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Official Article

Rad Retro Weekend Part 1

They say "You can never go back", but sometimes you just have to try a little harder. After months of discussion between fellow RetroDazer, NLogan and myself about finding a time we could hang out in person, the cards had finally been dealt in our favor. This was something we hadn't been able to do since the amazing get together at RetroCon 2016, but after many false starts, I had finally been able to get 24 hours free and though 12 of those hours would be spent on the road, it was going to be worth it.

Hitting the open highway, I was doing 88 MPH in hopes that I could be transported back in time to the carefree days of sleepovers. There was nothing quite like the thrill of indulging your favorite hobbies with friends until all hours of the night, fueled by sugar and the click of a Nintendo D-Pad. We were ready to re-capture that magic and the retro Gods did not let us down. This Rad Retro Weekend was an event to remember. 

Impossible without the understanding of two very cool wives (here represented by the Princesses from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure), we'll express our gratitude now before we gush too much about old toys and video games. Thanks, ladies!

Arriving around 9pm after a 6 hour drive, I was waved into the mountainside abode of NLogan where we both expressed our disbelief that this was actually happening and the excitement for the shared experiences to come. We wasted no time in exchanging retro gifts to kick-off our night. 

He handed me two sealed packs of Ghostbusters II trading cards and I passed my generous host a superhero merchandise catalog from 1978 featuring amazing comic book and sci-fi inspired toys of days gone by. Also in the mix were a few "look at this" items like my vintage DC Villains coloring book and The Legend of the Batman comics in many forms. I even walked away with a copy of Mission: Impossible for the NES (Thanks, buddy!)

Then it was time to enter NLogan's Chamber of Retro Magic. With walls adorned by Frank Frazetta paintings and packed from floor to ceiling with Masters of the Universe toys, old cereal boxes and an extensive shelf of Kenner Star Wars figures, I just sat down to soak it in. I had seen pictures, but this was like walking into the sanctum of a nostalgic wizard, as there were also many oddities to be seen that NLogan had carved or painted himself.

I got a kick out of his youngest son playing pranks like changing Man-E-Faces and Tri-Klops' revolving appearances to the more oddball settings that Dad did not approve of. A playful "don't mess with my toys" vibe was in full-effect, but at the same time he was pulling stuff off the shelves left and right for me to look at. There I was holding an old school G.I. Joe board game or an original Star Wars movie program, you could tell there were very few visitors who ever appreciated this stuff, a feeling I know very well and ultimately what brings us all to this site.

Let's not forget that NLogan is also the author of an extensive article series on the chronological appearances and evolution of Wolverine in the comics, so I had to dig through his long boxes as well to see milestone issues I had only ever read about in Wizard magazine or seen on Marvel Universe trading cards. Holding a copy of The Incredible Hulk 181 which featured the first full appearance of Wolverine was a surreal experience. We also had fun negotiating over who would be buying which Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars figures from the RetroDaze Points Store in the coming months.

After taking a trip to the local pizza joint to pick up the traditional sleepover main dish, we decided to invite the 80s into the night by popping in the house copy of cult film, Three O'Clock High starring Casey Siemaszko from Back To The Future/Young Guns and Richard Tyson, the bad guy from Kindergarten Cop. There were so many familiar faces I was not expecting to see in this film about a new kid bully at school who challenges our hero to a parking lot brawl after a misunderstanding. NLogan even has a buddy who appears as an extra in the film, which was cool. It was my first time seeing it and Three O' Clock High is an underappreciated gem for sure.

Around Midnight it was time for a Nintendo break. I had brought along a copy of Ghostbusters 2 for the NES which NLogan never knew existed, so we tried our best to blast a couple of "class 5 full roaming vapors" before moving onto another game from 1989, Batman by Sunsoft. We traded off levels for a while, which was a true sign of maturity since how often did your friends or siblings ever hand over the controller willingly back in the day?

NLogan had an awesome bootleg cartridge of 143 NES games, which hadn't been working previous to my arrival, but by the grace of R.O.B. the robot, this night it was glitch free. It was fun looking over the list of available games and recommending titles to each other like Willow or MagMax but I was most excited to find out that there was a Japanese only release of The Goonies, which was different from The Goonies 2 game we got in the states. I also got a live tutorial on cleaning NES cartridges from the "Game Master", which will serve my collection well in years to come.

During a bathroom break I was fascinated to discover that NLogan stores old toys in the spare bathroom. As if I needed more proof that I was in a house devoted to flashback fun, seeing a bin full of He-Man's friends and foes alongside a few Thundercats figures was a true delight. It could only have been more perfect if Fearsome Flush from The Real Ghostbusters line was hiding beneath Stridor.

As the clock struck 1am we pounded some Hawaiian Punch, Dr. Pepper and Cactus Cooler to get ready for my movie pick of the night, Troop Beverly Hills. This was a first watch for NLogan though he had heard me sing its praises for years. The cameos of countless 80s TV stars was a fun conversation point during the viewing. After bopping along to "Cookie Time" we decided it was in fact "Bed Time" and crashed at 3am in hopes of getting enough sleep to stay awake for the morning's planned activities.

As menu options for breakfast were discussed, we decided that you can't beat the age old combo of Saturday Morning Cartoons and sugar cereal. Despite loving the commercials, neither Cocoa, nor Fruity Pebbles had ever made it onto my spoon as a kid, so I decided it was better late than never as an old episode of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon played on the TV. My 30 years too late review of Fruity Pebbles? They taste like Trix and I liked them. Cocoa Pebbles? Barney can keep 'em.

The freedom of playing video games in the morning was always a treat of Saturday mornings, so NLogan showed me a few more obscure Nintendo titles on his PC emulator like Dragon Spirit and Rescue: The Embassy Mission, along with an awesome Conan rip-off for the arcades called Rastan. Hearing him instruct his son on the difference between a Mace and a Morning Star weapon as the hero of the game bashed villainous bats was pretty hilarious, but totally in character.

Ready to hit the road, we had by this point successfully re-lived the fun of sleepovers, but the real adventure was about to come. We could not have anticipated the good fortune that awaited us as we made the rounds to multiple antique stores and one magical yard sale. So come back soon for part two of Hoju and NLogan's Rad Retro Weekend.

OK, here's a little preview of what's to come. See you next time.

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OldSchool80s Posted on Sep 22, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Love this! Thanks for sharing!

Superman Posted on Sep 16, 2018 at 11:18 PM

This article reminds me so much of the fun my cousin and I used to have when he used to come over on the weekend or (even better) the times he spent the whole summer over at my house. They were fun times I'd love to relive. I'm glad the two of you managed to enjoy reliving a bit of your childhoods for a night.

vkimo Posted on Aug 10, 2018 at 02:00 AM

Man, this sounded awesome. I met up with NLogan again after Retrocon while driving to Pennsylvania from California, even met his sidekick Ravenloft - These guys are a blast. Hopefully we can all get together again soon!

Hoju Koolander Posted on Aug 07, 2018 at 12:08 AM

Yeah, we squeezed every drop of fun out of the very short time frame we had to hang out in, as you'll see in parts 2 and 3.

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 06, 2018 at 10:59 PM

@NLogan: I know. I felt the same about the past two RetroCons. LOL. If only we could just pause time and enjoy the fellowship until we are simply sick of each other.

NLogan Posted on Aug 06, 2018 at 08:02 PM

It was a blast. But over far too soon.

echidna64 Posted on Aug 06, 2018 at 05:34 PM

Oh man, looks like you guys had a blast! The Castle Greyskull looks awesome and Dragon Spirit is one of my all-time favorite games on the NES along with Conquest of the Crystal Palace!

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 06, 2018 at 03:42 PM

Can't... contain... jealousy... Rrraaahhhh!!!

Ha! What an amazing trip. Really looking forward to your yard sale and thrift store adventures. They had to be epic.

Very nice job capturing the fun of sleepovers and Saturday morning routines. You can see the gleam in the eyes of Hoju as he stands in awe of NLogan's man cave.

Excellent job gentleman!

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