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…


1). Tasco Deluxe Microscope Set

Turquoise Tasco Deluxe high-quality microscope set

2). Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm


3). ERTL/AMT 1959 Corvette model

ertl amt 59 Corvette

4). Wooden Brontosaurus Puzzle


5). Coleco Table Top Pac-Man Arcade Game


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.


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…



8). 1978 Dukes of Hazzard General Lee toy



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…


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


11). Felix the Cat plush

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


13). Space Turbo game by Tomy


14). Radio Shack Constellation Finder


15). Bachmann/Taiyo Porsche 935 Radio Control Car


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)


18). Franklin Glo-Brite Orange Mike Schmidt Baseball


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?


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


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…


21). G.I. Joe Sleeping Bag


Last, but not least…


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.

    • 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 –>

    That theme is awesome!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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…


        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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Jason Kaphingst

    That Plush doll on the shelf actually looks a lot like this Dan Marino Plush….. – the Shoulder pads are a different color, but the Helmet/nose look the same….

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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…

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

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

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

        • 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.

    • 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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  • I never thought to check out the details of these bedrooms but now it’s fascinating to see what’s there. That Coleco Tabletop Pac-Man LED game would not have been around for another 4-5 years in that 1978 bedroom, but I guess they couldn’t find one of these by Tomy…

    I would also accept one of the Mattel Shogun Warrior robot figures too!

    • Yeah, I give the set decorators an A for effort on the 1978 room, though there are some issues with timing. The NASA room totally makes up for that though!

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  • Guest

    I think the only issue I ever had was how neat and artificially placed everything looks. A real kids bedroom is chaos.

    • True, though I had a friend growing up who was super fastidious bordering on insane. He kept all of his transformers in their original boxes ordered neatly in his dresser, as well as having all of his G.I. Joe figures rubberbanded to their corresponding file cards, stored in clear buckets in his closet. So, maybe David had this kind of orderly personality ;)

    • That might be true about the 70’s room but not the latter one from “the future” since that was just an observation room at NASA where the kid stuff was just a facade so to speak. A cool facade though I wished I could have all the stuff in that room as a kid. I think the latter did get a tad messy after he was in there for a while though.

      Also, it’s pretty true that some kids where super fastidious. I spent part of my childhood being messy and part of it being fastidious.. I started being neat around 10 years old. I used to tidy up my room and then spray air freshener when done. :P

      • Exactly, and you also have to take into account that like you mention, the “future” room was set up for him.

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  • Phil Smith

    YES! A fellow Flight of the Navigator fan! This is the ultimate 80s Disney SciFi movie for me next to TRON. I just LOVE it. I was fortunate to have first owned a copy of it on VHS tape back in 1988, then the DVD, more recently the BluRay of it and even the rare SOUNDTRACK to the film! The movie is one that I am eventually going to be recording a commentary for on an Audio Commentary series I do called ‘Phil’s Phlicks’. I even had a chance to meet actress Vernoica Cartwright from the film last Spring who let me know some interesting behind-the-scenes stories while making the film! Great job finding all of these!

    • Very cool (and sorry I missed this comment until now.) Have you recorded the commentary yet?

  • Ginger Murri

    Why does the kid in the movie always carry that backpack around?

    • I think at the beginning it was because he had a bunch of stuff packed in it for the day trip the family was taking, so he had it with him later on after he was stranded in the future.

  • Ian Sherman

    That’s no book on the nightstand near the Ertl Space Shuttle; it’s actually one of these Lauri puzzles—you know, the crepe rubber kind.

    • Oh cool! I was unfamiliar with those. Thanks for pointing that out Ian!

  • dial_tone1

    I believe that that’s a 1981 MASH toy helicopter, probably by Tonka on the top of David’s shelf in image 2 (with numbers 6 and 7) – also an anachronism,