Retro Toys That Made A Comeback

Sometimes a sequel or a reboot can suck. It changes how we feel about something. After all the classics are the best. In the last few years, retro games and toys have been making a comeback. With enough of the original charm, and an added splash of modern technology to make it relevant to a whole new audience. Here are a few of the most popular comeback kids.

My Little Pony

They got longer legs, sleeker bodies and in some cases (see Equestria High) they turned into people. The original My Pretty Pony was a massive hit in the 1980s. After all what little girl didn’t dream of owning a pony?

The more recent models have seen the toys come with much more than that original brush or stable. Now you have shoes, capes, combs, wings and so much more. With the significant unicorn trend and even more cartoon channels, My Little Pony is firmly on the must-have list once again.

Furbie

The annoying cute, and sometimes creepy Furbie. Was so popular upon original release that they sold out almost everywhere. Children (and adults) spent hours trying to get their Furbie to say cool things, sing and be happy. Getting together with your mates and making your Furbies chat with their Furbies was the stuff of dreams.

They made a big splash once again in 2012. The newer model was smaller, with many more designs and once again tea-parties with Furbies became a big deal.

Racing Cars

There are a few big racing car brands. They used to just go forward and backwards. But now, the flip, bounce, top and bottom half car work independently and so much more. They cost a pretty penny at the time, and not every primary school going kiddo managed to get one. But there were mini ones that totally rocked.

However, as an adult, there is nothing stopping you bagging a sweet four-wheeled remote control racing car. Check out bestrcgear.com.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Heroes in a half shell – turtle power! The 80s film is a cult classic, as much for its cheesy lines as the real 80s feel of it. The comic was popular too – of course. The new figurines released in recent years had more details than the originals and way more muscle definition.

There was another film released in 2014 that was a smash hit and sparked a new love for TMNT for some and rekindle that fire for others.

LEGO

LEGO has always been pretty popular, but with social media and blogs dedicated to reviewing kids toys and games,, it’s grown into a behemoth. With kits as small as the Lego City Coast Guard Bike and as big as the Millennium Falcon which boasts an impressive 75192 pieces – LEGO isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Retro toys can bring us back to the time we had them pegged on our own Christmas lists and the feeling we got from playing with them for weeks and months on end. Are there any toys that you just could get enough of when you were younger?

On Libraries

Let’s talk about libraries and librarians! How have they impacted your life?

Libraries – I don’t think I can find even one in the city area but I used to have a membership in 3 libraries from the age of 12 to maybe 24-25. One was a very poor one in terms of selection but it was in a building that had the best supermarket (of sorts but that was what we had back then) and also a small restaurant that served some real good food as well as a library, a laundromat and a novelty shop in the first floor. Also I do remember reading some really memorable books from there.

The second one was in another part of the city and they had a poor selection too and they barely had enough stuff to entertain us. But the third one was the best – huge selection of foriegn magazines, novels, non-fiction books, comics (I especially used to love to get their Archies Double Digests, TinTin & Asterix comics; now I have the latter two collections on a digital format). Also this was a place that I used to meet my then girlfriend on a regular basis.

How have they impacted my life? Before getting the internet at home I was a voracious reader and I read a lot of novels, some biographies and autobiographies and a lot of magazines and comics. I have lost myself in the stories and been given so much entertainment and knowledge and yeah my vocabulary has expanded based on these books. And I am eternally thankful for that.

Prompt from 30 Days of April Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

What A Trek!

In 1986-87 there was a short lived sitcom called What A Country which was a Mind Your Language ripoff. But the show had a Star Trek connection as the cast included former tennis player Vijay Amitraj who had a cameo in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) as a starship captain Joel Randolph, the late George Murdock who was “God” in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and as Admiral Hanson in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Best of Both Worlds (as well as a recurring character Dr. Salik in Battlestar Galactica) and Ada Maris who played Captain Erika Hernandez in Star Trek Enterprise.

When I First Started

The day you started blogging. What were you thinking?

When I first started blogging, way back in 2002 and on a different blog than this, it was mainly because I had made the move from my hometown to Calicut and I thought it was a good way to capture my thoughts, ideas and what I was going through and events that happen to me living alone in a new city.

I was living & working in that city, renting a small room in a lodge and making very little but a couple of times a week I went to an internet cafe (yes we had plenty of them in those days) and spent a few rupees to use one of their pcs and connect to the internet, check my mail and browse a bit. Having read a couple of blogs every week before then, I thought it was a good way to keep a track of my life in Calicut. So I started a blog on Blogspot.

Since then it has become a daily habit for me, especially since 2006. I think I will always blog till the end of my time.

Prompt from Fat Mum Slim

The Search For Spock’s Horses

So I had posted in October that I was planning my 2018 Star Trek movies rewatching. This is something I do every 2 years and usually towards the end of the year, November-December. I have watched the first 3 films and I was reminded of something.

As a kid I only remember the Star Trek Motion Picture but I don’t remember watching the full movie. I am talking about when I was 7-9 years old, (1983-85) though the movie came out in 1979. But that’s when I remember my extended family watching and talking about that film and how excited they were then an Indian actress, Persis Khambatta, had a major role in it. The only other Trek movie I remember watching before I became a Trekkie at the age of 19 in 1995 was Star Trek III : The Search For Spock.

Back in the late 80s & 1990s we had memberships in a few VHS video lending library. And at one small one in Palarivattom, I remember picking up the Search for Spock as I was curious about the franchise. I must have been 13 or 14 at the time and didn’t know much about Star Trek. For some reason, I remember this movie having the Klingons riding on horses. I dunno why but that’s what I remember even though it’s not in the film. Although when I later watched the movie many years later, I did not remember the story but I was trying to look out for the horses.

This time too on Sunday, when I was rewatching the movie for the 10th time, I was looking out for the horses. No horses anywhere!

Santa’s Indian Helper

Does your family celebrate with Santa Clause? Why or why not?

No. Why? They have other imaginary characters that they believe in and they don’t have time for no Santa.

Me? Nope. But I was Santa Clause once. Or rather I dressed up as Santa once upon a time. I was in the 8th grade so, 13 years old, and I was selected to dress up as Santa for December. This despite the fact that I had lost a lot of weight in the last year and a half. Well ok, I can do that. Dress up as Santa and have the pretty girls sit on my lap.

Anyways, I got the costume from the teachers and hat and a fake long white beard and mustache. And I went Ho! Ho! Ho! and stood in front of the whole school to give our sweets and chocolates. Ah, good times!

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR DECEMBER

Have You Ever Used A Typewriter?

Yes but not too much. I was born in 1976 after all and only started using a computer at home in 1995! The typewriter has always had a place in my family home since I can remember and my dad bough the latest electronic one whenever he could as he used it for work once in a while.

My sister used it for a while as well though I do not know if it was for school work or anything else. I certainly never used it for anything important and just typed for keeping a few notes or perhaps a few letters. I think that’s what I used to write letters to my cousins who didn’t like in town with the rest of us and it was fun to get them back. Ah, the days of the snail mail! Sheesh, how ancient am I!

Anyways, there are still documents being typed on in some small and government jobs here and there. Nothing major. Now that I think about it, we had to type up applications for school and stuff back in the day. I’m glad we don’t use them anymore.

Catch Something From My Memory

Share a childhood memory that makes you smile.

I will tell you one of my favourites. I was about 12 years old (I think) so this was 1988 and my family – dad, mom, sis and I – were going on a long summer vacation trip with our extended family on my mother’s side. Uncles, aunts, cousins and my grandma and us were all going in two 16 seat vans (or mini-buses) and 1 car.

As we were getting ready and just waiting to leave, my older sister was telling my dad that we had too many bags for her and my dad to carry and that they were heavy too. So my dad said that “Roshan will have to catch something” meaning when they toss the bags into the large van, I will have to catch them and keep them to one side. I was walking in at that time and only heard what my dad said about me catching something. Not knowing what they were talking about, I said “What? A cold?”

And they both started laughing for a long time and me, I was just standing there, annoyed since I didn’t understand.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF OCTOBER WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

The Good Ole Days

Write about the things you loved doing when you were a child.

When I was a child, I certainly loved to watch Cartoon Network and watch cartoon after cartoon. I loved watching them (though very selective) even in my 20s. I loved playing football, badminton and occasionally cricket with my cousins or friends.

I also loved playing board games like Monopoly or Hind Trade (basically an Indian version of Monopoly) and we have spent hours & hours during lazy afternoons and evenings and even late nights playing that. Listening to music too – my cousins and I spent many afternoons and evenings playing our favourite 80s & 90s pop and rock songs.

And ofcourse a group of us would go to one or two of the local video lending libraries and pick a couple of movies for us to watch that evening or night. Those were the days.

Prompt from Cheryl Strayed’s writing prompts

Bloodied Knee Memory

Write alliance and leicester loans about a memory of a physical injury.

I was about 16 or maybe 17. Probably 16 I think. I had bought my spanking new bicycle when I was 15 back in 1990, something called a Street Cat. I loved that cycle a lot. I mostly used it to go around the little suburban town my family lived in from 1987 onwards. I also rode it to my tuition classes that I attended for Math, Physics and Chemistry.

My childhood friend Renjish, who lived less than a kilometer away, attended the same tuition classes as me and we rode together in the mornings on the weekends and evenings on other days. We rode on the bad roads up and down and we had some slopes on the way. For two years I had no incidents. But one evening, I tripped and feel on my left knee which was bloodied and bruised.

I had to go to the doctor and I was limping. He advised me to stay off my feet for 5 days and rest at home. I also remember my sister and my cousin sister, who lived with us for 3 years while she was in an engineering college close to my home, fussed over me and got me soft drinks and snacks and pillows. Which was weird as they never did that any other time I got sick and was laid up. Oh well!

Prompt from CHERYL STRAYED’S WRITING PROMPTS

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a 1988 American slasher film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

This is a classic horror franchise and film which I watched at the age of 14 I guess, which was in 1990. I remember a cousin of mine telling me about it and I’ve watched it twice and today was my first view of the movie since those early 90s. I also remember renting the 2nd & 3rd films in the franchise and I have also seen Bride Of Chucky on cable a many years ago.

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray is a criminal & serial killer who is shot by homicide detective Mike Norris on his way to a getaway car. His accomplice, Eddie, panics and leaves him behind. Charles is shot in the leg and tries to hide in a toy store nearby but Norris follows him and fatally shoots him from afar.  Realizing that he is soon going to die, he transfers his soul into a “Good Guys” doll via a Haitian Vodou spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike survives the explosion and enters the shop, only to find Charles’ dead body and all the “Good Guys” dolls on the floor. With the store destroyed and a crime scene, the doll ends up being taken by a hobo who sells it a day later for a smaller rate to widow Karen Barclay, who’s son is turning 6 that day.

Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy and is annoyed when Andy disobeys her saying that Chucky wants to watch the news. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation. The next day Chucky gets Andy to skip school and head to Eddie’s lair. While Any is urinating Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot equity loan interest rates light but turning up the gas. As Eddie shoots the stove, the house blows up, killing him. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her arm, and escapes.

She finds Norris and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. Chucky tries to strangle Mike from the backseat using a cord but Mike burns Chucky with a cigarette housing loans india lighter. After that, Chucky attempts to stab Mike. Mike shoots him and Chucky retreats. After that, Mike finally agrees to help Karen. Chucky tortures John, the voodoo practitioner who taught him the spell him, and he says that the longer he stays in the doll, the more human he will become that he has to transfer his soul to the first person who he revealed his true identity to which is Andy. Before bleeding out and dying, John tells Norris that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.

Chucky attacks Andy at his home but Karen and Norris arrive and stops Chucky from completing the ritual to transfer his soul to Andy. Chucky slashes Norris Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him alive. Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them, since burning him alive didn’t work. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him.

While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door. This itself in an indication to the audience that the producers wanted to make sequels from the beginning – Andy’s look indicates that he knows that this is not the end. They did a great job finding the right innocent kid for the role. Brad Dourif, who had 3 appearances in Star Trek Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid,  is an apt choice for the mainly voice role as Chucky and he and Catherine Hicks (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) are the Star Trek connection to this role. 7.5 outta 10!

Rollercoaster

Write about the last time you rode a rollercoaster.

The last time I rode a rollercoaster was when I was 9 years old. I haven’t been on one since then. We lived in Kuwait until 1987 and they had this large amusement park named Entertainment City. They had so many rides and things to do there. I remember an Australian log ride, carousels, bumper cars etc etc.

Ofcourse they had this big rollercoaster ride. You had to be 8 or above to ride it, if I remember correctly. My sister, dad and I went on the rides a few times. I remember feeling as if my lunch would rush out of my belly, through my mouth and spray everyone when we hurled down at fantastic speeds. But I loved it.

I also remember that one time, maybe our very last before we left Kuwait and settled in India, that my sister lost one of her contact lenses during the ride. That’s weird that I remember that.

Prompt from 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts at See Jane Write

The Easy Life Gone By

What was the hardest part of being a kid?

None. What was so hard about me being a kid? Nothing much. I know I had some issues growing up but childhood uptil the age of 15 was actually very good. Great almost. I had a rough patch at the age of 13 when I was a rebel without a cause but I guess most 13 year olds are like that.

The hardest decision was which movie to watch while on vacation with my cousins. That was how difficult life was. Things were easy. We had less choices in places to go, things to do and where we could go to eat but we still had a lot of fun and it was peaceful, minor squabbles aside.

So yeah, except for a few small issues I had the good life. After 16 things got a lot more complicated, as they say.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JULY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

Previous World Cups Revisited – Part 2

I remember quite a few things about the 2002 World Cup, the first to be held on Asian soil. And fittingly Japan was one of the nations that co-hosted the tournament along with South Korea. Shock of the tournament was defending champions France losing in the opening match to Senegal. Yes….to Senegal! Even more shocking they were eliminated at the group stage itself as they drew their next game against Uruguay and then lost to Denmark with the dubious dishonour of being chucked out of the world cup without even scoring a single goal!

The final saw Brazil win 2-0 over Germany – a match I watched in Trivandrum with a cousin who had traveled with me while we were staying at another cousin’s house along with some of the latter’s friends. We had whiskey, porottas and lamb curry with goat brains and fried eggs! But what I most remember of this particular World cup was the going to Calicut early in the morning with another cousin and our uncle to attend yet another uncle’s housewarming. On the way we pass through Malappuram as well and the entire district had football & world cup decorations, hoardings & posters all over the streets as well as effigies of famous players! Flags of Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Spain were all over the place as well. The same thing could be seen in the city of Calicut as well. After lunch at my uncle’s house a huge gathering of older folks – men & women in their 60s & 70s watched the Brazil vs England quarterfinal match and they were very knowledgeable about the game & players as well. That was a huge & pleasant surprise for me and my cousin as we don’t get to see that in the rest of the state.

Also that same world cup, I was watching a lot of games at my uncle’s house – just 2 houses next to where I lived back then – and my grandmother would join us in the afternoon and evenings to sit with us as we watched some of the matches. She was on medication (as well as being unwell she had also just lost a son less than a year ago) and liked sitting with us. It was fun and we would joke with her just to keep  her in high spirits. That is a cherished memory that I am unlikely to ever forget.

2006 World cup held in Germany. The 18th World Cup was the least I had seen of a World Cup tournament since I was old enough to star watching the matches live. The reason is simple enough, work stood in the way and especially when I had a mix of day and night shifts. Still I did manage to watch quite a  few games.

2010 was also a blur, mainly because I would be working most of the time that the games were on tv. I caught a few moments of the games at the office and some matches I would watch at home. I mostly remember not enjoying them too much as there was pressure at the office and I was concentrating mostly on that. I remember feeling mostly bored at some of the games and I cannot remember wanting a final to just end. It was terrible, the worst I can remember.

2014 – I was out of work for most of the year and hence I got to watch most of the games that I wanted to watch. Favourite moment of the tournament – and favourite of all time – is Germany thrashing Brazil (those eternal crybabies) 7-1. I so enjoyed that. In the final I didn’t mind who won for the first time ever. But – although the channel showing us the games did a great job in creating a long and entertaining tournament filled with experts of the games giving us their opinions and analysis, they did goof up by using typical Bollywood celebs and hosts.

Previous World Cups Revisited – Part 1

1982 – there’s not much that I remember about those years because I was a very young lad of not yet 6 when that world cup was played. I don’t think I watched more than the payday loans online direct lender no credit check final between Italy & West Germany and do not remember anything of it. I do remember my sister saying that after Kuwait’s (which is where I was born and where my family & I were living at the time) national side qualified for the World Cup in Spain (their first and only appearance in a wold cup tournament) there was a huge celebration all over the streets of the tiny nation.

I remember her telling me that there were people all over the streets throwing confetti and shouting happy slogans and that the cars found it hard to get through traffic because of the crowds. Image if they have won! for me, the big thing about the 1982 Espana World Cup is the fact that the nation where I was born & lived in for 11 years qualified, played 3 games (lost 2 and drew 1) and also had a controversial moment!

Mexico 1986. For many football fans this was the most memorable World Cup ever, even for me. I was about to turn 10 when the tournament started and didn’t watch many live games. However us kids would watch some highlights and results every evening and discuss games and goals in school and later in the day with friends as we gathered in our building. The world went crazy for Argentina and a midfield maestro named Diego Armando Maradona, who was all over the news, newspapers and tv – I remember that Toyota in particular had ads with him as a brand ambassador that was shown so often on Kuwaiti tv.

Documented in a popular film, I and my cousins relived Mexico 86 for a couple of summers afterwards. One last thing, back in Kuwait in 1986 a chewing gum company (can’t remember which one) had a project for football fans. You could buy a book from them in which all the competing nations were entered and empty slots kept for each squad member. For each pack of the chewing gum you bought, you would get a small pack of 5 stickers on which you’d have the profile photo of a player in the Wold Cup. So one pack of gum gave you 5 player stickers and you had to fill the entire book with all the players – for which the company would give you a large prize. I managed to finish a little over half by the end of the tournament but still have the book for a long time.

My first World Cup once back home in India was Italia 1990. I had just started my 9th standard (grade) in school and 2 weeks in the World Cup started. We even had to write an essay about the World Cup in English class! At age 14 I was able to get permission from my parents to stay up late and watch the late night matches even on school nights. And yes this was the first world cup that I watched most of till then. My favourites were ofcourse Argentina and I was supporting and cheering for them until the very end. I remember watching the final with a cousin of mine, just a little while after the 1990 Wimbledon men’s final.

1994 was a bad year for me personally and I was literally in tears lying on a bed in the bedroom downstairs at my old home while watching the games every day during the USA World Cup. Held in 9 cities over the country, the World Cup was a huge blur for me, even though I watch almost all the matches, uptill the semifinals when I finally cheered up. But the biggest & saddest shock of this world cup – and I think it is the saddest ever – was the death of Columbian defender Andres Escobar. In the group stage match against the United States, he scored an own goal that eliminated his team. Escobar was shot to death outside a bar in a Medellín suburb only ten days later, apparently in retaliation for the own goal. As the insane idiot shot at him, he yelled “goal”,”goal” with every bullet shot! Such a tragic story.

The 1998 world cup was another really memorable and enjoyable one for me. Perhaps no other world cup was an enjoyable and as exciting for me personally. I was 21, not yet 22, studying at NIIT and despite most of the matches ending late at night, like 1am-2am, I would watch all of them and get up at 5 am 4 days in a week to get to the 7 am class at NIIT. Me and the other guys would be in class, eyes red as hell and guzzling down loads of hot black coffee to stay awake while the ladies looked at us as if we were insane. Once the classroom and lab sessions were over (usually at around 11 am) we would spend the next 2 & a 1/2 hours discussing the matches that we had seen the previous night. At 1:30 pm we would leave for lunch and head back home.

Summer After High School

What did you do the summer after high school?

So for me the summer after high school was 1992 after my 10th grade after which I went for my 11th & 12th in a college as part of a pre-degree course.

I wanted to stay in at home or go out with my cousins. But I started missing my buddies really badly in a few days. I joined a 2 month basic computer course in DataPro. I was restless and needed something to keep me occupied and make new friends as well. Besides it was only a couple of hours a day, 4 days a week. So this 2 month course at DataPro seemed like a good option and I had fun there. I got fascinated by computers as well and during my lab hours I would try to make colourful images on MsPaint. Remember that this was back in the Windows 3.x years.

I remember these two very gorgeous girls who were in my classes at Datapro. Their names were Zeena and Geena D’Couto and they were fraternal twins. And my eye was on Zeena but Geena was hot too. I spent much time with them and in the afternoons I would go to the record store nearby and go through the various album releases and check out some of the music at the store. Ofcourse I also went to various places visiting relatives. Those were good times.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE at The SitsGirls