Willow, TMNT, Bill Nye, & Dino Riders: Awesome Things From My Childhood

I know that in previous posts I have encouraged everyone to grow up and live in the present, but sometimes it is just plain fun to look back on older times.  So I came up with a list of some of my favorite things from my childhood.  If you are around my age (27) these things may stoke a bit of nostalgia.  And yes I realize how ridiculous this post is.

Ninja Turtle Toys- I had every Ninja Turtle that you could think of.  I also had the van, turtle lair, technodrome, and the blimp among others.  However, nothing surpassed the pizza thrower.  It could pick off a G.I. Joe from fifteen feet all while remaining out of range of the vastly inferior G.I. Joes guns that shot much further in the commercials than in real life.  Ninja Turtles were not only better in basement battles with G.I. Joes, they were simply better in general.

Nintendo– I do not need to explain Nintendo.  Just let it be known that the two greatest video games ever made are Mike Tyson’s Punchout for regular Nintendo and Goldeneye for Nintendo 64.


Legends of the Hidden Temple– Greatest TV gameshow ever, Nick Arcade being a close second.  You have pendants of life, temple guards, Olmec, the shrine of the silver monkey, and alliterative color-animal team names.  The prizes could not be topped, British Knights, a year supply of suckers and a Casio electronic keyboard.  They spared no expense.  For a complete description of the show and rules click here.

Nerf guns and American Gladiators– You may not think that these two things go together, but in my house they did.  In my basement growing up there was a horizontal water pipe that ran the span of the entire unfinished area.  My brother and I would set up Sega Genesis video game cases on the pipe.  One of us would stand in front of the pipe with a bucket of tennis balls.  The other would run between various obstacles in the basement and shoot various Nerf weapons at the Sega boxes on the pipe while being barraged with tennis balls from the other.  It was the basement Nerf version of the American Gladiator game “Assault” and it was awesome.

Baseball Cards- I used to pack up my backpack, hop on my bike and ride over to a friend’s house to trade cards for hours.  As a young kid you always got the raw end of the deal but as you got older you learned the art of tricking kids out of their best cards.  The dealmaking in those rooms rivaled only those of baseball’s winter meetings.

Dino Riders- They were dinosaurs with people inside of them.  I don’t feel like I need to say anything else.

Creepy Crawlers– Terrifying moms and sisters everywhere. I became skilled at making spiders that looked real. There is no way that this toy was safe. Nothing like letting a seven year old pull a scorching metal plate out of a thin, plastic oven.

Dunkaroos/Gushers/Fruit By The Foot/Bubble Tape/Candy Cigarettes- All great candies/snacks from when I was a kid, there are others I am sure.


Willow/Flight of The Navigator- Two extremely different but equally awesome movies that I loved as a kid.

My Side of The Mountain-  It is the equivalent of Robinson Crusoe for kids, only with drawings.  As an adult when life becomes stressful I often find myself with the unending desire to hollow out a tree, live in it, and train a falcon to catch my food.


Honorable Mention

Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures– I may or may have an autographed picture of Jack Hannah because I wrote to him as a kid.  I wanted to be a zoologist when I was a kid.  I still kinda do.
Riding bikes around the neighborhood- I realize I am at risk of sounding like an old man, but it used to be safe to ride all over your neighborhood as a kid without having to check in with your parents.
Halloween– The houses that left the bowl of candy on the front porch and a note that read “please take one” are probably the same people that send money to Nigerian bankers.
Goosebumps Books- With titles like Say Cheese and Die, The Haunted Mask, It Came from Beneath The Sink and Go Eat Worms, how could any boy resist?
Wrestling- It used to be awesome.
Gary Paulsen BooksHatchet and Harris and Me were both childhood staples.
Bill Nye- Only the genius of Bill Nye could combine science education and song parodies.  The video below just barely beat out Smells Like Air Pressure.

So these are some of my favorite things from my childhood.  I look forward to awkward stares from my children someday as I explain these things to them.  We want to hear from you, share with us your favorite toys/foods/movies/shows/etc from childhood below in the comments section.

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10 Comments on “Willow, TMNT, Bill Nye, & Dino Riders: Awesome Things From My Childhood”

  1. Kevin
    June 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    You NAILED the Nintendo summary. Well done.

  2. Taylor
    June 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    This is amazing. Everything is spot on. I would also like to add neon mc hammer pants

  3. Evan
    June 23, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I would like to add Hypercolor shirts (changed colors when you rubbed them) and Mambas (candy) and The Neverending Story movie(Luck Dragon the flying dog was the best), sonic the hedgehog and earthworm jim on sega genesis, and LA Gear shoes with lights!!!

    Evan Lambert
    Ft Worth, TX

    • curtisrrogers
      June 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      All of those are excellent additions, though for me Mambas were not discovered until a few years ago. LA gear shoes were the prize for every Nickelodeon giveaway.


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