Awesome 80s Bedrooms: Flight of the Navigator Edition


By Shawn Robare

I wish I could finagle a way to like, make a living writing articles obsessing over all the small details in the backgrounds of flicks ’cause I think I’ve found a calling.  I mean, there has to be a college degree program based around this, a Bachelors in the Fine Art of Identifying Pop Culture Junk in 80s Kid’s Movies.  The prestigious BFA:IPCJ80sKM.  Right?  No?  Whatever.  Anyway, for today’s Awesome Bedroom article on Flight of the Navigator I prepared by falling into a murky gulley after which I awoke in Miami circa 1978 (and later after another nap in the magic gulley, 1986.)  I ran straight to David Freeman’s house, barged past his questioning parents and proceeded to document his room (and then later, like 8 years later, I stowed away in the R.A.L.F. unit and made my way into NASA to check out David’s secondary bedroom too!)

flight navigator 2

Initially I’d skipped over this flick when considering bedrooms to document because I had a brain fart and completely forgot about some of the rad stuff in the 80s era NASA bedroom.  I figured his main bedroom from the late seventies wouldn’t have enough stuff worth looking at, but I was seriously mistaken.  Both bedrooms are pretty epic and deserve a second look.  So let’s start with David’s 1978 room…

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1). Tasco Deluxe Microscope Set

Turquoise Tasco Deluxe high-quality microscope set

2). Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm

vintage-ant-farm

3). ERTL/AMT 1959 Corvette model

ertl amt 59 Corvette

4). Wooden Brontosaurus Puzzle

image_18698

5). Coleco Table Top Pac-Man Arcade Game

coleco-tabletop-pac-man-system

Checking around David’s room it’s pretty evident that he was way into both science and every sport known to man (with a slight emphasis on Football).  Science wise he has that sweet turquoise Tasco microscope set as well as a pretty nifty telescope.  Maybe it’s just me but I never knew any kids that had their own telescope let alone a microscope!  Granted you do tend to see telescopes in kid’s rooms in flicks.  As for the sporty side of his personality, David’s room is littered with all sorts of equipment.  Boxing gloves, tennis rackets, roller skates, footballs, and in a later screenshot some baseball gear too.  He also has a boomerang, but I’m not sure if that falls into the rudimentary weapons category.  Lastly, there’s a slinky on the sill right near the open window.

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6). Mr. Potato Head (the box is here on the shelf, but the master of potato disguise is actually out on the dresser located directly across the room.)

7). A pack of 1985 Topps Football cards

1986 Topps Football

Probably my favorite find in this room is this pack of Topps football cards laying up against some sort of Miami Dolphin’s plaque. I know the set designers were just looking to stick some fun stuff in the room and I’m sure they thought no one would ever pay attention to the wrapper close enough to discern the date and thus the anachronistic error, but they were totally wrong.  Granted, I was only 8 when they filmed this movie so they had no way of knowing my dumb ass would be scrutinizing this room almost 30 years later, but still.

So, I tried to identify both of the other Miami Dolphins items on this shelf, the 1973 book/binder and the plush toy, but couldn’t nail either of them down.  Anyone out there familiar with these?

**Update** Patrick over at Nerd Out With Me identified the book as the 1973 Miami Dolphins Yearbook!  What a weird concept, but also sorta neat…

$T2eC16VHJHgFFmKcrKZ5BSMiFLEKHg~~60_57

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8). 1978 Dukes of Hazzard General Lee toy

$(KGrHqJ,!ngFH5s2(sKWBSE7j2YI)g~~60_57

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9). Jacques Cousteau poster.

I loved spotting this poster.  It’s a nice way that the set designers tied in the sense of adventure and discovery subtly into the background of the film.

Alright, so now we’re going to jump forward 8 years to 1986 and David’s “prison” room at the NASA complex.  Granted, he was more or less being held against his will, subjected to a bunch of annoying pokes, prods, tests and 24 hour surveillance, but at least they treated him like the winner of Bozo’s Grand Prize Game with a ton of free toys.  Fair tradeoff?  At twelve I might have said yes…

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10). Ertl die-cast Space Shuttle with Booster Rockets

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11). Felix the Cat plush

12). Cobra Water Moccasin from the G.I. Joe toy line

cobra_water_moccasin_afa_80_11666337

13). Space Turbo game by Tomy

1940_1254454414914_Tomy_Space_Turbo

14). Radio Shack Constellation Finder

$(KGrHqZ,!ooFG4,dVYhYBR0PJ45e)Q~~60_3

15). Bachmann/Taiyo Porsche 935 Radio Control Car

$(KGrHqV,!i0FB1m47oRcBQwtTEDggw~~60_57

16). Panasonic RQ-44A Portable Cassette Player/Recorder

70s Panasonic Mod Red RQ-44A Portable Cassette Player  Recorder

17). Transformers Decepticon Shrapnel (leader of the Insecticons)

Shrapnel

18). Franklin Glo-Brite Orange Mike Schmidt Baseball

wpe18

Wow, the mother-load!  So much fun stuff here.  Also, as far as identifying that Glo-Brite baseball, it was all thanks to Mike Schmidt’s sweet mustache.  Starring at the packaging I knew it had to be officially branded by one of baseball’s great mustached pitchers, so it was either Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley or Mike Schmidt.  P.S. I totally had a Rollie Fingers glove as a kid…

There are a few things I wasn’t able to identify, in particular there is a carded yellow helicopter toy on the bed between the baseball mitt and the Porsche car.  But there’s also a book on space shuttles on the nightstand that I couldn’t figure out as well as a larger shuttle toy (model) on the opposite nightstand (shuttle toys are sort of generic and without any recognizable packaging it’s hard to tell who manufactured it without having it right in front of me.)  Also, maybe it’s just me, but in the film David seems shocked that the scientists are trying to keep him locked up for more than a couple of days.  You’d think all these toys would have been his first tip-off, considering the quantity and the fact that there are baseballs and gloves and junk.  I mean, when was he going to find the time to go out and play catch with Howard Hessman if he was just staying the night?

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19). LJN Rough Riders Tri-Ex K.I.T.T. from Knightrider

$(KGrHqJ,!jYE-dhyoBTiBPok2BVbYw~~60_12

20). LJN Rough Riders Tri-Ex Faceman’s Corvette from the A-Team

ljn ateam rough rider

Man, I love the card art on these Rough Riders batter powered cars.  They’re kind of fugly, but also endearingly cute at the same time.  Also note the second Shrapnel figure (or maybe the same toy just placed here as well.)

Anyway, as the camera very quickly panned across the room I noticed this gem out of the corner of my eye…

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21). G.I. Joe Sleeping Bag

Joe-Sleeping-Bag

Last, but not least…

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22). Radio Shack Electronic Space Voice (vocal changer.)

radio shack space voice

23). Blancmange “Lose Your Love” Music Video

Alright, the music video isn’t really a “thing” in the room per-se, but how could I not mention it?  That music video is sort of what my nightmares look like, complete with roasted turkeys and stretchy legs…

As far as the Space Voice goes, there were a ton of these electronic voice changers on the market branded for different toy lines in the 80s, but man, this Radio Shack model is rad.  I love the idea of walking around with a headset mic and a strap-on robot.  You’d never get the crap pummeled out of you for sporting this toy, never.

So, anything I missed?  Any ideas on the Miami Dolphin gear or that yellow helicopter I couldn’t identify?

Other Awesome Bedrooms I’ve covered…

Sara’s Room from Adventures in Babysitting

Eugene’s Room from The Monster Squad

Mikey’s room from the Goonies

Robbie’s room from Poltergeist

Ben’s room from The Explorers

Pee Wee’s room from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Elliot’s room from E.T.

Fred Savage’s room from The Princess Bride

Josh’s room from Big

  • Ben Rollier

    I LOVE this movie.

    Totally forgot about all that awesome crap NASA gives him. Nice one.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, it really holds up, and has some great voice work by Pee Wee…

  • Ben Rollier

    Not directly related to the stuff in his room but, I also feel that this movie has some of Alan Silvestri’s best work –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyNJ4198Z94

    That theme is awesome!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I think I have this on my iPod, need to pop it in while I exercise tonight…

  • Fit for Dragon*Con

    Awesome. These toys were too bourgeois for our family though. We were a Go Bot sort of bunch.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Go Bots are rad, like the 10 times cooler than a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car ’cause like they transformed and junk. And the Rolls Royce Limo figure had a freaking top hat!

  • Jason Kaphingst

    I was sure the Plush doll had to be the NFL Huddles line from the 80s, but it doesn’t look right. Maybe a knock off brand? Oh, and if you want to see lots of 80′s GI Joe goodness, check out the movie “The Boy who could Fly”. Fred Savage had TONS of GI Joe’s in that movie….I almost want to see it again to see which ones. And yes, I did see it back in 1986 in the theaters when I was 10. I don’t remember much from the movie other then that Fred Savages character buries his GI Joe figures in the back yard and freaks out at some point and tries to dig them up in the rain.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      I love that movie, though surprisingly it’s one I don’t own on DVD. Need to rectify that, and I totally agree, the G.I. Joe stuff is great. Also, good call on the Huddles, this one is shaped like a Dolphin, so I wonder if there was an offshoot line of animal mascot plushes? Hmmm, need to investigate…

      • DUSTINDUSTRIES

        Not sure if you have seen a new series called The Goldbergs which is set in the 80s and they have had to 80s the whole house on set in 2013. There is a GPK Adam Bomb sticker on the bedroom door and Ghostbusters poster on the wall. Also after rewatching the Boy Who Could Fly a few years ago I noticed the actor Fred Gwynne that played Herman Munster, I can`t remember if I had known that back in the 80s.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          Huh, I didn’t remember Gwynne in the flick. Should have this at home from Netflix…

  • http://nerdoutwithmeblog.blogspot.com/ Nerd Out With Me

    First off – I love your posts. These “Awesome 80′s Bedroom” posts are a lot of fun. If only you could make some cash doing them. Second – the 1973 binder is actually the 1973 Miami Dolphins Year book – by Mike Rathet. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miami-Dolphins-1973-yearbook-/121175277846

    I knew because I remember having the 1986 NY Giants Yearbook… and thinking it was a weird concept. LOL. Again… great posts!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Awesome, thanks! Totally updating and crediting you with the find!

      • http://nerdoutwithmeblog.blogspot.com/ Nerd Out With Me

        You are too kind. Have a great weekend!

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          No problem, thanks for helping out!

  • Jason Kaphingst

    That Plush doll on the shelf actually looks a lot like this Dan Marino Plush…..http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dan-Marino-Miami-Dolphins-Plush-Bean-Bag-Vintage-Original-Doll-081613ame-/251326997345?pt=US_Football_Fan_Shop&hash=item3a8441a361 – the Shoulder pads are a different color, but the Helmet/nose look the same….

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      I think you’re onto something Jason! The stripes on the helmet are a tad different, but with the evident 13 Dan Marino is certainly the man in plush form, and now that you brought that up I can see a tiny plush nose sticking down over the lip of the shelf! Good eye!

  • Darrin Vindiola

    Great movie.and even better breakdown brother!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Thanks Darrin!

  • Retromash

    Yet another awesome bedroom post. I wish you could do it as a college degree too! Or at least make the posts into a book or something. Great film. Great post. I still remember getting chills as a kid watching this movie when his 1980s Dad steps out into the light looking older.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Thanks! Yeah the transformation of his parents from happy to broken is pretty stark and heartbreaking. And every single time I watch this flick I forget that Matt Adler (Teen Wolf, North Shore, White Water Summer) plays the younger brother all grown up.

  • Ryan Fink

    Shawn, I love this series of posts. It’s like nothing esle I see online and it taps DIRECTLY into my inner geek and 80′s nostalgia. I love how much stuff you and others are able to identify, too. The anthropological implications of set dressing for these films is incredibly interesting in terms of reflecting our culture of the time, most specifically the movie production folks who made the decisions what was included.
    Keep these coming, my friend. Great work.
    Ryan

  • Joshua Raymond

    Fun stuff. I didn’t have a lot of educational toys when I was a kid, but I had the ant farm and the microscope from this post. The ant farm was a bust, I think they all died after a couple of weeks.

    The microscope was awesome, though. I got it for Christmas, and my uncle Doug had a scab on his knee, which he broke open so I could get some blood on a slide. I labeled the slide “Doug Blood.” You could see all of the blood cells swimming around, which was a trip.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, I’ve always been curious how those Ant Farms held up (same with Sea Monkeys, neither of which I ever had.) Also, awesome that you got a chance to see “Doug” blood, that sounds cool. Never really got to play with microscopes much in high school either…

  • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

    Really great idea with these posts. Have you done any tv shows?

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Hey Jason, I’ve started combing through Silver Spoons, but I need to check Punky Brewster…

      • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

        That was actually the two I was thinking. Maybe different strokes too.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          I also kinda want to go and check on Jennifer’s room (if it appears) int he earlier seasons of Family Ties, and Joey’s room from Gimmie a Break… :)

  • Jason Lillard

    Great post! I always love spotting old stuff in movies. Matt over at Dino-Drac has done a few posts like this in the past. He actuall did one for FotN. Not sure if you were aware, but check it out.

    http://dinosaurdracula.com/blog/flight-of-the-navigator-toys/

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah that’s the one of the aspects about pop culture sites, especially 80s-influenced ones, crossover as it’s such a shared-experience decade. We all watched the same flicks over and over, and it’s certainly what heightens the nostalgia on the internet since we’re all so familiar with the movies, toys, books, collectables and TV from our childhood. Matt’s FotN breakdown is way funnier than mine for sure…

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