Friday, April 20, 2012

Take 5: Fabulous Childhood Memories

Doug: In the past few weeks, we've done posts where we've asked you to list things you'd keep and things you'd intentionally lose. Today, as sort of a variation on that theme we're asking you to choose your top five elements of your Bronze Age childhood that you get all warm and fuzzy thinking about. In other words, if someone were to write a biography of you, or give a speech at a roast in your honor, how would they characterize your leisure time as a child in the 1970's (and if you're a bit older than me, feel free to reminisce on the 1960's)? Another way to look at is having a personal time machine -- what elements of your childhood would you want to relive? I'll start.
  1. Comic books. As a child of six or seven years old, even eight, I'm sure I didn't have more than 30-40 comics. But what a magical world lay within that small stack! I know at that time, among others, there were Avengers, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men, Justice League of America, Captain America, Batman, Rima the Jungle Girl, Tarzan, Marvel Two-In-One, and Marvel Team-Up. I read those books over and over, traced off of them onto tissue paper, cut out the corner boxes and Marvel Value Stamps -- never concerned with collectability or future value. I know when I was very small I had no sense that the comics came out monthly, so stringing together stories wasn't always possible. It didn't take too long to figure out the "to be continued" motif, and then I tried to keep my eyes peeled whenever I was in places that had magazine racks. I do distinctly recall figuring out that some places had more choices than others. For example, grocery stores may have stocked only 10-12 titles; drugstores with spinner racks were the gold standard of choice!

  2. Megos. Building off my love affair with comics, Megos were a dream come true. I was very fortunate to have a sizable collection of these: Batman, Robin, Spider-Man, Captain America, Green Arrow, the Hulk, the Thing, the Human Torch, Conan, Tarzan, Thor, Iron Man, the Penguin, Mr. Mxyzptlk, the Lizard, Aquaman, the Green Goblin, and Kid Flash. I wiled away hour after hour with these, especially with friends who had other guys -- Shazam, Superman, Mr. Fantastic, Batgirl, the Joker, etc. I'm smiling as I type this. It was a really, really good time. Sometimes the stories would just continue endlessly -- it became almost episodic, breaking for dinner or to go to bed, only to resume the next day. Man...

  3. Planet of the Apes. Most of these memories today come from the short period in my childhood when we moved from the far south suburbs of Chicago to Milwaukee. I was there between June 1973- March 1976, and while I missed Channel 44 out of Chicago that aired the Marvel Super-Heroes and Spider-Man cartoons, I discovered many classic films and even old serials while in Milwaukee. It was also during this time that the Apes movies were first broadcast on television. Captivated isn't the word. Spellbound? I don't know, but whatever it was, they had me hook-line-sinker. In addition to the superhero Megos I listed above, I had 5-6 Apes figures, the treehouse, and a couple of other playsets. When it wasn't the Marvel and DC guys mixing it up, it was the Apes! And when the TV show hit? Catch me, I'm falling! Again, I am washed over by a nostalgic feeling of wide-eyed wonder.

  4. Tarzan. We discussed the Lord of the Jungle just a few days ago. Again, it was during my time in the Badger State that I first beheld Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. I loved those old black and whites. I'll throw in here, too, that I saw most of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road" films during this era. How formative! But back to Tarzan -- again, I was insatiable. The Ron Ely television show was a "can't miss", and was every bit as popular in my elementary aged brain as the $6 Million Man. Did I mention The Wild, Wild West? Jeez -- get me that time machine! Anyway, in the midst of all of this digressing, it was fun to play Tarzan outside with friends. One of us would be a native ally (we didn't care about political correctness back then), or Boy, and we'd explore the neighborhood letting our imaginations run wild. It was quite awhile later, around the bridge between junior and senior high school that I discovered the ERB novels. It was like falling in love all over again.

  5. AM radio. One of my prized possessions as a kid was my black transistor radio with the white ear plug. Just one. It was AM, after all -- who needed two? McCartney's Live and Let Die and Band on the Run, Paper Lace's Billy Don't Be a Hero and The Night Chicago Died, the BeeGees' Jive Talkin', Elton John's Your Song, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, and Rocket Man, Three Dog Night's Joy to the World, and Johnny Wakelin's Muhammad Ali: the Black Superman were all favorites that spilled out of WOKY in Milwaukee. FM radio and album rock? No idea at the time. Just give me those sappy songs and catchy tunes!

So how about you? What five elements of your childhood brought a grin to your face as you were reading my recollections?


Anonymous said...

“Playing outside”. Something I notice with adulthood vs childhood is that, surprisingly, just about everything is still there (sports, reading books & comics, watching TV, radio, listening to records, playing video games, cinema, going out with my friends, work has replaced school but fundamentally’s all still the same). The only thing that is different is that there is no playing outside in grown up life. If you’re outdoors as a kid, you’re playing cowboys & Indians or war or chasing games, riding around on your bike, going to the park, playing with toys as Doug describes. All that is gone. If you’re outdoors now, you’re either gardening or socialising. But never playing.

Movies – cinema was such a wonderful treat as child. It was rare and expensive. I could afford to go every night now if I wanted, but it’s still a treat.

Time – I had such a different sense of it passing then. It seemed a limitless resource. Now, if I get handed at project at work with only 6 or 7 weeks to complete it, I wonder how on earth I will do it in such a ridiculously short time, but when school broke up for the summer holidays, 6 or 7 weeks was an eternity.

Love – remember the utter, weird, not-understandable agony of having a crush on someone when you were little? It was soul-consuming.

Comics – I adore comics now and they offer a nostalgia and innocence which they obviously didn’t have at the time. But at the time, they were just magic.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face


Steve Does Comics said...

Let's see. With all it encompassed, Childhood was a very big thing but I'll try to boil it down to the five essentials.

1. American comics.

I started reading American comics in the summer of 1972 and it was like going on some mind-expanding trip.

To read full-colour tales of costumed super-doers, after years of much duller British comics about the War and football(soccer) was a life-changing experience.

When the first Marvel UK comics were launched - like The Mighty World of Marvel - it was as though I'd died and gone to paradise.

In terms of British comics, what most sticks in my mind was Bella Barlow - Belle of the Bar, about a girl gymnast who seemed to always win a bronze medal at every Olympics despite having to turn up with her legs in plaster, having had them broken by an evil rival/her own coach. It's probably a reflection of the British mentality of the time that she "triumphed" by coming third rather than by actually winning.

2. Disturbing children's TV dramas.

I have a theory that it's a hang-over from the Suez Crisis and its effect on the national psyche but all British children's TV dramas of the 1970s seemed designed to teach their impressionable audience that the world is a dangerous and nightmarish place in which dark forces are always lurking and you have no control over anything.

There was Dr Who, of course, which you had to watch from behind the sofa. But, beyond that, there were shows called Escape Into Night, The Changes, Children of the Stones and Timeslip, which all seemed designed to terrify children into a state of paranoid madness.

I think Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale had been the first person to introduce science fiction to British TV, and his influence seemed to hang heavy over British children's TV drama in the 1970s.

We also got Eastern European children's TV shows. The most notorious of which being a thing called The Singing Ringing Tree which was far too disturbing to have ever been allowed to be inflicted on children.

3. Lego.

I loved Lego. With it you could create any toy.

4. Music.

Like you, Doug, I had a small black radio with a white earpiece. It was made by a company called Satellite and cost the princely sum of £2.99.

I'm highly pleased to know that Billy Don't Be A Hero was known over there, as it was one of the first singles I ever bought. The first was Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool by Little Jimmy Osmond.

The UK charts in the early 1970s were dominated by Glam Rock acts like The Sweet, Wizzard, Alvin Stardust and, erm, Gary Glitter. Most of them were not what you'd exactly call naturally glamorous. In fact, they mostly looked like brick-layers who'd been wrapped in baco-foil.

The Bay City Rollers were huge.

And the mighty Slade were massive, despite failing to make any impact in America.

Apart from the Osmonds, the only American act I remember making a big impact at that time was Suzi Quatro with her giant bass and leather catsuits. I'm sure there were other American acts who were big but, for some reason - possibly because they weren't wrapped in baco-foil - they struggled to impinge upon my consciousness.

5. A shortage of everything.

I don't know what it was like over there but in early 1970s Britain, there always seemed to be a dearth of every substance known to man.

We had bread shortages, paper shortages, oil shortages, sugar shortages, electricity shortages, plastic shortages, telephone shortages, even TV show shortages.

At one point, in order to save electricity, the TV companies took to only broadcasting the middle third of the picture, meaning that, when you watched a TV show, all you could see were people's midriffs, with their heads and legs cut off.

The upside of it was that, with regular power cuts, we got to sit in our candle-lit living room, by a crackling fire, feeling oddly cosy and atmospheric.

dbutler16 said...

Doug, you have a picture of a Take 5 bar? That's my favorite candy bar, but it didn't exist when we were kids!

Playing outside - I remember riding my Big Wheel when I was about 6. I also remember playing superhero in the front yard. I was usually the Black Panther, the Beast, the Flash, or Quicksilver. I guess I had something for speedsters and cool looking agility guys. When I got a bit older, it was the nerf football with friends, and eventually riding my bicycle to the comic shop.

Star Wars - Huge part of my childhood, especially the action figures. I had them all, as well as the trading cards. Hours of fun playing with those action figures.

Comics - My first superhero comic was a Fantastic Four in 1976. I remember soon becoming a big fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes (before the comic shop, I often had to rely on the Whitman reprints) as well as the JLA and Avengers. It wasn't until 1979 that I discovered the X-Men.

Candy - I also remember walking or riding my bike to the local Convenient Market 2/3 of a mile form home. Snickers were my favorite at the time, and Ho-Ho's and Suzy Q's ranked pretty high too.

Fashion - The only fashion I remember from being a pre-teen was moon boots. There were this big, thick, winter boots that looked a bit like astronaut's boots except that they were much more colorful.

TV - Land of the Lost, Suprefriends, and the Adam West Batman show are my earliest memories. Star Blazers was my favorite after school cartoon, from around 1979-1980. I also remember Scooby Doo and Gilligan's Island after school. Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle and Thundarr the Barbarian were my favorite Saturday cartoons, but I remember watching cartoons from 6AM-noon, starting with Woody Woodpecker, then the Lone Ranger live action show, then Bug Bunny, then on to the new stuff. I also vaguely remember watching Planet of the Apes movies and Sinbad movies on Saturday afternoons.

Cartoon food - I fondly remember eating pop tarts whilst watching my Saturday cartoons.

Mego & other toys - Although I did have some Mego super hero action figures, I most fondly remember my Micronauts collection. I also remember owning Stretch Armstrong, the large G.I. Joe figure with real clothing and fuzzy hair, and a Star Trek tricorder.

I didn't get into radio, or even music really, until I was at least 14, other than what I'd hear on the car radio when in the car with my parents. I have a random memory of hearing "Don't You Want Me?" by the Human League in my mom's car on the way to the comic store.

Comic store - Sometimes my mom would take me, and sometimes I'd ride my bike. There was a diner next door we'd go to for Sunday lunch sometimes. I remember asking the comic shop owner for a job on more than one occasion, but it never happened.

Like Richard, part of my enjoyment in comics today is the nostalgia value. The same goes for Start Wars and certain songs.

Anonymous said...

what the heck is baco-foil??????

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve – wow, didn’t even think of disturbing children’s TV, but you are SO right.

The Changes, Children of the Stones & Timeslip were superb (in Timeslip, they had the Internet....not bad for 1970).

Can I please add:

Ace of Wands (all time fave),

the Tomorrow People (more for the credits than the program...the show was a bit cheap, but the credits scared the Hell out of me, especially the baby)


Sky (how creepy was that?),

Sapphire & Steel (although that was for adults, it was originally supposed to be a kid’s show).

Also – do you remember a show on BBC1 on Saturday night called Supernatural round about 1977? Very Gothic. Scared the bejesus out of me. Should have been in bed by then.


ps - Anon - Baco-foil is tin foil.

Steve Does Comics said...

Richard, I don't recall Supernatural at all, which is odd as it sounds like just the sort of thing I'd remember.

The Tomorrow People started off great but, sadly, got progessively sillier as it went along, till it was practically a sit-com.

I do remember Sky - and him being attacked by the tree at the end of the first episode. That really was the stuff of nightmares.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm. He was attacked by everything. The entire world was allergic to him and trying to force him back to where he came from ( which turned out be a really scary of the future).

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

What a great entry. Wow so much of what you describe was right out of my own childhood of the 70's.

My comic book collection also started with a small box of comics and grew from there.

I love loved my MEGO action figures. I still have them today. My only regret was getting rid of the play sets!

I loved the Planet of the Apes. I couldn't get enough of them. I even had the MEGO action figures and the Tree-house play set.

pete doree said...

For anybody wanting to watch this stuff again ( or you USA bronzers wanting to see how weird british '70's kids TV was ), The Changes, Children Of The Stones & Sky are all on youtube. Tell 'em the Juganet sent you!

William Preston said...

Jane's wearing some kind of leotard in that shot, right? They wouldn't have shown that much skin then in a film for the masses, right?

Edo Bosnar said...

5 things from early childhood that make me sappy with nostalgia when I think of them:
1. Marvel Tales #59, Marvel Team-up #38, DC Super Stars #2, among the earliest comics I remember owning - seeing just the covers brings a smile to my face.
2. Hawaii 5-O - probably the first show that I just could not miss; it was must-watch from ages 5 to about 7 or 8. Still love the theme music.
3. Bay City Rollers - it's kind of embarrassing to admit that this was one of the first bands I knew by name, and also my first favorite band. And connected to this: KGW - an AM station broadcasting out of Portland, OR, on which I probably heard my first song by the Bay City Rollers, and tons of other AM staples, like deceptively innocent-sounding "Afternoon Delight," that formed the soundtrack of my early childhood.
4. A Hostess snack (Twinkie, Ding-Dong, Cupcake, etc.) in the school lunch box.
5. Captain Kangaroo - I don't think this requires any explanation.

Doug said...

William P --

As I understand it, there came a Code in Hollywood, not unlike the CCA. This pic of Africa's cutest couple certainly predates that, as does the nude swimming scene that's been referenced a time or two in these parts in the past week. Fully (ahem...) available on YouTube.


david_b said...

Just waiting for other loyal audience members to chime in first.
Too many to pick from, I’d think.

I do recall the ‘68/’69 Christmases of getting both Captain Action and MMM stuff, just early Xmas morning, opening crisp new boxes..

I still love ’73 the best.. Having just moved into the city from the rural community, actually being able to walk/bike-ride to hunt comics in the Pharmacy store, grocery store, and this old antique place that sold newspapers/magazines. It was always odd that each of the stores got in different Marvel/DC titles.

Carpenters and Wings now playing on the airwaves., seeing ‘Live and Let Die’ in the theater just because of the movie theme. Had a few Mego’s starting to creep into my possession, my FOOM membership and my brand new Captain America Beach Towel (from Marvel) arriving, along with buying those AMT Trek models and Blish books for 75cents, having ‘just discovered Star Trek’..
The Avengers/Defenders clash, and Peter Parker coping with Gwen's death (and the resulting outrage in the letters page for months)

And I STILL go nuts for a Hostess Apple Fruit Pie. Just ask the Mrs...

William said...

1. The Super Friends cartoon is one of my earliest memories of being exposed to Super Heroes. (I was probably 6 or 7 years old). I of course knew about Batman and Superman, but that was about it at the time. I remember being pretty much obsessed with the Super Friends at that age. I would be really upset if I overslept on Saturday morning and missed it. Really… upset.

2. Mego Action Figures. Like you, Doug, these were my favorite toys as a child. I also had a large collection of them, and (along with my friends) would create days long epic adventures for them battling the forces of evil. The first one I ever owned was Aquaman, and I didn't even know who he was at the time, but I thought he looked cool. I was educated very quickly about him however when the Super Friends started airing shortly after that. I still own a Spider-Man Mego that I bought when I was around 9 years old. However, back then my favorite super hero was SHAZAM! (Captain Marvel), so he was my favorite Mego as well. Which leads me to childhood memory #3…

3. The SHAZAM! live action TV series. To say I loved this show (at the time) would be an understatement. I never missed it. I always thought it was weird that they changed it so much from the comics with Billy and "Mentor" traveling "the highways and byways of the land" in a Winnebago. Like I said, kinda "weird". But those little details didn't detract from my enjoyment of seeing my favorite super hero come to life "with one magic word" every week on TV. He wasn't as powerful as he was in the comics (which also bothered me a little), but I understand they didn't have the budget for those kinds effects for a kids TV show in the 70's. It was still the best thing on TV at the time, as far as I was concerned. I also read SHAZAM! comics faithfully, and truthfully imagined that if I was ever in any real danger and I yelled SHAZAM! I would become Captain Marvel. Luckily I was never tossed off a bridge by a little bald mad scientist, so I never got to test my theory.

4. The Brady Bunch. This was my favorite non-superhero form of entertainment when I was a kid. My sister and I were always in front of the TV every Friday night to watch this show. I still like to watch it sometimes if it's on and I'm not doing anything at the time. My wife (who is a few years older than me) can't understand my fondness for this campy bit of family schlock. But, it always makes me happy and brings back a lot of good memories and good feelings.

5. COMIC BOOKS!!! This one is only in the 5th spot because I was saving the best for last. There is nothing that has had more of a lasting impact on my life than those four-color pieces of awesomeness! From Spider-Man, SHAZAM!, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, The Avengers, The Justice League, The X-Men and oh so much more, comics have always been my favorite form of entertainment and a big part of my life and identity. Of all my childhood interests, comics are the one thing that I have continued to enjoy into adulthood. I remember walking home from school, when I was in 3rd grade, and stopping at 7-11 and looking at the comics on the racks and just being mesmerized by the artwork, and colors, and scenes of dynamic action. It's a shame that you can never recapture that sense of wonder and joy as an adult like when you're a kid. I actually feel a little sorry for kids today that they can't walk into the local convenience store and have their mind blown by a spinner rack of joy. I wonder if they get the same feeling from a video game or a digital comic on a website?

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Spider-Man cartoon (best theme song ever). McDonalds. Whenever my parents went out and left us with a baby sitter, we got to eat McDonalds. (Ahh parental guilt, gotta love it). The Plastic Man cartoon. (Man I watched a lot of TV when I was kid). Butternut candy bars. (Peanuts and caramel covered with chocolate). Yummy.

david_b said...

'Course, I WAS going to start off my comments with my Favorite Python sketch..:

Monty Python - Four Yorkshiremen

(Just one of the many versions, not the one with Graham Chapman..)

Anonymous said...

no Sid & Marty Krofft? Come on people! Bugaloos! Sigmund and the Sea Monsters! H.R. Puffenstuff!

--Matt alias Anonymous

Doug said...

Sorry, Matt --

Was a fan of the Kroffts, but they just don't make my Top 5 childhood memories.

In general, I could have added Saturday mornings spent in front of the TV, however. That would have brought in the Kroffts, William's Shazam! and Super Friends, was well as Land of the Lost, Scooby-Doo, the Looney Tunes, etc.

How about advertising icons as nostalgia? Anyone remember "Frito Bandito"?? I had a pencil-top eraser of that guy.

Model kits?


david_b said...

Oh, I logged all my hours watching the Monkee reruns on Saturday mornings, that's really about all I could stand from Saturday morning TV..

Doug, I had at least 4-5 Frito Bandito pencil-top erasers..

LOVED 'EM, but was alway jealous of the guys with the Cheeta one from Cheetos. My parents never bought them.

PLEASE don't bring up the dancing 'Fig Newton' guy.

david_b said...

One comment about Richard's lead-off post at top. I miss the lazy days of summer with nothing important to do. I spent many a day during summer vacations just reading comics, with nothing interesting on TV, occasionally riding bikes to friends houses with Megos and GI Joes, or just sitting in my room drinking coke and munching on Freetos.

No boy scouts, no band camp, no summer school, no soccer practice.

And loved it.

Dougie said...

Richard and Steve: Supernatural made an impression on me. I was about 14.
It was an anthology show and the premise was about membership of a gentlemen's club, dependent on telling a supernatural story. I vaguely recall the vampire and werewolf episodes being very unsettling. I think the theme music was Bach's Toccata and Fugue.

Inkstained Wretch said...

(Had a longer version written out but lost it after I hit the wrong key, Grrr)

1 - Bicycles: Hard to overestimate the freedom a bike gives you. Suddenly you are able to travel further and faster than ever before. And it makes getting there fun too.

2 - Water pistols & water sprinklers: The perfect antidote to a hot, lazy afternoon.

3 - 25 cent videogames: There was only one thing standing beween those aliens and earth: Me. That is, assuming I had any quarters on me.

4 - Dungeons & Dragons: Roll-playing games open up whole new worlds for me. Man, I spent hours reading those rule books, modules and the Monster Manual.

5 - Mada Magazine: The "Usual Gang of Idiots" sure knew how to make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember ever seeing a Frito Bandito eraser, although I remember the character from TV commercials. I did have two W. C. Fritos erasers. That character (obviously, a W.C. Fields cartoon parody) replaced the Bandito in ads after complaints about the ethnic stereotype.

Redartz said...

What a terrific thread today; I'm all mushy just reading it!

Oh, those childhood memories. In no particular order:

1. Comic books- Obviously. They accompanied me under the covers at night in the bunk bed. They were there in the back seat of the car during long road trips. Still recall reading Disney Comics Digest 5 with a great Barks duck story, keeping me busy one trip.

2. Saturday morning cartoons- Now, when animation is everywhere and at any time, it loses a bit of its special aura. There was the anticipation; friday night staying up with a friend and then getting up early with Bugs, Jonny Quest, Spiderman and all the rest.

3. Hot Wheels- My brother, my friends and I spent hours arranging raceways, and more hours challenging each other. Would pull out my "Jackrabbit Special" when the cartoon series came on...

4. Mason's Root Beer- "the one with the blue dot cap". It came in a fine ribbed glass bottle, cold from the machine by the drug store. Often plugged on "Popeye and Janie", an afternoon kid's show from Indianapolis.

5. Charlie Brown holiday specials- From Vince Gauraldi's unforgettable jazz soundtrack to the Dolly Madison Zingers commercials, they were always a highlight of any holiday. Still watch the Great Pumpkin every Halloween.

Redartz said...

By the way, Doug, liked the image from the comic spinner rack. As I recall, the one from our local store read "Wholesome, entertaining comics!". Made them sound a bit like Wonder Bread.

Joseph said...

My God, I feel like anytime I post, I am just repeating what others have more eloquently said before me. Either I am incredibly uncreative, great minds think alike, or we've all had similar experiences!

Five Childhood Memories:

1) Star Wars - I was 7 when it came out, so this is pretty much what I consider the defining influence of my childhood.

2) Comics - bronze age era comics are such a wonderful memory and remain a strong pull for me. As such, I visit this - my favorite comic blog - for a taste of the familiar and to remind myself that I am not alone.

3) Baseball and baseball cards - looking through the collection of mid to late 70s baseball cards that my brother and I put together transforms me immediately to the sitting on the floor in our room (on ugly brown carpet) and repeatedly organizing them into different stacks (alphabetical, teams, year, etc).

4) Saturday morning TV - Land of the Lost, Super Friends, Woody Woodpecker, Pink Panther, and certainly others. I still get an excited feeling when I wake up early on Saturday morning before the rest of the family and can enjoy that escape for an hour or so (though these days it involves a cup of coffee and a new book that fills that time).

5) 70s AM Radio - Seals & Croft strikes me as the ultimate in this mellow, yachty, sound but no song (or sight or smell) transports me back to childhood like Rita Coolidge "We're All Alone".

Rip Jagger said...

Here are the five that pop to mind.

1. Comic books of course, especially Marvel. I dabbled in DC and Charlton at the time, as well as Gold Key and even a few Harveys and Archies, but it was Marvel for me early on.

2. Cartoons, especially the action-adventure ones like Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Spider-Man, and such. The late 60's was a great time for that stuff.

3. Pop music, especially groups like the Monkees and those kinds of creations. These "Pop Sensations" really burrowed deep into my psyche. I got my music through television a lot.

4. Pulp novels featuring the likes of Conan, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, and the weird worlds of Lovecraft. My local library was a main source, and even offered up a rolling book mobile which came by our country home every two weeks or so. It was so very cool picking out stuff, real gems.

5. Late-night television movies, especially the horror and monster kind. AIP, Hammer, and other genre houses filled the airwaves with lurid color horror of all types. It would be years later when I learned to appreciate the older black and white classics. I grew up on color though.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

1. Krofft Super Stars or whatever it was called

2. Comics at convenience stores beckoning from spinner racks, wishing I had money to buy more than 1 or 2

3. National Parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone, grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Petrified Forest... been to all those and more by the time I was 10...also probably every reservation in the Southwest

4. Super Friends cartoons and comic books, still my favorite incarnation of the Justice League and my vision of how super heroes should behave

5. Beatles records, the only records I had or cared about. My mom says I asked for one for Christmas when I was 5, I got that red compilation. Didn't know that was just a random assortment. Then I got the blue one the next year, and what I thought was "the white one" the next year. I guess I thought they just chose a different color for their record every year. I still find it offputting to hear those songs in a different sequence today.

--Matt alias Anonymous

Anonymous said...

and if I could have 6, all those fantastic super hero 1-page Hostess ads that usually had better artwork than the comics they were in. I have a folder of maybe 40 of those cut out of the comic books.

--Matt alias Anon

dbutler16 said...

Speaking of the super hero 1-page Hostess ads, I just love the cheesy, one shot super villains that appear in those. What a rogue's gallery that would make!

Anonymous said...

Good times. I had a bunch of the Megos (my Batman had the removable mask, very cool). The other toy that I remember was the Big Jim sets, including the set with him, and three others that formed the super group....I think one had a whip, plus the guy with the steel hand, and a couple I can't remember now.

I was deep into comics, too. I really was more into DC in the beginning with Batman, JLA, Tarzan, Kamandi, etc., but soon moved over to Marvel. I really liked the oversized Treasury editions. I can remember the first Spider-Man Treasury being a big deal around here.

Sports was also a big deal, too. My dad was a coach, so we always watched games on TV. I was into football, basketball, and baseball.....watching and playing. Loved the Celtics, the Reds, and the Raiders.

I also remember reading a lot. I read a lot of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series (but, oddly, not many of the Tarzan books), plus the Conan series, Doc Savage, the Avenger, etc.....Why don't they still publish these like they did back then?

The thing I remember most was riding bicycles around town. Back then, you could leave the house in the morning and go all over town and not get home until nearly dark and your folks never worried about you. Days seemed to last forever and there was so much you could cram into the daylight hours. Wish it was still that way sometimes.


Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

I have a lot of memories of Mego action figures. I went to the store every week to get the first ones. They were Batman,Superman, Tarzan,Shazam (DC's Captain Marvel), Spidey and all the rest too numerous to mention. I couldn't believe it when they had the Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain America and the Falcon. It was like I was in action figure heaven. About 10 years before Robot Chicken aired, I sold them all without the packaging to a collector for a nice sum. It paid my taxes for that year! Taking care of my toys finally paid off.

I remember reading that Mego turned down George Lucas to develop a line of Star Wars action figures.

That was that a huge mistake. They thought they had something better in the (at the time) Buck Rodgers action figures. At the time they were making Star Trek:The Motion Picture action figures also. They failed miserably and the company went out of business in 1983. I always think if only they made those Star Wars figures they would still be in business!

Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

I remember the Planet of the Apes feature films on TV. The first one co-written by Rod Serling is far and above the best.

I only wish Charlton Heston had made more sequels instead of making The Omega Man and Soylent Green. Both of them had the main character sacrificing themselves at the end in a way very much like the first Planet Apes film. Instead of manking the Apes films bigger and more spectacular they went with a smaller budget each time.

I did like the CBS TV series with Roddy McDowell. It did last only 13 or 14 episodes but it was very good for its time. Like Star Trek they had a moral to each episode. Mark Leonard (Sarek of Star Trek fame) portrayed General Urko. I wish CBS gave the show a chance. It kept being delayed and changed time slots so you never knew when it was on. The network did the same with Logan's Run: The TV Series. There were so many time slot changes it never found an audience.

Anonymous said...

I think Charlton Heston said in an interview that he didn't want to do an "Apes" sequel and he agreed to do it only when they promised that he would only have to appear in it briefly. He also thought the ending would prevent any more sequels, but of course, they found a way around it. He admitted that continuing the series made sense financially, if not artistically.

Anonymous said...

Steve: there were shortages in the early 1970's here in the US, too. The biggest was the oil crisis in 1973. To put it in perspective, gas went up to $0.55 a gallon (about 0.34 British pounds). Then there was the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973. Johnny Carson told a joke on his late-night talk show about a rumored tissue paper shortage (the rumor was unfounded, BTW). It started a panic. Stores were swamped with customers buying toilet paper to stock up. They sold out by the next day. So then there really was a shortage for about three weeks. A sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

spencer said...

Wow, a lot of great responses on this!

#1 marvel comics. Had a store down the street, but the real joy came when dad did his bowling league and I tagged along and got to visit the deli that always had the best and newest Marvel's!

#2 Godzilla movies, James bond, 6 million dollar man, the wild, wild west, universal monster movies, twilight zone and star trek.

#3 KISS- these guys were like real life superheroes.

#4 playing outside with the "gang"

#5 drawing/ sketching/ tracing marvel characters

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