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He-Man And The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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In 1985, the best float in the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade made its debut. The “Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power” float graced the streets of New York City bringing the fight between good and evil to televisions nationwide. It was a good fit. Masters of the Universe lends itself to float theatrics and with the next day being Black Friday, of course, helps promote the toy line for the Christmas shopping season.

Pat Sajack has a “I really have to read this?” look on his face but does it in a way that still stays professional. A year later he was joined by Dolph Lundgren, who was filming Masters of the Universe at the time, to introduce the float again.

After seeing the Masters of the Universe float you can’t argue the similarities of the Turbo Man float in “Jingle All The Way.” Just as the movie was inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids shopping craze of the mid-1980s, the float is a nod to He-Man and his cohorts welcoming the holiday season.

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Halloween Costume Not-So-Fit For A King

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As fans of retro we can’t get through a Halloween season without revisiting Ben Cooper and Collegeville costumes. We all know the nostalgia these costumes have around the holiday. They’ve always been considered poorly designed costumes but today make great collectibles.

However, I’ve never thought the masks were that bad. They kind of cut into your face but the design of them at least resembles the character. It was the outfit that never made any sense. Why would a character have a picture of themselves on their chest?

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King Kong was no exception. The 1976 movie had it’s share of merchandise and the classic flame-retardant costume was one. Like I said, the mask is fine. It looks like a gorilla. The outfit, however, is just a lame reprint of the movie poster. So am I dressing up as King Kong or am I dressing up as the movie? Why not just make the outfit look like a gorilla’s body? I guess no one would know you’re King Kong unless you say so but still.

King Kong hasn’t really made much of an impression on Halloween. Except for his size, he looks like a normal gorilla unlike movie monsters like Godzilla who have a unique look to them.

Like King Kong? Check out SKULL ISLAND LIVES on Facebook to praise the King. https://www.facebook.com/skullislandlives

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‘Struck By Lightning’ Struck By Failure

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As a fan of Frankenstein I remember being excited for “Struck by Lightning.” It sounded like a fun take on the character. It’s kind of like “Newhart” with George played by Frankenstein’s monster. It starred Jack Elam as the monster and Jeffrey Kramer as Ted Stein, a descendent of the original Dr. Frankenstein. Ted inherits an old New England inn that comes with the monster who coincidentally needs a serum recreated to keep him alive.

Unfortunately, it didn’t make it past three episodes even though 11 were filmed. Jack Elam was perfect casting to play Frankenstein’s monster. And similar to “Young Frankenstein,” I like the idea of a descendent of the doctor having to deal with the monster.

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Debuting in September 1979, “Struck by Lightning” was slotted on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. EST following “The Last Resort” and up against “Eight is Enough” on ABC and Real People on NBC. The latter two programs were ranked in the top 20 for that TV season. Wednesday night wasn’t CBS’s night.

Sitcoms with a fantasy element seem to be a hard sell. For the time only “Mork & Mindy” was successful. The TV sitcom ratings were dominated by M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Three’s Company, The Jeffersons and others. Still, it would be nice to see if the showed established itself with a style during those 11 episodes.

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Haunted House Scares Up Innovation

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Haunted House isn’t just a classic Atari 2600 video game, it is also a classic pinball machine. The game is part of the era where pinball makers tried out outdo each other with features to make the game unique. Whether it was sound, visual effects or creative gameplay, competition wasn’t just limited to video arcade games.

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Released in 1982 by Gottlieb, Haunted House quickly earned respect among pinball players due to it’s innovative three levels and use of spooky organ music, or more specifically, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. That score is just perfect for a haunted house-themed game.

The game utilized an “attic” level and a “basement” level along with the main playing field. The extra levels require the game to have eight flippers.

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In addition to the classic music the game featured lightning effects and great back panel to increase the spooky effect of the game. And if you didn’t get to play the game back in the early 1980s, Microsoft released it as part of its Pinball Arcade game for PCs in 1998.

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Jim Nabors, Ruth Buzzi and The Lost Saucer

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We all know that Jim Nabors went from Mayberry to the Marines. But how many remember he went from the Marines to the space-time continuum?

He teamed up with Ruth Buzzi in 1975 for the short-lived, live-action Saturday morning TV series “The Lost Saucer” from Sid and Marty Krofft.

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Jim and Ruth portrayed androids, Fi and Fum, from the far future. Even though they traveled though space and time, the show still worked in after-school-special type messages such as being overweight or conserving energy.

The set-up is depicted during the opening credits. The first episode picks up with Jim and Ruth taking a couple of 1970s kids into space for a super-cheesy adventure. It’s not only a lost saucer but a lost gem. Click for a catchy tune!

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You Are Standing in the Cavern of the Evil Wizard

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If you’ve seen the movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks then you should be familiar with this graphic text adventure computer game Josh Baskin plays in the film. The Web site BoMToons features what might be the shortest video game ever, a replica play-through of the Cavern of the Evil Wizard game scene from the movie.

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Your knowledge of the film will help you solve the puzzle and feel like Josh Baskin himself.