Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fantastic Goodies From The Sixties

Who picks which songs to revive as modern day hits? One of my favourites was "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend". It was a real sad breakup song. I'm sure it spoke for a lot of sad people. The song really deserves a second shot at fame.

Then there are those little novelty items. When I was about seven years old, back in the early sixties, they sold "Ratfinks", a tiny plastic rat carticature that could be worn on a cheap plastic ring. They had a face sort of like the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character and the initials RF on their chests. You could buy a five cent or a larger ten cent size Ratfink. When I started collecting stamps, the French stamps often had ""RF" on them, which stood for Republique Francaise. I used to visualise fiendish little Ratfinks scampering up and down the Eiffel Tower. I later found that there is a lot of "Ratfink" art out there.

Then there was "Ugly Stickers" Each one was the size of a baseball card. It had a person's name and a multicoloured ugly monster picture. They came in packs of bubble gum with one little piece of gum. There was about sixty of them. I am sure that kids today would like them as much as I did.

Then there was Rocky and Bullwinkle. The bad guy in that feature was Boris Badunov, who had a wife named Natasha who was twice his height as well as a Russian accent It was the perfect cold war cartoon.

My grandparents used to use MacLean's Toothpaste. I was crazy about it. Macleans used to make you feel like your mouth was on fire. You just assumed that the bacteria was dead as a doornail, even if it was all just perception. I used to be crazy about that toothpaste. Then some rocket scientist found out that it had chloroform, which is supposed to be a carcinogen. So that knocked the tingle out of it. I' don't worry about carcinogens. I believe that anxiety causes cancer..

Then there was "Fizzies" Fizzies were little tablets that fizzed like Alka Seltzer when you dropped them in water. They came presweetened and in various flavours. When I was a kid I used to like watching them as much as I did drinking them. They could easily make another comeback. If it comes out in a kosher variety, I am interested in it.

When I was at the World's Fair in New York in 1965, they sold foreign coins in the gum ball machines. It was a great idea, but I'll bet that some of the coins got recycled in the gum ball machines. Later on in the late sixties, Abbie Hoffman came out with "Steal This Book", which included a list of coins that could be used in vending machines, and parking meters. The book would be mostly obsolete today.

No matter what anyone says, there is no comparison to soft drinks in plastic bottles or cans and soda in glass bottles. I do see coke in glass bottles, but a lot of other companies could make a glass comeback. Fanta and Cott Cola bring back memories. Now that I think of it, there are a thousand different cola flavours. They could open a specialty store with colas from around the world. I used to get Pepsi from Barbados (In glass bottles) There is no question. Whether it is Coke or Pepsi, the same brand of cola tastes different depending on where it is bottled.

There are a lot of old TV shows. My Three Sons, which was about a widower raising his three sons with the help of an old man who had been in the Navy for most of his life. Hogan's Heroes though, had the perfect formula. It made the Nazis look ridiculous, and at the end of every episode you could be assured that there would be an explosion at a munitions dump someplace. There was a big debate over whether the Nazis were portrayed too nicely. Three major characters in the show were Jewish. Colonel Klink was played by Werner Klemperer. Sergeant Schulz was played by Johann Banner, who served a short time in a concentration camp (in the early years) before being allowed to leave Germany. Corporal LeBeau was played by Robert Clary (Robert Max Widerman, who was interned in Buchenwald. He was one of 14 children and the sole survivor of his family.

There are a lot of consumer products, songs and TV programs that could use a second try on the market. I hope someone out there is listening. There is a lot that was very good in the sixties. We should bring some of it back. When I show my kids gems from the sixties, they get hooked. I doubt that they are alone. It's worth a try. Nostalgia is good business.

Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend by Lobo Sphere: Related Content

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