By Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan here – back after a long hiatus and ready to rock and roll with my latest Top 5 countdown. This time around we have the Top 5 “Oh I almost forgot about those” of the 80s. Enjoy!
It’s a book. No- it’s a game. No- it’s a Game Book! A vast array of titles in the series covered the scary, the funny and the always mysterious paths of perplexity, as readers could choose which route to take as they read. Would you help your buddy Sam battle the One Eyed Dragon or would you run and hide behind the tree while he would most certainly meet his ultimate demise. The books would often be intense, at least for a 4th grader, and were hard to put down. The adult film industry failed to capture the same fame the CYOA book attained, with their attempt at filming “C.Y.A. – Choose your own Bed-Venture.”
4. Glasses from Pizza Hut
For less than a buck, Pizza Hut offered totally wicked drinking glasses adorned with your favorite cartoon characters when you purchased of one of their pies. Muppets? Check! Star Wars? Check! Alvin and the Chipmunks? Check! Care Bears? Check! The list was endless and entertaining. Not only were the glasses awesome, but remember the Igloo coolers they sold for $2.00? Those things were awesome, PLUS you could bring them back all summer long for free refills! Bring those back . . . and don’t forget the Priazzo!
3. Wonder Twins
Wonder Twin Powers – Activate! Zan and Jayna, AKA the Wonder Twins, were crime fighting teenage aliens that helped Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Super Friends bunch. Their ability to transform into virtually anything, allowed them to take down the criminal cartoon crooks they faced. Little Known Fact: Brady Bunch Housekeeper “Alice” also has a twin sister. They often would utilize their powers and would both take the form of “bread” for a hearty Sam the Butcher sandwich.
What’s it going to be? Mansion? Apartment? Shack? House? The incredibly simple game was utilized by 80s kids everywhere in an effort to solidify their future dwelling, number of offspring, and their eventual spouse. The game to this day has its own site at http://mashgame.com as well as a free iPhone App. I had high hopes as a youngster, often picking Debbie Gibson and Christie Brinkley as my potential wives to be, as well as Lamborghinis and Ferraris as my autos of choice. I know the game was really for girls, but wanting to spend some quality time with the ladies, I played it anyway. This is also the same reason I played 4 square and Jump rope (“Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows”) at recess. I may have been 8 years old, but I had the mind of a true playa.
The second all-telling device on our countdown is simple origami with a kick. Fold a little here and fold a little there, throw on some numbers and outcomes and there you have it . . . a pocket-size paper predictor. While few boys made these, I again capitalized on my hormonal ways by whipping up my own version. No matter what my female friends would pick, the outcome would ALWAYS be “You will hold Ryan’s hand at Recess.” Was it foolproof? Nope . . . but every now and then I would get a true believer and get some hand on hand action at the monkey bars.