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Cabbage Patch KidWhen you look at some kid’s TV characters/toys today, it’s astounding that children don’t run away from them screaming in fright. Take for example the terrifying cast of In The Night Garden, who look like they should be locked away in a secure unit, I wonder how many parents have to soothe their distressed offspring from nightmares about Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka and the rest.

But this love for frightening visages is not restricted to today’s tots! When I cast my mind back to my own childhood, a familiar face looms into my memory – that of the Cabbage Patch Kid. Although undoubtedly one of the most popular dolls of the 80s, there’s no denying the fact that they had faces only a mother could love. With giant puffy cheeks, woolen hair, stumpy limbs and staring eyes they didn’t look like any baby I’d ever seen! But their distinctiveness certainly didn’t stop them from doing well.

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michael-jackson-thrillerHands up who had a jheri curl? Come on, don’t lie now! Lol! I know I had one. I was 11 and  it was the late 80s. I remember I was just starting secondary school at the time, and my best friend then, who is also my best friend now, still teases me about the fact that I always used to use my finger to flip up the fringe, as to stop the ‘jheri-juice’ from dripping into my eyes. I’ve still got my school photo sporting the style, and no, I’m not going to post it here!

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Okay… So I’ve got a confession to make… I preferred Sindy over Barbie growing up. This is not something I felt particularly ashamed bad about in the past, but as I’ve gotten older I realised most of my friends (then and now) couldn’t stand Sindy and were Barbie all the way.

‘Big head’, ‘tough hair’, ‘butters’ are just some of the comments I’ve heard uttered about my beloved Sindy in recent years, LOL!

But what do they know, huh? Yeah her head was massive a little large, but so what? And yes, I  still played with my friend’s Barbies from time to time, and I might have even owned one or two in my later toy-playing years, but my loyalty was always with Sindy.

So ladies, who were you repping in the days when all you had to worry about was which of your doll’s shoes to match with what outfit? Sindy or Barbie… Below is a impartial-ish case for both, from the perspective of my eight -year-old self (mostly)… You can vote your choice right at the bottom of this post!

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We spotted this recent interview with legendary baller Patrick Ewing over at Jay-Z’s lifeandtimes.com. The 7-foot  former star of the New York Knicks, speaks on the 80s and 90s fashion phenomenon which was his Patrick Ewing sneaker line, how it came about and this year’s relaunch – the  European launch of all four colours of the 33 HI (pictured above) will be November 9 2012…

Ewing Athletics took the world by storm the first time round, with everybody and their mama wanting to get themselves a pair, even in places where US basketball wasn’t exactly a mainstream sport, such as here in the UK!

I wasn’t lucky enough to have a pair myself, as coming from a working class family with three other siblings meant I couldn’t always jump on every fashion trend going (as much as I cried tried), but plenty of my mates at school had them, so I guess I lived vicariously through them! Haha! I recently found out Massachusetts-born Patrick, who played for the Knicks from 1985-2000 (he also played for the Seattle Supersonics and Orlando Magic), was the first professional basketball star to have his own shoe company, which is a major deal! Read the lifeandtimes.com interview below…

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As you may have gathered by now over at I Miss The Old School, we are obsessed with all things… Errr… Old school. So, we were extremely excited to click onto website truffleshuffle this month to see plenty of Christmas goodies that pay homage to the best of 80s and 90s popular culture. In fact we were so made up we decided to post a few of our favourites as potential gift ideas for ‘Him’, ‘Her’ and the ‘Kids’, and we chose the most cost effective gifts, so that you don’t have to break the bank either! Aren’t we lovely? There is even a lovely competition to enter too at the end of the post! Merry Christmas everybody!

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slush-puppie-500x714Ask the Glee kids how it feels to receive a fresh cold Slushie to the face, and they’ll more than likely stop believing and lose hold of that non brain freeze feeling.

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Rubiks-CubeDid you know that the Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik?

He sounds like he’d be fun at a dinner party doesn’t he? Well he wasn’t – he was probably in the corner twisting a white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow box around instead of commenting politely on the pavlova.

In the 80s, EVERYONE had a Rubik’s Cube, whether you wanted one or not. It was the law.

For anyone not around in the 80s, it was a small plastic puzzle with 54 different coloured blocks making up a six sided cube. To win, you had to make each of the six sides the same colour by rotating each face.

SOUNDS EASY RIGHT?

Well, did you ALSO know there are exactly 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 permutations of the Rubik’s Cube – that’s approximately forty-three quintillion.

And this is a present they gave to ten-year-olds. That’s the equivalent of being a forty-three quintillion piece jigsaw – and at least you get a pretty picture of a dinosaur when you finish that. With the Rubik’s Cube, all you got was a cube with six coloured sides – completely useless except for throwing at the cat.

To me, this was just a gift designed to make you feel stupid, angry and bored – in exactly that order – then go back to watching your Ghostbusters VHS.

Anyone who told you they could complete the Rubik’s Cube was lying. Nobody could do the Rubik’s Cube – unless they did it the way I did: peel off all the coloured stickers and re-stick them so all the sides match up. Then take it into the playground the next day and look smug.

(One man who could do it was Feliks Zemdegs, who holds the world record for completing the cube in 6.65 seconds)

An even easier way to solve the cube was merely to twist off the smaller individual cubes, then shove them back on in the correct order. I reckon I could do that in 6 seconds. EAT THAT FELIKS ZEMDEGS.

Poor Professor Rubik could never quite match the success of his multi-coloured cube – but I did own his follow up, Rubik’s Magic. Bored of squares, he’d come up with an exciting new innovation – circles. Basically you wibble-wobbled connected titles around ‘til you made a picture of a circle. This one was more annoying than the Cube because there was no way of dismantling it and cheating.

(BONUS FACT: Yuxan Wang holds the world record for completing Rubik’s Magic in 0.71 seconds.)

The Cube, however, remains an iconic image of the 80s. Every household really did have one, even though 99 per cent of them would just use it as a paperweight. Somehow Prof Ernő managed to convince the world to buy his useless plastic puzzle even though few had the brains to solve it. Now that’s real genius.

By Luke Chilton

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PlayDoh lo[3]When you cast your mind back to your childhood, there are hundreds of sights and sounds that come thick and fast, but for most people, myself included, there is only one childhood smell

Play-Doh.

That salty, sweetness which smelled oh so good but (when temptation and curiosity became just too much) tasted oh so bad!

In 1992, my three-year-old self, received one of the greatest Christmas presents EVER – my first pack of Play-Doh.

I happily spent many an hour molding and creating what can only be described as modern art, whilst at the same time inventing a whole new colour – a mucky brown, which can be made by cleverly (or clumsily, whichever you prefer) mashing the once vivid colours together.

And the creative juices really flowed once I was given the different instruments that could make the Play-Doh into things like spaghetti and other modeling shapes.

The downside, however, was the inability to remove it from carpet – and trust me it was definitely impossible, my mum tried everything!

Every kid had Play-Doh, as did most nurseries and primary schools, and for me, it was an essential part of my childhood. Not bad for something that started out life as wallpaper cleaner ay?

Yes that’s what you read…

Back in the 1930s, (and in America no less), a mixture of flour, water, salt, boric acid and silicone oil, was making the rounds as wallpaper cleaner and it wasn’t until some clever children started messing and playing with it that the idea of Play-Doh came about.

The squishy substance has come a long way, sporting many colours since it’s original off-white – with gold and silver even being added to the palette in 1996 as part it’s 40th anniversary.

There have also been more than two billion tubs of Play-Doh sold over 50 years, and because of that, in 2003, the Toy Industry Association added it to their ‘Century of Toys’ list.

By the 1980s, Play-Doh came in a variety of eight colours, called the ‘Rainbow Pack,’ with four new colours being added to the red, yellow, blue and white.

It was also in the 80s that Play-Doh’s packaging had an upgrade. In 1986, we said goodbye to cardboard containers with prone-to-rust metal bottoms, and hello to tight-sealed, easy-to-open, plastic tubs.

Beret-wearing ‘Play-Doh Pete’ was thankfully kept as the mascot (although his image was pimped too, but not until 2002, when the beret was replaced with a much cooler baseball cap!)

Even though it was first sold in 1956, it wasn’t until its export in 1964 that we British folk got to experience the joy of Play-Doh, but we’ve been molding and making ever since!

In an age of Xbox’s and Nintendo 3DS’s, it’s nice to know that Play-Doh is still going strong, and children of today continue to make that same mistake of wondering whether it tastes as good as it smells…

By Stefanie Keeling

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Hungry HipposWhen choosing toys as a child, anything with a catchy theme tune and appealing cartoon was definitely a winner in my book, and the advert for Hungry Hungry Hippos had both. The giant colourful hippo characters doing the conga across the screen, singing ‘hungry, hungry hippos’ made a real impression on me and I was always left wanting more once the advert had finished!

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80s popstar and icon Boy George celebrated his 50th birthday this week (15th June, 2011). We can’t believe it is nearly 30 years since the singer and his then band Culture Club released their debut album Kissing to Be Clever (2008), which featured the international hit Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? This makes us here at I Miss the Old School feel mighty old – or is that just the Ed???

Despite George now more likely to be making the headlines for his run-ins with the law as opposed to his music, the fact that popstar of the moment Lady Gaga cites him as one of her influences means the undeniable mark he made on popular culture lives on. And with it being Culture Club’s 30th anniversary next year, there is currently talk of a reunion tour and whispers of Mark Ronson producing a comeback album, while this year George will appear on the UK Here and Now tour, which kicks off later this month.

Anyhow, by way of our own lil tribute IMTOS’ Shez Lancaster takes a look at how George made his mark on the 80s with his inimitable brand of style and music.

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