Remember that John Hughes movie where Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith engineered their own unrealistic fantasy woman? Well what if her name wasn’t Lisa, but instead was Black Betty? Imagine no longer. Thanks to mashup artist DJ Cummerbund, we have our answer. Bam-ba-Lam, mama-sa, mama-koosa!
THE BEST 1980s
Basic Fun, the guys behind the portable version of The Oregon Trail, comes another retro-inspired handheld game. This time, we get the educational mystery adventure Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, complete with authentic sounds, graphics, and gameplay, and a case that looks like a tiny computer from the 1980s.
Toto’s 1982 hit Africa has seemingly been covered a million times. But we can say with certainty that this is the first time we’ve heard it played by a pair of high-voltage Tesla coils. We could almost feel the hairs on the back of our neck standing up from the electricity. Performance by Franzoli Electronics.
If you grew up in the 1980s, Garfield was everywhere. The cynical, lasagna-loving kitty was licensed beyond belief. Snellby Reviews looks back at perhaps the greatest Garfield merch ever – Tyco’s phone that was shaped like the fat orange tabby, along with a strange story about the phones washing up along the coast of France.
CreatorVC is producing this documentary about the science fiction films of the 1980s. The retrospective will include more than four hours of footage and interviews with the actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers who brought these futuristic visions to life. The project has already blown through its Kickstarter goal.
The 1980 remake of Flash Gordon is one of the campiest sci-fi movies of all time, but over the years, it’s become a cult classic. Now, the film is getting a re-release with a full UHD digital remaster, bringing out all of the colors and details in the costumes and scenery, and cranking up the audio on Queen’s original soundtrack. Drops 8.2020.
What started out as a satirical “AI” music video host became one of the most recognizable characters of the 1980s, appearing in Coke ads, a music video, and even a TV series. Space Feather’s comprehensive analysis of the character is well worth a watch for anyone familiar with Matt Frewer’s iconic glitchbot.
We’re pretty sure not a single member of Kaboom Percussion was born yet when these tracks came out, but that shouldn’t take anything away from their playful performance of 1980s hits on their totally tubular music makers. They did a medley of tunes for ’90s kids too.
UK shop ReadyPlayerTwo creates neat 3-dimensional logo signs inspired by classic video game and computer systems. Each one is 3D printed from PLA plastic to accurately replicate the original color scheme, and has neodymium magnets securely mounted inside. They also make personalized C64 and Sinclair ZX logos.
“My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM.” Styx’s 1983 track Mr. Roboto represented the pinnacle of overwrought concept rock. Yet there has yet to be a more appropriate song played by Paweł Zadrożniak’s electromechanical orchestra, the Floppotron and its servo-powered instrumentation.
The music video for The Treble’s track No Secrets (There For You), features shot-for-shot remakes of dozens of classic 1980s music videos, from A-Ha’s Take on Me to Nena’s 99 Luftballons to Devo’s Whip It. See if you can name them all, then check your guesses in the video’s YouTube description.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ track The Impression That I Get came out in 1997, but it’s ska sounds are pretty timeless. On the other hand, Mick Mazz’s cover of the track uses the distinctive synth pop sounds of the 1980s to place it smackdab alongside songs like A-Ha’s Take on Me and Howard Jones’ Life in One Day.
While sheltering in place at their homes, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong teamed up with Susanna Hoffs to perform a great cover version of the song that was made famous by her band The Bangles, and written by none other than the late great Prince Rogers Nelson.
Kings Wild Project masterfully makes unique premium playing cards. Among their decks is this series, with a design inspired by VHS tapes. The card backs look like video tapes, their packs look like VHS boxes, while their fronts are a 1980s cyberpunk dream. Sadly, the affordable standard edition has already sold out.
Originally released in 2015, the latest edition of ARTCADE is packed with even more images of classic arcade marquee and cabinet art. Each of its images has been restored to capture detail, color, and contrast. In all, 300 coin-op machines are represented. Comes in a limited-edition, glow-in-the-dark storage sleeve.
Take a trip back to the 1980s and 1990s with a visit to the Internet Archive’s awesomely retro collection of VHS tapes. The catalog features over 20,000 digitized recordings of old video tapes, ranging from cartoons to workout videos, and everything in-between. While there are some classics, there’s also just a whole lot of weird stuff.
Weezer’s power pop hit Buddy Holly paid tribute to the 1950s, and was released in the 1990s, but musician Mick Mazz decided to see what the song might have sounded like had it been released a decade earlier. Between the synthesizers, electronic drums, and saxophone, we think he nailed the sound of the era.
Melodicka Bros ask the question, “What if John Denver came from a different universe to bring us some electro cyberpunk industrial synthwave sci-fi futuristic metal vibes?” They answer it with a wild arrangement of Take Me Home, Country Roads that sounds like something Depeche Mode might have recorded.
The Mandalorian has a great original score by Ludwig Göransson that suits the western-inspired Star Wars series perfectly. Duo YSSY made an awesome 1980s synthwave version, and it’s like what the show might have been like if Mando and Baby Yoda were being chased by stormtroopers driving Pontiac Trans Ams.
Retro reigns supreme with Polaroid Original’s limited-edition MTV instant camera, a snappy throwback to the first Polaroid 600. The refurbished and redressed analog camera sports a bold color block design in MTV’s original color-scheme: red, yellow and blue. Be sure to grab some film cartridges too.
Wonder Woman is back, and she’s headed to the mall. The sequel to one of DC’s better recent outings drops our hero into the decade of big hair and Rubik’s Cubes to save the world with her Lasso of Truth, and take on two new foes: Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and The Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
It may be a thinly-veiled commercial for Xfinity’s cable and internet services, but with a grown-up Elliott reuniting with E.T. more than 30 years after they first met, this holiday promo will still tug at your heartstrings. Still, it made us wonder if E.T.’s telecommunication provider has data caps too.
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