I was recently asked by Man Crates to write a post about what I would want in my retro man crate. They’ve got some pretty cool gift ideas on their site and a retro one obviously caught my imagination. So here goes with my Top Ten Retro Man Crate ideas. And there are no rules here. Some I have already managed to acquire, some are obviously not around any more and some are rare or expensive, so this is my blue sky retro man crate…

Toys – Masters of the Universe
He-Man toys have to be my main retro memory of toys I played with as a kid. I’d love to get a carded vintage He-Man or Skeletor, although I would settle for a Trap-Jaw or Man-E-Faces. A vintage carded MOTU figure is probably one of my main retro holy grails that I hope to get one day, so this is a total blue sky item for my crate.

Toys – Wacky Wall Walkers
I can’t be too greedy for my retro man crate (for example I unfortunately can’t also request a mint in box Sideswipe or Hound from Transformers) so my other toys would be smaller ones. I used to love Wacky Wall Walkers (often referred to as Wacky Wally or Wacky Wall Crawlers), those sticky octopus guys that you threw onto a window and they crawled down. I just thought they were so cool and I loved their smell! And because I need to have something on this list that glows in the dark I’m going to go for a glow in the dark wall crawler!

Toy Car – Rough Riders
I wanted one more little toy in my man crate and I thought about adding a small Zoid as they were such a big part of my youth and it’s a shame that you hardly hear any mention of them in today’s retrotastic internet world. But instead I’m going to go for a toy car. Cars are pretty synonymous with toys. There have always been toy cars. So I think they should have a presence here. And there’s lots to choose from including Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Corgi of course, but also even cooler ones such as the awesome Hot Wheels Crack Ups (which are very very hard to find these days!), the amazing Burnin’ Key Cars and the incredible Rough Riders and Stompers. For the purposes of this crate I’m going to choose a K.I.T.T. Rough Rider please!

Video game – Tomytronic 3D
I don’t think I can get away with sticking a full console or computer into a man crate but I certainly can put a handheld game in there. I thought about a Game Boy or a Game & Watch but in the end I plumped for the classic Tomytronic 3D Thundering Turbos game. I played this game to death and I still own my own one from my childhood. The crash noise and little tune when you die still haunts me to this day. I learnt to drive on that thing.

VHS – WarGames
I would expect to have a movie in my man crate and we can’t have it on DVD can we? It has to be on VHS (although I thought about LaserDisc). We also can’t have a big mainstream obvious film like Back to the Future. I thought about going for a real, cheesy 80s movie like Police Academy or a slightly less mainstream one like They Live or something, but in the end I just had to go for my all-time favourite movie which is WarGames. Such a great movie. Oh, nostalgia for the days you could cheat a phone box with an old style Coke ring pull and hack into the US Defence System using your analogue house phone. Those were the days.

Comic – Action Force
I’ve always been massively into comics, and Marvel superheroes in particular, but the other kind of comic I would want represented, also by Marvel, are the larger scale ones that you found in the UK. There were cool Transformers comics at this size but the best one by far in my opinion was the Action Force ones, which were our version of GI Joe. Just look at the artwork on those covers too!

Magazine – Your Sinclair
Before the internet, magazines were where you got your news. The one magazine that I loved more than all others when growing up was the irreverent Your Sinclair. Focussing on video games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, this magazine was hilarious and I still have my whole collection today. I’m missing a few though so I’d love to get some of them in my man crate.

Stickers – Panini Football stickers
There were so many cool stickers back in the 80s. There were scratch ’n’ sniff ones, Lazer Blazer hologram ones, googly eye ones and puffy ones. I always thought the puffy ones were really cool and I seem to remember having some Transformers ones. But the more normal Panini stickers were a huge part of growing up for anyone in the 80s, in the UK at least. In schools they were a form of currency, like cigarettes are in prison. Nothing beat the thrill of buying a pack of stickers, or even better splashing out on buying 10 packs of stickers (!) and then opening up to see how many you needed or how many ‘doublers’ you had. You’d then take your ‘doublers’ into school to do ‘swapsies’ with your mates. And then those who completed their sticker albums would take their doubles into the playground at lunchtime and do a ‘scramble’ where they threw them all into the air and in doing so spark a mass riot with 9 year old kids elbowing each other in the mouth in order to get their Ray Wilkins or Andy Gray. Yep, although sticker albums like Masters of the Universe of Return of the Jedi were awesome, it was the Panini Football albums that were the pinnacle of the sticker world and worth the highest value on ‘the street’. The UK Football one was the main one each year but for this man crate and I’m going to specify the awesome Mexico ’86 World Cup Special.

Music – Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr
You can’t have the 80s without some music, and I’m getting myself a 7” vinyl single here. But which one? There are so many awesome songs to choose from. But one which I loved from my youth, was played to death and has an awesome cover artwork of course, was the Ghostbusters title theme by Ray Parker Jr (and Huey Lewis). If I got the chance to have two I would also go for one that reminds me of both Beverly Hills Cop but also Miami Vice which is Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.

Food – Dinasour Eggs
And to wrap it all off you have to have a snack in there don’t you? I’ve said before in one of my Time Travel Week posts that if I had a time machine there is one thing I would do very early on. Screw the pyramids or the Roman Empire. I’m going back to 1985 to get myself some Willy Wonka Dinasour eggs! These things were incredible.

So there you have it. Hand me that crowbar please!