1989 vs 1990

Which Bush 41 year was the best year?
July 21, 2020
Ladies and Gentlemen of Retrojunk,

In this corner...1989!

(1989: A Great Year for Movies)

And in this corner...1990!

(1990: A Great Year for Music)

One of the years is remembered for Tim Burton's Batman, the pilot for Seinfeld, and when Paula Abdul was forever our girl. The other year slips under many peoples' radar, but it offered us the first-ever new age primetime adult cartoon (The Simpsons), a movie that most core Millennials love (Home Alone), and Technotronic urging us to pump up the jam. 1989 gave us the best Back to the Future sequel, Rock 'N Flowers and a good laugh about Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose betting on his own games. 1990 brought us The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Goodfellas, and rollerblading. Let's get ready to rumble!

All Things Nintendo

The 80s and 90s were like night and day. Obviously, the late 80s had better accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System than the early 90s did; the late 80s were only a few years after the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The UForce Power Field Controller and Interactive Roll and Rocker have fallen to the backside of the NES controller market. The NES was not as important to the very early 90s as it was to the late 80s. The Power Glove can be seen anytime someone watches the 1989 film The Wizard, whereas an Interactive Roll and Rocker is collecting dust at an antique toy shop. The Nintendo GAME BOY is popular today for the Pokémon series. 1989 wins this match!

TV Premieres

In the late 80s, we were still working our way towards living in the 90s. Then, in the 90s, inventors were doing everything for the 2000s. 1989 was the year that pop-culturalists were introduced to The Arsenio Hall Show, Quantum Leap, COPS, Seinfeld, Saved By The Bell, Doogie Howser MD, Family Matters, American Gladiators, and Rescue 911. 1990, on the other hand, left us with The Simpsons, Twin Peaks, In Living Color, Blossom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Beverly Hills 90210, Cop Rock, and Tiny Toon Adventures. How many times have you seen Saved By The Bell, Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Simpsons reruns? This one is a no brainer. It is a tie.


I ruined this one earlier in a bracket. Although 1989 was full of memorable tunes like "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel, "A Heart Needs a Second Chance" by 38 Special, "Baby Come to Me" by Regina Belle and "Another Day in Paradise" from Phil Collins, there were a lot of bad singles from that year like "Love Shack" (B-52s), "Hangin' Tough (New Kids on the Block), "Blame It on the Rain" (Milli Vanilli), and "Electric Youth" (Debbie Gibson). 1990 had the best of New Kids on the Block ("Step by Step"), some fun Janet Jackson songs to dance along to, uplifting music from new group Wilson Phillips ("Hold On"), and school slow jams by Mariah Carey ("Love Takes Time"). It is safe to listen to music from 1990 in public, whereas bumping cheesy pop and love songs like "Rock On" (Michael Damian) and "Girl I'm Going To Miss You" (Milli Vanilli) will have people staring at you from a distance. 1990 wins this round!


When it comes to movies, 1990 could actually be looked at as a watered down 1989. 1990 was an excellent year for Julia Roberts, Kevin Costner, and Steven Seagal, but 1989 cannot be beat in this category. I can name movies from 1989 without looking at a phone screen. So many great titles such as Uncle Buck,Batman,Tango and Cash, Roadhouse, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, When Harry Met Sally, Say Anything, The Little Mermaid,Do the Right Thing, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Back to the Future Part 2, Pet Semetary and the list goes on. 1990 had classics like Goodfellas, Edward Scissorhands, Home Alone, and Ghost, but there were more stinkers (Rocky 5, The Exorcist 3, and Gremlins 2 The New Batch ) in that year than in '89. 1990 gets the knock out for this level!


The fashion of 1989 is what we all wore in the early 90s (muscle pants, tribal design sweaters, tribal surfer shirts, body suits, name necklaces, fanny packs, vests, and volleyball shirts). The style of 1990 was closer to our wardrobe choices in the mid-1990s (baggy jeans, rayon shirts, wrist packs, slap wrap bracelets, sweater vests, babydoll dresses, and graphic shirts. The top clothing designers of 1989 was Guess Jeans, Stussy, Vision Skate Wear, Skidz, Rusty, International Baggage, and Girbaud. That changed in 1990 as Hugo Boss, Cross Colours, Gotcha, Zubaz, BUM Equipment, GAP, Banana Republic, and Body Glove took over. Neither year stands out for this department. Tie!


1989 was a slow year for toy releases. There were some bright spots in 1989 like the Rock 'N Flowers, He-Man, Robocop and the Ultra Police, DC Superheroes, Polly Pocket and Matchbox Freddy Krueger doll, but some duds as well (Food Fighters, C.O.P.S., and Police Academy). 1990 was not much better with the Beetlejuice action figures, Computer Warriors, Barnyard Commandos, Dick Tracy toys, Wrestling Buddies, Spy Gear, and Tyco Quints. The whole 1990 selection was overshadowed by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while 1989 is still remembered for Batman action figures, Micro Machines, the 30th anniversary of Barbie, Nintendo, and yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 1989 wins this stage.

So, Retrojunkers...there you have it...

1989 Takes The Crown!!!!

1990 was 'kewl' in its own way, but it was too tacky a year to take down 1989.
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