Tag Archives: Cassette Tapes

Oh wow man, that Tayble really ties the room together…

Ever since becoming an actual home owner this past year my outlook on spending money has changed drastically.  I’ve curbed most of my spending on my various collections in lieu of saving enough money to make sure I can afford things like mortgage payments, much higher electric bills, and buying the small stuff like new roofs (that one hurt even though we knew about it when we bought the place.)  So no more toys, Garbage Pail Kids, 35 year-old mom magazines, or animation cels.  Though this has certainly been an adjustment, the upside to this is that I’ve been totally retraining my brain when it comes to larger purchases.  When you nickel and dime yourself, picking up a bunch of small stuff here and there you really don’t feel the impact on your wallet, and it’s not until years later when you look back and wonder where all the money went.  Scanning your shelves you could probably pick out a pricey treasured item or two, but you probably don’t see thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in the collection per se.  But when you do save up for a bit and bite the bullet and make a larger purchase, that item tends to jump right out at you every time you walk past it.  The first time you buy a new bed, couch, or refrigerator you tend to appreciate that item more than the rarest toy you might have (or at least, that’s been my experience.)

So, when I stumbled upon a small company specializing in designing and manufacturing a very particular, retro-inspired, piece of furniture, a piece of furniture I just happened to be in in the market for, I got pretty damn excited.  But let me back up for a second.  The significant other and I have been slowly making this new house we bought into our home, one room at a time.   One of the areas we’ve been concentrating on is out cozy basement.  Jaime is a video game nut, so we’ve been slowly turning the basement into a sort of retro clubhouse.  Embarrassingly large TV?  Check.  Comfy overstuffed furniture for maximum marathon gaming comfort?  Check.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle arcade cabinet marquee lightbox?  Check.  But something’s been missing, something we can set our snacks on, or set up the Lego Dimensions portal on so that we’re not jumping up constantly to move our minifigs around.  We’ve been needing a coffee table, but nothing was really grabbing us, nothing was fun or retro enough to really speak to us.  That is until this past week when I discovered Taybles!

taybleslogo

I stumbled on the Taybles site after posting a picture of a cherished Some Kind of Wonderful cassette soundtrack on Instagram.  The Taybles crew happened to like the photo, and out of curiosity I clicked through to their account and I practically fell out of my chair when I saw what they were up to…

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Just look at that beautiful cassette tape table!  I was immediately in love and absolutely had to have one.  Jaime and I love dead media and this would be such a great way to solve our coffee table needs while also bringing in a much needed bit of retro fun into the space.  It’s just too perfect. Constructed out of birch hardwood in a number of different natural stains, these tables aren’t just pretty to look at, they’re also pretty functional as well.  The exposed tape section on the one side flips down to expose a hidden shelf where you can store TV remotes or wireless Playstation controllers.  And the sunken tape holes are stainless steel cup holders (with embedded leds for some rad mood lighting.) I kind of want to marry this table.

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Of course, like most things this freaking rad that I want for the house, these Taybles were a bit pricey.  Okay, they’re downright expensive as hell.  All of the selections on their website range somewhere in between $1600 to $2300 dollars.  As much as we need a wicked awesome coffee table, there’s no way we can justify that price.  I did consider not eating lunch for a few years, but in the end I resigned myself to never kicking my feet up on an oversized cassette tape.

But just as I was about to give up on attaining the perfect coffee table, a ray of hope broke through the clouds.  I saw that there was an impending Taybles Kickstarter campaign on the way and I decided it was worth it to sign up for the mailing list.  Then, yesterday I received a bit of news that got me excited all over again.  According to the e-mail, the Kickstarter was going to have the coffee tables up at the much more affordable price of $250!  Well, the campaign went live today and low and behold there are indeed two new models that they’re making available at a much more attainable price…

Whereas the tables on their main site are considered part of the “A-Side” collection, these Kickstarter tables are the “B-Sides”.  They’re almost identical to the originals, except they lack the led lighting in the cup holders and instead of birch, these B-Sides are made of fir.  Though fir isn’t a hardwood, it is one of the more dense and hard of the soft woods and is a much more readily available and cheaper wood.  This is a pretty small trade off for making these tables well over a grand cheaper.  The B-Side collection is available in two difference color schemes, classic black and retro brown….

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And as an added cool factor, the tabletops on these B-Sides are manufactured of whiteboard material so you can customize your own mixtape titles for special occasions!

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The kickstarter has only been live for just over 12 hours and they’ve already raised about $20k towards the $35k goal, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet that this project is going to meet its funding.  If you’re in the market for a supremely awesome piece of furniture that really ties the room together you might want to jump on this kickstarter before its March 21st end date.  I’m not sure if the company has any plans to offer these B-Sides after the kickstarter.  $250 might still seem a bit high for a coffee table, but I can attest that taking a break from picking up vintage toys, comics, and collectibles for a few months is totally worth the savings so that you can pick up a rad piece of furniture like this.

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If you end up backing this project do me a favor and tell them that Branded sent ya, and after you’ve pledged, come back here and let me know which version you’re picking up.  Me?  I’m going for the classic black…

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Taking a Closer Look at an Awesome Bedroom!

I was recently inspired by Tim over at Flashlights Are Something to Eat and Johnny at Freddy in Space to finally get off my butt and write about a topic I’ve been meaning to get to for what seems like forever, namely, taking an awesome 80s film and finding cool stuff in the background that makes said film even more awesome.  Specifically I wanted to take a closer look at some of the kid’s bedrooms that I kind of obsess over.  Not sure if I’m going to make this a reoccurring column just yet, but either way I wanted to focus on just one room today.  Probably my favorite kid’s bedroom in an 80s flick, let’s take a closer look at Sara’s room  from 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting!

Adventures in Babysitting

So, Matt at Dinosaur Dracula recently wrote about this room, mainly to point out the inclusion of a certain plush toy that I’ll get to in a minute, and pretty much anyone who has seen this flick knows that Sara is mildly obsessed with a nordic Marvel character that goes by the name Thor (ever heard of him?), but there is a metric ton of other cool stuff in this room…

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So, let’s take a look at what I was able to spy in the room.  In the screen shot above we of course have a ton of Thor references (which I haven’t numbers because that was just going to get out of hand) including the large cut-out standee on the wall to the right, the wicked awesome Thor bedspread, the Thor Halloween mask hanging from the right bedpost, and the super cool drawing of Thor on the rainbow bridge to the upper left of the bed.  So, what else is hiding in this image…

1). A Wrinkles Puppy puppet plush made by Ganz in the early 80s.

2). A Geoffrey the Giraffe Toys ‘R Us plush

3). A Cabbage Patch Kids plush.

4). Transformers Walkie Talkie (the 2nd handset in in another shot)

5). Giant Donald Duck coloring book.

Here’s a closer look at that Transformers Walkie Talkie and the Wrinkles plush…

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There’s some sort of big action figure behind the walkie talkie that I can’t place (purple, yellow and red with a silver head), any guesses?

*UPDATE #1* You guys are quick!  Huge thanks go out to Jaime of Shezcrafti.com and Matt of Geektarded for solving a couple of the toy mysteries!  As Ms. Hood points out in the comments, the large plush on the bed is none other than one of the Pillow People, in particular Punky Pillow!

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Dr. Geektarded identified the toy behind the Transformers Walkie Talkie as an Inter-Changeables Cosmobot, a re-colored Micronauts Biotron figure.

Inter-Changeables Cosmobot

Photo from Microforever.com

This sequence moves pretty fast as the camera pans across the room, so most of these shots are kind of blurry, but let’s take a look at another shot a few frames past the first…

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The Thor reference count now jumps from 4 to 7 as there are two more drawings on the art desk and a third on the floor next to the dresser.  But what else is there to spy in the room?

6). AMToy Super Pickle Hot Dog Plush hanging from the ceiling…

7). A Rainbow Brite plush, the Sprite known as Sparks (and this is the second series Hatful Sparks – ’cause he has an Indian headdress…)

8). A super rad poster of Jelly Beans that I felt I had to point to…

*UPDATE #2* I don’t know where that Hot Dog is from (Thanks to Jack Frost for solving the Hot Dog mystery!), but I managed to find a clearer picture, as well as a better one of Sparks…

Spark Hot Dog

Moving right along, here’s out next screen shot…

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Okay, I’m officially going to give up counting Thor references because there are like a billion on the floor by Sara.  I will say that it’s rad how often she can be seen sporting the Thor helmet.  More importantly, this shot has two more awesome background elements…

9). A Lots-a-Lots-a-Legggggs plush toy.

10). Probably my favorite background spotting, a 1985 Transformers Soundwave Cassette Player by Durham Industries that actually plays full size tapes (many thanks go to Steve at the Roboplastic Apocalypse for helping me identify this rad piece)!  I had never heard of this tape player existing before I spotted the over-sized Soundwave in the background.  So cool!

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**UPDATE** I missed a couple of toys when I initially wrote this post back in 2013.  In the screen shot above and below you can clearly see two Madballs on top of Sarah’s dresser to the left of the Lotsaleggs, namely Wolf Breath and Lock Lips.  Can’t believe I missed these!

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There was one straggler that I couldn’t get into the same screen shot with the last two, another favorite spotting in this room…

11). A Darth Vader “The Force” Light Saber from 1983!  I had Luke’s green one form Return of the Jedi.  For those that don’t remember, these had hollow plastic blades that were designed to catch the air to make some pretty wicker saber noises.  Reis at the Dork Horde has a great write up about his Vader Saber

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Next up we have three more Thor sitings with another large standee, the light switch cover above it (not on the actual light switch as it’s one of those weird paddle switches) an another drawing above that.  And on the shelf to the right…

12). Transformers Dinobots Snarl wall clock from Concept Clocks (which happens to have a reversible image plate with the Insecticon Bombshell on the other side!)  It’s so damn rad that Sara is also a major Transformers fan…

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In the above shot you can get a better look at that Thor drawing on the wall (and there’s another off to the right.)  But let’s take a look at the bookshelves shall we…

13). A Disney Fluppy Puppy plush.

14). A 2nd set of Transformers Walkie Talkies, this one shaped like Optimus Prime

*UPDATE #3* I have no idea what that red plush is next to the Transformers clock.  It looks like it has a ton of sharp teeth though. *Thanks to Newton G. of Infinite Hollywood for identifying the red toothy plush as LB the Bounder from Teddy Ruxpin!

Optimus Fluppy

LB the Bounder Teddy Ruxpin

And for the last screenshot, a much more recognizable background item…

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15). A My Pet Monster plush.  Always wanted one.  Never got one.

So there you have it.  Sara from Adventures in Babysitting has a pretty darn awesome bedroom filled with all kinds of rad toys,  a lot of which I wished I had as a kid.  Did you spot anything that I missed?

*UPDATE #4Can anyone identify the grey and red robot by Sara’s feet?  Thanks to Jason Brown for identifying the robot at Sara’s feet as none other than a Radio Shack Robie the Robot remote control robot!

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Other Awesome Bedrooms I’ve covered…

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

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