Awesome 80s Bedrooms: Pee-wee’s Big Adventure Edition

By Shawn Robare

In my quest to search through and document all the fun junk in 80s era pop culture bedrooms there are a few films that I thought I was going to have to skip over because I figured there wouldn’t be much fun 80s stuff.  Like say, Stand By Me, which features a scene in Gordie’s room, but being set in 1959 it kind of rules itself out in terms of rad 80s stuff.  Similarly I knew that there was a super cool room in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure but honestly I didn’t remember much in the way of stuff that would make much sense to talk about here.  I mean Pee-wee, and most likely Tim Burton, is really deep into the whole kitsch movement of collecting and decorating (he was close friends with Allee Willis, the Queen of Kitsch), and a lot of that stuff hails from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Sure, there are definitely things in the 80s that would eventually become kitsch, but I figured they’d be largely absent from his room.  Well, I stuck the film in the other night just to scope out his room anyway, and I was surprised by a handful of the items I saw laying around and figured, what the heck, lets dissect Pee-wee’s bedroom…

Pee Wees Big Adventure

Before I get into, I just want to say that I’m not documenting every single thing in the room (or house as lets be realistic here, that whole place is worthy of dissection.)  For one, there’s just too much stuff, and for another, a lot of it is pretty much beyond the scope of this site and my pop culture knowledge.  I will try and point out a couple things from the 50s and 60s I recognize, but I’m not gonna beat myself up over missing stuff…

pee wee 2

1). Ultraman, Godzilla and some T-Rex plastic dinosaurs…

2). Zoids Gojulas (for Godzilla-esque Zoid)

zoids gojulas

3). Howdy Doody puppet

4). Giant Stripe from LJN’s Gremlins line


So, if I’m learning anything from some of the recent rooms I’ve been studying, it’s that the Gremlins was way more popular that I remembered.  I mean stuff shows up in The Explorers (granted, directed by Joe Dante), Goonies, and now Pee-wee’s Big Adventure!  As for the rest of the stuff in this screen shot, there’s some sort of Disney Pluto statue or toy (not sure), a giant coloring book I can’t make out, some toys in boxes on the floor and a bunch of dolls hanging from the ceiling and beams around the Howdy Doody puppet.

pee wee 1

5). Gilbert Stuart’s unfinished portrait of George Washington


6). Giant Gumby Toy

7). Mr. Potato Head

8). Late 60’s Red Tin Batmobile

late 60s era Japanese tin Batmobile

9). Saturn Robot

Saturn Toy Robot

10). Huckleberry Hound Marionette

11). Disney Drum Set from the 70s

Disney 70s era drum set

Again, there’s a lot to process in this shot, from the evil-eyed ostrich with the African pigmy warrior on its back to the giant wooden Jack-o-lantern man sitting on the windowsill.  Looks like there’s a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica there, a weird UFO diorama, there’s a toy train around the fireman’s pole, multiple fire truck toys, and a little wooden alligator pull toy.  Again, lots to take in…

pee wee 3

12). Bambi rug

I’ll be honest, I never noticed what was on this rug because I was always transfixed by the utter cuteness of Pee-wee putting on the bunny slippers and having them go after that weird anthropomorphic carrot!  So, that’s the bulk of the stuff in his room, but I’m going to go ahead and look at a few more rooms just because there is so much fun stuff…

pee wee 4

13). Mister Action Scuba Diver (though it might be a MA Scuba outfit on another doll, not sure if these came in all sorts of varieties, with/without beard, etc.)

Mister Action Scuba Diver

14). Bugs Bunny Electric Toothbrush Set

Bugs Bunny elestric toothbrush set

Is, uh, Bugs giving me the finger?  I think he’s giving me the finger.  “Eh, brush up, Doc!” indeed…

pee wee 5

15). Planters Cheez Curls can

Planters Cheese Curls

16). E.T. metal lunchbox

ET Lunchbox

So, I wanted to point out the can of Planters Cheez Curls because, one, I miss the ever living crap out of them and used to eat them all the time, and also because I still think it’s weird to see non-nut products from Planters.  Seriously though, I prefer the Planters Cheez Curls and Balls over Cheetos any day.

So last, but certainly not least, I felt it was only appropriate to point to the super fun sprinkler system outside…

pee wee 6

17). Whammo Willy Water Bug

Whamo Willy Water Bug

So, anything I missed, or anything from a an earlier decade that you feel deserves a mention?  Oh, and I’m well aware that I left out the Mr. T cereal ’cause that one’s pretty obvious…

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

David’s room from Flight of the Navigator

Robbie’s room from Poltergeist

Ben’s room from The Explorers

Elliot’s room from E.T.

Fred Savage’s room from The Princess Bride

Josh’s room from Big

  • Nicely done, again. It’s like a treasure hunt each time you post these.

    I had that Willy Water Bug. I used to put it at the front of my slip-n-slide. One summer we left it and the slide on for so long we created an awesome mud slide in the backyard. We just peeled back the slip-n-slide and slid in the grassy mud. My dad was furious when he came home from work…

    • Thanks, that’s how I feel going into the DVDs. There are so many films that I’ve seen a million times but haven’t really “seen” if you know what I mean.

      That’s an awesome memory about the Water Bug and the Slip ‘N Slide. I only attempted a SNS once, it was not pretty…

  • It’s funny, as many times as I have seen this movie over the years I never really stopped to look at everything that Pee-Wee had in his house. I would catch things here or there, but not like I get to with your post. It was fun to really check it all out. Very cool!

    • Same here. If nothing else these posts are getting me to look at these films I’ve seem a million times with new eyes…

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  • Paxton Holley

    I grew up on those Planters Cheez Curls. Ate them by the can, which, btw, I LOVED that they came in a can. I think my early love of Cheez Curls informs my current love of Cheetos to this day. I too loved the Planters Cheez Ballz as well.

    I can’t remember any more if Cheez Curls were better or not than Cheetos. I know I loved them and I think the taste was pretty close, but I can’t say with any certainty that Cheez Curlz were better than current Cheetos.

    • There was something about their flavor, a little more intense maybe? Maybe it was just that they seemed to stay fresher in the can. Just know I miss them since they’re not sold in my area (though I think they might actually still be available…)

      • PostAmerican

        Kinda greasy

    • Silent but Deadly

      Every time I’d sleep over at my grandparent’s they would have a can of the cheese balls for me. Best cheese balls ever.

      • Totally agree. They were just the right amount of salty, greasy goodness.

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  • FresnoTeacher

    Just saw this lined by PeeWee on Facebook. If you are still doing this and want a huge task, inventory PeeWees Playhouse.

    • Oh man, I might have to do that sometime. Thank is a great idea, and thank for stopping by to read this piece!

      • FresnoTeacher

        Thanks for replying. I was born in 1974 so the 80s were my most formative years and I often look at the props in tv and movies, too. I wonder, of all the things you’ve inventoried, is worth the most today. No one had the stretch Armstrong bad guy? I heard that’s worth thousand. Thanks again. Keep up the good work! By the way, I’m a high school history teacher not coincidently because of films like Back to the Future that introduced me to the past.

        • That’s awesome that watching flicks like BTTF in your formative years helped put you on the path to becoming a teacher. The fact that the pop culture we all love so much could have a positive effect like that is pretty darn cool in my book.

          As far as what might be worth the most, that red tin Batmobile has sold for as much as $3000!

  • Joseph Rouleau

    Two of those monster figures on his window sill are also characters from Ultraman

    • Oh rad! That’s an area where my knowledge is pretty weak. I’ve seen a couple episode of the series but not enough to know the villains and other characters all that well. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Ryan Steinhardt

    how are we so sure #15 is the Cheez curls and not the cheez balls?

    • When I zoomed in on that scene on the Blu-Ray it was pretty clearly curl shapes on the can and not the balls. Honestly, either would be awesome as I loved both as a kid…

  • PostAmerican

    Mmm Planters cheese balls in the can!!

    • Right?! Love and miss the heck out of those things…

  • Johnny

    Very informative. I never caught some of these

    • Thanks, and thanks for stopping by! Love deconstructing movie bedrooms like this one…

  • Melanie Adams

    i’ve watched pee wee a million times and i used to constantly try to see what all the stuff in the rooms was! this was cool to see.

    • Thanks Melanie, and thanks for stopping by to read the piece. I love doing these 80s room breakdowns, so much fun trying to identify all the cool stuff…

  • I saw this at the theater as a child and seeing all the stuff he had in his house was always my favorite part of the movie. I used to think Pee-wee really was a kid when I was a child.

    Also, I prefer this house over his playhouse in the television series and comedy stage show because while this was still pretty flamboyant it was more realistic. The TV/stage version was more obvious that it was a set.

    • I have to agree that this is my favorite version of Pee-wee’s “house”. Grounded in reality, yet not in the perfect balance.

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  • KikaidaLibre

    There is a red king toy next to the godzilla and ultraman toy.

    • Wow, again, this is totally my weak spot when it comes to pop culture. That Japanese stuff always makes me guess. Thanks for pointing to this!

  • Dan Challis

    Somebody in my family had that E.T. lunchbox, but I don’t think it was me. I’d completely forgotten about Planters Cheez Curls and Cheez Balls. Apparently they stopped making them in 2006, but I don’t think I’ve had any since the 90’s. I was actually surprised to see they made them as recently as the mid-00’s.

    • Yeah, I keep crossing my fingers that Planters will bring them back. Not sure what they did to make them taste so good, but I miss the crap out of them…