Childhood 85 - early 90's pt.2
growing up through 80's and 90's
By: Dustin A. Erickson

Greetings Retro Junkers,I've decided to make a part two to chilhood from 1980s-1990's. I'll try to be more in depth this time. I could have included alot more in the last one but I didn't want it to get too long. So lets begin shall we?

I believed I left off at Aladdin's Castle arcade. About every Wednesday after school from about 3rd grade till about 5th, My step father and I would go there and spend a few good hours there playing games like there was no tomorrow. My favorites at the time were The Simpsons, Revolution X and T2: The Arcade Game. I probably spent a good couple of hundreds of dollars at that place. Well my parents did any way. Thanks guys!

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Chuck E. Cheese's and Showbiz Pizza were great places to go. Pizza and video games, a kid's two favorite things at that particular time. The man who created that concept is a genious in my book. I always wanted to go there, I didn't care if it was a special occasion or not. Either I would go to the ones in Milwaukee or the one in Waukegan Illinois. One of the Chuck E. Cheese's in Milwaukee always smelled like burning macaroni. Probably the cheese from the pizza. Yuck. The robotic characters on the stage always creeped me out like Mr. Munch and Helen Henny. I'm getting the willies just thinking about them. I always thought that they would grab me if I walked passed them so I would stay far away from them. I once got kicked out of the ball pit, don’t know why but I did. Grrrr. The ball pit smelled funny any way. There was also a 9 foot lion dressed as Elvis named The King at one of the Chuck E. Cheese's. I think he was near the bathrooms. I believe he was rigged with a motion sensor because when you would walk by he would start singing and dancing. Scared the crap out of me the first time it did that. I thought Chuck E. Cheese's was a place a kid could be a kid, not traumatize them for a few years. Aside from the few freak outs I did enjoy the place. Now as I go there as an adult with my child, it just isn't the same. No ball pits, only ticket redemption games and pizza buffet.....Just a shell of its former self.

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Let’s talk about a few 90's fads and toys. Gak and or the slime you'd get from the gumball machine. Not sure what the purpose was behind the stuff other than grossing out your mom or grandmother and any female in the area for that matter but it worked. I would run around with it like it was snot or make fart noises with it. If anyone says that they didn't do that as well they are lying. Gak and slime were great until you dropped it, then it would get all fuzzy and dirty. Kind of like those sticky hands and wall walkers. At least you could wash off the hands and wall walkers but cleaning the Gak and slime didn’t work so well. The Sticky Hands had a bad flaw though, they would stick to anything. Many a ceiling got hit with the hands and left residue that would not come off. Oh how my mother and grandmother loved that.

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Ah yes, the neon everything in the early 90's. What the hell were we thinking? From color change shirts to burn your retinas colored objects. I'm guilty of having neon green shoe laces, black and neon green rollerblades and a pair of Zubaz. Everything was bright and or speckled. I also had a few questionably colored snap bracelets, pencils and folders. Oh and who the hell invented those Zubaz pants? Even those damn things came in crazy neon colors. I had one pair. Black and white Zebra stripe. Not proud of it nor is anyone else who owned a pair. Now those snap bracelets were ok. Eeeeeeveryone had them. And they were dangerous too which made them that much more cooler. Legend has it is that you could cut your wrist with them so my elementary school outlawed them. Never happened to me or anyone I knew so, whatever.
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Creepy Crawlers was a great invention. It was like the Easy Bake Oven but with bugs! Who knew that a little chandelier bulb would get hot enough to bake anything? Well it did and it did it very well, sometimes a little too well. It was a little messy with the goop and i could never quite get my colors not to blend like on T.V. So the colors were a bit off at times but nonetheless I had hordes of little rubber bugs on stand by just waiting to freak out any one, mainly my mother. Let’s not forget the metal molds. Those suckers got hotter than the sun. I've been burned a few times, like when my grabber thing broke while I was getting the mold out and I grabbed the mold. Bad Idea. Then they came out with bigger bug molds, crazy colors, and Power Ranger molds. The only drawback with the bigger molds was that it took most of your goop to fill them. Timeless fun though.

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Now some of my favorite early to mid 90's tv shows were as follows...which I realize is mostly Nickelodeon.... Clarissa Explains It All, Hey Dude, Double Dare, Salute Your Shorts, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Guts, Rocko's Modern Life, Family Matters, Step by Step, Full House (gotta love the TGIF block) and way to many others to list...I watched a lot of TV growing up. Friday nights and Saturdays were nothing but TV time for me.

Well kiddos....I think I'm gonna end it here. I bid all of you adieu
and.....
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Part 3 could be coming in the future which will include mid 90s and to about 2001, I just have to jog my memory. This article and part one were originally written about 13 years ago so my memory was still decent then and could easily remember things.