skil-stik

Skil-Stik for the Intellivision and Sears Super Video Arcade

I had a friend with an Intellivision and when played it, we complained constantly about the lack of joysticks. To try to shut us up he picked up a pair of joysticks that attached to the Intellivision control discs. At first it seemed like a great idea, but if you applied any type of pressure to the sticks they popped off and the game you were playing was pretty much ruined.

It took a very gentle hand to use them, which none of us had and we soon went back to the original controllers and our pointless complaining.

young-tim-allen

Tim Allen in a pre-“Home Improvement” Ad for K-mart

Tim Allen was just a working comedian when he landed this small role in a K-mart commercial. The commercial had a very short run, supporting the 1985 Christmas season, but for some reason, maybe it was his star quality, this commercial stuck in a lot of people’s minds. Enough so that when Home Improvement finally hit the airwaves over 5 years later, my Mother referred to him as the guy from that Sears’ commercial.

8-foot-stocking

Who wouldn’t want to win this “8-Foot Christmas Stocking Contest”?

For Christmas of 1977 Stop & Go Markets ran a contest where you could win and “8-Foot Christmas Stocking”. Entry seems simple enough. Just stop by their location and enter by filling out a piece of paper. Then at some point before Christmas they choose a winner and you bring home the stocking. In this ad, you see all the kids are splitting the toy selection evenly and having a merry well-behaved Xmas.

What I prefer to picture is Christmas where the parents mistakenly put the stocking against the fireplace and cover up just one of their kids old stockings. That way the one kid thinks they got this one big stocking and the other kids got their limp and seemingly unfilled stockings. I am sure they could tell them pretty quickly that it was meant to be shared, but that moment of reaction for those kids would make for a YouTube video worthy of repeated watching.

egg-scrambler

The Egg Scrambler By Ronco

Are you tired of inconveniently having to whisk your eggs after you have released them from their shells? Well with the Egg Scrambler by Ronco your long nightmare is finally over, because you can finally scramble your eggs while IN their shells. No extra inconvenient bowls or whisks in your kitchen from now on, just a handsome electric-powered vibrating tower with a needle on it. What could be easier and safer?

retroist-podcast-christmas-vacation

Retroist Podcast – Episode 180 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

On this episode of the show, we talk about the holiday classic, “Christmas Vacation.” I start off talking about my memorable experience decorating the house with holiday lights when I was a kid and how that did not go as planned. Then I talk about the plot of the film, the people in front of and behind the camera, the film’s reception, its sequels and prequels and much much more.

Vic Sage is back with a brand new, “Why Should I know this Person?” This week Vic sets his sights on Hollywood legend E.G. Marshall.

Music on the show was provided by Peachy (the Angelo Badalamenti of Wales), if you have musical needs, why not “like” him on his Facebook Page.

Want to help Support the Retroist Podcast? Please drop by our Support page to find out how.

If you have a moment please stop by iTunes, Stitcher, Zune or wherever you might download the show and perhaps give the show a quick rating. It would be much appreciated.

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)
[Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in Zune Marketplace (MP3)
[RSS MP3] Add the Retroist Podcast feed (in MP3) to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for me to cover in the future, email them to me at retroist at retroist.com.

If you would like more retro fun, you can also follow me on the Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/retroist and on the Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/retroist.com.

To download this show, click one of the mirror links below:

Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.

christmas-PSA

Holiday Safety PSA with Dick Van Dyke

I grew up with Christmas lights that could still get hot enough to start a fire if they weren’t monitored properly. Not an Xmas went by where my Mother didn’t terrify me with horror stories of family’s whose house and presents went up in flames because of carelessness. So even now I am always touching lights to test their heat and making sure that everything is unplugged at night or when unattended.

As you will see in this commercial with Dick Van Dyke from the 1970s. This season is fun, but it is not an excuse to not be careful. So make sure you heed Dick’s warnings and mind your fireplace and make sure your tree does not get too dry. Safe AND fun makes for a very special Christmas.

santamms

Christmas time is a great time for M&M’s

I have always associated M&M’s with the holiday season. Even before they started selling bags of just green and red M&M’s my family would stock up on them and put out a bowl for our holiday parties. Living these little candies as much as I did, I wanted to eat them all, but to stand over the bowl would draw too much attention. So I hatched a scheme to get all the M&M’s I wanted without having to gobble them all up in a single binge.

After the bowl was placed on an end table, I would, over the course of the evening, move it behind the lamp, or if someone opened a Christmas present, I would make sure the discarded wrapping paper landed on the bowl.

Then at the end of the night, when we were all cleaning up, I would point out to my Mother how few of them had been eaten. She would then allow me to ration the rest out, mostly by myself, for the next week or two. I thought I was so clever.

But…

As an adult, I learned that my Mother knew what I was up to the whole time, but she thought my attempts at deception were so adorable and poorly conceived that she played along.

Now I still buy M&M’s at Christmas and if I want, I can pick up an extra bag and now share them with anything. They are still delicious, but somehow don’t taste as sweet as the ones I thought I was obtaining through trickery.