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7/4/15

The Weekly Links: 'Back To The Future' Turns 30, Unaired 'Married With Children' Pilot, He-Man M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! Happy 4th of July! Hope you have a safe holiday this weekend. It was a busy day yesterday with the Back To The Future 30th anniversary so I decided to post the Weekly Links today. My small contribution was a recent video I found of a family visiting many of the filming sites earlier this year.

I also released a new podcast this week! My pal Wyatt and I decided to chat about our memories of Knight Rider and our recent review of the first Lion Forge comic book. I've got a whole sister site dedicated to the RD80s podcast which you can experience all the episodes and of course connect with all the feeds available.

Here are few RD80s headlines from this past week:

With all the #BTTF30 hype, I thought I'd group all the links I gathered from this past week that celebrated the film's debut 30 years ago:

My favorite video this week comes from Mondo Media via Laughing Squid and features what would happen if '80s movies were produced today. The Christmas Story is a little over-the-top with the violence, but pretty funny...

TWL Video of the Week
"Made Today - 80s Movies Part 1 (Like, Share, Die)" by MondoMedia



Enjoy the rest of this week's links!


MOVIES


TV


MUSIC
Obscur-Eighties, Vol. 1 - Like Totally 80s


VIDEO GAMES


POP CULTURE
Talking Tech of the 80s: When Soda Machines Spoke to Us - NBCNews.com

7/3/15

Revisit 'Back To The Future' Filming Locations On Its 30th Anniversary (VIDEO)

30 years ago today, Back To The Future was released to theaters and quickly became an instant classic. The film would gross over $210 million domestically and hold the top position for 11 weeks. It would remain in theaters until March 1986 and become the top film of 1985, beating out 2nd place Rambo: First Blood Part II by an astonishing $60 million.

Being from the east coast, I have dreamed about taking an '80s pop culture tour out west to visit some filming locations of my favorite movies and shows. I would definitely include several stops for Back To The Future during my trip which still remains high on my bucket list. Fortunately for pop culture freaks like myself, I discovered a video taken earlier this year of a family visiting several filming locations for Back To The Future. I thought sharing this video would be a great way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. Warning: This is heavy!

7/2/15

Care Bears Returning To Comic Books After 25 Years

Lion Forge Comics and AG Properties have officially announced that the Care Bears will return to comic books for the first time in nearly 25 years. The new series will be published under the young reader imprint Roar Comics and publish digital single issues later this summer with a print trade paperback following in May 2016.
Written by Georgia Ball (My Little Pony, Scooby Doo), with illustrations by Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), the new series promises the same emotion-driven cheerful adventure stories that first made the franchise a global phenomenon. 
“The best thing about writing Care Bears is that each of the core characters has a distinct personality and a role to play in stories that take them on exciting adventures to new places,” said writer Georgia Ball. “I've worked with American Greetings on comic books before and loved every minute of it; I'm thrilled to be writing with them again on a property that was such a major part of my childhood. Melanie Gillman's art is just terrific -- cheery and bright, just like Care-A-Lot itself. Kids are going to love it.”
Preview issues made their debut last week during the American Library Association’s annual conference at the Moscone Center in San Fransico, CA. Expect more at the "Care Bears & Madballs: A Look Back" panel next Friday, July 10 at International Comic-Con in San Diego. Sneak peeks of artwork will be unveiled as representatives from American Greetings and Lion Forge will be on hand.

Stay tuned to RD80s for more information on the Care Bears release and be sure to browse the selection of Lion Forge Comics on Amazon.

About Lion Forge Comics
Lion Forge is a St. Louis-based transmedia studio with a focus on digital publishing. With both original and licensed titles, Lion Forge brings together the brightest talent to acquire and develop content and character franchises within the comic book, television, film, and interactive gaming industries. Lion Forge applies cinematic elements to each property to create compelling, story-driven experiences from start to finish, bringing unique entertainment experiences to both traditional and digital marketplaces. For more information, please visit lionforge.com or the Lion Forge Facebook and Twitter pages.

About AG Properties
AG Properties (AGP) is the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation. Built upon the successful re-launch of Care Bears™, AGP develops multi-platform campaigns for its properties through digital media, entertainment, marketing and merchandising. In addition to Care Bears, AGP's active classic brands include Holly Hobbie™ and Madballs™, as well as new properties Boofle™, Packages from Planet X™ and Twisted Whiskers™. Children can experience AGP online at www.agkidzone.com. For more information on AGP, visit www.agpbrands.com.


12 Definitive Synthesizer Riffs From '80s Hit Singles

The use of synthesizers in popular '80s music ushered in a digital revolution. Pioneers in the '70s like Kraftwerk and Gary Numan influenced more artists to incorporate polyphonic and digital synthesizers into their music. "Synthpop" emerged from the new wave scene in Europe and influenced many more genres in America including hip hop and rock.

By the mid '80s, the impact of the synthesizer reached from a showdown at the Grammy awards to instrumental hits on the pop charts. The Yamaha DX7 released in 1983 and the Roland D-50 in 1987 not only made synthesizers affordable but also continued to improve the technology. The result gave us several singles that featured killer synth riffs. I managed to put together a list of 12 hits in the '80s (plus a few honorable mentions) that defined the impact of the synthesizer on popular music.


"Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart (1984)
One of the definitive tracks of the '80s overall features an epic hook of rhythmic chords. Hart's anthem to night vision peaked at #7 on the US pop charts, but surprisingly only #24 in his native Canada and didn't even chart in the UK. I guess we Americans were the only ones who didn't mind being impaired.

"Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats (1983)
This synthesized dance hit first caught on in the band's native Canada and then grew to become a worldwide hit, charting in the top ten in 12 different countries. The lyrics were penned after lead singer Ivan Doroschuk was not being safe while pogo dancing at club.

"Don't You Want Me" by The Human League (1981)
Although the signature synth hook is played just three times, the track's huge success still makes it instantly recognizable. It was the #1 song of 1981 in the UK and would reign for 3 weeks atop the US pop chart the following year.

"Rockit" by Herbie Hancock (1983)
Although it wasn't a pop chart hit in the US, Hancock's influential record made waves on the dance floors, MTV, and pop charts around the world. The highly recognizable synth riff on the instrumental track might not be the most definitive part as it's recognized to be the first single to feature the record "scratching" technique.

"She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby (1982)
The many synthesizer melodies in this track combined for a Dolby's only hit song in the US (#5). It was enough to push him to the forefront of electronic music in the early '80s and at the aforementioned Grammy award performance in 1985.

"Oh Sherrie" by Steve Perry (1984)
Perry's biggest hit as a solo artist could be credited to the synth riff that leads and ends his love song. Bill Cuomo who was the keyboardist also performed the riff on Kim Carnes' popular track "Bette Davis Eyes."

"Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer (1984)
Synonymous with Eddie Murphy's box-office juggernaut Beverly Hills Cop, Faltermeyer's instrumental became a top ten hit in 10 different countries. The one-man band used four synthesizers and a drum machine to record the track.

"Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa (1987)
Originally released as a B side to "Tramp", the rap duo's international hit features a killer synth riff repeated throughout the song. It's mediocre performance in the UK was trumped by a top ten re-entry after performing the track live at Nelson Mendella's 70th birthday concert (of all places.)

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics (1983)
The British new wave duo's international hit featured not only a rhythmic synth riff throughout, but also a killer synth solo. It reached the top ten in 13 different countries.

"Final Countdown" by Europe (1985)
The synthesizer did have a place in rock music as Europe proved with its biggest hit. The signature riff was written several years prior to recording the song, but keyboardist Joey Tempest was urged to create a demo. Even then, the entire band wasn't sold on the synth sound for rock music, but Tempest fought hard to include it on the album.

"Jump" by Van Halen (1984)
Adding synthesizers to rock music became successful and also poisonous to Van Halen in the mid '80s. Their most successful hit was powered by a driving synth riff which eventually led to David Lee Roth's departure after disagreements over the band's movement away from traditional hard rock. But despite the break up at their apex, Van Halen's synth-driven sound continued to produce success with singer Sammy Hagar.

"Take On Me" by a-ha
Influential in many ways, the synth riff combined with the iconic rotoscoped music video led a-ha to the top of the charts in 7 different countries. It actually flopped twice on the UK charts and wasn't until Warner Brothers Records invested in the band to re-record and pair with the revolutionary music video.

Honorable Mentions: "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell, "Runaway" by Bon Jovi, "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr.

7/1/15

Knight Rider #1 Comic Review And Podcast

Way back in 2013, I told you about Lion Forge Comics teaming up with NBCUniversal to create new digital comic books based on five classic '80s TV shows. I have been meaning to visit these comics for a long time, but now I've got no more excuses! Lion Forge just recently gave me access to some review copies so looks like I'll get to share all my findings right here.

My friend and RD80s contributor Wyatt Bloom will also be lending his opinion as we team up to tackle some of our favorite franchises. The first comic we'll be looking at is Knight Rider #1, the first of 8 issues in the Volume 1 set which was just released this month on paperback. Knight Rider #1 is also currently available for digital download on Amazon or the Comics Plus app. Here is the official synopsis for the series:
Michael Knight and KITT, everyone’'s ultimate dream car, –return to action in this high-octane thriller, updated with tomorrow’s tech to combat the threats of today. Secret agent Michael Knight just wants to take his girlfriend Katherine out for a night on the town. The bad news is that Katherine is also a brilliant scientist whom he’'s been assigned to protect, along with her top-secret Project: Rider” –not a good combination for a romantic evening! When a team of mercenaries crashes their date, it’'s up to Michael and the mysterious Bishop to keep Katherine safe and the project under wraps. What follows is a high-speed race through the streets and mountains of California in which loyalties are tested, alliances betrayed, and a global conspiracy is revealed. And, of course, at least one incredible talking car! All the turbo-charged thrill of the classic TV series is back in this high-tech spy-fi adventure!

Wyatt and I are huge Knight Rider fans and have been since the TV series debuted in 1983. I have reviewed the entire original series at least twice in the past couple years with my boys on Netflix. Wyatt owns the original show on DVD and also brings along his extensive knowledge of the Knight Rider movies in the '90s and the more recent TV series that aired in 2008. You might also remember our adventure last year to meet K.I.T.T. and some of his Hollywood pals. Needless to say, I think we both are excited to determine how the new Knight Rider comic series fits into the franchise's history.

Here are our overall reactions to the first chapter of the Lion Forge series:

Wyatt:

Like Jason, I saw the headlines about the comic books on my Knight Rider fan page feeds and had not been able to put the time into this relaxation investment until Devon, I mean Jason, assigned me with this mission. I wish I would have read it sooner.

Where to begin without giving much of the details away? I am incredibly blown away by the detail and creativity throughout the comic. The comic is nearly jam packed with action intermingled with a few flashback moments to grab both the relics and the new pawns.  Michael's ride is perfectly updated to resemble the original Trans Am KITT, yet modernized well without being too over the top or out of spec.

As Jason notes about my knowledge of the reunion movie along with the Team Knight Rider and 2008 series, there are pieces interwoven from all of these entities into this comic while rooted more so from the original series. Though comic books have not been a big item for me, I am very eager to read the next issue as well as the Airwolf series that Lion Forge has created as well. Whether novice or expert, I wholeheartedly recommend you grab a copy of the Lion Forge Knight Rider comic book!

Jason:

I've only gotten into the comic book world over the last few years and as a fan of '80s culture, have mainly collected books from that era. I've read a few what I would call "modern retro" books like G.I. Joe, but haven't put much time into more like Knight Rider, Miami Vice, and Airwolf. I truly intend to now.

Knight Rider #1 was enough to convince me that the franchise is in good hands. It's a modern adaptation and origin story which holds enough canon of the classic series while still being a unique story. It's difficult not to compare to what we know as Knight Rider and judging just the first book in the series (and it's cover) that more similarities are ahead. I liked the new story which begins as a puzzle of flashbacks and current events. Mystery, action, betrayal, and even romance shine through as you follow Michael Knight on this initial journey. After the dust settles, a new dawn rises as he attempts to pick up the pieces left behind and find purpose.

Michael is still the young loner. His new weapon against crime is still a state-of-the-art talking car. To me, those facts combined with action-packed story should be enough for fans of the original series to enjoy Knight Rider in the modern age. Even though I'm late to the show, I do plan to read all 8 comics in the series and review them here on RD80s.

From the time I completed the book, I immediately wanted to talk about it with Wyatt. There was just so much on my mind and really wanted to get his reaction. So we've decided to bring our review and our experiences as Knight Rider fans to a podcast! We'll be talking about the franchise's history, our memories, and then go in depth on Knight Rider #1.

If you are subscribed to the RD80s podcast, check out the new episode Knight Rider: Memories and Comic #1 Review. If you are not subscribed, visit the RD80s Podcast website or search "Rediscover the 80s" on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite app to subscribe now! You can also stream below...


6/30/15

Bartendo Line Of Retrogaming-Themed Drinking Products Now On Kickstarter

From Ink Whiskey, the same company that created NES-style cartridge flasks, is back on Kickstarter with another round of drinking products. Their campaign is nearing the goal with about 2 weeks still left to pledge. The new Bartendo set includes Warp shot glasses, Capper Gun bottle opener, ice cube Tray Force, and the Kega Man double pint. 


Some bonus items available for this Kickstarter campaign include an exclusive "Kid Liquorus" flask and also a Nanoarcade tabletop gaming system that I've featured on RD80s in the past.

Head over to Ink Whiskey's Bartendo campaign on Kickstarter and pick up a set for your next retrogaming party!

6/26/15

The Weekly Links: 'Ghostbusters Reboot Plot Details, Mike Reno Rewrites 'Working For The Weekend', Hoverboard For Your Desk

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! It's been a crazy week with all the confederate flag news regarding the Dukes of Hazzard and remake announcements that never seem to quit. One headline that made me rejoice was that Channing Tatum thinks the all-male Ghostbusters sequel is all but dead. Praise be to Slimer that we won't get remake overload with one of my favorite franchises. Let's see what the girls have to offer first and let's go from there.

Here are few headlines from RD80s this week in case you haven't been around:


I also wrote up a story for UnderScoopFire! about 5 More ‘80s Properties that Would Be Perfect for Modern Video Games. Building off recent announcements of He-Man, G.I. Joe, and G1 Transformers being featured in new video games, I managed to uncover a few more that would fit well as sequels to popular modern games. Angry Birds Silverhawks and Rock Band Jem to name a few.

Coming up next week on RD80s will be a comic book review of Knight Rider #1 from Lion Forge. My pal Wyatt and I will both be giving our thoughts and might even record a podcast!

Not too many videos to choose from this week. Street Fighter has never been in my video game wheelhouse but I'm sure many of you will appreciate this breakdown by PBS...

TWL Video of the Week
"How To Play Streetfighter Like A Pro" by PBS Game/Show

Enjoy the rest of this week's links!!

MOVIES
RIP James Horner, Composer for Aliens and Wrath of Khan - io9
AVQ&A: What never-gonna-happen remake would you like to see? - A.V. Club
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic, learn how it was made with one page - Polygon
Why Everyone (Including Ted) Still Roots for 'Flash Gordon' - Yahoo! Movies
16 Hard Facts About ‘Kickboxer’ - Mental Floss
'Chariots of Fire' "Sequel" In the Works - Hollywood Reporter
14 Naked Facts About ‘Flashdance’ - Mental Floss
'Das Boot' Remake Planned - Hollywood Reporter
How the Back to the Future Cast and Crew Knew Eric Stoltz Would Be Fired - Vulture
16 Hardcore Facts About 'Full Metal Jacket' - Mental Floss
My Favorite Vacation – European Vacation - Like Totally 80s
15 Fun Facts About ‘Weird Science’ - Mental Floss
What Happened to the Kids From the '80s Classic 'The Wizard'? - Zimbio
Thrashin'! - Horror Movie BBQ
James Bond 007: revisiting The Living Daylights - Den of Geek
11 Things We Just Learned About the ‘Back to the Future’ Trilogy - Mental Floss
Halt, Citizen! 15 Facts About 'RoboCop' - Mental Floss
Director's Reel: Joe Dante Shares Stories From 'Gremlins,' 'The 'Burbs,' and More - Yahoo! Movies
18 Fun Facts About 'The Blues Brothers' - Mental Floss
6 More '80s Action Movies The Rock Should Remake Next - Moviefone


TV
Word to your nuggets: 30 years of McDonald’s wackest hip-hop-based ads - A.V. Club
‘To Live And Die In L.A.’ Series From William Friedkin & Bobby Moresco In Works At WGN America - Deadline
How Well Do You Remember 80's Kids TV Shows? - PlayBuzz
‘Saved By The Bell’ Actor Dustin Diamond Gets Jail Sentence In Stabbing Case - Inquisitr
15 Facts of Life About ‘The Facts of Life’ - Mental Floss
‘Dukes Of Hazzard’s Ben ‘Cooter’ Jones Says The Confederate Flag Represents ‘Family And Good Times’ - UPROXX
'Dukes of Hazzard' Star: It's "Unfair" to Say Only Racists Own a Confederate Flag - Hollywood Reporter
'The Goldbergs': Flashing Back to the '80s on the Set of ABC's Comedy - Hollywood Reporter
'Eight Is Enough' Actor Willie Aames Remembers Dick Van Patten: "He Was the Leader of Our Show" - Hollywood Reporter
The TRUE Hardest Golden Girls Trivia Quiz (Of This Kind) - PlayBuzz
How 'Jane Fonda's Workout' Conquered the World - Mental Floss
Which Tanner Sister Are You? - PlayBuzz
Baby Doll Talks Working With Dusty Rhodes In The 1980s, His Passing - 24Wrestling


MUSIC
Loverboy's Mike Reno rewrites 'Working for the Weekend' - Stuck In The 80s
Songs on Screen: 'Streets of Fire's Lost Masterpiece 'I Can Dream About You' - Hitfix
Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Rolling Stones Songs of the 1980s - RollingStone
Songs on Screen: Strange Awakenings with “I Still Believe” from "The Lost Boys" - Hitfix
Def Leppard Guitarist Vivian Campbell: 'My Cancer Has Returned' - RollingStone
The Musicians Who Scared the Soviet Union in the '80s - Mental Floss
Hear Duran Duran's New Single 'Pressure Off' Featuring Janelle Monae - Billboard


VIDEO GAMES
Dig Dug Review - Retro Gamer
Six And A Half Years Of Dedication Pays Off With Large Crocheted Super Mario Brothers 3 Blanket - Retro Gamer


POP CULTURE
Back To The Future Levitating Hoverboard Desktop Toy - Geekologie
The Short, Strange Life of McDonald's Pizza - Mental Floss
Wacky Japanese PC Ads of the 1980s - PC Magazine
16 Fond Memories of School in the '80s We Wish Our Kids Could Understand - The Stir
More G. I. Joe Love at SDCC as Hasbro Unveils Sgt. Slaughter Themed Kre-O Set - Awesome Toy Blog
How 1980s toys make modern day billions - Yahoo Finance
14 Etsy Items To Get The He-Man Obsessed Fan In Your Life - BuzzFeed
Hasbro Keeps Milking '80s Transformers Nostalgia For All It's Worth - Kotaku
R.I.P. Earl Norem (1924 – 2015) - Retroist

6/25/15

'Spaceballs' Winnebago And More LEGO Projects That Deserve Your Support

Thanks to the success of LEGO projects like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, many more '80s pop culture icons deserve the brick treatment. A couple months back I told you about the Golden Girls project that reached 10,000 supporters (now under review) and also told you about a few other worthy sets.

I've managed to track down even more sets that thought LEGO fans should know about. You should also know that LEGO Ideas recently awarded more time to projects that reach 1,000 supporters (even ones that have expired) so now there is a better chance for success! Here are a few I've backed recently and you should too!

Most of you know how much I love Spaceballs and having this project produced for the 30th anniversary in 2017 would be awesome! I would suggest at the very least including Lonestar and Barf minifigs with this set. And there also needs to be an "I (heart) Uranus" bumper sticker. Thanks to Geekologie for the heads up about this project.


To be true to the movie, this would need to be the longest LEGO set ever created. I like that the "We Brake For Nobody" sticker is included. I also like his minifigures of the two Spaceballs combing the desert. Darth Helmet, Col. Sanders, and President Skroob minifigs would need to be included as well. The San Diego Comic Con variant could be plaid colored.


Now this is a set done right. You've got the phone booth and you've got all the minifigs throughout time. There is even death peaking his head out from behind the booth. Perfect in every way.


Falcor and Atreyu!! See, this is all we fans want. There could be several other characters you could include from Fantasia, but these two would be enough to satisfy me.


This set really caught my eye because I loved playing Zaxxon. The game was very unique from all the others just by the angle at which is was played. The color really pops in this set and would be awesome to display. The designer's arcade machines project deserve your support as well.


I never had one, but I know there is still nostalgia for old computing. The designer's other projects include Commodore Amiga, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and Apple Macintosh so I'd recommend putting them together and selling as a set.

Kill A Couple Hours By Watching These 'You Can't Do That On Television' Sliming Montages

Nickelodeon's You Can't Do That On Television had some really funny sketches, catchphrases we eagerly anticipated like "Duh, I heard that" and many more reasons we loved watching. But let's face it...the best part was the cast getting slimed. You never knew who was gonna say "I don't know" each episode and get slimed. (Please let it be Christine, please!!)

Well, you can now relive the best part of the show for hours on end thanks to YouTuber Chris Bryant and his sliming montages. First up, the girls get it for 75 minutes...


Then, watch the guys get slimed for 120 minutes! Hey wait, that's like sexist or something...


Chris' channel also has 146 full episodes of You Can't Do That On Television and many others shows so I'd recommend subscribing!
 
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