I honestly don't know if it's a fact, or just the way it seems, but I can't think of another decade that produced a comedic output on par with the 1980s - specifically on the cinematic front. From front-to-back, the 80s was stacked with comedies that have had lasting impact, been constantly imitated, and never really matched on a cultural scale. Perhaps it's because I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s, often finding myself experiencing movies for the first time on the small screen, in large part due to HBO, USA Up All Night, and whatever other channels I shouldn't have been watching at the time. REVENGE OF THE NERDS is one of those films, an R-rated affair that I, from a ratings standpoint, shouldn't have been allowed to see until the early 1990s... but I did, and it was glorious. Now, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has released the film on Blu-ray, just in time for it's 30th Anniversary.
The headline just about says it all. After the recent announcement that filmmakers were prepping to do a legit archaeological excavation of the New Mexico landfill where it had long been rumored that Atari dumped copies of it's notorious failure, E.T. - The Extra-terrestrial, the mystery has been solved.
By most accounts, the Atari 2600 Game based on Steven Spielberg's 1982 film, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, was one of the worst video games ever made - and one of the biggest failures of all-time. Like many children of the day, E.T. made an impact on me, and my parents bought me a copy of the game. At the time, I don't know if I knew how bad it was, though 30+ years later, I'm also not sure it was as terrible as people claim that it was. I do know that it was frustrating, not particularly "fun," but also that I played it often, if only to force myself to beat it. Which I did. On a Global scale, the game did so bad, that Atari is said to have buried millions of copies somewhere in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. But did they?
We're gonna file this one under "Toys for Grownups," because these action figures aren't for the kids. In fact, while I tend to open the few figures I occasionally happen to buy, these would probably never be opened as they're 2014 made to look like... the 80s. I'm talking about the new ReAction Figures line from Funko and Super7, a collection that I'd been meaning to feature here on THE ROCK FATHER for ages, and now feel beyond obligated to - they're just that cool. What if BACK TO THE FUTURE and GOONIES had figures made by Kenner way back when? What if the Universal Monsters got in on the action, along with other Horror icons, or characters from PULP FICTION, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, or the famed players from Joss Whedon's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL and FIREFLY? The answer has arrived, and ReAction might be the hottest thing going this year for old-school pop culture aficionados like myself.
Among the toys that I had when I was a kid, few rivaled the adventures I had with my G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO action figures. Along with STAR WARS, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and TRANSFORMERS, they were one of the big guns, and I still remember receiving my first 'Joe as a birthday present in 1982. It was the LASER RIFLE TROOPER, CODENAME: FLASH, and I received him along with the JET PROPULSION MOBILE UNIT (JUMP). While most of my toys were sold-off somewhere around 1988, I still have a case of loose 'Joe figures in storage somewhere, and I'm pretty sure that FLASH is one of the guys who survived. The reason for the nostalgia tonight is that Hasbro has announced a partnership with Toys "R" Us for the 50th Anniversary of G.I. JOE, and with it, a new line of toys. It's very exciting, and I've got all the details, right here on THE ROCK FATHER... and believe me, I'm saving the best for last.
Ah, THE GAME OF LIFE. As a kid in the 1980s, I remember playing the classic version of the game, building my "family" with those little pegs that represented people, and dreaming of what exactly I might be when I grew up. Well, I never necessarily "grew up," but I did become a "grownup," and since I now have real kids that aren't little plastic pegs, I have this site... so you could say that I've won at THE GAME OF LIFE. I also get some cool opportunities, and one of those is getting together with my friends at Hasbro to get one of YOU set-up with THE GAME OF LIFE to play with your family. Ready for a chance?