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Monday, 22 December 2014

Throw a Doctor Who Themed Party


Official Doctor Who Party Balloons
Official Doctor Who Tardis Balloons

If you're stuck for a good theme idea for a party (for kids or adults) then you may not have considered Doctor Who. This is an ideal theme for sci-fi, film and TV, retro and 80s parties and events.

No retro party would be complete without balloons, and the official Dr. Who balloons are your safest bet to ensure a decent quality. Beware of very cheap balloons which often burst when you blow them up!

You can buy these balloons from Amazon in both the UK and U.S., which is good news as the majority of readers of this blog are from both countries.


Doctor Who Party Pack - paper cups, plates and napkins.
Doctor Who party pack

This official party pack includes just about everything you need to create a fabulous table. Featuring daleks, cybermen and tardis graphics, it includes 8 X Party Cups, 8 X Party Plates, 16 Party Napkins, 1 Tablecloth 120 X 180cm, 1 Banner 15 X 198cm and a Pack of 10 Balloons.



Once again, this official product is available both in the UK and U.S., but please note the item is sent from a company called Frugal Fairy based in the UK, so please allow plenty of time for delivery if you live in the U.S.

Doctor Who Tardis LED String Lights
Doctor Who Tardis String Lights
Now, these LED Tardis lights are are a fabulous idea and will be a great talking point at any party.



Please note that if you live in the British Isles (like myself) the lights are sent from the U.S. and come with a 2 pin plug, so you will need an adapter for them, although these only cost £1.05 at Amazon.

Doctor Who Cake Decoration Kit

Every party needs a cake, and Lakeland produce a very cost-effective topper kit which includes seven items; Tardis, Angel, Dalek, the Doctor, K9, Cyberman & Clara.

Doctor Who Cake Decoration Kit by Lakeland
Lakeland Dr. Who Cake Decoration Kit



Create a TARDIS-shaped cake

Being the useless cook that I am, just the thought of trying to create a cake shaped like a TARDIS has brought me out in a sweat! Thankfully, there is an easy solution in the form of a silicone mould.

Doctor Who TARDIS cake mould set
Tardis non-stick gelatin cake mould
Now, that cake looks most impressive, but you'll need to eat it quickly, of course, before it disappears!



Sadly, the mould is not available here in the UK, but there is an alternative Dalek mould;

Dalek non-stick, flexible cake mould
Dalek Non-Stick Cake Mould



You can read more about Doctor Who in the 80s at my website

Related posts;

Doctor Who Fifth Doctor Costume
Classic Doctor Who T-shirts for Adults



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 simplyeighties.com



Saturday, 18 October 2014

Retro Cassette Tape T-shirts

Retro Cassette Tapes T-shirt for Men - choice of colours
Retro Cassette Tapes T-shirt for Men
Okay, so when was the last time you inserted a cassette tape into a cassette player? It was sometime in the late 90s that I last did this - into my car stereo to be precise - and, as unreliable as they were, it's actually a task that I really miss.

Still, we can still celebrate these long forgotten times by wearing an uber cool retro cassette T-shirt, and there appears to be quite a number of people doing this judging by the number of designs to choose from.

These T-shirts are ideal for wearing at music festivals or retro events/parties, of course, but you can also just do the shopping or mow the lawn in them (or lawns if you're rich) - they're pretty versatile.

For this post, I'm going to hand-pick some of the best designs around, and the first tee that caught my eye was the blue one featured here - this also happens to be the most popular cassette T-shirt at Amazon. It features a bold, but straightforward design featuring many neat rows of different cassettes (32 in all) and the tee is available in 20 magnificent colours. Actually, not all the colours are magnificent - the green wine gum colour is ghastly - but there's something for everyone, at least.


If you like humour then this tee should not disappoint. "What shall we do now?" the cassette asks the floppy disk. The poor guys look like they're about to jump off a cliff together. This one is available at Zazzle for a reasonable £13.95 and is available in a range of colours, although you will be charged another £1.50 these.

Clear Cassette T-shirt for women
Clear Cassette Tee for Women
I really like the design of this black T-shirt for ladies which features one of those clear cassettes which became very trendy during the 80s. I spent many an evening in a trance as I sat and watched the tape whirling around the spindles while listening to the Top 30 on radio one, while at the same time scratching my head trying to work out when I should start and release the pause button to edit out the DJ's inane ramblings while trying to record my favourite tunes.

Now, this tee is described as vintage which makes me feel mega old. I'm not sure I would describe cassettes as vintage just yet, but each to their own. Anyway, this is a bold, in your face design that would be a useful as a talking point for any potential partner that may come you way at a party, should you be looking for one. If you're not looking for one then it would still make a great talking point amongst your friends.

Scattered Cassettes T-shirt for Men
Scattered Cassettes T-shirt for Men
If the militarian rows of tapes in the first tee didn't float your boat, then how about this design? The cassettes are more scattered about, just as they were in my disorganised bedroom back in the day. This T-shirt is available in bacl or white, although the sizes are limited from Small to Large, with small not being available while compiling this post.

Cassette Stack T-shirt for Men
Cassette Stack T-shirt for Men
If you prefer, you can also have your cassettes in a stack as shown in the above tee. There are two colour choices - navy or burgundy - and the price is a very reasonable £8.99 as I write, but this is subject to change, of course.

Retro Cassettes T-shirt for Women - choice of colours
Cassettes T-shirt for Women
You may prefer the layout of the cassettes on this bright yellow, skinny fit T-shirt for ladies. This is, quite possibly, my favourite design featured here and you'll be pleased to know that other colour choices are available should yellow not be quite to your liking. The tee is available in sizes from 8 to 16 and priced at £14.94 (as I write) it's pretty reasonable, too.

I'll leave you with several more designs that caught my eye...

black and white cassettes t-shirt

Here are a couple of tees that you can personalise at Zaxxle.co.uk...


You can see a whole range of 80s T-shirt ideas on my website, and here is a selection of other posts on this blog which may be of interest;

Over-sized, off-shoulder T-shirts for Women
Retro Ford T-shirts for Men
I Love The 80s T-shirts for Women
Most Popular Retro T-shirts



Sunday, 12 October 2014

Top Gun Aviator Overalls - Jumpsuit

Top Gun jumpsuit costume for men
Top Gun Official Costume
No discussion about 80s movies would be complete without mentioning the 1986 action movie Top Gun. The main stars were, of course, Tom Cruise (Maverick) and Kelly McGillis (Charlie). If you're looking for an 80s themed costume idea then a Top Gun costume would make a very decent choice.

I'm going to start with the most popular and official choice which is shown above. This is a complete fancy dress outfit which includes the overalls with sewn-on badges and the aviator shades. Simply wear a white T-shirt underneath to complete your look.

However, you can create a much more cost-effective costume by purchasing some low-cost overalls and a pack of sew-on/iron-on badges.

Dutch Army Issue Overalls £10.99
These surplus supply olive green army boiler suits are brand new and unused and ideal for creating a Top Gun costume.

Top Gun sew-on/iron-on embroidered badges tags
Pack of six iron-on/sew-on embroidered badges £7.99

Air force dog tags Aviator Wings Pin Badge

1. Smiffys Dogtags
2. Gold Aviator Wings Metal Pin Badge

You can also add these dog tags and the metal aviator wings pin badge for a more complete look. Please note that the quoted prices are always subject to change.

You can see more costume ideas on my Top Gun Fancy Dress page at SimplyEighties.com.
To get you in the Top Gun mood why not watch the video for Berlin's Take My Breath Away