Monday, March 23, 2009

Reminiscin' This 'n That...Part Three

Well, it looks like I'm still in my dwelling on the past phase. At least it's not in a negative way. I mean, it could be all about how horrible growing up was when we only had three channels on tv and lived in the middle of nowhere and had nothing to do all day long. Of course, that would be a complete lie. Except the three channels part. And the living in the middle of nowhere part. I actually had a great childhood. We had tons to do, and had to be a lot more creative, since we didn't have videogames (which could perhaps be why I'm so obsessed with them now?) or a lot of television to watch. So we built forts. Tree forts, snow forts, ground forts, you name it, we did it. And as kids we made the coolest forts (according to us, of course).

But that's not the point of this post. I got to thinking about my childhood due to the last two posts I have. One thing that really sticks out in my mind are the television shows we used to watch. Now, you'd think that since we had only three channels we wouldn't have watched many shows at all. Apparently that's not the case at all.

I've compiled a list of some of my favourite childhood shows. I hope I don't leave any crucial shows out, but that's bound to happen. Let me know if you remember any of these gems!

Dear Aunt Agnes
"Dear Aunt Agnes, remember, you said you'd help me out if you could..."
Good old TVO programming. This show was completely Canadian. To my surprise and delight, I actually found a part of an old episode on youtube. If you didn't grow up in Ontario, chances are you missed out on this classic. Basically, it was about a forgetful old woman who takes care of her niece's children while she's away on business for a while. I tried to find a picture of the cast or even the opening credits, but I came up with nothing. Still, look it up on youtube - you might just remember this one!

Join In!
"Join In! Cast your cares away...Join In! Fun is comin' your way! ...Join in! It's a brand new day! Join in! So get ready to play..."
Another TVO classic. This one was filmed (in part) in Lindsay, Ontario, which was fairly close to where I grew up and the town in which some of my relatives lived. So that in itself was kind of neat in my eyes. This show had three main characters - Zak, Jacob and Nikki (who was later replaced by Kia) who all shared an Art studio. There were these wooden dolls that lived in the window sill that came to life (I guess they were magic?) and a juice train. Trust me, you'll remember the juice train if you remember anything about this show. Again, I couldn't find a picture of this one to post.

Dog City
This was a Saturday morning cartoon favourite in the Morrissey household. It started off with a puppet dog named Eliot (who happened to be a cartoonist), and went into the adventures of Ace, the cartoon dog who was created by Eliot. Ace was a detective, see, and he solved crimes and mysteries. Good times.

Another Saturday morning favourite. This is not to be confused with the COPS showing "real" police officers arresting rednecks and featuring Inner Circle's reggae classic "Bad Boys." This was C.O.P.S. (or Central Organization of Police Specialists). This was a cartoon about futuristic cops (i.e. Bulletproof, LongArm and Taser) "fighting crime in future time" against "Big Boss" and his gang of crooks. Pretty sweet chase scenes in this one.

Sesame Street
Who doesn't remember Sesame Street? Although, I believe in Canada it is now called "Sesame Park" due to the fact that they don't want kids to be encouraged to play in the streets. I'm not sure if that's actually why they changed the name of it, but it seemed reasonable enough. Anyways, the original Sesame Street was much cooler than some lame park anyways. Remember Mr. Hooper and Linda? And Bert and Ernie before they were gay? Or Big Bird and Oscar the grouch? So many excellent characters. I loved the aliens that would say "yep, yep, yep, yep...etc."

The Raccoons
Ah, The Raccoons. I loved this cartoon. Although, I still don't know what that pink guy, Cedric, was supposed to be with his odd nose. An anteater?

Polka Dot Door
Before Polka Dot Shorts, there was Polka Dot Door. With story time mouse and the trunk full of stuffed animals, such as Marigold, Humpty, Dumpty, and Bear! Oh, and the odd time Minou, the French Canadian cat who would make an appearance whenever he felt like it. Typical French Canadian Cat*. Only showing up when it's convenient for him. Of course, there was also the Polkaroo. Odd that he would only show himself when one of the hosts was missing...I smell conspiracy!
*Disclaimer: I have nothing against French Canadians or cats. But put the two together, however, that's where I have a slight problem...

The Smoggies
Ah, the blantant propoganda this tv show shoved down our throats as children! "Recycle! Reduce! Reuse! Be a sun tot! They're earth friendly and do only good! Don't be a smoggie - they're filthy and mean and bad!" What's weird is that this show isn't on these days instead. Now that everyone's going green, you'd think they'd be pushing this show on kids these days. Oh, and I do believe it had a good message - I just like making fun of it.

Today's Special
One of my favourite shows ever! I had a huge crush on Jeff the mannequin. He was dreamy! And I still remember the magic words that would allow him to become human - "Hocus Pocus Alamagocus!" Sweet. Can't forget Sam Krenshaw and his trusty computer TXL. Or Jodie, the pink jumpsuit wearing display creator. Or Muffy, the neurotic rhyming mouse!

Pinky and the Brain
I actually bought it on dvd when it came out. I loved it that much as a kid. So many hilarious quotes from this show.
A personal favourite:
"Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"Well, I think so Brain, but if the plural of mouse is mice, then shouldn't the plural of spouse be spice?"

Mr. Dressup
I am seriously considering naming my first born son Finnegan. Not even joking. I'm in the process of convincing Greg. Either way, old school Mr. Dressup (with Casey and Finnegan) was awesome. Before Truffles and Chester though. Then it just got silly.

Kids Can Rock and Roll
"K-I-D-E-O...We are KIDEO"
Ok, this show was hilarious. Not that it tried to be. It was almost a parady of KISS. And it really made you see KISS in a much more ridiculous way. Not that I was ever really into KISS (I really don't want to rock and roll all night; nor do I want to party ev-er-y day). But it just made me laugh anyways. Especially the Aerobic Rock, where they played a sweet air band to try to get kids to exercise. Thank God they have Guitar Hero now instead of this lame crap! Wait, Guitar Hero is just as lame! Who am I kidding? I love both equally. But seriously, Buddy Goodfellow, Ace Manners and P.J. Styles, could really rock. I kid(eo) you not, those were their names.

Harriet's Magic Hats
"Harriet's Magic Hats have a happy way of getting us off the ground! Harriet's Magic Hats have a happy way of flying us all around!"
TVOntario classic. It was a tv show about a trunk full of magic hats that would take you to a site to which the hat could be used. For example, if you put on a hard hat, you'd be magically wisked away to a construction site! Exciting! I hated that stupid parrot though.

The Elephant Show
"One elephant went out to play upon a spiderweb one day..."
I still love this show. I wish it was still on. Sharon, Lois and Bram really knew how to rock the party. Oh, and often special guest Eric Nagler was pretty awesome too.

Danger Bay
So, this wasn't entirely a kid's show, but I watched (along with Baywatch) anyways. It was 80's television at it's finest!

Breaker High
"Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey! Carry Me Away!"
I was so jealous that they got to go to highschool on a cruise ship. How cool would that be? Plus Jimmy was hilarious and Max was hot. And this is where the somehow famous Ryan Gosseling got his start!

Care Bears
"Do the Care Bear Count down...five, four, three, two, one!"
Beastly and Shrieky were Noheart's minions, and were constantly causing slightly annoying disturbances making people of the world unhappy! Who could stop this madness?! Only the CARE BEARS!!! Oh, and Champ Bear was a braggert, in my opinion.

Circle Square
"Let it shine shine shine! Come on and let your light shine!"
I highly doubt many people remember this one. I couldn't find another picture of it other than this one, unfortantely. It was actually a Christian show with puppets and kids on a ranch. I'm sure you see the appeal of it now. Some stellar acting too.

City Guys
"C I T Y you can see why these guys, the neat guys, smart and streetwise"
Oh yeah, that's how the theme song started. Very classy. This was a Saved By The Bell-style "comedy." Awesome.

A cartoon based on the movie! I loved it. Ghostbusters did this as well. Both were definite favourites.

Astro Boy
"Soaring high in the skies, he may be small but only in size! Astro Boy Astro Boy! He is brave and gentle and wise!"
I'm pretty sure the first episode had a weird guy shoving Astro Boy into a suitcase. Kind of creepy.

Art Attack
"This is an art attack! THIS is an art attack! THIS IS Art Attack!"
Neil Buchanan (who, by the way, is not dead, despite popular belief!) could do some pretty awesome art. I always loved his Big Art Attacks. He made it look so easy! You know, for the amount of episodes I watched of this show, I never once tried to make any of the crafts. I don't know if it was laziness or something else. Probably laziness.

"It's time for Animaniacs! And we're zany to the max! So just sit back and relax, you'll laugh 'til you collapse, we're Animaniacs!"
So many hilarious parts of this show. It was like a child with ADD had written and produced it. It was brilliant! Of course, this is where Pinky and the Brain got their start. And who could forget Chicken Boo (completely ridiculous). And the Pigeon Godfather. Perfection.

Size Small
So obscure. Almost NO ONE remembers this show. But perhaps the picture of "Friend Record" will jog your memory. That's pretty much the only thing I remember of this show. A giant record hitting two wooden spoons together. I dare you to try to ask people if they remember this show based on that discription. You'll get quite the looks, I'll tell you that much. It took me forever to find the title of this show. I'm glad I can stop badgering people to remember it by asking about a giant record with legs and wooden spoons. I think I was about 2 seconds from a straight they even use those anymore?

So, there are several shows I have failed to include on this list. Mainly because it seems that this list could go on FOREVER. But in the future I may continue this list. And here are some of the shows I could possibly include (for your enjoyment and as a reminder to myself):
Bookmice, Saved By the Bell, Clueless, Hang Time, Popples, Lady Lovely Locks, My Little Pony, Jem, Téléfrançais, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Rocket Robin Hood, The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Road to Avonlea, Alf, Student Bodies, Ready or Not, Boy Meets World, Bobby's World, Degrassi High, Duck Tales, Dennis the Menace, Eek! The Cat, Eerie Indian, Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Eric's World, Eureeka's Castle, Dudley the Dragon, Darkwing Duck, Chip and Dale, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Tiny Toons, Freakazoid, Police Academy, My Pet Monster, Popples, Sister Sister, Ghost Writer, Under the Umbrella Tree, The Wonder Years....
Ok, that list is just going to get longer...
Until next time, Keep Fit and Have Fun!
(Anyone remember "Body Break" with Hal Johnston and Joanne McLeod?)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reminiscin' This 'n That...Part Two

There are just so many amazing toys from when we were kids. The 80s and 90s really had a multitude of fun stuff to play with. I mean, the EZ Bake oven it self was fantastic! Let's allow children to play with a little plastic device that "bakes" stuff with a 100 watt lightbulb to come out to the consistancy of an old sponge! Delicious. As you may have guessed, I never had an EZ Bake oven, so I am bitterly making fun of it.

Anyways, here's a second list of toys of the past. Some of these may be a little more obscure, but hopefully at least one person remembers them!

"Don't be dull, be dazzlered!"
This little contraption could make a boring piece of perfectly good clothing into an eye sore full of tacky rhinestones! I had one, but I'm not sure I ever did anything with it. I may have used it on a spare rag to see what it did, but none of my close were bedazzled.
This is an obscure one for sure. It looked like a cassette tape, but it folded out into a magnetc board game. I'm pretty sure it didn't play music, and I'm also pretty sure it would wreck your tape player if you tried to play it. Trust me.

My Little Pony and Fairy Tales
"My little pony, apocalypse pony..." Wait, wrong theme song. Anyways, these things are still around. I just got my niece one for her birthday. I remember having a white one with red and green hair. She (or he, they weren't really gendered specific as they had no genitals...probably a good idea that they didn't) had a maple leaf on her hind quarters. Or there were the ones that your rubbed them and a picture would appear. Pretty high tech stuff.

Glo Worm
Ah, glo worms. How I loved these guys. You'd squeeze them and their face would light up!

Magic Nursery Baby
"Magic Nursery Baby! Bringing you surprises and magic too!"
These dolls had "magic" nighties that, when put in water, disappeared and revealed whether it was a boy or girl. I got a boy. I was disappointed. But I loved him the same anyways.

Nosy Bear
These were another obscure toy to me. I never had one but my cousin did. I'm pretty sure you squeezed their tummy and their nose would spin around whatever was in the plastic bubble.

PJ Sparkles
She had sparkly pjs!

Rainbow Brite
Come on, everyone has to remember this multicoloured gal!

Strawberry Shortcake
Same goes for her! Plus I think she's still around.

Troll Dolls
These things were hideous beyond all reason. I have no idea why they were so popular. My sister had a bunch of them.

These stuffed animals had these huge mouths that made them look like they were yawning. I'm actually yawning right now thinking about them. Damn contagious yawns...

Water Babies
You filled these little rubbery dolls with water so they were to feel like real babies. They were awesome throwing toys!

They were stuffed animals but also watches! Watchimals! I just love blended words.

Teddy Ruxpin
He had a tape cassette in his back and he read you stories. He was slightly creepy in this form. I preferred his tv show with Grubby his awesome Octopede friend.

Speak & Spell
Everyone I knew had one of these. Except me. Tear.

These were just awesome. And still are. I loved making pictures of stairs with them, since that's pretty much the only thing I could do.

Magna Doodle
I remember drawing the most amazing picture ever on this, and then my brother came over and erased it. I never recovered and this is why I am not a famous artist today. The only reason. Nothing to do with my lack of talent. Only to do with my brother crushing my dreams.

Puppy Surprise
"How many puppies are there inside? There could be three or four or five!!!"
I never knew anyone to get five. Most people only got three. Cheap Puppy Surprise bastards! But it was pretty sweet seeing a dog give birth with none of the mess!

Cabbage Patch Dolls
Everyone I knew (including my husband!) had one of these dolls. Greg still has his. His name is Ned. He has a plaid shirt on and brown pants.

Lite Brite
"Lite Brite, Lite Brite, turn on the magical shining light!"
There was no end to the fun these provided! But I'm pretty sure that light was not magical. It was just a regular light bulb. Oh, as kids we believed these lies...

This was also a puppet! I'm pretty sure my sister still has hers around the house somewhere.

Baby All Gone
She really looked like she was eating these plastic cherries! Turns out, they just tucked back into the spoon quickly. Very tricky. I'm pretty sure my baby all gone died of starvation. I thought she was eating!

Pound Puppies
These were just awesome! And there was a pretty sweet board game too.

Puppy in my Pocket
"Puppy in my pocket they're as cute as can be! Now I can take them all home with me!"
They're dogs and they fit in your pockets! What more could you ask for? Or a car? Or...ok, we get it.

Slap Bracelets!
These were just the coolest things ever. I had one with the New Kids on the Block and another with the Ninja Turtles on them. Both the NKOTB and the TMNT came back, so maybe slap bracelets will too? One can only hope.

Reminiscin' This 'n That...

I had this on Facebook, but I'm going to put it up here too. Just because I love the subject and wanted to share it again!

I'm a big fan of dwelling on the past. Not to an excessive amount to which I don't pay any attention to the present or the future, but quite often I enjoy thinking back to my childhood/adolescence, remembering the "good old days." You know, those days before bills needed to be paid? Or you had to be at work on time? Or you went to school for free? I miss those days! Anyways, I have this insane memory when it comes to anything completely useless. I can probably remember exactly what I did on every single Christmas morning (excluding, of course, when I was too young to remember). I can probably even remember exactly what I got for every Christmas and who it was from. This being said, I had this one toy that was really stumping me. For the past few years, I couldn't remember the name of this toy. I remember what it looked like and all that, but I couldn't remember the name of it. For some reason it bothered me. I asked my family, but of course, they didn't remember anything either. In fact, I'm pretty sure they thought I was crazy. But yesterday I remembered. Pretty much the best day of my life. And in case you're wondering, they were called "Be Mores" (see below).
So, in honour of my recent rediscovery, I thought I would share a few of my favourite childhood toys. Maybe someone else out there completely forgot about these things and wants to remember. Plus it's just fun for me! I actually wonder if anyone else remembers any of these toys? I mean, everyone remembers Barbie and Cabbage Patch dolls, but what about the more obscure toys? Keep in mind I didn't own all of these toys, but I certainly played with them at friends and relatives' houses. So, starting off with the one that sparked all this:

Be Mores
This loveable plush dinosaur was one of my favourite toys. It had velcro flaps which allowed it to turn from dinosaur to magical dragon!

A robot that challenged kids to various learning games. I remember loving this toy as a kid

Cupcake Dolls
These were smaller than Barbies and would fold into a cupcake. Plus they smelled like whatever flavour of cupcake they were supposed to be! I remember having the lemon one. She was pretty sweet. Literally.

I believe this was a short lived cartoon from when I was about five. This particular doll (there were a group of them) had pink hair that glowed in the dark. I'm pretty sure her awesome cape glowed in the dark as well. Her name was Star Gazer.

My Child
This doll was really soft - made of felt - and had posable limbs. And unlike the cabbage patch doll, they had synthetic hair, not yarn (I still love my cabbage patch doll though!)

Oh, she was hot. The rockin'-est rocker out there. Her and her band "The Holograms" were just off the charts. And I'm pretty sure her hair glowed in the dark.

This was another toy that I completely forgot about. They were the sort of piggybanks where their back shell (or equivalent) would open and spin with a special key. You could keep all sorts of stuff in there (so long as it was small enough to fit in)! I'm pretty sure I had a turtle.

Precious Places
One of my favourite toys as a kid. These were little buildings with people that had magnets on the bottom of them. You used the special magnet "key" to move them around. I had the church and my sister had the ballerina dance studio. I remember seeing the awesome mansion at a friends' house and being so jealous too. Of course, we thought it was a good idea to put these little houses into our gerbil's cage. Needless to say those toys no longer existed. Man, those stupid gerbils could chew quickly!

Ninja Turtles
Well these still exist, so I imagine people remember them. Raphael was definitely my favourite.

Pogo Balls
These things were so awesome! Well, once you were able to get them going. I remember being in my cousins' basement playing with these things. We never owned one. Probably for the best. We broke everything we had.

Cherry Merry Muffin
This was a series of dolls that came with a tray of muffins and a little friend. There were different flavours (chocolate, cherry, banana, blueberry and apple). Each doll smelled like their flavour. I'm pretty sure they didn't taste like it, which was a downer.

Fisher Price Little People
There were a ton of these sets. The school, the farm, the pool, the airport, the main street...well you get the idea. They went a little overboard at the old Fisher Price factory. Anyways, I had a few favourites:
Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails
These dolls had a tv show. They were awesome.

These were small stuff toys that you would "smoosh" into their tiny cages or houses or whatever they came with. I don't know why I was fascinated with them. I guess I just loved shoving stuff into small places? That may have come out wrong...

This was a more realistic barbie. She was slightly thicker waisted and had a much more achievable bust (well, achievable for some...for me, perhaps Barbie's little sister Skipper was more my model, haha). Her feet were flat and she had way cooler clothes. Plus her boyfriend Rob had real hair instead of plastic hair! So much hotter than Ken.

Sylvanian Families
These forest creatures were fuzzy and sweet. And they came with furniture and houses! I think my favourite was the windmill. It was pretty cool.

Play Mobil
Um, these guys were just awesome. I mean, they were bigger than lego men and had sweet hooks for hands. Plus they only bent at the waist, so there was none of that knee or arm bending hassle.

Polly Pocket
They couldn't actually fit in your pocket (unless you had a huge pocket...I guess the front pocket of overalls would have worked...or an apron...), but they were still fun nonetheless! And eventually they morphed into more details houses and eventually a huge mansion. Now they've just gone crazy and a lot bigger. That's just foolish.

Remember Alf? Now he's back - in pog form! I'm sure most people remember the introduction and subsequent banning of these stupid cardboardish circles with lame pictures of Power Rangers or what have you on them. Oh, so many fights breaking out over these. Especially the metallic slammers.

Sweet Secrets
Now these I vaguely remember. Which either means that I never actually owned one myself and only played with it at a friend or relatives house, or I owned it for about 3 hours and broke it or lost it. Still, I remember them. They were these small locket-type things that opened up and had a doll that folded out from it. I assume you were to wear it as a necklace?

Skip It!
These things counted how many times you could jump over the skip it ball thinger. Pretty sweet. I probably broke mine.

These things were classics! I had a yellow one named "Buttercup" and Julie had a purple one. Greg actually had a football popple that he ended up giving away to our dog. Our dog loves it! Surprisingly she hasn't torn in apart.

So, I'm going to stop here. I have so many more 80s and 90s toys to share, but I'll leave that for a "part deux." I'm pretty sure this one went on a little too long anyways.