Tag Archive: Gilligan’s Island


Steeped in Polynesian lore but reborn as a derivative American pop-design style going back to the 1930s, “tiki culture,” which in some ways goes back to the peoples of Easter Island, was reinterpreted into a form of Americana, and had its own resurgence after GIs brought back bits of Polynesian culture to the States after World War II.  It sprang back again in the 1970s (Gilligan’s Island had its own take on it), and had another revival in the 1990s, but in the past year it seems to be back again, with a huge following.  Tiki is really in its stride with a wide scope of tiki mugs on the market–those mugs that take on the image of a familiar “patron,” the mug is usually made of ceramics and is still a featured souvenir of tiki bars from coast to coast.

Perhaps the craziest display of the 21st century’s look at tiki culture could be found at San Diego Comic-Con this year with a tiki hut themed booth full of inspired artwork by the California artist known as Shag.  His retro art style was a great foundation for a mash-up with Planet of the Apes–a crazy and cool spin on pop culture.  The booth, hosted by The Shag Stores in Palm Springs and West Hollywood, had the coolest shirt onsite–an orange Hawaiian style shirt with Planet of the Apes imagery.  Visitors could also pick up art prints and t-shirts in tiki-tubes.  And Shag premiered his Shag Cocktail Birds–limited fine-art prints on wood, limited to 200 units.  Check out The Shag Store website here for more on the artist and his products.

But that wasn’t all.  Entertainment Earth had its own hefty tiki mugs, depicting Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry, probably the best tie-ins to Big G cereals anyone has yet thought of.  You can still pre-order the tiki mugs from Entertainment Earth here.  While you’re there you should check out the rest of their tiki mug line-up.  How about a Kraken, a Unicorn, a Mermaid, or a Dragon?  Want your favorite franchise fix in tiki form?  How about a Captain Kirk or Captain Picard tiki mug?  Or maybe a Yoda or Jawa mug is your jam.  Or just get a set of four classic tiki character images.  There’s several more from Star Wars, Star Trek… even a Frankenstein.  The best?  Check out all the creatures from Star Wars and the rest of the tiki mugs from Entertainment Earth below:

Mythical Creatures Unicorn 19 oz. Geeki Tiki Mug Mythical Creatures Mermaid 15 oz. Geeki Tiki Mug Mythical Creatures Dragon 17 oz. Geeki Tiki Mug Star Wars Series 1 Chewbacca 14 oz. Geeki Tiki Mug

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jonny-quest-figures

We’ve been raving about the three and three-quarters inch scale Kenner-style action figures from Funko’s ReAction line here at borg.com for a few years now.  If style and nostalgia are your jam but not necessarily screen-accurate sculpts, it’s hard to beat the myriad of licenses that Funko has secured.  What you may not have seen is that Figures Toy Company has been producing a similar series of figures reflecting the larger, eight-inch Mego action figure line also popular in the 1970s.

batcave

Like Funko, Figures Toy Company has secured licenses of brands, movies and TV shows you’d never think would surface again, like Evel Knievel, Dukes of Hazzard, DC Comics, KISS, Shazam, Batman TV series heroes and villains, Super Friends, Scooby Doo, Tarzan, Dallas, The Monkees, The Three Stooges, Gilligan’s Island, and most recently Jonny QuestAlso like Funko, don’t expect Sideshow Toys’ level of detail.  The appeal of these lines is pure nostalgia, and packaging is half of the value.  The company also didn’t forget accessories and playsets, like a great set of Batman weaponsthe Batbus and Batlabclassic style carrying casesGotham GCPD bus, professional wrestling accessories, the Teen Titans bus, and the classic Batcave.

bunce-robin-mego

Your editor with the original Mego Robin figure, and at right the new Figures Toy Company version.

The toy company has also stepped ahead into more recent licenses, creating a line of Mego-style Harry Potter action figures.  Some of Figures Toy Company’s action figure lines are also offered in a 12-inch and 18-inch version.  Many lines were released in limited editions and exclusives, and some can only be found on Amazon and eBay, and many are still available with new figures released frequently.  Not only do many have the Mego-style retro packaging, others have the Kresge Stores-style packages your parents could pick up in the 1970s as point-of-sale purchases at checkout in local dime stores across the country.

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night court

More than fifty years ago Newton Minow, the first FCC commissioner, called television a vast wasteland.  The prospect of 500 channels available and nothing to watch was forecast back in the 1970s and today it sometimes seems like it’s a truism more often than not.  But if you get tired of new programming–and make no mistake plenty of great television shows are airing this year–a few recently added channels to your local line-up may remind fans of classic TV why they jumped onboard in the first place.

Three channels: MeTV, COZI TV and LAFF, are a destination for those who just want to pop in now and then for a dose of the past.  Even pay channel Starz has begun broadcasting classic television series.  No doubt much of the programming may not hold up to current audiences.  Clothes, hairstyles, and stale, formulaic half-hour and hour plots may not keep your 21st century attention.  Yet many shows seem to hold up quite well.  As time goes on two of my favorites, Simon & Simon and Magnum, P.I., seem to drift farther and farther away, yet the comedy of Night Court and Cybill remains laugh-out-loud funny.

Simon & Simon

Classic TV gold, like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, may be a bit much in big doses.  Only a diehard fan would stream these beginning to end.  Yet, try popping in once in a while and it’s like visiting an old friend.  M*A*S*H and The A-Team hold up quite well.  In particular, the formula established by The A-Team, no doubt based on decades of series that came before it, can be found continuing on to this day in series like Leverage and Burn Notice.  Even series like Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels can be fun, if you don’t take their 1970s approach to TV too seriously.  And you may find yourself engrossed in Quantum Leap all over again.

So what’s playing, where, and when?

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