Tag Archives: disney

Awesome 80s Bedrooms: Flight of the Navigator Edition

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…

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1). Tasco Deluxe Microscope Set

Turquoise Tasco Deluxe high-quality microscope set

2). Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm

vintage-ant-farm

3). ERTL/AMT 1959 Corvette model

ertl amt 59 Corvette

4). Wooden Brontosaurus Puzzle

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5). Coleco Table Top Pac-Man Arcade Game

coleco-tabletop-pac-man-system

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.

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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…

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8). 1978 Dukes of Hazzard General Lee toy

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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…

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

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11). Felix the Cat plush

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

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13). Space Turbo game by Tomy

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14). Radio Shack Constellation Finder

$(KGrHqZ,!ooFG4,dVYhYBR0PJ45e)Q~~60_3

15). Bachmann/Taiyo Porsche 935 Radio Control Car

$(KGrHqV,!i0FB1m47oRcBQwtTEDggw~~60_57

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)

Shrapnel

18). Franklin Glo-Brite Orange Mike Schmidt Baseball

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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?

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

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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…

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21). G.I. Joe Sleeping Bag

Joe-Sleeping-Bag

Last, but not least…

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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

Smuckers missed the boat by not having a tie-in neon blueberry flavored Tron jam…

Though I feel completely like a child of the 80s, I have to say that being born in 1977 there were a handful of 80s pop culture events in which I completely missed the boat.  Tron and the boom of arcade gaming are a couple  phenomena that I didn’t get to really immerse myself in as a kid.  Sure, I had an Atari 2600 (bought at a garage sale) after the big home console crash, and I was a full-blown Nintendo kid, but I didn’t catch a screening of Tron until only a few years ago.  In fact, aside from a vague idea of the iconography of the arcade console (in particular the awesomely large joystick) and what the characters in the flick more or less looked like, I was largely unaware of the film.

My childhood video game movie experience surrounded flicks like the Wizard, Wargames, and the Last Starfighter.  I’ve met so many people at work over the last 10 years that attribute Tron as the incipience of their awakening to the potential of computer technology and quite possibly the reason that they entered the IT field as a career.   Having never experienced a film like Tron and being exposed to the idea of anthropomorphizing the inner workings of a computer, I never saw the excitement inherent in programming and computing.  Like most people, it took the wide acceptance of the internet to open my eyes.  Because of that I’ll always probably feel a little left behind.

On the bright side, getting a chance to catch up with the film as an adult I can both appreciate some of the more technical aspects to the conceptual nature of the flick, and it gives me the unique opportunity to discover something new and nostalgic.  It’s rare that I get a chance to stumble upon something from the 80s that I’m either not familiar with or have been inundated with during the last 10 years of the 80s nostalgic resurgence.  For that I’m thankful.  Because of this and because of the news of the new sequel over the last couple of years I’ve been keeping and eye out for any bits of scan-able Tron ephemera, in particular vintage advertisements.  Here are a few I’ve found while flipping through old issues of Woman’s Day and Muppet magazines…

First up is this 1982 ad for Dial and Tone bar soap with a mail-away coupon for a discounted Tron beach towel.  Featuring the static hero pose of the titular character, this towel is one of the few times when I think that image is successfully striking.  I’m always curious how many of these mail-away items make it into the public (and it’s not like old beach towels get proffered up on ebay all that often), so it’s cool when you can find some photographic evidence of these items.  Thanks to Hillary over at I’m Remembering for coaxing her readers into submitting old photos for her site…

Next up is this 1982 Smuckers ad for strawberry jam and the in-store special offer for a free Tron Futuristic Adventure Book with the purchase of a bottle of preserves.   Maybe not as cool as a collectable jelly glass with Tron characters and scenes, but the book did come with a fold-out 17″x22″ poster, and featured games, puzzles and stickers!  I’ve seen a couple of Tron sticker sheets over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever laid eyes on the stickers from this free book.

Last, but not least, is this 1984 holiday ad from Disney Home Video featuring a VHS copy of Tron.  Back in ’84 this cassette copy of Tron was a steal at $39.95 (msrp at the time was a whopping $84.95.)  This was back before most people had started purchasing movies for their home libraries, and videos were largely still priced for the rental market.   Also, at first I was pretty excited when I flipped to this ad in the back of an issue of Muppet magazine because I though the video came with a free Tron ornament.  How cool would that have been?  Well, even though there is that die-cut gold Tron disc on the packaging, the ornament is actually the image on the top left featuring Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Still a cool ornament, but not nearly as cool as one featuring Tron.

There is another thing that stuck out to me in this ad.  I thought it was weird that the graphic designers of this advertisement chose to feature a rare red variation of the Tron character artwork.  Though my memory might be a little shady, I thought that red was reserved for the “evil” programs in the Tron world like Sark and his minions?  I guess this is sort of the equivalent of catching a glimpse of Luke Skywalker with a red lightsaber…

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