THE BEST 1980s

DJ Cummerbund: Weird Betty

DJ Cummerbund: Weird Betty

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!

Carmen Sandiego Handheld

Carmen Sandiego Handheld

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.

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Africa on Tesla Coils

Africa on Tesla Coils

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.

A Brief History of the Garfield Phone

A Brief History of the Garfield Phone

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.

In Search of Tomorrow (Trailer)

In Search of Tomorrow (Trailer)

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.

Flash Gordon 4K Remaster

Flash Gordon 4K Remaster

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.

On Max Headroom

On Max Headroom

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.

’80s Medley on Boomwhackers

’80s Medley on Boomwhackers

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.

Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

Retro Gamer Logo Magnets

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.

Inspector Gadget for 8 Cellos

Inspector Gadget for 8 Cellos

The theme music from the cartoon series Inspector Gadget is etched indelibly into the brains of all 1980s kids. We particularly enjoyed listening to Samara Ginsberg’s version of the tune, arranged for performance on eight cellos. Go Go Gadget Symphony!

Mr. Roboto on Floppy Drives

Mr. Roboto on Floppy Drives

“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 Ultimate 1980s Music Video

The Ultimate 1980s Music Video

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 Impression That I Get: ’80s Edition

The Impression That I Get: ’80s Edition

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.

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Game Boy Alarm Clock

Game Boy Alarm Clock

Nintendo fans, start your day with Paladone’s officially-licensed Nintendo Game Boy alarm clock. It looks just like the classic 8-bit handheld. Use its D-pad and buttons to set the time and alarm, which plays the chiptune theme music from Super Mario Land.

Armstrong & Hoffs: Manic Monday

Armstrong & Hoffs: Manic Monday

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.

VHS 1982 Playing Cards

VHS 1982 Playing Cards

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.

ARTCADE – Extended Edition

ARTCADE – Extended Edition

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.

The VHS Vault

The VHS Vault

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.

Buddy Holly: 1980s Edition

Buddy Holly: 1980s Edition

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.

Country Roads: Cyberpunk Edition

Country Roads: Cyberpunk Edition

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.

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Video Killed the Piano Star

Video Killed the Piano Star

Ireland-based musician Luke T Duffy shares a wonderful piano cover of the seminal MTV classic, the Buggles’ 1979 hit Video Killed the Radio Star. Be sure to check out some of Luke’s original compositions on Soundcloud.

The Mandalorian: ’80s Style

The Mandalorian: ’80s Style

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.

Polaroid 600 MTV Edition Camera

Polaroid 600 MTV Edition Camera

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.

The DeLorean Paradox

The DeLorean Paradox

Introduced in 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 was supposed to be the “car of the future,” yet despite its striking looks, it wasn’t that groundbreaking. The company that built it quickly crashed, but Back to the Future made it an icon and dream car for decades to come.

Wonder Woman 1984 (Trailer)

Wonder Woman 1984 (Trailer)

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).

A Holiday Reunion

A Holiday Reunion

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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