Revenge of the 80’s: The Other Things

Revenge of the 80s: The Other Things

Dennis Ryan, Staff Reporter

Movies, TV and video games are the most popular mediums that people decide to fling back 30+ years, but they aren’t the only things people remember. Everything was about the camp. Not just movies and TV, but toys, music, and culture all around. This last installment is shedding light on some other campy things that have been brought back since the (extremely unfortunate) Reagan era.


Toys were the cat’s pajamas in the 80’s. The bee’s knees. Lines like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and the ever so amazing line that revolutionized action figures forever, Barnyard Commandos, ruled store shelves and parents’ wallets. My personal favorite was (and still is) Masters of the Universe. Following the adventures of the heroic He-Man and his allies against the sinister Skeletor, Mattel created a universe of adventure and fun with 70+ figures and an abundance of creatures and playsets, MOTU was the actual rawest. On August 24, 2008, Mattel and The Four Horsemen released the newest character in the newest MOTU, King Grayskull. The first character in the Masters of the Universe Classics line was released in three variations as a convention exclusive. He-Man and Beastman were the first two regular figures in the line, released on December first that same year. With an updated scale, sculpting and articulation, Classics is the best line in MOTU history. Still releasing figures to this day, MOTU classics has 150+ figures with 21 coming out this year alone, they are going strong and show no sign of stopping.


Everyone’s favorite part about the 80’s was hair metal, right? Eh, not me necessarily, but it was a big player in changing the mainstream music scene. By that I mean everyone sounding the opposite to it. Some of these guys just don’t stay down! Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, Poison. WHY WON’T IT DIE!? Something good came out of it though, Steel Panther. Formed in 2003 as Metal Shop then promptly changed to Metal Skool, they were a brilliant parody of the hair metal genre and had established characters for themselves to represent the lifestyle. They broke through the mainstream in 2008. Changing their name to Steel Panther, they released their second album ‘Feel the Steel’ spearheaded by popular single, ‘Death to All but Metal’. Releasing albums ‘Balls Out’ and ‘All You Can Eat’, Steel Panther turns up the hilarity, the sleaze, and the overall ridiculousness that is their over the top parody of hair metal.


Many popular 80’s franchises have been revived as of late. The most popular franchise to be redefined is the original Star Wars trilogy. Set 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, ‘The Force Awakens’ follows after the original trilogy, something we haven’t seen (at least in film). There have been many shows and games set between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Star Wars’, but not many after or during. ‘The Force Awakens’ sets forth a new trilogy of movies all set in this 30 year time period after ‘Return of the Jedi’. New anthology films are also coming out, starting with ‘Rouge One’, telling the story of how the rebels obtained the Death Star plans.


The other franchise to be revived(more surprisingly) was Mad Max.  The last movie in series to come out was “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ in 1985, which was 100% poppycock and a terrible follow-up to the best film in the series, ‘The Road Warrior’. When ‘Fury Road’ was announced, expectations were high to be at least better than ‘Thunderdome’. My God, is it so much more. Set at an undefined period between ‘Road warrior’ and ‘Beyond Thunderdome’, the film shows titular hero Max being captured by plaster-white Warboys who work under overlord Immortan Joe. Joe, who plans to have his right-hand Imperator Furiosa collect gas in the massive War Rig, sets out to capture her when he realises she has his five wives, one being pregnant. Joe and the War Boys set after Furiosa, with one named Nux, who is blood deficient, uses Max as a blood source and puts him on the hood of his car. When caught up to the War Rig, Max separates himself from Nux’s car and continues with Furiosa and the women to ‘The Green Place’, where they can be safe. Later joined by Nux, crazy car battles and chases ensue on the way to ‘The Green Place’. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and winning seven of them, ‘Fury Road’ rejuvenated the franchise, bringing fourth a video game, a comic book and 2 planned sequel, Fury Road brought the madness back.