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Archive for July, 2010

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SodaStream Returns!

Posted by Big Boo on July 16th, 2010

SodaStream Then and NowOne of the most familiar names in kitchen gadgetry, SodaStream, is set to return this summer. Actually, I don’t think it really ever went away, but with a new TV advert just appearing on our screens the name is set to become a household name once again.

It’s been around 20 years since SodaStream last advertised their range of fizzy drinks makers on television, and no expense has been spared on the new ad. Indeed it has an almost movie feel to it, starting with images of sad and dejected people whilst a voice over talks rather ambiguously about lost loves and things of that ilk.

The advert then changes to shots of people being happy because their love is returning, and it is revealed that this love is none other than the good old SodaStream machine!

That said, as you can see in the image the brand new SodaStream model looks rather more space age than the original yellow and white plastic affair that I remember having in our family kitchen.

The new machines certainly look the business, and one aspect they are being sold under is that they are greener than buying bottles of fizzy pop. After all, you just use tap water to make the drink and the gas cylinder is returnable when it has expired.

The thing that pleases me most though is that SodaStream have wisely decided to retain their old slogan in the new advert, so get ready to “get busy with the fizzy” once more!

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Ripped Jeans

Posted by Big Boo on July 14th, 2010

Ripped JeansAs time flies along, it brings with it certain fashions and trends which are embraced by the current generation of young people, yet which are looked on in horror by their parents. Some of these are perhaps understandable – imagine being a parent when such fashion items as the Bikini or the Mini Skirt were first introduced.

One fashion trend of the Eighties which caused consternation between the younger and older generations was the idea of Ripped Jeans. These may not have been as bodily revealing as the Bikini or Mini Skirt (unless you got very carried away with the scissors) but they causes differences in opinion for two main reasons.

The first reason was fairly obvious. Why would you even consider wearing a pair of trousers that had a hole in? Surely you would either patch them up or throw them away, depending on the size of the hole, said the oldies.

The second reason was the “waste of money” one. What was the point in buying a brand new pair of jeans only to cut and rip holes in them, or worse still, why would you buy a brand new pair of denim jeans costing twice the price of a normal pair, just because they had holes in?

As with all such fashion trends though, the kids didn’t listen to the grown ups, and before long every fashion conscious youngster was wearing them.

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British Eighties “Funny” Comic Books

Posted by Big Boo on July 12th, 2010

Dennis and GnasherI’m sure most of us, at some point in their childhood, had a period where they were an avid reader of a particular comic book. Of course there are several kinds of comics, and you may well have been a fan of one or more of these at different times.

There were comics aimed more at boys (e.g. The Eagle, Roy of the Rovers etc.) and those aimed at girls (e.g. Twinkle, Bunty etc.). There were the more US style of comic book, normally smaller in size and generally about superheroes, but my particular favourite genre was the good old fashioned British “funny” comic, such as The Beano, The Dandy and Whizzer and Chips.

Some of these comics had already been running for decades by the time I started reading them, and some are still going strong today. Changes have obviously occurred as the years have gone by, with some titles merging with other comics, characters being dropped (and possible reinstated) and of course the move from newspaper style paper and two colour images to the glossier, full colour pages a lot of comics have today.

Without doubt the two prime examples of this style of comic book were The Beano and The Dandy. The Beano tended to appeal to the more mischievous child, what with its lead character being Dennis the Menace. The Dandy was more likely to appeal to the more well behaved youngster, as its main characters were Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat, who tended to get into trouble accidentally rather than on purpose!

These subtle differences in the characters meant that a lot of kids would become devotees of a single comic only, and arguments in school playgrounds over which comic was “the best” could get quite heated!

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Did You Adopt A Cabbage Patch Kid?

Posted by Big Boo on July 10th, 2010

I wrote this week about the Cabbage Patch Kid Koosa dolls, which were sort of like pets for the proper human like Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, so to keep loosely with the theme this weeks survey is to find out whether or not you had (or wanted) a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Did you own a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?
Total Votes: 89 Started: July 7, 2010 Back to Vote Screen
Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Cabbage Patch Kids Koosas

Posted by Big Boo on July 9th, 2010

Cabbage Patch Kids KoosaThe Cabbage Patch Kid doll was one of the biggest toy lines of the 1980’s, despite the fact most adults thought they looked more ugly than cute. Kids loved them though, and they were a much sought after item for Christmas in 1983, the year of their launch.

Whilst Cabbage Patch Kids were still at the height of their fame, it was decided to expand the Cabbage Patch family into the animal kingdom, and so along came the Koosa. These were, if I remember correctly, marketed as pets for the Cabbage Patch Kids.

The main selling point of the original dolls was that each doll was unique, and this concept was carried across to the Koosas. The Koosas came in various fur colours with different head hair styles and different colour eyes. They were also notionally different types of animals, with some looking more like cats, some like dogs and some like bears, but whatever they looked like they were all officially referred to as just Koosas.

My sister had one (she named it Kandy Koosa) to accompany her Cabbage Patch Kid (Melissa Missy, if you’re interested), which I seem to recall looked fairly similar to the one in the above image. Being the good older brother that I am, I used to provide voices for both these dolls during car journeys and other times of boredom, which I’m sure my Mum and Dad found highly irritating…

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99 Red Balloons

Posted by Big Boo on July 7th, 2010

99 Red Balloons99 Red Balloons was a number one hit for Nena, which was both the name of the female singer of the song and her band too, in February 1984. This was the English translation of the original German version, which was called 99 Luftballons, and between the two versions Nena managed to achieve the number one slot in the charts in at least ten countries, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and home country Germany.

Surprisingly enough, though it only managed to reach number 2 in the US, this was with the original German language version of the song, which was quite an achievement.

The song was a very poppy, bouncy (fitting for a song about balloons) yet still a bit rocky affair, but the story it tells had a rather darker over tone. The two versions tell broadly the same tale, although the English version isn’t actually a direct translation of the words. It goes something like this…

Some friends buy a packet of balloons (perhaps a packet of 100 but one popped during inflation? Who knows?) and decide to blow them all up and let them loose into the sky. Off they merrily bob, only to be picked up on radar and mistaken as a possible UFO or maybe an enemy attack, which leads to fighter jets being scrambled and the brink of war! Ouch!

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Alphabet Sweets

Posted by Big Boo on July 5th, 2010

Sweet AlphabetOK, so there’s really no such thing as a sweet that’s good for your teeth, but there are certainly some sweets which are a great deal worse for your teeth than others. Chewy toffees such as Toffo are dangerous if you have a lot of fillings or weak teeth, and I’m sure that as much as I love them, Popping Candy and Sherbet Fountains are little more than packets of instant tooth decay.

Today’s post is about those hard candy alphabet sweets that were bad for your teeth simply because they were so hard you really had to suck them for ages before you could bite into them. However, the urge to crunch them up was just so strong that you couldn’t resist, even though you knew you could easily break a tooth in the process.

Made from a similar type of stuff as those white Sweet Cigarettes (or Candy Sticks as we have to call them these days) these candy letters came in various colours and depicted every capital letter in the alphabet. Admittedly any letter that had a hole in it (e.g. A, D, O, P etc.) was missing the hole, so they weren’t always shaped correctly, but then you were going to be eating them rather than using them to do your spelling homework, so it wasn’t really a problem.

You don’t see them around much now, but you can still buy them in larger bags (which could in theory last you for months if you sucked them all individually) but I distinctly remember buying them in a little cardboard cube which was styled like a childs building block, with different letters on each face. I wonder if you can still get them like this?

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Go Go Gadget… What?

Posted by Big Boo on July 3rd, 2010

Inspector Gadget was loaded up with a great many weird, wacky but also useful gadgets, but which of them would you most like to have for yourself?

I’ve picked out the ones which I remember most from the series (which I think were probably also the ones most often used) since there are far far too many to list the entire lot. Vote away!

Which Go Go Gadget would you like to have?
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