Digging around in a giant Rubbermaid bin labeled “Ninja Turtle Stuff,” I came across a few historical gems that I’m going to be showcasing in a series of articles I’m also labeling “Ninja Turtle Stuff.” The first in the series is a look back to the simple pleasures of pop-up books.
Pop-up books are like children’s books on acid. They take the humble appeal of a regularly-illustrated, vanilla storybook and steer it directly into the realm of the strange. Instead of flat, lifeless pictures strewn across the page, there are three dimensional objects bent in a way that makes them magically stand up as you turn the pages. The real reason these books are so fun for kids are the interactive portions, though. Instead of just having your favorite bedtime story read to you over and over again by your parents, now you can actually PLAY with it.
I remember being totally obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pop-Up Storybook when I was a kid. It actually held a special place in the pants drawer of my bureau, always within reach when I wanted to gaze upon its colorful goodness.
This is one of those books you just have to see to appreciate.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing one of the greatest video games ever created, now is your chance to live some of its glory.
Star Fox 64 is a legend on so many levels. The invention of the rumble pack was the beginning of the institution of vibration-based immersion in video games. Shooters would be lost without it.
Not only was Star Fox 64 a revolutionary game in terms of graphics and gameplay, but it also redefined the awesome world of video game voice acting. It still remains one of the most often quoted games in history, and it deserves any bit of praise that comes its way.
Wanting to give the voice acting the credit that it deserves, I decided to pick out my top 10 favorite quotes as an homage to one of my favorite games of all time. Here they are:
A film packed to the brim with 90s-isms and a young Pauly Shore / Sean Astin / Brendan Fraser, Encino Man provides more than its fair share of laughs and is a real treat for 90s pop culture junkies like myself. Opening in a dark, scary, Ice Age world, Encino Man...
Everyone who has dated since the advent of dating apps and dating websites in the early 2000s knows the dread of receiving a mindless starter like “Hey” or “What’s Up?” These are usually the same types of people who give one word answers or an “I don’t know” to the simplest of questions.
These types of openers and responses create a conversation dead space that is entirely palpable. There’s nowhere to go. You almost have to give random anecdotes and voluntary confessions to even keep the flow of chatter going. However, there is a much better way.
There are questions that not only open the door to great conversation, but increase the likelihood that the person you’re talking to will want to continue talking to you. Not all interesting questions need to be serious, though. Intersperse deep philosophical meanderings with random, quirky, stupid questions and enjoy the magic of a fulfilling dialogue.
“The last metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.”
This simple phrase is the first step of a wildly satisfying, epic journey in quite possibly the most perfect action and exploration video game ever made, Super Metroid. Of all the games I’ve owned, rented, or played over the course of my 28 year existence, it ranks right up there with Chrono Trigger as a textbook example of gaming bliss. In many people’s opinions, it could even be considered the definitively best video game experience ever created. You’re all well aware that my loyalty still lies with the aforementioned time-traveling RPG, but it’s only by a very narrow margin.
This particular figure is known simply as Sewer-Cyclin’ Raph. Although I don’t think I’ve ever seen Raph ride a bicycle in the cartoon show on the street or in the sewer, I guess the people at Playmates thought it would be a good idea if he did.
Several decades ago, a 2 or 4-player version of a single-player, story-based campaign was an important consideration in the design and release of a game. Now, that is not so much the case.
With the cost of most 1st party games necessitating the need to cut corners, the decline of couch co-op has been an inevitable reality that gamers have had to face.
Trading cards will always have a special place in my heart. Even though I was never a major collector because I’m OCD and clutter makes me want to die, they played an important part in my childhood. Trading cards gave me the Cliff Notes version of what actually watching / reading the source material would teach me in order to hold my own in playground conversations.
After 8 iterations of the Jason Voorhees legacy spanning everything from his mother’s lakeside rampage in the original to his battle with a telekinetic chick and his eventual invasion of New York City, it’s obvious that something about a kid who drowned in a lake because of the neglect of his teenage summer camp caretakers resonated with people. I guess maybe the director of this film felt that it was time to put the legend to rest.
After his relaxing vacation in New York, the nearly invincible Jason Voorhees returns to the screen in a whole new, horribly unoriginal sequel called Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday. The movie is so bad that its own title has to reassure you twice that it’s going to be the last in the series.
One of my favorite Sesame-Street-esque pieces of the Nickelodeon entertainment puzzle was a little children’s variety show of sorts called Eureeka’s Castle. Co-created by R. L. Stine, of Goosebumps infamy (Say cheese and die, bitch!), this puppet-driven kids’ fantasy land ran from September 4, 1989 to June 30, 1995.
The show takes the viewer into the daily lives of various puppets and chronicles their wacky adventures that all involve some sort of important life lesson.