5 Great Things from the 1980’s We Miss and 2 We Don’t

They say things from the ‘80’s don’t die, they just fade away. Actually that may have been Levi’s that said that.

Anyway, I am all for change. I love living in today’s world and can’t imagine living back in those prehistoric days of the 1980’s. The technology today is just incredible. I mean, can you imagine trying to read a map without the assistance of GPS navigation? Or passing time by reading a magazine and not playing Candy Crush? Or watching the big game on a television with rabbit ears?

No way, no how.

I admire today’s youth, they have so many cool technological enhancements yet to come. It’s astonishing to think how far advanced society will be in the year 2099. However, today’s Millennials and Generation Z’s missed out on some simple yet guilty pleasures from the most impressionable decade ever, the 1980’s

5 Things We Miss from the 1980’s

ghostbusters1. Novelty Mirrors – these novelty mirrors were sold at rock concerts, given away at roller rinks and offered as prizes at carnivals. Not sure what spawned this trend, but I imagine it was our vanity. Hey I need another mirror to look at my aerosol sprayed hair and three inch thick layer of make-up. Combine that with our favorite bands and movies and there you have it the perfect combination of novelty and vanity.

I was just as guilty as I had two of these novelty mirrors. The first mirror I received was at Iron Maiden night at the Edgemont Roller Rink and the second was a Ghostbusters mirror won at the Great Allentown Fair. “Who you gonna call?”

tshirt2. Concert t-shirts – call it an early version of diversity. In the 80’s all concert shirts were created equal. White body, black sleeves and graphic on the chest, pretty simple. Sometimes the white and black were reversed. Everyone had an arsenal of at least 3-5 concert tees. What was great is that you didn’t even have to attend a concert to get one of these classics, just truck on down to the local mall, Spencer’s probably had the best selection. Today’s concert tees have to compete with t-shirts from Abercrombie, the Gap and such. Back then, the hard choice was which shirt to choose. My personal favorite was my Quite Riot shirt that I wore at least twice a week until it wore out.

book3. Choose Your own adventure books – how great were these easy reading books? First off, these books were only about 100 pages long, add the fact that you skip ahead based upon which adventure you selected and they would up being a 50 page read. Also, the book is the present that keeps on giving since you tended to read these Choose Your own Adventure Books about 20 times trying to get a different adventure each time.


4. Scratch ‘n Sniff Stinky Stickers – I compare the Scratch ‘n Sniff sticker craze of the eighties to that of the Rainbow Loom fad that played out recently. Thousands of stickers existed with scents like fresh cut grass, gasoline, pizza and pickle. Kids traded these Stinky Stickers like baseball cards, teachers gave Stickers for good grades and teens sniffed looking for a quick high. Accessories were also a big thing, including your very own sticker book in which to house these circular scents. I’m actually wondering if these Scratch ‘n Sniff Stinky Stickers led to the cocaine craze as well during this decade?

run dmc

5. Cassette Tapes – digital music is so much better and easier to purchase and play than cassette tapes ever were. I love the fact I can listen to 5,000 songs on an airplane with hundreds of playlists, forwarding over multiple songs in succession. But the simplicity of the cassette, pop-in the tape to your oversized boom book or Sony Walkman, listen to five songs, turn cassette over and listen to another five songs was pure magic.

I think what was even better was actually shopping for cassette tapes at the local record store. Remember when there were at least three record stores in the mall? One would spend numerous hours sorting through rows upon rows of recent releases, classics and alternative albums all for the right to purchase a cassette for $7.99.

I think what was better than better was the unwrapping of the cassette tape.  Anxiously awaiting the contents inside; both the music on the tape and also the physical printed package. Often the packaging featured photos of the band or the song’s lyrics in which one would stare at for the longest time. I still know to this day which way to walk thanks to Run DMC. Which by the way, I played Run DMC’s Raising Hell tape so many times that the actual cassette cover wore down to a nub. Not sure how, but damn that was a good tape!

2 Things from the 1980’s We Don’t Miss

tazLooney Toon’s Tasmanian Devil – not sure how this became a trend. But people were in love with the Tasmanian Devil. For those of you that are not familiar, Loony Toon’s Tasmanian Devil was a cartoon that was shown during a half hour of Bugs Bunny cartoons. The Tasmanian Devil was a weird character that seemed overly anxious and hopped up on Red Bull (though it didn’t exist back then). Geico Insurance is trying to capitalize on this past craze by featuring it in a recent advertisement. Fail!

The Tasmanian Devil sold plenty of merchandise but what I often found bizarre was that so many people ended up with a Tasmanian Devil tattoos. How’s that working out for you? Glad this thing from the eighties was lost, wish Geico thought the same.mom jeans

Mom Jeans – what the heck people!  How awful looking were jeans back then?  Women everywhere now thank the gods (the old and the new) for the rise of low cut jeans.


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