern Family and Married with Children, Ed O’Neill (who pulls of a turtleneck surprisingly well) helped sell beer, but not just any beer, beer that tastes like beer, so you know its beer. That beer that tastes like the beer you know? Pabst. Commercials like this never seem to go out of style and O’Neill makes a pretty good tough-talking spokesman (even with the turtleneck – or maybe because of it??)

Ed aside, this bar looks chaotic and not a place I would be comfortable hanging out in. Maybe I am weird, but with the packed floor, the dancing, the beers being jostled, the guy with Irish accent barking out his order, I get overstimulated and exhausted just watching it and need to take a nap. If I actually entered a place like this I would have to sleep for a month.

Ed would go on to bigger and better things and the Pabst brand, which would have its ups and downs would emulate him.

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The Bicentennial Stereo is the last Stereo you will ever need…

Browsing old magazines and newspapers, it is amazing to see just how many people were using the United State’s 200th birthday as a flimsy excuse to sell something. I am sure they seemed like a good idea at the time, but now they really do seem like a cash grab and I love it.

Radio Shack, on the cover of their 1976 catalog offered something called The Bicentennial “Everything System”. Which they claim is the best way to kick off America’s 3rd century (with a boon, not a boom).

For $499 you get a tuner/amplifier, speakers, cassette deck with Dolby, turntable, headphones and two cassettes.

Then they end with something I do not really understand, but I really like…

“The cases and the bases. You’d better give in soon. Because you can’t beat the System!”

I assume they are referring to the stereo system, but it is so cryptic. Are they referring to the political system? Is Radio Shack trying to start a political revolution? So many questions….

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1960’s Batman in a Red Costume?

With the recent release of “Batman v. Superman”, the internet was flooded with Bat News and info. While reading through some blog posts about the film and Batman in general I noticed the above Italian movie poster for the 1966 Batman film by Giuliano Nistri. I was taken by the use of color, not just in the background, but also for the red Batman suit. You would think this is an error, but this might not be the case. When Batman was being created, the original concept had the Bat in a red outfit. It was cartoonist Bill Finger who revised Bob Kane’s design giving us the more familiar less colorful Batman we know and love. So perhaps this is just Nistri giving a playful ode to the original concept.

I even found what looks to be a variant of the poster.

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There is something about the red costume, especially on Adam West’s Batman that I can’t help but love. Of course, a crime-fighter dressed in red is just ludicrous and no one will ever be able to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy it.

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