Dejavu all over again
So I jumped on the bandwagon this week and binge-watched all the episodes of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. It was really good, and my favorite part about it was how genuinely it seemed to capture the spirit of the 80’s! From the kids with horrible haircuts who ride their bikes everywhere to the parents with the 70’s hair and clothes and the constant looming threat of aliens kidnaping people, it really takes you back. If you watched “Flight of the Navigator,” “Cloak and Dagger,” “The Last Starfighter,” and all the other kid/teen-centric movies during that time you totally know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, it got me thinking about all the stuff that was around in the 80’s that kids today will never even see. And here’s the rundown on all of those things:
Mixtapes I know, I know, you can make a mix cd (not that anyone does that anymore, romance is totally dead lol) but there’s just something really special about the whole idea of an actual tape that winds up with a handwritten playlist. Mixtapes should make a serious comeback (not that anyone has a tape-player anymore). Maybe we should settle for mix cds after all; a Spotify playlist just doesn’t have quite the same charm or effort level in my humble opinion!
The Panasonic BoomBox The music theme continues, especially considering that the 80’s was the last time really great music was made. Just picture Lloyd Dobler standing outside your window holding it up and just waiting for a sign...again, chivalry! So dead.
Polaroid Cameras With the cellphone camera being the dominant method for the general public to take photos now, it seems only actual photographers have need for an item like this, but picture-taking used to be more of an art! Complete with a dark room and a classic camera, Stranger Things definitely takes you back to the age of photographs.
Music Boxes Never been a huge fan of these myself, but there’s definitely a certain nostalgia about a little girl’s room and a pink music box boasting a lovely ballerina twirling. Again, in Stranger Things you can see the longing in a little girl’s eyes as she sees all the trappings of normal life in an average girl’s room.
Zoltar Definitely a little specific, but I’m kinda thinking more of the whole idea of sending your kids off to a carnival with a few bucks and telling them to have fun. You can still catch a little of this at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (and plenty of other places) but parents won’t really leave their kids unattended anymore like all the 80’s movies portray. I have a personal attachment to “Big” since it came out the year I was born, but I really think the Zoltar machine captures a slice of that nostalgic 80’s charm.
ViewMasters If you didn’t play with one of these as a kid, I’m sorry. It was the kind of thing that you got too excited about and smashed against your face, usually hurting the bridge of your nose. There were all different types of pictures to look at, and it was always entertaining. Some of them were scary (sharks for me), but it was something to do when you’re bored.
VHS movies you taped off TV My aunt used to make us videos all the time because she had cable and we didn’t. And then there’s the times you put in the one marked “Jaws” and it’s actually “Superman” because someone taped over it and didn’t write on it. How many movies can YOU fit on a VHS??
Walkie-Talkies Again, Stranger Things brings the 80’s back with a vengeance with covert means of communication used by kids hiding stuff from their parents. The whole “Say over when you finish your sentence so I know you’re done talking!” thing is a remnant from another time (one which Family Guy makes fun of quite well).
Rubik’s Cubes The puzzle that never ends! Hours of fun...I guess. I never really got this craze, but then I’ve also never been able to solve one. It all seems too mathematical to me; I preferred lite brites cause there were instructions!
Nintendo Cartridges Ahh the days when video games didn’t just work the first time. Blow into the cartridge, try it again. It’s like playing a scratched DVD; you take it out and polish it and use a disc that cleans the machine and the movie still won’t play! But it wouldn’t be any fun if it was easy, right?
Well, these are just a few of the many classic 80’s artifacts we all love; I hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. Post your favorite 80’s nostalgia items in the comments below!
Also, don’t forget to shop DBH for Stranger Things tees! Just click here to discover the amazing fan art.