Return of the Living Podcast!

By Shawn Robare

So, one of the small projects I’ve been working on this past month is the resurrection of the Branded in the 80s Podcast.  It’s been over five years since I last recorded an episode of the show and even though I find solo-podcasting terribly frustrating, I’ve always missed it a little.  I started this site with the podcast and for the 10th anniversary I felt it would be a fun challenge to see if I could dust off the show, clean it up a bit and put a new coat of wax on it.  I’m not sure how long this new incarnation might last, but I intend to try and keep it going throughout the rest of the summer at the very least…

Branded Podcast Logo

For the first new episode of the show I decided to sit down and record some thoughts on the return of Hi-C Ecto Cooler and why it might be a good experiment to try and find the positive aspects of the pop culture we love and love to gripe about.  I’m still playing around with the format a bit, so excuse me while I make a fool of myself.

There are a few ways you can snag new episodes of the show.  I’ve submitted it to iTunes and Stitcher, so those avenues should go live soon, but until then you can subscribe to the RSS feed or right click and download the first episode here.  You can also stream it via the player below or on the Branded Facebook page.

So for all two of you who have been asking for it, yes, the Branded in the 80s podcast is back.  For now…

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  • Steve L.K. Macrocranios

    It’s funny but for the longest time I’ve been nostalgic for my early days of listening to the Bit80s podcast! How cazy is it that it’s been ten years?! I understand how doing a solo show can feel awkward and it seemingly goes against every bit of podcasting conventional wisdom, but thanks for revisiting it. I guess I’m that demographic that really digs hearing one person just waxing emotional and nostalgic about interests along the lines of my own.

    It would be nice to hear sort of a behind the scenes of whatever articles you are currently writing and what’s going on at the blog. It might even be easy to knock out a couple minutes of podcast that way since you’re bound to have leftover thoughts or ideas that didn’t make it onto the blog.

    There sure does seem to be a lot of fandom pushback on rehashings/relaunchings of older brands. I’ve observed it from a couple perspectives. Sometimes I am the guy too obsessed with the resurrected brand and sometimes I get to be an outsider looking in. The turtles were the last 80s cartoon I was excited about before I got bored with cartoons so I never got really into it like I did with other 80s stuff but I did read the early comics and watch the first episodes. I was able to monitor the rise of TMNT’s popularity from its beginnings without really getting emotionally invested in it. So I can kind of understand why people would get upset about the newest movies’ changes to the canon, but at the end of he day it seems silly for any grown adult to get upset about stuff like this.

    I sort of used to identify as a hardcore Transformers fan but as I got more into it I became more embarrased by that fandom’s antics than not, especially around the time of the first Bay movie. I didn’t even know there were hardcore Ghostbusters fans so I was shocked to see all these masters thesis style rants on YouTube about how horrible the new movie is from militant people who haven’t seen it yet. How embarrasing for that fandom.

    What you touched on and what the hardcore anti-fans fail to see is that a rising tide lifts all boats. Every successful Transformer movie has always had the side effect of making Hasbro a bit more willing to put out product catering to the nostalgic fan in addition to whatever movie based product they do. I’ll bet there’s been more 80s based Transformer character licensing in the last ten years than what we ever got from 84-90, and most if not all of it is better than what we had the first time.

    I am sure that without that new movie I would not be seeing classic Ghostbusters figures for mass retail prices on the shelves at Wal-Mart today. Haters gonna hate, even when what they hate also gives them something to love. It is in their best interest to support whatever does come around in the hopes that future incarnations will cater more to their tastes. But they have to support the brand now or risk losing future large scale marketing pushes.

    • I know! First off, thanks for sticking around and for being one of the supremely cool folks that actually wanted to see the show come back. I know I was mostly a lurker but I downloaded and listened to the Roboplastic Podcastalypse at every opportunity I could.

      As far as the fandom thing goes, yeah, like I said in this episode, I appreciate where the anger comes from, but it’s the showing it or spewing it at everyone on social media where I think it gets out of hand. Like you said, without those Bayformers movies we probably wouldn’t have any of the cool stuff we do have on the shelves. There wouldn’t be a 30th anniversary edition of the ’86 movie coming to Blu-Ray. So yeah. And you know what, I’ll take that sentiment that the new relaunches don’t change our love for the original one step farther. I’m working with a new group of folks and not too long ago I was teamed up with this guy that a lot of my co-workers feel is a real handful. He’s a little crazy and all over the place, but the other day we were working on a project and I was absentmindedly saying “Baw Weep Grana Weep Ninibon” under my breath and he looked at me with startled eyes. We got to talking about the 86 Transformers movie and you know what, this was the first time in 30 years he’s ever talked to someone else about it. We had a great conversation and not once did the Bayformers even come up.

  • LordToastButter

    just started listening to your pod-cast a few weeks ago. Love it. Had to comment on the 80s work place discussion. At my job we have two major age groups – “retired” 50’s+ were this is their post-retirement job for extra cash, etc and the young “millennials” the 20-25 year olds. (Can’t stand the term or the fact that I am lumped in with them since I was born in 80) Anyway, These young millennials have such a different view of life, and a different childhood from us. Sat. morning / weekday afternoon cartoons, toys, games, tv, marketing, etc totally different that they look at me in wonder or that I have 8 heads as I go on a tare with one of the few fellow 80s kids I work with that I have to both laugh and cry…. Quick question / possible suggestion – Have you conducted a pod-cast on “banned” / “taboo” toys/clothing/etc that were either officially banned ie the BSG spring-loaded rocket launcher or were unofficially banned / urban-legend-y looked down upon, or that your parents just would not allow you to have – such as for me Laser-Tag… at least here in central md. My parents would not allow me to get any Laser-Tag toys, they shared an example of a group of kids getting shot by police while they played with the toys etc, and it was not just my parents, as many of my friends suffered the same fate, iirc there were only 1 or 2 kids in my entire grade level at school that had any laser-tag gear .

    • First off, thanks for listening, and I can totally see what you’re saying when it comes tot he divide between millennials and 80s kids. We’re only a few years apart, but you’re right, so many of the things that defined our childhoods were different. Everything is so disposable to them it seems and their familiarity or knowledge of pop culture junk and technology that came before them is so limited. I’m talking with 22 to 26 year olds who don’t know what the NES is for crying out loud. I mean, I get some of the older systems like the Coleco, Atari or what have you, but NES?! That was still going strong in the early 90s. Makes me feel old. I literally had to describe from scratch what record players were to a couple of them. Like the concept was completely lost on them. This kind of kills me because I remember having an eye to the stuff that came before my time, or at least a familiarity with the peaks of pop culture from the 50s, 60s, and 70s as a kid. Different times these days.
      As far as an episode on banned/frowned upon pop culture, that’s a really great idea. I know for me there were a handful of films that I was forbidden to see (Texas Chainsaw Massacre for instance) and at my middle school in Florida we were banned from wearing heavy metal or hip hop t-shirts to school because they were considered gang paraphernalia. I was sent home from middle school for wearing a Metallica shirt once. Also, my folks took that Mazes & Monsters movie to heart and there was an unspoken ban specifically on playing Dungeons and Dragons because of it. Roleplaying wasn’t excluded, just that system.
      Thanks again for listening and chiming in!