Archive for July, 2012

A look at merchandising for the 1992 Dream Team

Posted in basketball, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, NBA, nostalgia, pop culture, sports with tags , , , , on July 19, 2012 by Paxton

1992 Team USA Logo 2012 Team USA logo

Just like anything else during the 80s-90s heyday of the NBA, the 1992 Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (The Dream Team) was marketed in every way imaginable.  Lets take a look at some of that awesome product.  I’ll start with some of the product from around the time the team played, ie 1991-1992.  Then I’ll move forward to present day as there are several things going on now for the 20th anniversary of the team.

One of the first merchandising items I remember were the posters.  These came out in late 1991/early 1992 before a game had ever been played.  The posters were mocked up images of players with Team USA logos photoshopped over their normal uniform.  Here’s the poster I had of Larry Bird.  It hung in my dorm room my entire first year of college.  You can tell it’s a mock up because Bird is wearing his traditional black Converse that he wears with the Celtics.

Larry Bird Team USA poster

Speaking of Bird’s shoes, next I remember the special edition sneakers. Many of the players released their own Olympic sneaker. My favorite, of course, was Converse’s Larry Bird Olympic shoe.  I owned two pairs of these.  I bought one pair, wore them out, then just as they were being discontinued, I bought a pair on clearance.  Then wore those out.  I wish I had kept at least one pair.

Larry Bird Olympic shoesLarry Bird Olympic Shoe
(Via solecollector.com and Air Randy)

The next big merchandising item I remember are all of the NBA Hoops Dream Team card sets.  There were several.  There was a set for the Tournament of Americas which featured many game photos as well as publicity shots.

Larry Bird TOA Dream Team TOA

There was also a regular Dream Team set featuring all the players in mostly publicity photos.

Larry Bird Dream Team John Stockton Dream Team

Skybox had a nice set of Dream Team cards as well.

Skybox Dream Team cards box Skybox Dream Team cards 1

In 1992 there was a video released by the NBA featuring a “documentary” of game clips for the first 10 of the NBA players on the Dream Team. The video was released before the final two spots were filled by Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner.  The documentary included only existing game footage as well as a voice over touting the strengths of each player. I still have this video.

NBA Dream Team video NBA Dream Team back

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Nerd Lunch Episode 46: Drilldown Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis

Posted in movies, podcast, pop culture, Star Trek with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 46 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast is on the transporter pad ready to be beamed directly to your ears.  This week we are joined by a good friend of mine, Dr Mike.  Dr Mike joins us for a sequel to Nerd Lunch Episode 6 in which we discussed the first two Star Trek Next Generation movies.  That’s right, this time we are discussing two of the most maligned Star Trek movies of all time; Insurrection and Nemesis.

Insurrection Shinzon

We discuss our thoughts about the movies, what we think they did right (a few) and what we think they did wrong (A LOT). There’s a lot to talk about, so prepare for a fun discussion on two movies that are potentially the worst movies in the Star Trek canon. And as we did on Episode 6, we rank all of the Star Trek movies in order of preference.

So sit back and enjoy our dissection of the final two Star Trek Next Generation movies.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

The 1992 Olympic Dream Team debuted just over 20 years ago

Posted in nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2012 by Paxton

On June 27 the 1992 Basketball Tournament of the Americas was held in Portland, Oregon.  Just over 20 years ago. This would be the qualifying tournament for the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

1992 Tournament of the Americas

This particular tournament is important because it was the international debut of the 1992 Men’s Olympic Basketball Team, the original Dream Team.

Dream Team magazine

Selected the Summer before in 1991, the team consisted of co-captains Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan as well as Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner.  This would be the first time that FIBA would allow the use of NBA players on a country’s Olympic team.

Though the tournament started on June 27th, the Dream Team didn’t debut until the second day, June 28, where they played Cuba.

Here are the team intros and some highlights of that debut game.

The game was televised.  I was actually working that summer as a lifeguard.  I, unfortunately, had to work that day, but during my lunch break I ran home and watched a little over an hour of the game before having to go back.  I, of course, video taped the game so I could watch it in its entirety later that evening.  Earlier that summer, I had purchased a replica of Larry Bird’s Olympic jersey and when I ran back to work that afternoon, I wore it the rest of the day.  I still have the VHS of that game as well as Bird’s Olympic jersey.  I also would later purchase a replica Bird Celtics jersey and a replica John Stockton Jazz jersey.  They are my two favorite NBA players.

Larry Bird replica jerseyJazz jersey

The Dream Team would go on to sweep that tournament and win their birth in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  After their spectacular debut in the tournament, the country caught Dream Team fever and, as expected from a David Stern NBA venture, the team was marketed to the general public with jerseys, videos, collector cups and more.

I’ll take a look at some of that merchandising this week in my week long look at the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.  This week will culminate in my review of the new book by Jack McCallum, The Dream Team, which is a look back at the formation of the team as well as “behind the scenes” of being on the team.

Hope you have a happy, murder-less Friday the 13th

Posted in movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by Paxton

I think Friday the 13th is an appropriate day to go ahead and announce the overall topic for this year’s Halloween celebration, AWESOME-tober-fest.  This year I’ll be reviewing and talking about Movie Maniacs.  Here’s this year’s banner.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012 banner

That image should be self explanatory. I’ll be focusing on movies, books and comics featuring some of our favorite movie maniacs like Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and Norman Bates. Should be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it.

As a matter of fact, just yesterday I finished reading the novelization of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives by Simon Hawke. So expect that to be one of the things I talk about.
F13 part VI: jason lives novelization

Now, let’s take a look at some other cool stuff pertaining to the movie franchise based on today.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 45: Pop Culture Eraser

Posted in movies, podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 45 is here, say, “CHEERS!” Sorry, I’ve been watching too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my son lately. Anyway, this very special episode of the Nerd Lunch podcast is again without yours truly. I caught a bad head cold from people at work and completely lost my voice for almost a week. So, I had to bow out of this one. But taking my place are two great guests. One is Matt Ringler from the amazing Schlock Treatment podcast. The other is Aaron Nix from Movie Hodge Podge. The topic? Everyone is given the mythical Pop Culture Eraser and must decide how best to use it.

Seinfeld
(Via Cultural Atrocities)

Each person must pick one show/movie and one actor to permanently erase from existence.  And with this great power comes great responsibility as you must also consider all of the implications of removing this person or show.  How would the landscape of pop culture change?  What other shows/movies are affected if you remove a popular actor?  It’s a daunting task, but these guys are totally up to said task.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Or, you can listen to the show online here

Nerd Lunch Episode 50 is a-comin’! Be ready to Ask Us Anything!

Posted in podcast, pop culture with tags , , on July 6, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

That’s right gentlemen and gentleladies, the Nerd Lunch Podcast is about to celebrate it’s 50th episode! (Cue arena-like, Motley Crue crowd cheers)

Number 50

For episode 50, we want to do something special. So we are doing an episode called Ask Us Anything. To further explain that cryptic title, we want you, our listeners, to go ahead and ask us any question you like. Do you want to know more about us? Maybe you want to know what we think about some topic we haven’t already discussed? Do you want naked pictures of CT?  Or Jeeg to do your taxes?  Or how to give us truckloads of cash? Whatever your query, send it along to us and we will assure that it is handled in a prompt and professional manner. Unless it sucks, then we’ll completely ignore it and possibly make fun of you when we aren’t recording.

You can leave your question in the comments here or head over to Nerd Lunch and leave a comment there. Or, shoot on over to The Atomic Geeks Forums and leave your question in the Ask Us Anything thread.

We’ve already received several really great questions.  Get yours in while you still can and stay tuned for Episode #50.

The Atomic Geeks Episode 168: There Can Be Only One TWO

Posted in podcast, pop culture with tags , , , on July 5, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

I was asked by the Atomic Geeks to join them as their guest for an episode.  That episode is out now.  It’s Episode 168 – There Can Be Only One TWO!

Grease 2

This is the sequel installment to the Geeks’ Episode 134. Digio gives us two choices, one thing to keep and one thing to remove from existence.  And Digio comes up with some Sophie’s Choice style decisions.  And yes, Grease 2 does in fact come up in a side discussion and possible sing along between me and Downs.

So you get two podcasts this week featuring me.  This is truly a glorious week.

Download this episode from iTunes RIGHT NOW.  Or, listen to it on the Interwebs at The Atomic Geeks’ website.