By Melissa Minners
When I was a kid, my dad used to tells us tales about his childhood. My brother, sister and I would sit mesmerized as he told us about games he played, shows he grew up watching, toys he owned and more. As the years passed, we would joke that the conversations always started with the same line – “When I was your age…” Well, I’m all grown up now – in years anyway – and I can honestly say that I love talking with friends from my generation about things from our childhood. Games, toys, movies, music, commercials – you name it, we talk about it. I once worked on a shift where all but one member was around my age. He would silently stand by while he watched us “old fogies” sit around and animatedly discuss the enjoyments of our youth. And I have to laugh when I think about it…all of those conversations started with a variation of my Dad’s favorite intro – “When I was your age…”
Now, there’s a website that celebrates nostalgia in a rather unique way – RetroJunk.com. The tagline of this innovative nostalgia-based site is rather clever – Hey, I Remember That! – which is exactly how my friends responded every time I mentioned something I enjoyed in my childhood. When you click on either Movies, TV Shows, or Commercials, you are then asked to select an era – either the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s. Upon picking the era of your choice, you are then given a list of items to choose from.
If you choose a movie, you will find a plethora of information such as plot summaries, quotes, release years, and comments about the movie from site members. In addition, many of the movie entries allow you to watch the movie’s original trailer. I can’t tell you how cool it was to watch the original Star Wars: A New Hope trailer. Star Wars – as it was called when it was first released in 1977 – will always remain my favorite movie and it was a special treat to view the trailer I hadn’t seen since I was a kid!
Heading on over to the television shows and selecting an era and favorite show, you will find plot summaries, quotes, episode lists, theme song lyrics, cast lists, site member comments, and viewable show intros. It was so much fun viewing the intros to shows I watched back in the day like Emergency!, S.W.A.T., Thundercats, He-man, and more!
Click on the commercial section and choose an era and you will be offered a huge list of categories to choose from. Watch commercials about toys, video games, food, clothing, cars and more. Imagine being able to see all of those old commercials again, from the cheesiest to the coolest. Watch commercials for Star Wars, He-Man, G.I. JOE and Transformers toys. Watch Ronald McDonald commercials from way back when. Check out Whitney Houston when her habit of choice was Diet Coke.
When you’ve checked out those three sections, there’s plenty more to see. This is where I think RetroJunk has a unique advantage over other nostalgia-based sites. Not only can you find cool information about your favorite movies, commercials, or television shows from the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s, but you can submit articles about them! The site owner encourages its members to write about anything they loved as a child – video games, comic books, movies, television shows, and more. Many nostalgia-oriented sites offer articles written by the site owner, but not very many post articles written by their members. The site owner gives its members a few pointers to ensure that their article makes it on the site – articles should be over 500 words, use pictures to illustrate your article and give the readers an idea of what you are talking about, and have the item you are discussing on hand to aide you in your descriptions. Not every article written by members makes it onto RetroJunk, but the ones that do are pretty decent! I’ve been rooting through the Article Archives section and I’ve been having terrific fun laughing and reminiscing as I read through them. One cool feature in the article section is that members can vote on the articles as they are posted. Plus, members also have the opportunity to post comments about the articles, whether they are criticisms, agreements, or add-on information for the article.
If you go to the Forums section of the site, you can discuss a multitude of topics with other members of the site. Topics include video games, memory lane discussions, talks about collections, a writers’ forum, and more. There’s even a place to post your artwork. Plus, members can post requests for movie trailers, themes and more to be posted on RetroJunk in the future.
Another neat thing about this site is that every time you open a new page, a new cool quote from a movie or TV show appears near the logo of the site. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy all the content on the site, but you do have to sign up if you want to write for the site, rate or comment on the articles.
I had so much fun in one day at RetroJunk.com that I started recommending it to people that night. The site has secured a spot in my Favorites section and I visit every night to check for new articles. The membership is free, so I will probably be joining within the next couple of hours...oh, why wait…I’m going to end this article and sign up now!