90s Movies .net: Revisiting and recollecting the pieces of childhood. Topics include: 90s movies, songs, television shows, commercials, cartoons, comics, photographs, old advertisements, toys, and video games that remind me of simpler times.
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.
At the height of its popularity, the show appealed to kids of all ages and invited them into its world of colorful martial arts and slapstick comedy. With this success came all types of toys, video games, apparel, and various other merchandise with the Power Rangers logo plastered all over it. Being at the perfect age for full indoctrination when the show first premiered on Saturday morning Fox, I was hypnotized and engrossed. I even saw the abysmal feature film in theaters on opening night and scored myself a free poster.
They went to school and whispered about the Spice Girls and the two boys in town behind their seemingly nonexistent teachers’ backs. They went home in a giant shoebox-schoolbus, and by the time they hit the first bus stop, the bus’s contents had shifted considerably. The school was always right by the nice part of town, so the popular girls—Polly with the blonde pigtails, Polly in the pink minidress, Polly’s brunette friend who always wore a swimsuit to school—were the first ones off the bus. I could have made them go home and do their homework, but after they finished cheerleading practice, it was usually partytime (whatever 7-year-old me thought cool teenagers did at parties).
Every parent out there knows the feeling of buying a child an expensive toy and seeing them lose interest in favor of a totally mundane object. Whether it be a roll of bubble wrap, a rubber band, or a large refrigerator box, kids make the best of what’s in front of them using that often overlooked sixth sense: IMAGINATION.
Although growing up in the 90s afforded the opportunity for many electronic, complicated playthings with many small parts that were easy to lose, break, and choke on, there was still room for the old classics like a bouncy ball, a stick, and another activity that started out simple and harmless and blossomed into something much more sinister. I’m talking about the catalyst for a worldwide wave of childhood gambling. I’m not talking about jacks, dominoes, or baseball cards, oh no. I’m talking about the seemingly harmless, but malevolently addictive Pogs.
Pogs is, in its simplest terms, a game. A game from the 90s. At its height, it was the cause of more playground crying than a skinned knee. Basically, pogs are little white paper discs with designs on one side. The game is played with these paper pogs and their heavier counterparts known as slammers.
Slammers are made of either heavy plastic or metal and come in a range of thicknesses and weights. The heavier the slammer, the better chance you had of winning. Some of the slammers that were owned by friends of mine were beyond obscene. They were multiple inches in thickness and weighed as much as a gallon of milk. Personally, I always took the high road and kept my slammers within reason. I’d dabble in metal ones, but I always kept them to a low thickness to avoid being labeled a cheater or a fink.
There’s always been a sort of brotherhood among lunchrooms spanning the globe. Despite the food fights, the relentless cruelty of teasing, and the eating disorders, elementary school cafeterias were always filled with an overwhelming sense of community. This unity stemmed from the pirate-like bartering system that existed in our 40 minute microcosm of lunchtime–trading snacks.
Whether it was a banana for a pudding pack or a handful of gushers for a fruit roll-up, there was always an endless amount of sharing and exchanging that went on between friends. Everyone remembers the kid whose mother wouldn’t let him have anything unhealthy and his desperate attempts to trade up his fruit cups for something more delectable. Sucks to be that nerd.
One of the hottest commodities on the lunchbox trading scene was the grandaddy of all snack foods in the 90s. This treasure was a product that still graces grocery store shelves with a deliciousness that cannot be denied and mascot who only ups the level of intrigue. I’m talking about the be-all, end-all treat that made normal kids turn into shivering crackheads at the sight of it. I’m talking about DUNK-A-ROOS.
Launched in 1988 by Betty Crocker, this amazing food was pioneered by mad scientists who knew how to please children. Its mascot, the Australian-accented Sydney the kangaroo was just as demonic and lovable as Joe Camel or any of the other kid-centric monsters of marketing. He knew exactly what he was doing when he hopped along the TV screen, enticing kids with his poor Paul Hogan impression.
At the height of their popularity, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ruled the world. From cereals to video games to international musical stage tours to snack cakes, there was no medium those green bastards wouldn’t infiltrate.
Their most successful foray of all, however, was into the world of toys. Hundreds of different figures were produced and some of them were even re-released recently for another round of children and nostalgically-geeky adults like myself to snatch up and cradle in sublime solemnity.
Despite all of the interesting characters like the Rat King and Mondo Gecko, it was the playsets that really reigned supreme. There was the aptly-named Turtle Van, their dingy sewer hideout, the Turtle Blimp, and many others that littered the carpeted floors of many a kid’s bedroom in the 90s.
All of that aside, those figures and playsets had absolutely nothing on the epitome of amazing Ninja Turtle toys. This wasn’t just a playset, this was a dream come true. This was the toy that marked many people’s most memorable Christmas morning ever. This was the most magical, inspiring piece of colored plastic ever to grace the shelves of a local KB Toys, Kiddie City, or Toys R Us. This was the one toy to rule them all. This was THE TECHNODROME.