1980s Innovations

The January 2017 80s League crossover blog and podcast event is all about 1980s innovations, things that came on leaps and bounds and gave us something fresh and new or mind blowingly amazing. I could have picked toys, games, gadgets, fashion or movie special effects but I’m focusing on the technological innovations that had a direct impact on my life in the early to mid 1980s.

Links to all the other 80s League posts & podcasts – 80’s Reboot Overdrive podcast80’s Reboot Blog, Rediscover the 80sReturn to the 80sRealweegiemidge Blog

Feel free to visit, read, listen, share and join the conversation by using the #80sInnovations hash tag on Twitter.

#80sInnovations Acorn BBC Micro Computer

The BBC Microcomputer System, or BBC Micro, is a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by the Acorn Computer company for the BBC Computer Literacy Project, operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Designed with an emphasis on education, it was notable for its ruggedness, expandability, and the quality of its operating system. For these reasons the BBC Micro was adopted by most schools in the United Kingdom.

#80sInnovations Acorn BBC Micro Computer

The above recreated scene represents a typical IT classroom in the early 80s, although we had less computers and hard plastic bucket chairs. Lessons involved learning the BASIC programming language and occasionally we were allowed to play Chuckie Egg. The BBC Micro was not a hugely popular home computer due to its cost but this is where my love affair with computers really began. Today children learn how to use computer applications, in the 80s we were learning how to write the software.

#80sInnovations Sony CDP-101 Compact Disc Player

The Compact Disc is a digital optical disc data storage format released in 1982 and co-developed by Philips and Sony. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings but was later adapted for storage of data.

The Sony CDP-101 is the world’s first commercially released compact disc player. The system was launched in Japan on October 1, 1982. Sony’s partner in development, Philips CD100 launched their model in November 1982 and the system was launched worldwide in March 1983. Despite costing up to $1000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984.

As an avid follower of music in the 1980s I had a large record and cassette collection. It took me a while to wrap my head around the new format, they were expensive but sturdy, portable and easy to store. My second music system had a built in CD player and until downloads became the in thing I accumulated an extensive and varied music collection on compact disc.

#80sInnovations Space Shuttle Columbia STS-1 April 12, 1981

Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated orbiter in NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet. Columbia launched on 12 April 1981 and returned on 14 April, 54.5 hours later, having orbited the Earth 37 times. Columbia carried a crew of two – mission commander John W. Young and pilot Robert L. Crippen. It was the first American manned space flight since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. The launch occurred on the 20th anniversary of the first-ever human spaceflight.

#80sInnovations Space Shuttle Columbia STS-1 April 12, 1981 John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen

I’m no rocket scientist so I’ll leave the technical mumbo-jumbo out of this but as a ten year old the excitement for the launch was immense. The build-up was featured on news and science programmes here in the UK and the launch was broadcast live on Tomorrow’s World. The Space Shuttle is an awe inspiring feat of science, technology and engineering and certainly ranks as my top 1980s innovation.

#80sInnovations 80s League Blog Post

1980s Christmas: My Top 3 80s Gifts

Here we are again, back with an 1980s themed multi-stream (don’t cross the streams) crossover event! In December “The 80s League” are contemplating #80sChristmas, be it toys, games, fashion, electronics or anything else from the 80s. My choices are items that arrived in my bulging sack (really, my parents used a sack with Santa on it until the mid 80s) on Christmas morning, either becasue I asked for them or things that fall into the “it’s the thought that counts” category.

#80sChristmas Blog Podcast

Links to other 80s League #80sChristmas blogs and podcasts – 80s Reboot Overdrive blog and podcastRealweegiemidgetRediscover the 80s Blog and Podcast and Return to the 80s. We’re all on Twitter and using the #80sChristmas hash-tag so why not join the party and send us your 1980s Christmas memories.

Let’s get this show on the road. Born in 1970 I quickly became a technology geek and consequently the only member of the household that could wire plugs, set up the Hi-Fi and video, tune the TV or play computer games. From a basic pong system this was upgraded to an Atari 2600 followed by my first pick from the 80s.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K #80sChristmas
I had been saving for several months to buy a Sinclair ZX81 home computer, it was the cheapest option available for me to start learning basic programming. I spent many an hour in WH Smith messing about on the computers that were set up on display. Along came December 1982 and my pocket money savings had topped £20, my parents took that and surprised me with a ZX Spectrum 48K (RRP £175) for Christmas. They hit the big time and received my unending gratitude, which lasted at least two full days.

From the offset I could tell this was a massive upgrade from the Atari and quickly got to grips inputting basic programs on the quirky rubber keyboard. Games came on cassette tape and took anywhere from one to five minutes to load, a far cry from the instant gratification of slapping a cartridge in a console but the games were worth the wait. I have great memories of playing the early releases including 3D Tanx, Arcadia, Ant Attack, Atic Atac, Manic Miner and the Horace games.

Skip forward one year and pop music had begun to infiltrate my sponge-like teenage mind. I picked up my first 12″ single in 1983, Blue Monday by New Order. I would spend a huge chunk of my Saturday afternoons hitting the record and games shops, probably making a nuisance of myself browsing the chart titles and hunting for reduced bargains. I needed a way of taking my music with me so in 1983 I added the Sony Walkman to my Christmas list.

SANYO Stereo portable cassette player #80sChristmas

This is the point where my parents lack of either money or understanding began to become apparent and they bought me a Sanyo (or something similar) Stereo portable cassette player. It did the job and I would spend the next few years recording the chart from BBC Radio One and carefully editing mix tapes to cut out chatter and jingles. By this time I had discovered the dulcet tones of John Peel and other alternative radio shows which formed the basis for my wide ranging music tastes of today. Along with the cassette player my parents would also wrap up multi-packs of tapes for several years to come. I got through many, many blank cassettes and filled them with music and ZX Spectrum games, all of which were catalogued and indexed.

1980s Cassette Tapes #80sChristmas

A few years later and I’m in my mid teens and unfortunately at this point nobody has any idea what to buy me. The terms Axel F, Ultravox, Starglider and Microdrive meant very little to my parents and relatives so I inevitably started receiving talcum powder, soap on a rope, socks and the pièce de résistance… Hai Karate.

Hai Karate #80sChristmas

Still popular in the 1980s Hai Karate was, and still is, bloody awful. I didn’t use talcum powder but had a never-ending supply and the aftershave was grim. Also, I hadn’t started shaving yet. You name it and I got it from Brut and Old Spice to Pagan Man and Insignia. If growing up ever seemed like it was going to suck this was definitely the turning point. From Star Wars action figures, Britains soldiers and Matchbox cars to soap, a box of biscuits and the occasional toothbrush wrapped up and waiting for you on Christmas morning. I still have a Hai Karate body talc tucked away in a drawer.

Thankfully, it’s not all bad as I bought myself a Nintendo Entertainment System with my hard earned paper round money. My relatives wouldn’t spring for £50 games but that meant I could ask for Christmas cash and buy my own. In conclusion, the best gift is a thoughtful gift but when in doubt cold hard cash in a Christmas card works a charm, Merry Christmas!

Cthulhu Christmas Ornaments by Draig Athar Designs

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please do praise Cthulhu in his Santa hat. Ready painted or paint-your-own H.P. Lovecraft-eque Christmas tree decorations by Draig Athar Designs. If you’re not a fan of the tentacled one himself then why not hang a Shoggoth or Flying Spaghetti Monster this year?

Creep curiously towards my Steampunk Twitter Account and Facebook Page and join my adventures in the weird and wonderful other realms of social media.

Cthulhu Cthupid Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Shoggoth Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Cthulhu Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Flying Spaghetti Monster Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Santa Cthulhu Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs

Steampunk Creations by Calder Kibyuk Designs

One of a kind clay, metal and acrylic steampunk sculptures by Calder Kibyuk Designs. Mechanical terrors from the deep, a whale island and an owl that wouldn’t look out of place in Clash of the Titans. Most sculptures are for sale, for information and commissions email calderkdesign@gmail.com

Follow my Steampunk Facebook Page and Twitter Account for more adventures with tentacles, cogs and fiendish artwork of all kinds. Also check out Calder Kibyuk Designs amazing 3D Catan.

Steampunk Octopus by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Sea Slug by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Cuttlefish by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Stingray by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Owl by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Whale by Calder Kibyuk Designs

Custom 3D Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs

Looking for the perfect holiday, birthday, celebration or house-warming gift for the hardcore or casual Catan player? Calder Kibyuk Designs has created a series of made-to-order Custom 3D Catan boards. All pieces are hand painted, covered in a matte finish and moulded from a highly durable resin which will endure future infrastructure construction, resource trades and invasions of the dreaded robber (plus the casual drop from the coffee table).

Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs

All of the landscapes host the original Catan pieces perfectly – letting you build your “longest road,” settlements and cities amongst the 3D backdrop. Boards are available in painted or unpainted versions, and include custom number pieces. Contact calderkdesign@gmail.com for more information and prices. Tell them I sent you, you won’t get a discount but at least they’ll know I’m helping.

Check out the fast paced Killer Kitsch Twitter Account and pop culture art and cosplay Facebook Page. Also, check out Calder Kibyuk Designs amazing Steampunk Sculptures.

Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs

What’s Your #Fave80sCar?

So, several bloggers and podcast folk have stuck their collective heads together and decided to talk about 1980s pop culture cars and vehicles via the #Fave80sCar hashtag on twitter. The brain-child of 80s Reboot Overdrive features a cross-section of like-minded geeks waxing nostalgic about stand-out or personal favourite vehicles that blew us away in movies, TV and games from the 1980s.

Check out the cross-over blogs from Realweegiemidge, Return to the ’80s Part I Part II, 80s Reboot Blog and the 80s Reeboot Overdrive Podcast!

It was hard limiting myself but as I didn’t want inflict “War & Peace: 1980s Car Edition” upon you here are my top five vehicles in no particular order. Feel free to drop me a list of your favourites via my fast paced Twitter Account or main Facebook Page. Enjoy.

B is for Batmobile

#Fave80sCar Batman 1989 Batmobile

The hype for Batman (1989) was through the roof, I was at college so myself and a few mates hit our local ABC Cinema and sat down to watch a new kind of superhero movie. Dark, twisted, action packed and heaps of fun. The casting was spot on, the sets and effects were exemplary, the music was inspired and the new Batmobile was awesome. Built specifically for the movie the car was constructed using a Chevrolet Impala chassis, Chevy V8 engine and modified 1970 Corvette body. Movie merchandise included action figures, die-cast vehicles and the cool missile launching Batmobile toy by ToyBiz.

#Fave80sCar Batman 1989 ToyBiz Batmobile

E is for ECTO-1

#Fave80sCar Ghostbusters ECTO-1
Winter 1984 and I went to watch Ghostbusters with my parents. They were a little shocked by the sprinkling of colourful metaphors from the offset of the movie but I’m glad I got to enjoy this ride at the cinema. Funny, scary, tongue-in-cheek comedy horror featuring the outstanding ECTO-1. Created by Steven Dane, ECTO-1 and ECTO-1A are a Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse Combination mounted on a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Professional Chassis. Kenner would go on to release ECTO-1 as part of The Real Ghostbusters toys and action figures line.

#Fave80sCar Kenner Real Ghostbusters ECTO-1

K is for KITT

#Fave80sCar Knight Rider KITT

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.” As a teenager in the 1980s this was the THE car you wanted to be seen cruising the streets in. Cool and fast with an array of weapons and gadgets which including “Turbo Boost” and a frickin “Laser”, K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) is a fictional computer that controls the high-tech Knight 2000, a black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am T-top. The voice for KITT was provided by actor William Daniels. ERTL produced several diecast KITT models in various sizes including this large 1/16 scale version.

#Fave80sCar ERTL Knight Rider KITT Knight 2000
A is for Aliens APC

#Fave80sCar Aliens APC

The school holidays of 1986 were in full swing, my mates decided we should try and sneak in underage to watch Aliens (Cert 18) as we were all fans of Alien. We put on our “oldest” clothing and strutted in with deep voices “Four tickets to Aliens please.” which led to instant success. In retrospect, it was the middle of the day and the screening was empty so the cinema were probably glad we turned up. I’ll never forget the scene with the Facehugger that launches at the side of the stasis tank causing me and my friends to shout “whoah!” simultaneously.

Back to cars… Aliens is my favourite movie, it blew me away at the time and it still does to this day. The APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) is a heavy duty bit of kit that takes some serious punishment from acid, fire and rugged surface driving before finally giving up the ghost. Gutted we never got to see what kind of punishment the weaponry could have dished out to the pesky Xenomorph infestation on LV-426.  The APC is based on a four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, 635 hp Hunslet Air Towing Tractor, acquired from British Airways at London Heathrow Airport.

#Fave80sCar Aliens APC

A is (also) for Airwolf

#Fave80sCar Airwolf

Okay, so this defo isn’t a car but as kick-ass helicopters go this one is top of my list with Blue Thunder running a close second. With a killer main theme by Sylvester Levay, this high-octane cold war action show really grabbed my interest in the 1980s. Airwolf was derived from a Bell 222, a twin-turboshaft helicopter produced for the civilian market.

I bought the Crash Smash! Airwolf game for the ZX Spectrum and several years later picked up the large and small ERTL diecast vehicles. It was without doubt a mean machine.

#Fave80sCar ERTL Airwolf

That’s my top picks but there are so many more I could have included including Back to the Future DeLorean, A-Team Van, Street Hawk, Automan’s Car, The General Lee, ThunderCats Thundertank, Transformers, MASK, Tron Light Cycle, Christine, Mad Max 2, Spy Hunter, Magnum’s Ferrari, Fall Guy Truck and Miami Vice. Iconic cars as far as the eye can see, the 1980s officially rocked!

#Fave80sCar 1980s Blog Podcast Crossover Event, November 17 2016

60 Iconic Weapons from Fiction

When we think of our favorite fictional characters, we often associate them with an item, or talisman, that is every bit as iconic as the characters themselves. In many cases, this item is a weapon. Weapons come in many forms; there are guns, swords, and everything in between. They can be as amazing as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber or as unique as the Fat Man from the Fallout video game franchise.

Via: Target Sports USA 

Follow the adventures Killer Kitsch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more posts about art, design, movies, TV, toys, games, events and quirky news.

The Ultimate Arsenal: 60 Iconic Weapons from Fiction - TargetSportsUSA.com - Infographic

Metal Hybrid Armoured Pokemon concept artwork by Frame Wars

Upgraded Pokemon with battle armour and advanced weaponry concepts by Frame Wars, a design-based art collective. You can find more about these designs, and other work, via Frame Wars Facebook page.

Please join Killer Kitsch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for posts about art, design, movies, TV, toys, games, events and quirky news.

Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Blastoise - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Venusaur - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Charizard - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Snorlax - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Lapras - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Gyrados - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon - Mewtwo - by Frame Wars
Metal Hybrid Pokemon by Frame Wars

Famous Oldies by Alex Solis

Pop culture characters as old timers by Alex Solis. Will Ash still be choosing Pikachu? Will Finn and Jake still be going on adventures? Will the Ninja Turtles still be radical? Will Darth Vader be able to keep his saber up? Will the Flash still be flashing? Let’s find out! You can view more of Alex Solis artwork on Instagram.

Please don’t forget to like Killer Kitsch on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @killer_kitsch for the latest geeky updates on current and retro movies, television, toys, games, art, anime and pop culture!

Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Pokémon Ash and Pikachu
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Adventure Time - Finn and Jake
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - The Joker
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Darth Vader
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - The Flash
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Batman
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - The Incredible Hulk
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - Minions
Famous Oldies by Alex Solis - He-Man Vs Skeletor

Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov

Continuing from Andrew Tarusov Star Wars pin-up series here’s some more risqué sauce, this time featuring the women of Game of Thrones in various states of undress including Daenerys Targaryen, Brienne of Tarth, Cersei Lannister, Sansa Stark and Ygritte. These are the censored versions, you can buy NSFW content via Andrew Tarusov‘s website.  Shocking😉

Please don’t forget to like Killer Kitsch on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @killer_kitsch for the latest geeky updates on current and retro movies, television, toys, games, art, anime and pop culture!

Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Daenerys Targaryen
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Missandei
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Ros
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Shae
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Talisa
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Arya Stark
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Brienne of Tarth
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Sansa Stark
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Melisandre
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Margaery Tyrell
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Daenerys Targaryen
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Cersei Lannister
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Ygritte
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov - Walda Frey
Risqué Game of Thrones pin-up girls by Andrew Tarusov