light-up-toys

The Magical World of View-Master Lite-Up Light Toys

Do you remember your first glow stick? I got mine one fine Halloween in the 1980’s and to say I was fascinated with it would be an understatement. My Mother had bought it for me for “safety reasons”. Something I could wear around my neck while out Trick or Treating at night and not get run over by car. I fell in love with it as soon as I cracked it open and I remember staring at it as I fell asleep that night. In the morning it had died, but a new light had been sparked and over the years I would purchase many a glow stick and other off-brand chemical light up things for myself.

While I was fine with just the sticks, View-Master took glow sticks up a notch when they released their Lite-Up Light Toys. The premise was simple, but effective. Take everyday toys and attach a glow stick to them. So toys that you could normally only enjoy in the light of day took on a magical ghostly green hue when you combined them with the power of the glow stick and could be used at night. They had three solid offerings: a parachute, a ball and the best of the lot, the Frisbee. That is the one I remember getting the most joy out of, even though it was difficult to throw and just plain boring without the glow stick.

Every Halloween I still find myself picking up a glow stick when I see them at a pharmacy or supermarket, but summer is fast approaching and for some reason I am feeling nostalgic for the View-Master Lite-Up Light Toys. Maybe it is time to try to dig up a Frisbee and wow all the people at the park at night with that beautiful Lite-Up flying disc.

kiss-make-up-kit

KISS Your Face Make Up Kit

One Halloween I was desperate for a different type of costume and my sister offered to do my face up to look like Gene Simmons from KISS. Needless to say, I was very excited. She had a nice sized photo and went to work for about 45 minutes. I couldn’t see the results, but I should have guessed that they were not positive.

When the big “Reveal” occurred, I looked nothing like Gene Simmons. It wasn’t because my sister couldn’t get the design right, she did that fine. It was mostly because she tried using make-up that she used in her every day. So instead of thick contrasting black and white, I was a pale beige with a light blue framing around the eyes.

I didn’t go out with that make-up on, which hurt my sister (I was afraid of how badly my friend might make fun of me) and it took what felt like forever to get it off my face. If only I had the KISS Your Face Make Up Kit, things might have been different…

I would have had my choice of band members to be that Halloween.

The Halloween Tree - The Disney Geek

Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree At Disneyland

Halloween is here! One of the most glorious nights of the year has swept in even faster than last year in my personal opinion. Perhaps it was hiding out in those growing stacks of leaves in the front yard or behind all of those beautiful masks and costumes on display at the local stores.

Autumn Leaves

It just feels like we at the Retroist were just beginning to make our plans for the various specials the other day but now we must all rush out the door to engage in our various Halloween activities for the evening, I’ve barely had a chance to cobble my own costume together. Where did the time go?

This morning as usually happens I intended to share one thing with you which led me to finding this video presentation of Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree at Disneyland, a tree that Bradbury himself was able to see unveiled on October 31, 2007. It has been part of the parks Halloween decorations ever since.

Images courtesy of The Disney Geek.

Images courtesy of The Disney Geek.

It would seem that this video was created and uploaded by a Grandchild of Ray Bradbury who goes by the name of The Disneyland Geek.

So to one and all we send you the most heartfelt holiday wishes. Have fun today, stay safe and Happy Halloween!
The Halloween Tree Pumpkin - The Disney Geek

Group Photo - Peach Martini

“What Are You Going To Be For Halloween?”

Choosing a Halloween costume is the single greatest decision a kid gets to make each year (at least, for the month of October) – the question “What are you going to be for Halloween?” weighs heavy on any youngster’s mind. Oh, the pressure of choosing just the right costume! It has to be affordable, highlight your impeccable spirit of the season, and one that is practical. (Because, let’s face it – growing
up in Indiana, you never know if you’ll have to wear snow boots with your princess dress, or if wearing that horse costume will turn into a sauna. October is a very tricky month!)

Do you cobble one together? (And by “you” we all know I mean your parents. You were entirely at their mercy if you went this route.) If you buy one, you knew what you were up against…Plastic. Lots of
plastic.

If you grew up in the late 70’s or in the 80’s, you undoubtedly remember those wonderful costumes consisting of a horrifying mask and a plastic smock, screen printed within an inch of it’s life. If it were a cold evening, those tiny little nostril holes would cause condensation to build up inside your mask. Those eyeholes – just wait for a parent to try to enlarge those suckers so you can see…then you have a He-Man with a wonky eye. The little slit in the mouth…what was that for?! It wasn’t large enough to squeeze candy through…and I know I can’t be the only one who cut their tongue on it because they couldn’t stop fidgeting with it. (Oh, I am the only one? That’s cool.) Sitting down was a chore, too…you had to sort of wiggle around to bunch the costume up in the back, so the ties around the neck wouldn’t choke you. And forget the sound of leaves crunching under foot while out trick-or-treating – that’s the sound of the costume wrinkling and crinkling.

They were really only good for one Halloween (which, let’s be honest included then entire month of October…begging to wear the costume all hours of the day). Aside from the fact that you would be a complete lame-o for wearing last year’s Snoopy costume when you were totally 6 years old now and WAY too old for that baby stuff – they just weren’t that durable!

Group Photo - Peach Martini

For as horrible as they seemed, why do we look back fondly on them? The bright colors? The vivid images that made you look like you were as strong as He-Man? The fact that we could actually wear our woolly footed PJs under them and no one would know? Or do we really just love those ridiculous costumes? (I think it’s all of the above!)

Share your memories on Facebook! (+1 if you have humiliating evidence fond memories in the form of pictures!)

Vincent Price

Vincent Price Sings The Monster Mash (1977)

As you well know if you listened to the Retroist’s latest podcast for William Castle’s excellent 1959 House on Haunted Hill, there were many titles that the late great Vincent Price could lay claim to. He had a keen eye for art, was a gourmet Chef, and of course was an immensely talented actor.

But he also had no qualms with lending his voice to song when need be whether that was in a movie or in the case back in 1977 when he released his rendition of Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s 1962 hit single The Monster Mash!

[Via] White Sorrow Prod

Atari Asteroid costume

Happy Atari Day! Might We Suggest These Atari Game Costumes For Halloween?

The 26th of the month is here once again and that can only mean one thing, it’s time for us to join in on the celebration of all things that are Atari! With Halloween just a few days away we felt that this might be an opportune time to recommend a couple of 1982 Collegeville Atari Halloween costumes.

Image courtesy of the Beer and Robots Tumblr.

Image courtesy of the Beer and Robots Tumblr.

A big thanks to the Beer and Robots Tumblr for that wonderful image of the Missile Command costume. Of course there were more released by Collegeville such as Centipede, Asteroids, and this stunning Yars’ Revenge costume.

Image courtesy of the defunct Original Normal Tumblr.

Image courtesy of the defunct Original Normal Tumblr.

Image courtesy of Atari I/O's Facebook page.

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!

Friendly Halloween

The Friendly Giant’s Halloween Concert 1979

The Friendly Giant was a popular Canadian children’s television program that aired on CBC Television from September 30, 1958 through to March 1985. It featured three main characters: a giant named Friendly (played by Bob Homme), who lived in a huge castle, along with his puppet animal friends Rusty (a rooster who played a harp and lived in a book bag hung by the castle window) and Jerome (a giraffe). The two principal puppets were manipulated and voiced by Rod Coneybeare.

In 1979 on Halloween, Friendly and his animal chums put on a Halloween Concert. For whom you might ask? Well for all of US of course! In typical Friendly Giant fashion, we are treated to 3 rather spooky Halloween songs played on Friendly’s recorder, backed up by the cats Angie and Fiddle.

The show is obviously geared toward very young kids, but what makes this wonderful show stand out is the fact that Friendly isn’t over the top, or annoyingly absurd like say Barney was, or maybe the teletubbies were. Kids were either treated to music, or a short story (usually you learned something from it). The banter between the inhabitants of the castle isn’t forced and really seems natural and very inviting, kind of like a nice warm blanket. Every show you were invited into the castle to pick your favorite chair and enjoy the lively conversation and interaction of the 2 puppets and the friendly Giant.

The show now fades in pop-culture’s memory but the magic of this program still twinkles like a little star in the gentle memories of those who were fortunate to grow up with Friendly, Rusty, and Jerome.

Happy Halloween everybody!