S2Ep05 - Smurfs

Smurfs: communist woman haters or adorable 80s icons? Probably a little of both. From comics to cartoons, cereal to figurines, Italian villages and Smurf cosplayers, we give you a full overview of Smurfs.

Original Smurfs in    Johan and Peewit   in 1958

Original Smurfs in Johan and Peewit in 1958

Júzcar, Spain - Smurf Village

Júzcar, Spain - Smurf Village

Link to the Belgian UNICEF commercial in which the Smurf village is carpet bombed.

Link to the original Father Abraham Smurf song.

The Smurfs movie could only have been improved by the addition of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The Smurfs movie could only have been improved by the addition of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

S2Ep03- Star Wars: The Dark Times

We interview two lifelong Star Wars fans - Tom Berges from igrewupstarwars.com and Michael French from RetroBlasting - about what it was like to live through "The Dark Times," i.e. the years between 1983 (release of Return of the Jedi) and 1997 (The Star Wars Special Edition theatrical release). How did they keep hope alive, and what was it like to be a Star Wars fan when most people had moved on to girls, Nirvana, and fast cars?


S2Ep02 80s Mascots: From Cereal to Cigarettes

The Noid, McDonald's Mac Tonight, Max Headroom, and Spuds MacKenzie are just a few of the bizarre mascots we discuss this week, including their little-known backstories.

S02-01: The Decline Of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years

Melinda got the blu-ray box set of the Decline of Western Civilization movies, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about Metal!! Not that there is all that much real metal in this 1988 documentary by Penelope Spheeris... but nonetheless we give it a go. Aaron watches the film for the first time and Melinda revisits it with the director's commentary. Contemplating buying the set? You'll wanna hear our review.


07- Kryptonian Bagels

Tonight it's all about SUPERMAN!

Aaron tells us about the book he’s reading, we touch on some spelling and pronunciation issues, and we introduce our special guest, Michael French. We talk about the challenges of livestreaming and pontificate on which Hogwarts house we each would be placed in.

Richard Donner considers punching Pierre Spengler in the nose with his lighter as Marlon Brando looks on in glee.

Richard Donner considers punching Pierre Spengler in the nose with his lighter as Marlon Brando looks on in glee.

(07:05) Tonight we have decided to talk about the first 2 Superman movies (1978 and 1980), and in particular the craziness that was going on behind the scenes with Alexander and Ilya Salkind and Richard Donner, just to get these movies made! What was the original story arc supposed to look like? Why is it that when you watch the Donner cuts of Superman I and II they essentially have the same ending, with Superman turning the earth backward? We explain all this and more, including the cutthroat methods of the Salkinds, the removal of Richard Donner as director before Superman II and the subsequent rewrites and reshoots of much of his work on Superman II, the addition of Richard Lester, and the eventual creation of the Donner Cut of each film.

Pictured Below: Alexander and Ilya Salkind, Richard Donner.

06- A Little Hipstery

R.E.M. When they had hair

R.E.M. When they had hair

Inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Night Terrors," Melinda and Aaron reflect on "REM," and its influence in all our lives. REM can mean so many things, the possibilities are almost endless.

(04:34) - R.E.M. (the band). Aaron discusses the band and how influential they were on the sound of so much 90s music, even back in the early 80s! In particular he's been revisiting some early REM and hearing some of it for the first time. Melinda appreciates their creativity with videos - a medium which has changed significantly since the 80s.

(15:15) - Why do we dream - Melinda gives a VERY brief overview of some popular theories of why we dream and then what happens to your body if you DON'T dream, including some tips on how to have your very own hallucination.

John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny in Sandman comics.

John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny in Sandman comics.

(20:55) Melinda gets to briefly discuss the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, and the series "Preludes and Nocturnes" in particular. Also, some recommendations on some other great works to check out by Neil Gaiman.

(28:50) Aaron recalls the movie Flatliners and the creepiness of Kiefer Sutherland.

Kristen (Patricia Arquette) downing some Sanka with Diet Coke to stay awake in Nightmare on Elm Street III.

Kristen (Patricia Arquette) downing some Sanka with Diet Coke to stay awake in Nightmare on Elm Street III.

(31:20) And finally we get to Nightmare on Elm Street, one of Melinda's favorite films, which has a great heroine in Nancy and a terrifying villain in Freddy Krueger. apparently had lots to teach us about methods for staying awake.

(48:18) Aaron takes a moment to explain the importance of getting checked for sleep apnea, and what it's like when it's untreated.

(51:03) The final REM offering is the X-Files episode "Sleepless" starring another favorite of Melinda's: Tony Todd.

Tony Todd in "Sleepless"

Tony Todd in "Sleepless"

(57:00) How Did We Survive? A harrowing tale this week of being suspended above a ravine in the snow.

05- Pullin' a Timberlake

Trick or Treat for Salt!!

It's finally October, and Melinda and Aaron are ready for Halloween! We hear stories about their Trick or Treating escapades, and some favorite candy.

(08:45) Melinda and Aaron get into the Halloween spirit and talk about their favorite (spooky) Star Trek television episodes, including entries from everything through Enterprise. Grab some candy corn and Swedish Fish and reminisce along with them!

(1:04:20) How Did We Survive? Scott Bakula (not really) writes in about a shocking survival experience. Don't forget to send YOUR story of how you survived to thedreamlandpodcast@gmail.com!

04 - Mrs. Fields' Beard

CBS Fox branded Tomy Omnibot menioned by Michael

CBS Fox branded Tomy Omnibot menioned by Michael

Tonight we welcome special guests Michael French from RetroBlasting and Tom Berges from www.igrewupstarwars.com. We start out by talking about fish sticks and beards, and Melinda confuses Mrs. Fields with Mrs. Paul’s. They’re both great cooks, people.

(08:20) Tom talks about how he got into becoming a Droid Builder, and how far he has come with building his R2-D2 from A New Hope.

(13:26) R2-D2 led to the interest in all the robots made in the 70s and 80s. We talk about some of the more interesting robots, including the Tomy robots, Lego robotics, Starroid Radio Robot, HERO 1 and TOPO, and Sico.

(48:46) – How Did We Survive? Jimmy Stewart recounts an episode of taking a dirt access road, an impromptu wrestling match, and losing track of time.


The Old Robots Website


03 - Pennywise Bag

Nolan Bushnell and Chuck E. Cheese (left), Aaron Fechter and Billy Bob from The Rockafire Explosion (right)

We recount our experience at DragonCon 2017, including celebrity encounters with a doctor and a Jewel.

(06:37) We go through the sordid and contentious history of Showbiz and Chuck E. Cheese, and the entrepreneurs who fought it out to be 80s Pizza King: Nolan Bushnell and Aaron Fechter.

(56:15) How Did We Survive? Sarah Jessica Parker writes in and tells us about rolling down the hill in a stolen shopping cart.


The History of Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza

How I Built This: Atari & Chuck E. Cheese's: Nolan Bushnell

RetroGaming RoundUp 24 (Oct 2010)

02 - Celery in the 70s

From the opening sequence of Spiral Zone

From the opening sequence of Spiral Zone

We settle in for a nice podcast and break the ice with some weird tea references and Melinda describes what it’s like to bake a cake with a vintage Wilton cake pan. Aaron enjoys his new watch.

(11:40) This week we head into the zone – Spiral Zone. Melinda and Aaron each watched an episode (Holographic Zone Battle) of this twisted 80s cartoon and go through it, step by step.

(50:20) – How Did We Survive? Patrick describes playing rodeo and playing with flamethrowers. Richard crashes an ATV in Mexico.


Collection dx Spiral Zone Toys by Bandai, 1985

01 - Brought to you by BunnyBees

Martha Nelson Thomas' Doll Babies (Left) and early Xavier Roberts design (Right)

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural episode of Dreamland: The RetroBlasting Podcast. Taking our name from the skating rink in Melinda’s childhood hometown, we plan to be the place where Gen Xers can hang out and talk about the things we love, while also learning some of the crazy stories from behind the scenes. It’s like RetroBlasting – now as a podcast!

(02:41) We kick this off with a journey into the world of Cabbage Patch Kids. From their early origins with creator Martha Nelson Thomas and her Doll Babies, to Xavier Roberts and Babyland General, to the Coleco years, and beyond, we give you the low-down on these wildly successful, iconic 80s toys. We honestly had no idea where this was going, and the roots went in crazy directions.

(54:21) – We start a fun tradition of closing the show with a segment called “How Did We Survive?” This week Aaron and Melinda each share their own story to start us off. Aaron had bike trouble and Melinda began her quest to get her superpower.


Watch the Vice mini-documentary here: The Secret History of Cabbage Patch Kids