“Look What Celebrity is Doing Just for Kids…Like Noel!”

I had initially planned to publish this ahead of my Karate Rap article, but my Facebook memories forced me to publish the other article first.

That all said, this article idea actually came to me on vacation, which is proof that while I was geeking out on one level, my writer’s mind is forever seeking innovation in other geeky exploits.You know it is a good vacation when you come back with great stories and photo ops where you jump in the air with Stargate cast members.



This is Noel.

Say hi to Noel.


Noel (actual name: Noel Bloom Jr.) was the spokeschild for Just for Kids, the child-friendly label of Celebrity Home Entertainment, which was his daddy’s home video company. Noel’s daddy, Noel C. Bloom, founded Celebrity Home Entertainment in 1985. The company specialized in obscure material of an international nature, but also distributed B-grade action movies (I’m sure that is a generous distinction) and soft-core porn. However, their child-friendly output saw some well-known titles of their time, including BraveStarr, Filmation’s Ghostbusters (you know, the imitation Ghosbusters cartoon, based on a live-action Filmation show from the 1970s), C.O.P.S., and G.I. Joe: The Movie. And boy did they like foreign titles too – animae, European animation, and five of the eight Gamera films from the Showa era.


The videos often met broadcasting standards in the United States, were released as incomplete series, and some were compilation films. Even worse, the quality of the video cassette tapes were EP, which was fine when we made our own videos at home, but for the money we paid to buy videos, Extended Play seemed pretty chinsey.

The earliest Just For Kids releases featured pre-braces Noel (who introduced himself by his full name, Noel Bloom Jr.) introducing the Just for Kids video as being recorded in Extended Play format, and that for the best quality, one must adjust the VCR.

Uploaded by ProfessorCraigles

That’s fine and all, except there is one really big problem (and I mean really, and I mean big) – Noel is hard to hear! The 1980s studio session music is so loud, I’m having trouble hearing little Noel over it.


Little Noel was actually quite cute. Maybe it was the hair, maybe it was the crooked teeth that made the smile more cute, but this was a Noel that no one could possibly hate.

Besides, it was Little Noel that made this possible…

Uploaded by ThePreviewsGuy VHSOpenings


My generic videocassette brings all the paid-off kids to the yard. Heck yes, it’s better than yours. Heck yes, it’s better than yours!

It was the time Noel hypnotized kids into watching Just for Kids videos with him.

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That video has the power of suggestion on the kids outside, who run into the house so Noel can excitedly proclaim “Hey, look what Celebrity is doing JUST FOR KIDS!”


Combine this scene with the cheesy low-budget music, that epic living room (the decor, and that AMAZING television), and a Little, Pre-Braces Noel as the star, and you’ve got the makings of retro glory!

Or retro nightmare fuel, I’m not really sure.

And then there was the time Little Noel got a whole special video where he showed the best stuff from all the great videos “Celebrity has Just for KIDS!”

Uploaded by ThePreviewsGuy VHSOpenings


But, of course, all cute little kids grow up. Noel was not excluded from this.

Noel got a haircut and braces.

For the later Just for Kids releases, Noel and his braces served as the “host,” and he would often help you make the most out of your Just For Kids videocassettes by teaching you to adjust tracking (a sure sign this company valued production quality), help you get a free video, and show you previews of other Just For Kids videos.


I hate unnecessary quotes.

Uploaded (for the horror of others) by VHS of Death


Is it me, or is Noel’s smile capable of angering the masses? He just seems smug about being Just for Kids’ spokeskid. His smile says “My dad owns the company, so I get to be a star!” I’m wondering how much Noel knew about his father’s companies, and what they put out. It wasn’t “just for kids,” trust me.

Oh, and that one All Star Theatre video? There was a sequel!

Uploaded by ThePreviewsGuy VHSOpenings


This time, Noel has a haircut and is wearing his Bar Mitzvah suit. He has fan mail from the last All Star Theatre video, and he can’t wait to read it to you!

And that office…I need all that stuff for mine!

Actually, I think he can’t wait for the oxygen tank he obviously needs – someone help this kid breathe!

When I set out to write this, I had actually forgotten how many Noel videos the interwebs actually had. And when you think about how short-lived this company was, Noel really got around the collective works of shows he and his many girlfriends loved.

I bet he picked up alot of girls by telling them, “I told my dad that all my girlfriends love Beverly Hills Teens!”

Celebrity Home Entertainment went into bankruptcy protection in 1991, and closed completely in 2001. Noel C. Bloom (Little Noel’s dad) was also the founder of two other labels – the surprisingly well-known (if you like B-movies) Artisan Entertainment (which is now the more respectable Lions Gate), Caballero Home Video (which produced actual porn, and not the Showtime After Dark kind of “porn” Celebrity Home Entertainment produced), and Monterey Home Video, which actually still exists to this day.

Both Videos Uploaded by DudeThatLogo

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As for Noel Bloom Jr. (born October 1977), he played basketball for the University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebels, and also coached basketball at Valley Torah High School in Valley Village, California. And that’s where the well runs dry on information, aside from the fact that he is married, has a child, and an older sister.

Oh, and there’s DeviantArt that exists of him. Because someone was a fan.

Now, it’s obvious I’m wrapping up the article, but I would be remiss if I didn’t show you the collected works of the amazing Noel telling us about Noozles, Beverly Hills Teens, and Maxie’s World.

Uploaded by CringeVision

You know what else makes my vision cringe?


See what I did there?!

There are tons of videos out there, folks. If you have a little patience, you’ll be amazed at what you will find.

My search: Just for Kids Noel

Allison is a master seeker of the obscure home video finds the masses have forgotten about. When she isn’t pushing it off on Retroist readers, she’s pushing it off on her own blog, Allison’s Written Words. If you like a little randomness on your Facebook feed, she’d love for you to follow her blog’s page. She’s also on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Allison had to work on this away from her boyfriend, who couldn’t handle Noel’s voice.

She’s desensitized towards Noel.

Wild Puffalumps
VCR Plus

VCR Plus. Where Were You When I Needed You?

The VCR Plus. Man, I wanted one of these back in the day. Well guess what? I have one now and it’s totally useless. The deal was that your newspaper would print little code numbers in the TV section and you’d find the number of the show you wanted to tape, type it into the VCR Plus and it’d record the show for you.

It was mad cool at the time but since they don’t print the numbers anymore it’s straight of no use to anyone, plus, who outside of me uses a VCR to tape stuff? There must be some fools out there but not many. Give me a big bow wow if you still tape stuff on a VCR!

Anyway, I saw this at The Dig the other day and had to get it. It was like a dollar. Looks to have been unopened too which is cool.

VCR Plus Box Back

I don’t know what’s so cool about that. I guess it still has some 90’s air in there which I must have inhaled when I opened the box.

VCR Plus Unboxing

That’s kind of gross really. What if there was some sort of 90’s virus that has long since died but has been lying in wait for a chance to reemerge? Guess what fool. It’s in your body now.

I wonder if I could get my local newspaper to start printing the codes again or maybe I could crack the code myself and use it to record some of the dumb shows I watch nowadays, like Supergirl or Lucha Underground.. Prolly not.

I do like this though. It’s sort of an early version of the DVR. It was sort of ahead of it’s time in a way but not really. Like a lot of things from that era.

I just sort of looked into it and it turns out that the VCR plus worked on an algorithm that used the numbers to determine the time and channel it would record on. Kind of sort of high tech, I guess. There is all sorts of math involved in this and I don’t know if it’d be worth the trouble to crack. I say this like I could crack it or something. I barely passed algebra. Like, barely..

Want more off beat shenanigans in your life? Sure you do. Well, you can find them and you can also find my weekly podcast The Toys R Us Report over at ISeeRobots.Com. You won’t be sorry for long.


A New York City Train Ride to Coney Island in 1987

I remember heading over to New York City in the 1980s and riding on the subway. It was a memorable and somewhat scary experience, where I never felt in danger, but just felt what I can only describe now as sensory overload. This experience has been hard to translate into words. It is a snapshot of a past that is really best witnessed first hand.

That is why I was very excited to find this home video that was shot in 1987. In it, a group of friends and family take a ride on a New York City Subway line from Union Square all the way out to Coney Island. In the video you will witness the sights and sounds of this journey, including graffiti covered subway cars, sleep passengers, scratched and dirty windows and floors and most shockingly, webbed toes.

While I prefer clean and untagged subway experience. Part of me would like NYC to redo a car with a graffitotagged theme as a moving museum piece. The problem with that becomes, do you then discourage people from adding new graffiti?

Oh well, at least someone had the sense to grab a video camera and take it along for the ride. It is a pretty magical experience that I hope everyone enjoys.

Showbiz Pizza 1987

Enjoy This Wonderful 1987 Showbiz Pizza Birthday Party Home Video!

I’ve spoken about my fond memories of the Showbiz Pizza of my youth many, many times before on the site. Just the other day I stumble upon a disco album released by the Rock-afire Explosion that I hadn’t heard of before, so hoping that it was on YouTube I instead stumbled across this really wonderful birthday party home video from back in 1987.

Uploaded to Michael Grados’ YouTube channel I can only assume he is in fact the young boy the birthday party is behind held for. In the video you will get to see not only the birthday antics that Billy Bob and the employees of Showbiz Pizza engaged in, but a bit of the floor show from the Rock-afire Explosion as well as some of the sweet, sweet vintage birthday loot that Michael received for his birthday!

The funny thing about this birthday video and like the few others I’ve now found…they never turn the camera to the floor of the Showbiz Pizza arcade itself. I have a few photos from my own birthday that was held at Showbiz and not one of them captured an image of the vast number of classic arcade titles on hand for the guests to play. Even so I am so grateful that people like Michael are uploading these little slices of the 80s for our viewing enjoyment, brings a big smile to the face.

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