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Kiddo Flashback // The Force Is Strong With This One.

You may not know this about me. But I love Star Wars. The original 1977 film is one of my all time favorite movies and while many may quibble about the special effects not being up to parr and the acting a tad stilted I say, “When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not!”

So I thought it would be great to take a little trip down memory lane at the cultural phenomenon that was Star Wars. I don’t care WHO you were, if you grew up in the 70s your life was touched by Star Wars. If you weren’t obsessed with it, then your brother or best friend was. It was a pretty magical time, my friends. Let us begin.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…….

…..there were movie theaters that only showed ONE film. Popcorn, coke and a box of milkduds cost less then $10 and movies often only played at two times. Scandal!


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Every self respecting kiddo of the 70s had a Star Wars tee and wore it with PRIDE!

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This next little feller was heading off to his first day of kindergarten. Big Apple Name Tag, nap time mat, Super Friends Lunch Box…..and his best Star Wars Tee. I love this photo so much, it reminds me of my brother Karl—a die hard Star Wars fan. I can still see him playing with all his Star Wars characters. He even had that Super Friends lunch box!

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One of the best things about Star Wars toys is that there are soo many photos of a little boy just BUSTIN’ with pride over his latest score:


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Oooh this boy had THEE ULTIMATE. The coveted Boba Fett. Boba Fett wasn’t even really in the first movie, but if you collected enough UPC codes from the Star Wars action figures you could send away to the Kenner toy company to receive your FREE Boba Fett Bounty Hunter action figure! No one really knew who the hell he was at that time, but we HAD TO HAVE HIM!! I remember Karl and I clipping the codes out and mailing them in, and being so excited when he finally arrived. This is the biggun, the 12 incher….not the freebie. You can see how psyched this little guy is:

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Please note the Incredible Hulk Latch Hook Rug dealie resting casually on the back of the couch of this next one. Grrrrrr!


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It was CLEARLY an excellent holiday at this kid’s house. He got the AT-AT walker from Empire Strikes Back, and his sister scored the Barbie Townhouse. I sooo had that as a little girl—that damn thing wobbled like crazy but how sweet is the elevator?


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Speaking of kid sisters, they always wanted to get in on the fun too:

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How cute is little Leia?? I guess that makes a great segue to COSTUMES. Star Wars costumes became extremely popular—many of them homemade.


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“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper??” hyuck hyuck.  I really love the Mod Lord Vader jumpsuit.

Awwww no wonder Patches is so sad. His buddies got Star Wars coolness while his parents dress him up as a psychotic clown. {sad trombone} Although to be fair the little ewok looks like the love child of  Kenny Rogers and Big Foot…

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STYLIN’!!!!! (and you *know* I’m not talking about that sassy little storm trooper…..hold up. Does Gladys have a SPINNING WHEEL in the left corner over there??? Oh Mah Gawd…..)

image: Two Twumbo Twetzels

The art of Star Wars (as seen through the eyes of a kiddo) was also amazing:

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Now you *know* that awesome Old Spice guy modelled himself after Lando. “Well hello ladies….!”

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While most fans were little boys, little girls definitely got in on the Star Wars action too:

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“Walk softly and carry a big laser blaster….”


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(yeah, the bike is rad. And don’t you fret….a banana seat bike post is totally in the hopper for Vintage Kiddo….)

I think it goes without saying that anybody who was anybody had a Star Wars themed birthday party.

We begin with the awesome Steven. I love that his parents made this sign! Although I gotta say, that little clown on the left is sort of ruinin’ Steven’s jedi mojo.

image: Sam Howzit His mom made extra rad R2D2 name tag for all the kids too. See ’em here.

Mmmmm. Chocolate Vader. Made with Extra Dark Side chocolate….

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Alas, I think Dan’s mom needs a few lessons from the lady up above. She gets an “A” for “artful fork display” and bonus points for two boxes of Pop Rocks!

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Aaron has the best vintage Star Wars pictures on this Flickr Stream. This was apparently at McDonalds (note the soft serve sundaes). Boba Fett cake? Rockin’…..

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Look how cute and happy this little guy is. And that cake looks might tasty too….

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Not sure what’s more impressive….the sculptural R2D2 or those snazzy Mork from Ork suspenders??

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This next one takes the, er, cake. Or rather his mom took the cake….to the damn photostudio. What the what?? Amazing.

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And finally, the ultimate: having a tricked out Star Wars Bedroom. Many a child lulled themselves to sleep murmuring, “These are not the droids you are looking for…..” cuddled up under these amazing sheets:

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This photo had the best caption. “Darth Vader’s light saber in my eye….but E.T. warming my heart.”

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Sweet dreams little Jedi….

P.S. There is a really amazing Flickr group called Growing Up Star Wars: 1977-1985. You really should check it out—and add your own photos if you have any!

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MK Rewind // The Most Charming (vintage) Xmas Book Ever

Since we were just talking about Christmas Pixies earlier this week, I wanted to share with you a new book I recently acquired. I hope you guys will love these illustrations as much as I do!

The drawings are so sweet and lovely….I love the little girls and the amazing owl….but the last one is almost my favorite! So simple. Images are from the book “Christmastime in Pixieland” by Dennis Burley. Illustrations by Felicitas Kuhn. 1970.

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MK Rewind // Merry Kitschmas! My Vintage Ornament Collection

I loooove vintage ornaments. I love the Shiny Brites. I love little wooden figurines. I love the pretty glass ornaments from Germany.  I love metallic birds with real feather tails. BUT I also love these playful little guys. Over the years I’ve amassed a fun collection of little kitschy felted friends that are just TOO cute! I  have to say, I don’t know much about them. I’m guessing they are from the late 60s, early 70s….but I’m not positive. What I do know is that most are from Japan. And ALL are adorable. They remind me very much of the Rankin/Bass animated holiday specials, with their big round eyes. I don’t put them on our main tree anymore (because there are too many of them and I like our other ornaments too!), but awhile back I got this little mini silver tree and think they fit on here perfectly!

A little small tree like this is a GREAT idea for kiddos, because they can “be in charge” of the decor. Pick ornaments made of things like felt, wood, sequins, yarn (I’ve seen some really cute ones at Target!)  and you don’t have to worry about your little one accidentally breaking anything as they decorate away!

Do you have any special or favorite ornaments?

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MK Rewind // A Very Rankin Bass Christmas

Psst! Long time no see!! We’re feeling a tad nostalgic over here and missing our Modern Kiddo….so we decided to bring back a handful of our favorite holiday posts! We miss you….xoxo

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Believe it or not, these two guys had one of the biggest impacts on our childhood holiday memories.

Meet Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, the mastermind behind some of your favorite Christmas moments in front of the TV. These two gents bought us such delightful characters as:

I loves me some Yukon Cornelius!  My friend Jen and I joked that he was the uber cartoon dream husband.  Knew the importance of gold/silver for jewelry and was kind to animals. I loved his little team of mismatched doggies too!

And don’t forget about the most dapper snowman around!

Remember skinny Santa? EAT, PAPA, EAT!

I don’t know about you, but I was really frightened of the Abominable Snowman as a kid! That was some scary stuff to a five year old!

I so would have taken every toy on that island! A dolly for Suzy just broke my heart every time I saw her!

Oh, Hermie!  You made me actually want to go to the dentist! And of course RUDOLF!

I know not everyone is into letting their kids watch TV, but personally, I don’t consider Rankin Bass Christmas specials to be TV as much as an irresistible holiday memory in the making. Right up there with watching the Nutcracker or making Christmas cookies.

Arthur Rankin and his buddy Jules Bass came up with this wonderful animation technique they called “animagic” which included stop animation with these sassy dolls combined with cel animation for special backdrops like snowflakes.  He optimistically called his new animation technique “Animagic”. And it was more than enough to turn a Christmas novelty song and a felt-covered, lightbulb-nosed reindeer puppet into the most amazing hour on TV in December.

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, the flagship Rankin/Bass production, remains the longest-running, highest-rated special ever aired on US network television. The special has appeared on one of the broadcast networks every year since its debut on NBC’s “General Electric Fantasy Hour” in 1964, routinely landing near the top of the Nielsen Ratings Top 10 — a feat unparalleled in television history.

Oh, I forgot one other thing that made “animagic” so, well, magical! Not pixie dust. Just hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of work slowly shifting the dolls around to make them move. Oof!

But the Rankin/Bass production team loved it and did it again and again to bring us such holiday characters as:

Seriously, have you watched this recently? Get ready to cry…

Clearly, they needed to get more use out of those desert backgrounds and came up with Nestor.  I love this little guy! what pluck. Again, sad at the beginning, but still so good!

I loved this little big eared and big hearted little baby! One of my favorites.

You already saw skinny Santa, but what about young Santa?

And of course these two brothers…

Of course Rank Bass Productions holiday specials are just the tippy tip tip of their wonderful work (hello Mad Monster Party…) but if you’d like more information, I highly suggest you check out Rick Goldschmidt’s amazing blog. He has a wonderful collection of images and literally wrote the book on Rankin Bass. And if you still want to see more Christmas specials inspired by Rankin Bass, check out this cool site dedicated to the best holiday specials out there.

Did you watch any Rankin Bass Christmas specials this year?

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A Little Retro Surprise at the Marin Civic Center

We were in Marin the other weekend. And we drove by the Marin Civic Center. It’s a fabulous masterpiece and looks somewhat incongruous in the pretty Marin setting….like a sleek space station plunked down in the midst of the scenery. In fact, the groovy sci-fi movie Gattaca was even filmed there!

We decided to walk around a little bit, but we were suddenly totally distracted. Look what we have here….

Oh-so-casually parked under this little overhang….a pristine vintage 1960s Plymouth Fury police cruiser. WOW! It was so cool. I felt like I had blasted back in time (and was wishing I was wearing a more special outfit). I love it! But as amazing as the car is, let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge the insane lighting situation going on up there in the background.

WOW! Talk about crazy globes.

No one wants to be pulled over by the fuzz, but man…..this would totally help soften the blow. I’m not sure what the car was doing there. Perhaps they just bring it out for the weekend. Maybe it belonged to some kooky collector. Either way, I was loving it!

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