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!)
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
2). Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm
3). ERTL/AMT 1959 Corvette model
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
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
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
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.)
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?