Steven Seagal has always been a bit of an enigma. From his claim of being the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, to his numerous sexual harassment allegations, his band Thunderbox, and his clairvoyant vigilante police work, the man is more interesting than everyone you know in your life combined. In the age of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Seagal stood above the crowd with his vast martial arts knowledge in the form of the Japanese practice of Aikido. Aikido, in a nutshell, is a more defensive martial art that utilizes the momentum of your opponent to incapacitate them instead of using your own brute strength. Suffice to say, it’s pretty fucking cool.
It was my dad who introduced me to the wonderful world of Seagal and all the violent entertainment he was so apt to provide. I’ve seen every one of Seagal’s films, including the shitty straight-to-DVD ones, and I’ve loved every minute of them. My first experience with the pony tailed bad ass was in the film Under Siege. Under Siege is a wonderfully hilarious, exciting action romp in which a former Navy SEAL turned cook, Casey Ryback (Seagal), is the only person who can stop a gang of terrorists when they seize control of a US Navy battleship.
The mind of a child is a difficult thing to tame. With no space for historically significant events, mathematics, or any practical kind of information, kids instead possess minds that are full of fanciful imaginings. Monsters, magic, faraway lands and their toy collections are far more likely to occupy their rapidly-developing brains than any kind of scholastic lesson. However, there is one thing that can captures a child’s attention like lint on tape: icky, slimy, disgusting bugs.
Originally made by Mattel in 1964, Creepy Crawlers is a creative toy for kids who are old enough to play with hot things without horribly burning themselves. Basically, the toy consists of die-cast metal molds of assorted critters that are a receptacle for an oozing, liquid chemical substance called Plastigoop. The goop is heated in the machine until it set into a semi-solid, rubbery form and then the critters are popped out of their metal molds once cooled. The result is endless amounts of rubbery bug toys that make any kid squeal with joy.
The problem with the older models is that they actually contained an electric hot plate oven. In a kid’s hands, this thing might have well been an unattended pack of matches. With all of the concerns over child safety, Mattel released a 2.0 version in 1978 in which the Plastigoop was heated by itself and then poured into cold molds. It was a failure because this method took over an hour to make a completed creature and the reformulated Plastigoop did not work well at all. The attempted revival faded into obscurity.
It’s always struck me as funny when films call themselves the “final” something. It’s just like being at a concert and hearing that phony goodbye that bands give before they come back on stage and play 3 or 4 more songs. We know it’s not the end. Any marginally successful intellectual property will always come back for more.
After 8 iterations of the Jason Voorhees legacy spanning everything from his mother’s lakeside rampage in the original to his battle with a telekinetic chick and his eventual invasion of New York City, it’s obvious that something about a kid who drowned in a lake because of the neglect of his teenage summer camp caretakers resonated with people. I guess maybe the director of this film felt that it was time to put the legend to rest.
After his relaxing vacation in New York, the nearly invincible Jason Voorhees returns to the screen in a whole new, horribly unoriginal sequel called Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday. The movie so bad that its own title has to reassure you twice that it’s going to be the last in the series.
Food designed for American children has always been a melting pot of preservative-laden, teeth rotting, diabetes-inducing deliciousness, but never was this as true as it was in the 90s. I can remember the forgotten favorites from my elementary school Ninja Turtle lunch box and the joy of pulling each magnificent morsel out of its colorful, environmentally devastating packaging.
I’m a fat kid at heart as well as in body composition, so I’ve already wrote much about discontinued brands of food that litter my childhood memories. I feel that these three examples of snacking perfection deserved their place in the sugary spotlight as well.
The sign of a legendary television show is the length of its syndication. One of my favorite teen sitcoms of all time, Saved By The Bell transcends all boundaries. Still in syndication twenty some years later in pretty vigorous rotation, the show was a landmark series.
It showed NBC that kids were willing to watch live action shows on Saturday mornings outside of their usual cartoon lineup. It blossomed several young stars, spawned a spinoff college series featuring the unforgettable Browns beast Bob Golic, a wedding special, and even a more modern “New Class” version that sucked all kinds of ass.
Along with its television iterations, Saved By The Bell was responsible for all kinds of merchandising. We’re going to visit one of the most 90s examples of television-show-turned-trading card and appreciate it for all of its cheesy, colorful, neon, saccharine glory. Today, we have the pleasure of looking at some sensational Saved By The Bell Trading cards.