There was no better decade to grow up in than the 80's-90's. Whether it was cartoons, video games, movies, toys, the sky was the limit! I'd like to share my memories as a youngster who was born in 1982, and had the most memorable childhood ever!
____________________________________________


The first thing I can remember as a small child was those sticky “spiders” that came in the Corn Puff’s cereal box. You know, the ones you would throw at the wall, and they’d “crawl” down? I also remember being terrified of them. (I think this brought on my current spider-phobia.) I also remember sleeping with a purple stuffed care-bear. I loved that little guy!
____________________________________________


Around the age of 4, I was given a Ronald McDonald doll as a gift and was extremely terrified of it. I mean, look at the picture of it! What child wouldn’t be scared of that thing?? This was the time I had the best birthday ever. I stayed over at my grandparent’s house the night before my birthday and was given a big wheel. I grew up in Western NY, so it was already cold outside… I rode that thing around their garage all night long. The next morning I went back home, where there sat a Huffy bicycle with training wheels. WOW!

____________________________________________


Around the age of 4-5, I spent hours laying on the floor coloring those huge plastic things with those “waxy-like” crayons. I also loved playing “Ker-Plunk” and “Rebound.” I was also obsessed with Bryan Adam’s “Summer of 69” song. I had no idea what it was about, or why I liked it, but I can tell you this… I knew all the words at the age of 5!
____________________________________________


In the summer of 1987, we moved to a more rural area of the town on 2 acres of land. We had a field, woods, and a huge lawn! This is where all my youth development came into play. Second grade was when the Ninja Turtles became main-stream. They were everywhere! I had all of the action figures my family could afford! I remember trying to bring my Ninja Turtle blimp to show-n-tell, and it wouldn’t fit through the bus door. So my mom had to take me to school. She had to have known how exciting this was for me. I was by far, the coolest kid at show-n-tell. Everyone wanted to play with the blimp. I also remember gym class, and assigning ninja turtle names to my group of friends. I always wanted to be Leonardo because I liked to be the leader. After school each day, we’d wear our back-packs underneath our jackets to make it look like we had shells. Through 1st-6th grade, the whole school would go to an amusement park called Midway. It was fairly small… Included rides like the giant slide, umbrellas, Tilt-O-Wheel, bumper cars, etc. It was more like a permanent fair. The best part was the arcade. My friends and I shelled out all the money we had and beat the Ninja Turtles arcade game… It was a marked day in history! As for other toys, a friend of mine had the Ghost buster’s toys. My favorite was the trap! I could have played with that for hours! (and I probably did!) My dad did low-scale dirt track stock car racing, so I loved playing with matchbox cars.
____________________________________________


My favorite time of these years was of course, Saturday mornings. Waking up and sitting down with my favorite cereal, which was usually Fruity Pebbles or Coco Puffs, and watching the best line-up in history!

____________________________________________


These were also the days that I spent many hours playing Atari 2600 (and later, 7800.) My favorite game for that system was Food Fight. All you did was throw food at another player, but it was so fun. Ball blazer was also great. I have no idea what the game consisted of, I just remember the music was unforgettable. Donkey Kong, DK junior, and the original Mario Bros. were also some of my favorites, along with classics like asteroids and missile command. I remember always popping in E.T. just to see if I could understand the concept, or the goal… but that never happened haha.
____________________________________________


Little things I remember from those years were the radiant heaters in the school’s bathrooms. You know the ones that looked like jail-bars and gave you third degree burns if you touched them? I remember dripping water on them because the sizzling sound was “cool.” It was also fun to walk down the hallways dragging your toes to leave scuff marks down the halls.
____________________________________________


Nintendo (NES)…. Need I say more? My parents bought it for my sister and me, and they played it the first night more than we did! I was addicted to it! California Games was one of my favorite games near the system’s debut. Some of my favorite titles included Battletoads, Super Mario Bros 3 (duh!), Dragon’s Lair, Pole Position (who could forget the “Prepare to Qualify” voice haha), Dr. Mario, and the list goes on. My mom was actually diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome due to Dr. Mario!
____________________________________________


In third grade I still loved the Ninja Turtles. I remember when the movie came out in a small 2 screen theater in my town. The line wrapped around the block! My mom told me we couldn’t go see it because she had to buy groceries. I can’t tell you how hard I cried. She was joking though, and as we parked, I got up out of my crying fit and saw the theater. I remember the sticky floors, food everywhere, and the horrible stench of the theater, but I didn’t care one bit! My attention was DRAWN to that screen!
____________________________________________


In fourth grade, I started to grow up a little bit. I had my first girlfriendJ. I was sitting next to her in the auditorium, decked out in everything ninja turtles, and she held my hand. That’s where it all started. I wasn’t even sure if I liked girls up until this point! Needless to say, we never even spoke… we were both far to shy. I remember trying to call her one day. It took about an hour for me to finish dialing her number. Once we got on the phone together, there was literally 15 minutes of silence…… absolute silence. Then she said “I have to go.” “Ok” I replied. Man, what a goober.
____________________________________________


Evan’s Skateland was the hot spot in these days. Everyone went skating! The “DJ” who was the wife of the owner, and was about 50 years old at the time played 70’s music most of the time. Songs like “Good times”, “When I hear Music” by Debbie Deb, etc. Excitement ensued when they would play the Ghost buster’s theme song. They would cut out all the lights in the whole place, and flash them randomly. The whole place would go nuts! They also had an arcade machine there that I loved. It was that racing game which had an aerial view, and you shot rockets from your car. Help me out on the name, I can’t remember it!
____________________________________________


Remember when Kriss Kross emerged onto the music scene? “Jump Jump” was of course their only mainstream hit, but I loved they’re entire album. Remember the bugs bunny and taz t-shirt? My friends and I would wear our clothes backwards n’ all! This was also the time when Saved By the Bell was the best after school show ever. Us guys looked up to Zack Morris, fell in love with Kelly Capowski, and had a friend just like Screech Powers. In 6th grade all of the guys from my school had the over-gel’d, side-part, flipped up bangs just like Zack. This was also when everyone thought they were cool because they knew the words to the Fresh-Prince of Bel-Air theme. I thought I was the extra cool guy because I knew the words to the extended version which only aired on the first episode.
____________________________________________


During these years I spent much of my time making “clubs” in the woods. The names of them always had something to do with Karate… Karate club, Ninja club, etc… My dad hated it because he’d lose all of his tools such as hedge trimmers and rakes, and would find them rusted and ruined in the woods a few days later. I also enjoyed basketball, but was horrible at it. My friends and I spent many years playing Twenty One. One of my best friend’s dads built him a tree house. It wasn’t enclosed though, it was just a platform in the tree, but it was the coolest! Building jumps for our bikes with a piece of wood and a couple of bricks were always fun too. Winter always consisted of sledding; in (you guessed it) my ninja turtles sled. I actually had that sled until I was about 15 years old. It was the fastest ever!
____________________________________________


Sega Genesis was debuted around this time, and I was only allowed to get it if I got good grades… So I buckled down and excelled in school and the Genesis was mine!! I remember being the cool kid at Sears. People would gather around the in-store genesis and play Sonic 1. When my turn came… Up, down, left, right, up, down, left, right hold A-start. Select a stage! I felt so cool as everyone around me would ooo and ahhh at me. I won’t go into long winded detail on the Genesis… (except mortal kombat’s blood code. ABACABB) I’ll only state that I preferred it over the SNES (although I loved Super Mario World.) Also, the Sega channel was the best invention of all time… But I’m preparing to write a whole separate article on this because retro-junk lacks an article dedicated to it.
____________________________________________


As the years passed I had a paper route which paid for my subscription to sega channel, and Modem Madness BBS. Modem Madness was a BBS (bulletin board service) offered to the local community through a local internet provider back when the internet first came out. I had a crappy IBM computer which only ran DOS and had the huge 5” disk slots. I used my computer skills of the time and bought a 2800 bytes-per-second (which is 2.8 KB per second) external modem. The BBS was DOS based but ran very slow through my modem. I loved chatting with locals, meeting new people, playing text based games such as Dungeons and Dragons, and getting into IRC chat rooms. This paper route also funded me to buy a Nintendo 64!!

____________________________________________



The years following aren’t much to talk about since they are still considered to be recent news. But I loved my childhood and everything I was exposed to. I could’ve made this article much longer to include things like Salute your shorts, Nick arcade, more movies, etc… But you can find many articles related to those specific things. Thanks for sharing my favorite childhood memories with me!