Episode #145: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away – 80s Toys and Cartoons Extravaganza Part 2
Adam from the Instagram account that he runs, mom_gave_them_away (dedicated to 80s toys, mostly action figures, and other 80s memorabilia), rejoins us this week for the second part of our conversation on 1980s childhood nostalgia. If you grew up during that era or just have an interest in some of the things kids were playing with back then, do yourself a favor and check out his site – it’s a virtual encyclopedia of information on toys and other memorabilia from the 80s! This episode, we again cover a diverse array of topics – starting with molding and casting, to Adam’s custom action figure business (see below), and many more 80s toys and their obscure associated cartoons. Like last week, here are some 80s cartoon intros and commercials to get you in the mood:
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors – the intro to Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is quite typical of the era – lasers, explosions, rings that shoot fire, and men singing the name of the series over and over in the intro 🙂
Silverhawks – “partly metal, partly real”
This unbelievably epic commercial was for Air Raiders. Despite the animation in this commercial, there was no cartoon I’m aware of, though there was a comic. This page, which details a number of toy lines from the 80s (such as Air Raiders) that didn’t quite take off for whatever reason, is fascinating if you’re into this sort of thing.
The anime opening theme for Combat Mecha Xabungle (above) requires some explanation. Recently, Adam posted a nameless red robot torso on his page (below). Thanks to the magic of the internets and the contributors visiting his account, he was able to quickly find the name and full version of the figure. When I saw it, I was reminded of a similar blue robot that also had a penchant for falling apart! Turns out they were from this Japanese anime series, originally airing in 1982.
Having never seen the show before, I must admit, my curiosity is peaked! I’ll have to try to track some of the episodes down.
Remember these toy guns? The one on the left shot rubber BBs (it was basically a low powered airsoft gun with a gravity fed magazine), and the one of the right fired little discs. Both were high capacity (the BB gun could hold about 40-50 BBs; the disc shooter I think held around 20 discs in an internal, nonremovable, spring fed magazine) and offered the possibility of semiauto fire (one shot for each pull of the trigger, assuming the gun didn’t break in between – always a risk – which, despite the durability issues, was pretty cool for a toy). This page lovingly pays homage to these bits of toy gun history – click to read more: BB gun / disc shooter.
Check out more of Adam’s work here: https://accustomfigures.com/ and on Instagram. He put together a number of tutorials so you can also get started on making your own figures. And of course, here is the page that inspired this episode and last: https://www.instagram.com/mom_gave_them_away/
I’ll finish with a little retro 80s visual that you can hear at the end of the show – a remixed version of “I’ll Fly Away” from The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack – this video being a nod to all those flying scenes in 80s movies through dreamy cloudscapes.
Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.
The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube. This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.
Stay tuned. Follow along on Spotify! There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.
As always, thanks for listening!
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