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10 Awesomely Ridiculous 80s & 90s Fancy Dress Ideas For Kids

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Halloween is here any minute now and with that comes watching Hocus Pocus on loop whilst being wrapped under 14 blankets on the sofa. Your phone is beeping but you’re still casually ignoring your Whatsapp messages of some Keen Ken who is trying to organise a Halloween party that you have no interest in because a) that requires leaving your house! And b) fun doesn’t live here anymore!

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So, what do you do to get yourself in the mood for all things spectacularly spooky? Dress up a small person in a fancy-dress costume from your childhood of course! Why? Because you’re an adult and they have zero say in the matter. Plus, imagine all the Instagram worthy photos you can take of your little darling purely for the entertainment of you and your friends! #parentinggoals

Goonies Sloth

Hey You Guuuuuuuuys! The Goonies is a classic 80s film that only fools would find something wrong with. Persuade your child to ditch the latest superhero character that all their friends are imitating. (And if they begin to have a full-on meltdown at your dictatorship, tell them that one of their toys is possessed by the spirit of a maniacal, disfigured, Japanese, orphaned, drug addict, who will haunt them in their sleep if they don’t get their shit together!) Encourage your little ones to stand out from the crowd and be their own superhero… let them be SLOTH! Yes, he’s not as handsome as Captain America and he can’t lunge real low like The Black Widow, but Sloth CAN save a bunch of entitled kids on a pirate ship! So, your move Marvel! 

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

The original Ghostbusters is a solid 1980s benchmark of a movie that lives in the memory of every 80s child. Especially every 80s child who was Forest Gumping their way through puberty and felt sexually intrigued by Dana/Zuul.

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The cast ensemble is superb, the concept is amazingly bizarre, and it spawned many young folks boldly declaring that they wanted to be a Ghostbuster when they grew up! However, don’t go for the obvious with this fancy dress outfit as that’s too easy. Go for the one character in the film that nearly destroyed New York City. It’s all about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Mario

This little Italian plumber has been kicking around since 1981 and is one of the most recognisable faces when it comes to retro gaming and Nintendo. I know your child probably doesn’t care enough and is flipping you the finger whilst scrolling through their expensive iPad you bought to pacify them, but this fancy dress costume should win prizes! And if it doesn’t, then I think a strongly worded letter to whoever is in charge of this shit show of a fancy-dress competition should do it!

Oompa Loompa

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimised by the strangeness of the original Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory?! (And yes, I am fully aware that this is from the 1971 film but this was a staple in my childhood so I’m ignoring it!) Now if these small strange beings still make you feel ever so nervous, then this Halloween outfit for kids will work out perfectly for your small person. I’m also fairly certain the bright orange face paints will ruin all your soft furnishings in the house… but that’s what you signed up for with this parenting gig! Destruction and mayhem.

Yoda  

I mean. Just look! This Halloween costume is perfect for babies and toddlers because they get to work the cute factor while simultaneously having no idea what the hell is going on! The words Star Wars are just incoherent sounds to an infant, but to those indoctrinated into the way of The Force, this is geek goals! If anything, this Yoda fancy dress costume is enough to make us all point, laugh and coo “that’s adoooorable!” while your small child laughs at the ceiling, cries for no reason and shits themselves.

Chucky Doll

I’m not going to lie. I’ve watched maybe 10 minutes of the film Child’s Play and decided that it was a magnificently giant NO from me because I just can’t cope! We all know the horror story of how a doll comes to life and murders people just for LOLS, so why not bring the essence of an iconic slasher movie to the youths of today!

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If dressing your child as a serial killer is not your bag, but you wish to drown them in glorious memories from your childhood, then The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a pacifists dream! Where we lack in scares, we gain in cuteness! This was a favourite book of mine when I was a kid and now as an adult I only have respect and admiration for a gluttonous caterpillar who eats its way to beauty! #FitLife #FitFam

Edward Scissorhands

This Tim Burton fantasy costume is always a fab go-to when it comes to Halloween. It’s a quintessential look that is easily identifiable, and if it’s pulled off then it’s just the right shade of scary… but in a friendly hairdresser kinda way! Although Edward Scissorhands is meant to be male, this outfit is re-imagined for a girl because sometimes us ladies want to look dark and cool. (Not covered in pink or frills or… projecting heteronormative gender roles!)

Beetlejuice

Another Tim Burton dark comedy classic that does the rounds every Halloween. Beetlejuice is a much-loved movie that scared the crap out of me as a child but also made me love it in equal measure. It’s time to make your little ones decide if the smutty, crude, poltergeist will actually scar their tiny impressionable minds, or will they embrace him and laugh out loud. Nervous laughter is also ok! Either way, this fancy dress outfit is all kinds of awesome and needs to be seen!

Toby From Labyrinth

You remind me of the babe! If your child is not even walking yet and you want to participate in the peer pressure Halloween dress up but you’re feeling incredibly lazy, then this stripy onesie is a winner! Toby is the baby from the definitive 80s film Labyrinth and he is the reason why shit gets real and people nearly die in order to save him… while he’s off having his jollies with the Goblin King David Bowie! You can dress your cute person in this red stripy number and recklessly throw him or her around the living room whilst dancing! Fun.

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The N Word : The Nostalgia Project

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I’m that person who can be found most days saying, “remember when…” with a warm glow in my heart as I fondly reminisce about a childhood memory. If I could camp out in 1992 with my Nintendo Game Boy, Captain Planet on a giant television set whilst wearing a highly flammable shell suit, then I would steal a Delorean time machine and make that shit happen! Nostalgic musings of awesomeness is where I shine brightest!

The sentimentality of a memory is an important component to life. It first emerged from the Greek words nostos meaning ‘homecoming’ and algos meaning ‘ache’. It was later coined in the 17th century to describe the medical condition of anxiety. Since then the word has spawned a slightly different meaning associated with romanticism and the longing for those ‘good old days.’ Nostalgia can be anything from a smell, to a touch to an event in one’s past. It can also be stumbling into your parent’s garage and finding forgotten bottles of Archers peach schnapps and Malibu rum that instantly throws you back to being a teenager... sleeping in fields with vomit in your hair!

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Nostalgia evokes strong vivid reactions in the human brain. The smell of freshly cut grass makes me think of playing football in the school holidays with my brother. This stimulus alone provokes once dormant memories to fizz in my brain and etch-a-sketch a little smile on my face no matter how much of a shitty day I may be having.

Although nostalgia was once considered in a negative light with images of melancholy, homesickness and anxiety, it is now thought of as a trope for improving mood and creating positive emotions. Nostalgia is also a fantastic coping mechanism when life smacks you in the face with adulting!

What is The N Word Project?

After spending an afternoon with my nan who has dementia, I decided that I wanted to explore what nostalgia means to different people. The potent power of childhood memories and past experiences are the things that keeps my nan smiling when she’s feeling confused with modern life, so I wanted to discover the importance of these reflective moments in our lives. The N Word Project is a collection of interviews with interesting folk as I try to figure out what nostalgia is all about.

First up is Brandon Felczer who part owns the amazing retro arcade bar Token in Dublin. They opened in 2017 and offer not only 30+ original video arcades and pinballs to play with, but also some seriously delicious gourmet food and of course booze to accompany all that gaming!

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How did you get involved in Token?

I arrived in Dublin in December 2016 with two suitcases and no idea what I was going to do! I had a dream to live in Ireland and I had 90 days to figure it all out. So, I was talking to friends and thought about setting up a restaurant or bar. My friends suggested a retro arcade bar because they’re really popular in the states. So, I Googled 'retro arcade bar Dublin' and an article from Lovin Dublin two years previous popped up. I decided to reach out via Facebook to the company and Nick the primary founder, and I asked to be involved… And here we are!

What do you think it is about Token that makes it so popular?

It’s unique! There is nothing like it in Dublin. It gives you something different to do other than just coming in and having something to eat or drink. It’s great as a date night venue, we do community events, there’s food challenges and monthly specials and we are always evolving making changes based on what we hear from customers.

For me nostalgia and childhood memories make me feel like I’m hugging a hot water bottle or placing a warm towel over my eyes. What kind of emotions or imagery evokes nostalgia for you?

For me it’s definitely retro graphics like the screens that you see, retro clothing and certain colours and old cars. I love what’s going on in Stranger Things and how you get sucked into this world of the past.

What was your first gaming console?

Super Nintendo! My uncle gave it to my me and my sister for a present and it was my first experience on a gaming console. Super Mario Bros! I was obsessed with it and haven’t stopped playing games since.

What was your favourite video game?

My favourite game isn’t actually a retro game but it’s the Unchartered Series. It’s amazing! It started on the Playstation and has four core games and one spinoff. That and The Last of Us. Amazing cinematics and all about the narrative. I really love narrative driven games that make you feel like you’re playing a movie.

What retro game throws you right back into being a kid again? Mine is Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive!

I would say Super Mario World and Zelda, especially Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. It’s won a lot of best game awards. It’s literally one of those masterpieces that has been untouched by time where you can keep playing it over and over and transports me right back to my childhood and trying to get through that water temple!

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Do you think Token taps into the sentimentality and fond memories of youth as a marketing tool?

Oh absolutely! It’s all about being a grown-up kid without the kids screaming around you! From 4pm daily we’re 18+ (age) So you can come in and be a kid again, play games and eat fun tasty food. It’s a place to come and let your guard down and just throw back to what you would do as a kid and also drink a little bit! All of our games have drink holders, so you can continue your sippage and sesh while you’re gaming!

If you had a time machine/Delorean, which age would you go back to and live for a week and why?

Oh my gosh! I’ll probably have to say 6th grade when I was 12. I think I finally came into my youth and got out of a really awkward phase! I had really fun friends where we played a lot of games. And Final Fantasy 7 was out! That’s actually up there with one of my favourite retro games as well. It was before you started working, but you still had some responsibility and you valued your free time with your friends and I filled a lot of my time with gaming. Yeah, I definitely would go back to when I was 12! Young, dumb, carefree, hitting puberty but it was a fun time!

Do you think that it is unhealthy to still live in the past? Does nostalgia and reminiscing about the good old days prevent us from moving forward and grabbing new adventures and opportunities?

I think it is totally fair to enjoy your past and relive some of that. But I think you should apply that to your mindset of today and how you are as a person. But it is kinda fun to let go of things and be transported to the past and put on a retro game and not worry about what’s going on in the world. It’s just dumb fun! And I think dumb fun is ok once in a while. I do believe your past is the past. Like if I had a time machine I would have the option to go back but I would also choose not to go. Because everywhere I’m at from the past has led me to where I am now, and I focus on that. I do reflect on the past, so I don’t repeat the same mistakes and I take my learnings forward, but I think you can separate out retro fun and dwelling too much on the past.

5 Thoughts About The SNES Classic Mini

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I never was into Super Nintendo (SNES) growing up. Yes, I have just blasphemed and I’m sure your eyes are bleeding with such an outrageous statement! My only real brush with Nintendo was the Game Boy that I adored. My parents were fine advocates of second hand items “Give it a wipe and it’ll be as good as new again!” So, when it came to game consoles, my brother and I were always years behind the latest gaming trend. When my friends were swooning over the original Nintendo, I was playing Frogger on the Atari. When they advanced to the Sega Mega Drive or SNES (nobody had both! Pick a side!) I was patiently waiting for tape cassettes to load in my ZX Spectrum and then playing Paperboy and Dizzy. So, when my mother bought me a brand-new Sega Mega Drive I cherished it like it was my own child/pizza! 

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I received the SNES Classic Mini for my birthday last year and of course I was delighted! Any retro gaming console with built in games is going to have me salivating like these! Plus I always had a soft spot for Street Fighter on the SNES after I played against my next-door neighbour when I was about 12 and hammered the shit out of him with Ryu’s dragon punch and hurricane kick!

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But I digress...

I unpacked the console and immediately Forest Gumped my way to setting it up without instructions… because instructions are for the weak! I then executed the sitting lotus position on the floor mere centimetres away from the telly and then proceeded to gush out loud. A lot of people are not fans of the smaller reboots of plug and play retro consoles. It’s like ‘real’ DJ’s getting pissed off at other DJ’s who don’t use vinyl because they think they’re bastardising a much-loved skill and artistry. Yes, the old skool ninja ways are still hugely important and the quality is no doubt pure, but I also think that if you’re enjoying it, then why does it matter how it’s produced? Here were my 5 initial thoughts when I set about playing my new SNES Mini for the first time.

One

“OMG! This is so tiny and cute I can hold it in one hand and not freak out that I’m going to break it for being a clumsy smart ass.” The SNES Mini is very compact and light and feels more like a toy prop compared to the original SNES from 1992. I may have picked it up, waved it in the air a bit and thought, “Wow, this looks like it’s fake!” and “Why isn’t this a Mega Drive?!”

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Two

“If this doesn’t have Street Fighter, then I hope you kept the receipt!” The SNES Mini does of course have Street Fighter 2 pre-installed ready to go. It also has 20 other retro games including the classics like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and Contra.

Three

“Where the hell do I connect the controllers?” The SNES Mini is not an exact functional replica of the original. The main features on the console are just for aesthetic purposes. So, no you can’t use cartridges as the slot is just an illusion of lies! And yes, you might have a few minutes of shouting hysterically that your console is broken, and then realise (with a little patience and deep breathing) that the original controllers ports are also make believe! The new controller ports (Nintendo Wii remote style) are stealthily hidden in a compartment under the pretend ones. Sneaky genius! 

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Four

“Where is the mains plug or is this so advanced I have to remotely power the SNES Mini with thoughts and prayers?!” The small console does come with a USB lead, but you will need your own plug to connect it to a power supply. This isn’t a big deal as I used my iPhone plug that was kicking about the house, so you will be able to grab one from your smart phone or other generic electrical device to make the magic happen!

Five

“Oh yeah, I forgot how much I actually suck at Mario!” After having irrational meltdowns setting up the really quite simple SNES Mini, it was amazing to relive the memories and give my thumbs a workout! If you just want a taste of good old Nintendo retro gaming, then these handy consoles with built in games are fantastic. However, if you want to immerse yourself in the full Shangri-La of 1990s gaming, then you can purchase a second hand original SNES Classic quite easily online from a specialist retro gaming shop like The R.A.G.E for my Irish peeps and RetroPlayers for my UK pals! You can then buy all the old cartridges your heart so desires!

For me as a part-time SNES lover, the Super Nintendo Classic Mini pushes my buttons!

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