Friday, March 30, 2018

Daddy/Daughter Day 2018 #2

Last weekend I took my youngest child (by 1 minute) out for a Daddy/Daughter day. The first thing we did was head over to Toys R Us to grab her a "Star Wars: Forces of Destiny" Princess Leia doll. Then after that she wanted to head to the arcade. Her twin brother had talked about it so much that she really wanted to go. The game she wanted to play the most was "Crossy Road"! I can't stand this game! It is one dollar per play and you only get 1 life! It's a sort of a "Frogger" clone where the goal is to cross the obstacles without getting hit. The only problem is there is only one button! That button moves you forward. One bad move and there is no turning back. WHAM! Dollar gone! Before I could even load my 4 quarters into the machine to play co-op with my daughter her turn was already over! We agreed to never play this game again and enjoyed the other offerings at the arcade including Space Invaders, Pac-Man Junior and Mario Bros. I got to play the Robocop pinball game and a round of pool with my 6 year old. It was fun, but we were getting hungry and headed to...
McDonalds for a Snoopy Happy Meal. My daughter opted for the cheeseburger Happy Meal and got the Baseball Snoopy toy. I had my usual Double Quarter Pounder with cheese meal. This was the first time I have had McDonalds new "Fresh" beef patties, and I gotta say I prefer the old beef patties. Maybe it's just because I'm used to the flavor of the old recipe, but something tasted a little off. It wasn't terrible, just not what I'm used to from the Golden Arches. Anyway after lunch we were going to catch a flick at the local cinema, but we have to get some rations. So we made our way to...
CANDY TOWN USA! I love this place. It is so retro from the candies they have available to the old school soda shop inside the store.
You want gummies? They've got walls of them! How about licorice, jawbreakers or Runts? They've got you covered! There are literally hundreds of varieties to chose from! And you get to mix and match and make your own variety pack. So amazing!
Throughout the store they also have vintage coin op machines like a strength tester, guess your weight machine and...
FREAKIN' ZOLTAR! He is not as cool looking as his counterpart from the Tom Hanks movie "BIG", but he does tell fortunes, his mouth moves and crystal ball glows! FYI, I am still only 6 feet tall and did not grow to 7 feet to chase my dreams of NBA stardom! Still fun though! We spent a lot of time at Candy Town, but we had to leave so we could catch our movie. We grabbed some Haribo SMURFS Sour Gummies and were off to see...
Peter Rabbit! My Mom read me these books as a kid and I have read them to my kids, so I was more than happy with my daughter's pick of movies. It was a pretty good kids flick and when it eventually is released on Blu-Ray/DVD, I'm sure we'll get a copy to add to our Easter movie rotation. If you have kids, I say give it a shot. Well, that was the last kid/dad day for a while! I wonder what their mom has ready for them? 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Throwback Jam of the Week: 3/29/18

It's that time of the week again here at 20 Years Before 2000...It's time for the Throwback Jam of the Week! These are the jams currently on my trusty Creative ZEN MP3 player and they encompass everything from Motown R&B classics to hip-hop & rap from the 80s & 90s! I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they get you off your feet and bring back some sweet nostalgic memories! So throw on your Starter Cap, get your hair cut in the fresh Caesar style and slip on your Pumas kicks as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 Throwback Jam of the week...
Artist: Fifth Platoon
Song: The Partyline
Album: The Partyline EP (Released 1991)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: NA
Bonus Fun Fact: Fifth Platoon never released an album, but were featured on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze soundtrack!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Comic Book Pick: 3/28/18

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
DAMNATION: JOHNNY BLAZE GHOST RIDER #1
DAMNATION TIE-IN! Johnny Blaze takes the fight to a different devil than he usually faces - Mephisto! But Mephisto will show Johnny his own brand of suffering - and give Johnny PLENTY of reasons for vengeance.
(W) Christopher Sebela (A) Phil Noto (CA) Clayton Crain 
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, March 23, 2018

Daddy/Daughter Day 2018 #1

Last weekend I took my oldest child out for a Daddy/Daughter day. The first thing we did was head over to the Women's NAIA Basketball Championship Tournament. Since I have been working the Tournament as a member of the media, we were able to score some courtside seats and hospitality room privileges. The game we were watching went into overtime, but my daughter wanted us to leave so we would have time...
to play video games at Chuck E. Cheese! With all the tickets we earned she was able to grab a notepad, book mark and some candy. We went to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant and shared a huge plate of drunken noodles with beef. It was really good. While eating we discussed what she wanted to do next. Her choice was to hit up...
Toys R Us! I was happy to take her, because I didn't know how many more visits we would eventually be making to the Greatest Toy Store There Is! She ended up with a Rey "Forces of Destiny" doll. But while we were there it made me think of all the great times we had at the store as a family. So we went home and I grabbed a few of the items to highlight here.
Every few weeks Toys R Us would host a special giveaway day. My kids were treated to lots of cool, free stuff like exclusive Pokémon Cards, Lego/Mega Blox sets, Pokémon figures and Hatchimals Colleggtables. Of course while we were at the store we would grab our free stuff and eventually get suckered into buying something extra for the kids.
Another cool thing Toys R Us would do is host a monthly birthday party for the kids. Every kid who attended the birthday party would receive a free stuffed Geoffrey the giraffe, a book, balloons and coloring sheets. Geoffrey would also personally attend the event and stay to take pictures with the kids. I am so glad each of my kids got to take part in this event before they closed. I hope it's a memory they will have for life!
The last thing I will mention here were the great exclusives they would offer their customers. I am happy to have this Mega Blox TMNT comic and Topps Geoffrey card in my collection. I can always look back at these artifacts of good times gone by. I will miss Toys R Us greatly, but I will always have the memories and I will always be a Toys R Us kid!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Throwback Jam of the Week: 3/22/18

It's that time of the week again here at 20 Years Before 2000...It's time for the Throwback Jam of the Week! These are the jams currently on my trusty Creative ZEN MP3 player and they encompass everything from Motown R&B classics to hip-hop & rap from the 80s & 90s! I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they get you off your feet and bring back some sweet nostalgic memories! So throw on your Starter Cap, get your hair cut in the fresh Caesar style and slip on your Pumas kicks as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 Throwback Jam of the week...
Artist: Johnny Gill
Song: Rub You The Right Way
Album: Johnny Gill (Released 1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 3
Bonus Fun Fact: A Remixed version of this song exists with a rap verse from CL Smooth!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Comic Book Pick: 3/21/18

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
USAGI YOJIMBO: The Hidden #1
On his way to see Inspector Ishida, Usagi is confronted by Shogunate guards . . . a sign of the times. While unraveling a pair of murders in town later, Usagi and Ishida become wary as they find the corpses stripped of all identification-except for a talisman that leads to a startling discovery! Part one of seven-the perfect place to start!
(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Trip To Bones Arcade

Every now and then I like to take my son out on what we call a "Dude's Day". This is a day for just me and my son to go out without the girls and do the things he wants to do. Last week he planned the day out for us and off we went! The first thing we did was stop at the Lego Store. While we were there my son picked out a few pieces to make a Lego volcano and a Lego Shark to put in the volcano!
The next stop was to a place we had been wanting to go to for a while! It was a new arcade that opened a few months back. They had so many games in that place from Mario Bros. to Raw Thrills' Walking Dead game!
There was also a place in the back called "Pinball Alley" were they had at least 20 different pinball games to play. My son played the Jurassic Park game and he picked the South Park game for me, but the one I wanted to play the most was...
the Back To The Future Part II table! Unfortunately this one was out of order, but that didn't stop me from drooling over the artwork on this thing. They got Doc pretty close, but Marty...not so much!
After playing around in Pinball Alley, my son and I had a few cheeseburgers with fries and Root Beer for lunch at the arcade. It was pretty good. Then it was back to the games! We hit up the "Classics" section and played some Dig-Dug, Donkey Kong and one of my fave old school cabinets...Centipede with the track ball controls! I remember playing this same cabinet every time we had to go to the dentist. Yes, our dentist had video games in his waiting room and it was AWESOME!!!
We played a few more games of Crossy Road, Pac-Man and Mario Kart we hit up our favorite games in the place. Mine was Turtles In Time! Yes, I have played this game many times over the years, but not on a stand-up arcade cabinet. There is just something about playing a game this way that makes it 100 times better. My son's favorite game was a huge version of Space Invaders. This game was incredibly fun. It was like original Space Invaders with a twist. Each level had it's own unique challenge and there were mega power ups to use against the never ending rows of alien intruders. We made it to level 6 together and had a blast doing it!
We finished up our defense of the Earth and then we hit up the candy store and grabbed a bag full of delicious Gummy Sharks. We needed the candy because next we were off to the movie theater to see...
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle! Myself and my son both enjoyed the movie and he hasn't stopped talking about it since. If you havn't seen it yet, I would recommend checking it out. There are nods to the original film in the movie, but if you haven't seen the Robin Williams flick, don't worry, the story holds up on it's own just fine! We left the theater happy with our movie choice and my son requested we make one more stop...
GameStop that is! I got a gift card from my parents for Christmas and my son has been on a huge Sonic The Hedgehog kick lately so he picked out the Sonic Lost World game and I grabbed a used copy of Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition for $9.99. It was a great day and we had tons of fun. This weekend I'm taking my oldest daughter out for a daddy/daughter day. We'll see where she leads us. I'm sure it will be fun!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Throwback Jam of the Week: 3/15/18

It's that time of the week again here at 20 Years Before 2000...It's time for the Throwback Jam of the Week! These are the jams currently on my trusty Creative ZEN MP3 player and they encompass everything from Motown R&B classics to hip-hop & rap from the 80s & 90s! I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they get you off your feet and bring back some sweet nostalgic memories! In memory of the great New York rapper, Craig Mack who passed away this week, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 Throwback Jam of the week...
Artist: Craig Mack feat. Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes & Rampage
Song: Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)
Album: Project Funk da World (Released 1994)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: #9
Bonus Fun Fact: The original version of  this song was nominated for the 1995 "Best Rap Solo Performance" Grammy

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Comic Book Pick: 3/14/18

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
VAMPIRONICA #1
NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust?
(W) Greg Smallwood, Megan Smallwood (A) Greg Smallwood (CA) Francesco Francavilla
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, March 9, 2018

NBA Jam Session!

In 1993 the NBA was on the top of the sports world! Michael Jordan and The Chicago Bulls were on their way to their first three-peat, the Dream Team had dominated the globe in the Barcelona Olympics the summer before and the slam dunk was the most exciting play in sports! Not one to pass on a golden opportunity the NBA created the Jam Session brand.
The first item I remember from this marketing initiative was the "NBA JAM SESSION" VHS tape! It had highlights from the best players in the league at the time. Everyone from Karl Malone to Harold Miner to Alonzo Mourning was featured on this mixtape. I remember going to our local mom & pop rental store, "Video Sights & Sounds" just so we could rent this tape! Now as an adult, I own my own copy. I found this baby at Goodwill for about a quarter. If you ever see one out in the wild for a cheap price, I highly recommend you pick it up! Another thing came from this brand that cemented the world of hip-hop culture with the NBA. This informal partnership led to the next item on my list...
The freakin' "NBA JAM SESSION" album!!! I used to listen to this on my Walkman all the time, especially on trips to basketball practice or basketball camps. There are some pretty big names for the time on here and some pretty fresh cuts! 
The talent roster included Bell Biv DeVoe, Heavy D, Notorious B.I.G., Bobby Brown and Wreckx-N-Effect! Not too shabby for an NBA mix tape. I bought this CD online for about $1 and put it on in the house from time to time so I can relive those athletic golden years when my team in NJ went on to win 2 championships in 3 years. Over that span, we only lost one game and got to go to the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford to watch the Nets play as a reward for our hard work. Because of this I was able to see some of the "JAM SESSION" stars in person like Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O'Neal and David Robinson.
The only thing cooler than the soundtrack album quite possibly was the "NBA JAM SESSION" cards that were randomly inserted into the '92-'93 Fleer Ultra packs. I loved checking out the stats on the back and seeing how many jams the top players in the league had amassed over the years. Who knew the Admiral had 155 dunks during the '91-'92 season?  Recently and sadly though the dunk has fallen out of flavor in the NBA. The All-Star Dunk Contest has become mediocre and thanks to the Golden State Warriors, the 3-pointer has become the shot of choice around the league. One day the dunk will again reign supreme, but until that day comes you can relive the glory days of the 90s NBA by watching the "NBA JAM SESSION" highlight tape in all it's glory in the video below!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Throwback Jam of the Week: 3/8/18

It's that time of the week again here at 20 Years Before 2000...It's time for the Throwback Jam of the Week! These are the jams currently on my trusty Creative ZEN MP3 player and they encompass everything from Motown R&B classics to hip-hop & rap from the 80s & 90s! I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they get you off your feet and bring back some sweet nostalgic memories! So throw on your Starter Cap, get your hair cut in the fresh Crimped style and slip on your Adidas kicks as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 Throwback Jam of the week...
Artist: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Song: Brand New Funk
Album: He's The DJ...I'm The Rapper (Released 1988)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: NA
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was updated in 2007 by DJ Jazzy Jeff featuring rapper Peedi Peedi

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Comic Book Pick: 3/7/18

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
GHOSTBUSTERS ANNUAL 2018
When urban miners discover what appears to be a centuries-old, man-made chamber 600 feet below the streets of New York City, they unwittingly unleash an unnamed entity with designs on dominance... an entity that will soon answer to the name SAMHAIN. Join the original Ghostbusters in this double-sized annual that will also sow the seeds for Crossing Over! Prelude to 2018's massive comic book crossover event-GHOSTBUSTERS CROSSING OVER! Featuring the return of the critically acclaimed and fan-favorite creative team of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado!
(W) Erik Burnham (A/CA) Dan Schoening
SRP: $7.99
Synopsis provided by PreviewsWorld.com

Friday, March 2, 2018

GPK: We Hate The 80s

I had seen this new series of Garbage Pail Kids on a few other retro blogs over the past few months. Then I finally saw them for sale at a local Target store and had to pick up a pack for myself! First of all I am a sucker for Garbage Pail Kids. The nostalgia attached to these cards is priceless to me, so anytime I get to open a new pack, I have to take that opportunity. Secondly, this series is dedicated to parodies of people and things that made the 80s so great! I opened the pack with excitement and this is what I got...
Once again, I understand that there have always been a version "A" and a version "B" of every card, but I can't help but feel a bit cheated that the majority of the cards in my pack were of the same variety. Not a complaint, just an observation. Here we get a few of the "Goldbergs" cards that represent the fantastic retro sitcom that is currently airing on ABC.

Next up we have a few homages to Mr. Rogers, Trapper Keepers and a "Phlegm" boarder parallel of the Lisa Frank school supplies. I love the artwork on these cards and wish I had picked up more. These are classic Garbage Pail Kids fun! 

Here is where I feel this series and multiple series of GPK before this fall flat. The card backs! Why do they continue giving us these bland, boring, non creative card backs!!! Why not return to the days of the "Wanted" posters, comics or "Underachievement" awards? Heck, I would even be happy with a puzzle piece on the back! This setback not withstanding, overall I was pretty happy with this TOPPS card set and will probably pick up a few more packs. 8 cards/stickers for $1.99 is not too steep a price to relive some great childhood memories. Plus I want to see if I can snag one of those amazing "80s Wax Pack Parodies" or Goldberg autograph cards!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Throwback Jam of the Week: 3/1/18

It's that time of the week again here at 20 Years Before 2000...It's time for the Throwback Jam of the Week! These are the jams currently on my trusty Creative ZEN MP3 player and they encompass everything from Motown R&B classics to hip-hop & rap from the 80s & 90s! I would like to share them with you in the hopes that they get you off your feet and bring back some sweet nostalgic memories! So throw on your Zubaz, get your hair cut in the fresh High-top Fade style and slip on your British Knights kicks as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 Throwback Jam of the week...
Artist: The Simpsons
Song: Deep, Deep Trouble
Album: The Simpsons Sing The Blues (Released 1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 69
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was co-written and produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff!!!