Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Doctor Who Peter Davison Costume

Fifth Doctor Who Fancy Dress Costume
Official Fifth Doctor Costume
If you watched Doctor Who back in the 1980s, then you can't fail to remember that the fifth Doctor (played by Peter Davison) had a costume style that was based on an Edwardian cricketer. It included a cream-coloured frock style coat, a V-neck cricket jumper, striped trousers, plimsoles and a panama hat. He also wore a celery stalk on his left lapel.

If you're looking for a good costume idea for an 80s, sci-fi or film and TV themed party or event, then you'll be pleased to know that you can buy a complete fifth doctor costume from Rubies at for a reasonably-priced £33 including free delivery.

The outfit featured here is officially licensed and is available for sizes 38" to 42" chest. You can also choose a larger size for up to 46" chest. The costume includes a jacket with attached mock cricket jumper shirt, striped trousers and hat. Add some white plimsolls to complete your look.

You can also purchase an official BBC Peter Davison white cricket jumper for a really authentic look, although it will set you back £49.99.

Official BBC Peter Davison Cricket Jumper
Official BBC Peter Davison Jumper
You can find a wide range of 80s fancy dress ideas at my website

Related posts;

Classic Dr Who T-shirts

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vintage Christmas Toys and Games

As the festive season is fast approaching I thought I'd take a look back at a few of the toys that I received for Christmas back in my 70s and early 80s childhood. I've titled my post as "Vintage Christmas Toys and Games" because I'm only going to feature the more traditional style gifts, rather than theelectronic toys that are often mentioned. No doubt, I will come back to this post from time to time to add more items that I suddenly remember playing with back in the day.

Table Tennis Set
Retro Table Tennis Set
I remember being very pleased to receive a table tennis set. However, being short of cash meant that my parents couldn't afford a proper table tennis table, so we made do with the pasting table that was gathering dust in the loft. It was a bit narrow, but we still managed to, somehow, set-up the net (after dusting off all of the cobwebs) although it was a bit uneven, to say the least!

Traditional Pick-Up Sticks Game
Traditional Pick Up Sticks Game
This classic game has been around for donkey's years and, no doubt, almost everyone has played this simple game at some point in their lives. After randomly distributing the sticks (ie throwing them onto a table) the idea of the game is for each player to try and pick-up a single stick without disturbing the other sticks. This was simple family fun and ideal for a grey and wet British Christmas.

Metal/Wire Puzzles
Vintage Style Baffling Wire Puzzles

You would sometimes discover a Mini wire puzzle inside a Christmas cracker and then, instead of relaxing with a glass of mulled wine, you would find yourself spending the evening losing your temper trying to solve the darn thing! The idea is to separate the two interlocking pieces of the puzzle and reconnect them, and there are now many puzzles available at, some of which come in retro style boxes.

Jackpot Annual 1982 by Fleetway/IPC
Jackpot Annual 1982
Fleetway (part of IPC Publications) published dozesn of comics and annuals and just about every British child would have received at least one during their childhood. As well as the Cor! annual, I also received the Jackpot for the Christmas of 1982. The annual was published between 1980 and 1986, with the comic itself having a relatively short run from 1979 until 1982, costing just 10p when it was first published. 

80s Flying Hats Game
Retro Flying Hats Game
There isn't much information around about this particular game, although one source suggests the game originates from the early 1980s and was published by Spears. I believe that was the version I unwrapped for one Christmas and it was flipping fun! Each player has a flipper and matching coloured hats and the idea is to flip your hats into the correct holes. I guess the game has similarities to tiddly winks, but I found it a lot more fun. You can still buy the game using the link beneath the picture above.

Parker Brothers Sorry! Game
This game was first sold in 1934 by Parker Brothers and I remember it being advertised on British TV during the 1980s. The gameplay is like an advanced version of Ludo, where each play tries to get all of their four pawns around the board and back home as quickly as possible. However, unlike Ludo you have to draw an instruction card and not rely purely on the luck of the dice. Sorry! is still sold today and there was a rule change in 2013 which now means each player has only three pawns, rather than four.

New Sorry! game published by Hasbro

You can see many more traditional toys and games at my website and you may also be interested in the section 70s and 80s Toys you can still buy today.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

80s Fashion Pictures from 1981

Gary Numan wearing a trilby on the cover of Smash Hits in Sept 1981
Smash Hits Magazine Sept 1981
Early 80s fashion was very much different to the rest of the decade, and for this post I will show you some of the many styles being adopted by the popular pop stars of the day during 1981. As you will see, the hat played a major role in creating a number of iconic eighties looks.

Anemic-looking Synth king Gary Numan decided to wear a trilby and a matching suit for the cover of his fifth studio album, Dance. In fact, Gary seemed to be going through a pretty sombre period and I would challenge anyone to actually dance to the slow-tempo, minimalist tunes on offer on the album. Whether the title of the album was deliberately misleading is anyone's guess.

The Trilby (and Pork Pie hat) were actually a popular choice with 2 Tone and Ska bands.

While punk was blowing itself out, new dandy and flamboyant fashions were making their presence felt, with artists such as Visage's Steve Strange leading the way.

Steve Strange on the cover of Smash Hits in July 1981
Steve Strange - Smash Hits July 1981
It would appear that everyone was going crazy for hats, and the one being worn by Mr. Strange in the above photo was designed by milliner Stephen Jones.

Sal Salo - Classix Nouveaux - Smash Hits April 1981
Sal Solo the lead singer of Classix Nouveau - April 1981
In complete contrast, here is the frontman of new wave band Classix Nouveaux with neither a hat or any hair, and he wouldn't look out of place in a 1950s horror movie.

Fantasy Empire magazine July 1981 - Five Doctors
Fantasy Empire magazine July 1981 - Five Doctors
Doctor Who Fashion

Now, I would like to feature the fashion of Doctor Who in this post. Whilst searching for a suitable photo of Tom Baker, I came across this hilarious illustration of the five doctors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison, at least, I think that's meant to be Peter Davison, although I can't remember him wearing military gear. Indeed, as far as I can remember he mainly dressed as an Edwardian cricketer. Anyway, this has to one of the worst Doctor Who illustrations I've ever seen! Tom Baker looks like Luke Duke (from the Dukes of Hazzard) in a trance, and as for Jon Pertwee, he just looks positively weird!

Tom Baker handed over the reigns to Davison in 1981, but his style was possibly the most iconic of all the original Doctors. He wore a long, multi-coloured scarf, a wide-brimmed hat (some of the time) and a long overcoat. The look was inspired by paintings of the singer and nightclub owner Aristide Bruant by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Leutrec, in which he wore a long red scarf, black cloak and also a wide-brimmed hat.

Docotr Who Annual 1983 featuring Peter Davison
Doctor Who Annual 1983 ft. Peter Davison
This Doctor Who annual from 1983 shows Peter Davison in the very outfit I mentioned above.

Blue Jeans Annual 1981
Blue Jeans Annual 1981 - and yet another hat!

Duran Duran on the cover of Smash Hits in October 1981
Smash Hits magazine October 1981 ft. Duran Duran
Duran Duran Fashion

Striped nautical T-shirts with suits were regularly worn by Duran Duran, and were a particular favourite of frontman Simon Le Bon, who in this photo from a 1981 edition of Smash Hits can be seen also wearing a scarf around his head. Both John and Andy Taylor's hair is coloured and very new romantic. The band's lavish videos and sharp styles left them with no shortage of teen girl admirers.

Smash Hits Magazine in 1981

You will have noticed that I've used Smash Hits magazine covers in this post. While it may have been too mainstream to be considered hip, it was certainly the most popular teen pop magazine at the time, and many teenagers will have been inspired by the clothing worn by the major pop stars that graced its front covers, making it very much part of the 80s fashion scene.

To buy the latest copy you would, very likely, have used one of these;

Bank of England One Pound Note from 1981
One Pound note from 1981
I hope I've provided you with a few good memories here, and you can see much more 80s fashion at my website.

Related blog posts;

Fashion pictures from 1981

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Old Spice Aftershave

Vintage Old Spice set
Vintage Old Spice bottles
Anyone of a certain age will, no doubt, remember the Old Spice TV ads which were a regular feature on our TV screens from the 1960s to the 1980s. Indeed, I've just viewed an old advert from 1989 which was pretty simple, featuring a surfer riding the waves and ending with the slogan "The Mark of a Man". However, the ads shown before this were much longer and not only featured a surfer, but also included a dramatic and well known piece of music entitled "O Fortuna" from a classical choral piece called "Carmina Buran" compoised by Carl Orff. 

The first Old Spice products from Procter & Gamble were actually developed for women in 1937, and the men's products were launched in 1938. They have always been marketed with a nautical them and with that trademark sailing ship on the front of the bottle, although the ship used to be much larger as you can see in the picture above. I'm not entirely sure what year that set is from, but they look very much like the design that was around in the 1960s and 70s. A number of different sailing ships have been used over the years.

Vintage Old Spice Shaving Mug
Vintage Old Spice Shaving Mug
Old Spice has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent times and is now marketed as Old Spice Original and features a more modern sailing ship logo, but with the original buoy style bottles included in many sets. The font used is still old worldy but slightly less extravagant with less swirls as you can see below.
Old Spice Original aftershave and deodorant
Old Spice is now a popular choice with not only older men who want to relive their youth, but also with younger men who want to experience a cool, retro cinnamon fragrance. It is now also available as a shower gel, body spray and in many different gift sets, and also with newer smells such as Champion, Pure Sport, Lagoon and Whitewater.

Old Spice Lagoon Old Spice Whitewater

Personally, I still adore the comforting smell of the original product, although those different coloured fragrances shown above do look very tempting indeed!

See all Old Spice products at

Related posts;

Brut Aftershave - Splash it all over!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

80s Party Balloons and Hanging Lanterns

Traditional Party Balloons
Traditional Party Balloons
Further down this post I'll be showing you some fantastic, low-cost hanging lanterns will brighten-up any 80s party. But firstly, I'm going to discuss the good old-fashioned party balloon.

Let's face it, a party without balloons is like a rum without coke - it doesn't go down very well! Balloons have been used for celebrations since the 1800s, and you still regularly see bunches of different coloured balloons tied onto a tree in the garden or onto a front door to let everyone know there's a party going on.

Back in the 80s, bunches of multi-coloured balloons would always decorate a room at discos or birthday parties, and you could buy multi-packs which had a mixture of those long, sausage dog balloons and the more traditional shaped ones.  They would come in a wide variety of clashing colours such as yellow, orange, blue and red, and you can still buy such colours today. You can also buy rocket balloons which make a loud squealing noise when you let them go - great fun for kids and adults alike!

A packet of rocket balloons
Rocket Balloons for noisy entertainment!
If you require a strong 80s theme for your party then you'll be interested in the following items.

80s Slogan Balloons - "Franke Say Relax" and "Choose Life"
80s Slogan Balloons
Now, nothing could shout out "this is an 80s party!" more than these balloons. They feature the two most iconic slogans to come out of the great decade. These block letter slogans originally adorned T-shirts, of course, but printing them onto balloons is a clever idea and these would look fantastic at any 80s event.

I Love the 80s Party Balloons
I Loveheart the 80s Balloons
These "I Love the 80s" balloons are also available for around the same price (currently £3.50 for a pack of ten, plus P&P) and you could mix them with the slogan balloons to create the ultimate eighties party atmosphere.

Animal print was also very fashionable back in the day and you can choose from a wide variety of animal print balloons at

Pink Leopard Print Balloon
Animal Print Balloons
There are oodles of designs available including leopard, zebra and cheetah and they come in a variety of colours. Here are a couple more examples of what is available;

Leopard Print Balloon Pink Zebra Print Balloon

You can also buy matching paper plates, napkins and cups for some of the designs, too.

If you really want to impress then how about these zebra print paper lanterns;

Zebra Print Paper Hanging Lanterns
Zebra Print Paper Hanging Lanterns
When you select this link you will also see a range of matching items underneath such as bunting, paper plates and balloons etc.
Pink Zebra Print Hanging Lantern
Pink Zebra Print Hanging Lantern
This vibrant pink lantern will be a real head-turner, and is perfect for adding the finishing touches to your 80s-themed decor. Here are some more suggestions;

Black and White Zebra Print Hanging Lantern
Zebra Print Lantern £6.99
Balck and white zebra print lantern

You can see many more ideas for 80s party decorations at my website

Related posts on this blog;

80s Party Decorations
80s Party Ideas

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Retro 80s Sports Bags

Adidas Retro Sports Shoulder Bag
Adidas Retro Sports Shoulder Bag
Just about every young lad had a sports bag of some kind during their school days back in the 70s and 80s. My Adidas bag was pretty well-used and, more often than not, contained items not relating to any kind of sport whatsoever. On some days my bag was crammed full of tupperware containing an array of ingredients for my cookery lesson, leaving little room for exercise books, stationary and my lunch box. However, I dreaded the day that P.E. lessons would take place on the same day as cookery class. Somehow, I had to cram in my football kit as well, leaving the zipper on the bulging bag almost impossible to close-up!

Retro style sports bags are a pretty cool item to own, and the first one featured here (by Adidas, obviously!) looks very much like one of the bags I owned back in the day. I actually went through many different sports bags and they took quite a battering let me tell you!

Looking at this picture reminds me that I would have put all of my exercise books in the side pocket, well out of the way of my mud-covered football boots. That is, unless I was in a rush to get home from school. Then I would, no doubt, just cram everything into the main section of the bag as quickly as possible, leaving my once pristine exercise books with dog-eared pages and covered in half the playing field.

The bag featured here is available in three colours; red, blue and black with metallic gold lettering. There were a good many red and white bags around, I remember, due to the popularity of football teams such as Liverpool, Man United and Arsenal. I was an Aston Villa supporter, but claret and blue was, unfortunately, exceedingly difficult to come by.

Retro Apple Green Gola Sports Bag
Apple Green Gola Retro Sports Bag
The Gola brand was also very popular and this authentic-looking shoulder bag featured here is available in no less than 20 different colours. It's ideal not just for sports, of course, but also air travel, work and school. Apparently, these bags are all the rage with youngsters at the moment. Here are a couple more examples of the colours available;

This is just a small example of the number of designs available. The zebra print and neon coloured bags are very 80s, and I particularly like the fourth bag which features an iconic design that was very popular in the 1970s and is also available in black and white.

If you want to own an ultra cool retro bag then, it seems, Adidas and Gola are the most popular choice right now, and these are certainly two brands I remember the most from my own childhood.

Gola Retro Sports Bags

View all Gola bags
View all Adidas bags

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sports Bag
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 80s Shoulder Bag
If you want your bag to really stand out from the crowd then this uber-cool bag featuring a ZX Spectrum keyboard design should fit the bill. It looks fantastic and is certainly a head-turner. For those of you too young to remember, the "speccy" as it was known was a British-built 8-bit computer that became hugely popular during the 1980s, selling around five million units in total.

Danger Mouse Retro Sports Bag
Danger Mouse 80s Cartoon Sports Bag
Danger Mouse was a truly British cartoon that was broadcast between 1982 and 1992 on ITV. I certainly remember watching it after a hard day at school, and it became one of my favourite cartoons. Unbelievably, at its peak 21 million viewers tuned in - that's phenomenal for a cartoon! No doubt, the voices of David Jason and Terry Scott helped to fuel its success.

There are actually several designs of bag available, some of which feature Dangermouse's sidekick Penfold, and they are available as wash bags and flight bags, too.

See all Danger Mouse bags

I'll leave you with a few more eye-catching retro sports bags ideas to feast your eyes upon;

Star Wars Shoulder Bag
Star Wars Shoulder Bags
Cassette Flight Bag
Retro Cassette Sports and Flight Bags
Doctor Who Shoulder Bag
Doctor Who Bags
Curly Wurly 70s Messenger Bag
Cadbury's Curly Wurly Messenger Bag

You will find many more retro gift ideas at my website