The Retro Machine (Vol. 1)

In this edition, the hallowed machine spits out the Technodrome, Hit Stix, and more!
June 05, 2007

The Retro Machine is going to be a collection of old stuff that resonates with me personally. It might be stuff I had as a kid or stuff my friends had when we were kids. It might be stuff my parents had as kids that happened to get passed down to me. Regardless, it should be interesting, because as much as the many items I have lined up pertain to me, I'm almost certain that some of them will also make you go "oh, I remember that!"


For the first entry, I wanted to do something big. That's why I chose one of the biggest toys of the late 80's/early 90's. The Technodrome!

The Technodrome was the main lair of Shredder and The Foot from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. This was quite a toy to marvel at as I remember it. The thing was fairly larger than the average toy. My friends Jeff and Chris owned this one and we would often stage epic action figure battles using the Technodrome as the centerpiece. We'd stage these battles on a bridge over a stream and almost every one of those epic battles ended with the Technodrome plunging over the edge of the bridge and exploding into a thousand pieces in the stream. This was followed by us rushing down to quickly catch the pieces before they got totally swept away.

Proton Packs

Bustin' has always made me feel good. But it never made me feel quite as good as when I had an actual Proton Pack to carry around with me, complete with Ghost Trap.

Ghostbusters pretty much rules.


My entire generation has a sore butt as a result of growing up riding this guy. I think everyone I knew had one, which was strange because I remember them being absolutely no fun at all and had a huge tendency to tip over. The little antennas that you were supposed to grab onto were far too close to you to be able to brace yourself at all. Nonetheless, I remember it well.

And oh man, remember M.U.S.C.L.E.?

I had pretty much everything you see pictured here. The Championship belt was awesome, I reused that when my friends and I had sports competitions or whenever I wanted to pretend to be a professional wrestler. That wrestling ring was kind of a lame cheap piece. You ended up just banging the wrestlers together until one of them fell out of their little holder. And how cool is that trash can thing? It was just a trash can full of random M.U.S.C.L.E. characters, who wouldn't like that? Those things were so collectible because they were tiny, you could fit'em in your pocket.

Fisher Price Medical Kit

If anyone from my generation ever played doctor, chances are you did it with this kit. These things you see right here are quite famous in my mind, I used them all the time. As years went by, pieces of the kit became scattered amongst my other toys. One thing is for sure though, that stethoscope really worked and that alone made this set awesome. I remember my mom using this kit on me when I was little to show me how doctors give shots. I have a distinct negative association with the syringe and orange bottle seen here, they truly give me the heebie jeebies because I remember finally getting real shots and they hurt.

Hit Stix

Hit Stix was made up of a mini-amp and two connected "drum sticks". The idea here was that you could drum with the sticks on any surface and a simulated (extremely fuzzy) drum sound would come out of the speakers. We thought we were pretty hot stuff with these.

Bigfoot Board Game

Here we have the Bigfoot board game. Now, I never really learned how to play this one, but the fact that it came with four monster trucks was really all I cared about. Mostly what I did with this was lay the board out and roll the trucks around on it. From what I remember, playing the actual game was unnecessarily difficult and boring.


The 80's were all about talking dolls with tape decks hidden in their backs and Corky was the cadillac of that kind of toy. When many others had Teddy Ruxpin, I was lucky enough to have Corky. My sister had Corky's female version, Cricket, so for the short time that the both of us were young enough to appreciate this kind of thing, we had talking dolls that helped us imagine race car adventures and other things. As I got older of course, Corky just sat in a corner of my room, eyes always open, just staring foward. I swear to this day that I awoke in the middle of the night and heard the pitter patter of little plastic shoes go across my floor and Corky's shadow appearing to run across the ceiling. Oh my God, that was the end of Corky. To this day, he's still sitting somewhere in my parents basement, in his little "Corky" chair. Just sitting. Still staring forward. I should've saved this for Halloween.

Well folks, that about does it for the First Edition of "The Retro Machine". Until next time...

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