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...
“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.
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.
Set in Madison, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1972, My Girl is a film about growing up and coming to terms with death.
Vada Sultenfuss is an atypical 11 year old girl. Her only friend is an allergic-to-everything geek named Thomas and her father, Harry, is a socially inept funeral director and widower.
Today, I reviewed the latest Nick Box nostalgic subscription box for Spring 2019 entitled “Time Capsule.”
Everyone with a childhood worth bragging about, at some point, had a container of random Lego pieces somewhere in their bedroom. Today, I’m cracking into mine and exploring some of my favorite discoveries.
While some may have had theirs in a Rubbermaid container, a cardboard box, or a reused box of a larger Lego play set, mine lived in a Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles suitcase.
I discovered a used, incomplete set of Bill & Ted trading cards that caught my eye. They were cheap, dated, and their subject material was little more than scenes from the movie, but I needed to have them.
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is an American live-action children’s television series about transforming teen superheroes who pilot giant prehistoric-themed robot animals that can form together into a giant robot called a Megazord. With help from a creepy robot named Alpha and his floating head master Zordon, the Power Rangers battle enemies like Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and all of their monstrous henchmen.
A big part of my kid self that I continue to cling to desperately is an appreciation for toys. My desk, bookshelf, drawers, and closets are brimming with not only nostalgic playthings and artifacts of youth, but also newer toys that I walked by at conventions or yard sales or checkout lines that I simply couldn’t pass up.
The difference now, however, is that while I admire and love these little sculpted pieces of plastic for their artistic value and their innate link to fond latent memories, I can never appreciate them like I once did. I can never reach that part of myself that could plant little me on my bedroom carpet for hours, thinking up complex scenarios in which all of my favorite heroic toys would battle all of my favorite villainous toys in an epic melee. Today I’d like to pay an honest tribute to the forgotten art of action figure wars.
Of all the cartoon shows that turned me into the twisted, spontaneous person that I am today, the Ren and Stimpy Show affected me most as a child. Really having no place in the safe, family environment of the Nicktoons lineup that consisted of Doug and Rugrats, I have absolutely no idea how the Ren and Stimpy Show crash landed onto the kid-friendly network known as Nickelodeon.
While the last iteration had several repeats and a general lack of cohesion and coolness to justify the $50 price tag, this season’s has exceeded my expectations. They’re at the point where digging into full-on obscurity is the only way to go. That’s what I’ve always wanted from these boxes.
The Nick Box: Summer Camp edition for 2018 is finally here and I’m taking the opportunity to dig in and explore all the nostalgic goodness, toys, apparel, and items that make life worth living.
The Sandlot: a film that many consider the pinnacle of children’s baseball stories
In the mid-90s, the internet was experiencing its absolute peak in popular culture
Dedicated to the atmosphere of the 90s and all of the emotions it stirs up
90s gym classes were the only way you could get kids to listen back then
The Adventures of Pete & Pete is a surrealist, humorous take on everyday suburban life as seen through the eyes of two brothers both named Pete Wrigley.
I’ll always make an exception for anything plastered with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo
Review of the Nick Box #6: Snowed In (SPOILERS)
No other pre-teen hangout could provide the amount of freedom afforded you like your local roller skating rink.
Halloween is almost here and so is the Nick Box #5
The Halloween movie franchise has always been my favorite iconic horror series, and not just because it’s named after my favorite holiday of the year.
It’s time to take a look at some sensational Saved By The Bell Trading cards
Dedicated to the graceful, skilled, chick magnet of an extreme sport known as rollerblading
It’s time to dive into the Nick Box 4: Summer Block Party Mix Tape!
Although the concept of jingles goes back to the early days of radio, no one did it quite as well as brands in the 90s
I remember the Christmas that I got my farting Stimpy doll
Discovery Zone was THE most fun place imaginable to get out all of your pent up childhood aggression with minimal adult supervision.
Under Siege is an exciting action romp about a former Navy SEAL turned cook who stops a gang of terrorists who seize control of a US Navy battleship
A film about a 17 year old girl and her misfit siblings as they try to survive a summer without their mother
Whether you have specific memories attached to the films themselves or you’re just looking to hear a long-forgotten tune, you owe it to yourself to check out these quintessential 90s movie soundtracks.
Reality Bites is a film that takes a wholeheartedly unpretentious look at the 20-something lifestyle
Unboxing, reactions, and review for the new Spring 2017 Nick Box subscription service
That time when McDonalds’ advertisers came up with a fascinating wish fulfillment commercial campaign of their own: McWorld
The 90s were a time of rebellion and cultural chaos, as anti-fashion dogmas and a casual, relaxed, “anything goes” kind of fashion emerged.
Of all the archetypes, cliches, and tropes of 90s kids films, the bumbling villain is by far my favorite.
Here’s a fool-proof fundamental school shopping list for any 90s kid worth their weight in Scholastic book orders.
Heavyweights is a movie about fat kids sent to a fat summer camp by their overbearing parents.
Launched in 1988 by Betty Crocker, Dunk-A-Roos were pioneered by mad scientists who knew how to design snacks that kids would throw tantrums over.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (aka Super Famicom, Super NES, SNES, Super Nintendo, or Jesus Christ incarnate) is a 16-bit video game console that was unleashed upon the adoring Nintendo-centric public in North America in 1991.
These 4 examples of discontinued 90s snacking perfection deserve their place in the sugary spotlight.
In all my years of being entranced by bright pixels and engrossing game worlds, I have never been captivated by a game so completely as by Chrono Trigger on the SNES.
Full House was a mega hit, the Olsen twins were born to be stars, and ABC really needs to consider bringing back its TGIF lineup.
Dazed and Confused is as accurate a portrayal of high school life now as it was 24 years ago.
If you love 80s and 90s sitcoms and teen romps full of lots of familiar faces, then Camp Cucamonga is the place that’s hip.
What was it about these 90s television shows and movies that made us so hopelessly addicted and forever wanting more? What was the secret formula?
A video review of the second, live-action focused Nick Box
Pogs is, in its simplest terms, a “card” game from the 90s. At its height, it was the cause of more playground crying than a skinned knee.
Originally made by Mattel in 1964, Creepy Crawlers is a creative toy for kids who are old enough to play with hot things without horribly burning themselves.
The Wendy’s Super Bar was every fat person’s dream made reality.
Have you ever wanted to have all of your NES video games in one place, hooked up to your HDTV, without the need for a huge amount of space for cartridges or a bunch of adapters?
Disney’s First Kid is a 1996 film about the hardships that come with being the son of the president of the United States.
Saturday mornings, in particular, were filled with a lineup of unforgettable, wacky animated entertainment to rot brains and influence violent behavior.
While there are many 90s sports movies that left a huge impact on my childhood, there are no other series I remember quite as fondly as The Mighty Ducks.
Should you decide to plan on an homage to The Big Lebowski during this year’s upcoming Halloween celebration, you’re in luck because most of the items involved in the making of this costume can be purchased cheaply online or from secondhand stores.
In this raw, honest, sympathetic self-analysis and memoir, Jodie Sweetin shows the world that she’s not the same innocent child that they fell in love with,
How to make a cheap, DIY Kelly Kapowski Halloween costume.
In recent years, the TV theme song has gone the way of the dinosaur, but the 90s knew how to do it right.
The Nick Box is another awesome subscription-based package delivery service that provides a cornucopia of random items related to 90s Nickelodeon.
The 90s was such a cultural melting pot of hip-hop, grunge, teen angst, heroin, and apathy, so it’s no surprise that it lead to many inside phrases that could only be properly understood by those who grew up in that wonderful generation. From movies to TV to popular music, kids all over the world were picking up descriptive phrases and new bits of language that they could take to the schoolyard and spread to their friends.
While some of this vocabulary is still heavily in use today, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at some of the best words from the 90s, complete with definitions and sentences presenting their proper usage in everyday speech.
“I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody.” – Maya Angelou