Did you catch the post where I blogged about the EPIC 90s themed birthday party I threw my husband for his 30th birthday? It was wild, and took like 12 hours just to prepare for on the day, not to mention all the time that went into tracking those items down. Anyway, it was themed that way for a moment. My husband loves the 90s–he loves the music, Nickelodeon, all the pop superstars, the colors and especially the movies and TV shows. All of it, basically. So three years ago when we were trying to come up with a theme for his office, the 90s was a pretty obvious choice. I decorated the rest of the house, and he had exclusive rights on his man cave! Let me just say that he did a terrific job! His office is the room in our house that gets the most awe (especially from guys!) and we always save it till last on our home tours. Now that we are preparing for foster kids, we needed to change some things in our home, and so Jason is downsizing big time to make room for the kid’s room. So because of that, I did an office photo shoot, and Jason is going to finish this post off for me!!
My office’s decorations and various knick-knacks range from (roughly) 1986-2003, with most of the stuff from the actual 90s. Of course, some things that were hugely popular in the 90s actually came out in the 80s and some stuff went into the 2000s. There were some things here and there that were from the 70s and even from the 2010s, but not much. As you can see, most everything is from the 90s.
Some notable items from the room are:
- The Mortal Kombat II Arcade Machine. I dreamed of having one of these when I was 10 years old and never thought it would actually happen. Then, one day in 2008, I walked across an arcade that wasn’t yet open with a sign that said “We sell arcade machines.” Knowing that MKII usually went for about $2,500, I was almost reluctant to ask. When they came back and said “We’ll take $800 for it.” “SOLD.” And that was that.
- The Mario Wall. Besides the MKII machine, this definitely gets the best response when showing the room. “That’s what makes the room” is what I’ve heard every time. I got that from ThinkGeek.com.
- Huge Superman: The Movie VHS Tape. This thing is just awesome. It’s so freakin’ old that the box is almost as big as two VHS tapes. I found it in a hobby store for $5.
- 2 Trapper Keeper from 1989. Really, do I even need to say more?
The entire goal of the room was to make you feel as though you’ve walked through a time warp. Sure, there are some things that are new technology, but nearly all of it is from days of past.
More notable items:
- Jenny Lewis “Shrine,” as my wife calls it. Yeah, Jenny Lewis has been a part of my life since I was 10, when I first saw her in the first Disney Channel Original Movie A Friendship in Vienna. I had an enormous crush on her and she was my first celebrity crush. It’s awesome that she’s still thriving in the biz today with her music. She is the former front woman for Rilo Kiley and has since gone solo with 3 amazing albums. The Voyager is her newest and it’s one of my favorite albums of all time, even though it’s only been out for half a year! I saw her live (a dream of mine for years) back in November and it was the greatest show I’ve ever seen. I stood in the front row and she almost gave me a rose. I bought the concert poster you see in the picture above. And, yes, that is The Voyager on vinyl and cassette
- Unopened/unused Super Mario Bros. 3 McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. I just about “stole” these from a guy on eBay that didn’t know what he had. This set one of the most sought after McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy sets ever. The game was wildly popular and the toys were awesome. It also came with unused, brand new McD’s Happy Meal boxes with Mario art on them. It’s one of my favorite things in the room. It was all $20. What a steal!
- Nickelodeon alarm clock and Double Dare lunchbox. I never got to have the alarm clock when I was a kid, because it was “too expensive,” but I’ve got one now that I’m in my thirties and it’s my favorite “time piece.” It still works completely. The lunchbox is one of the more rare things in the room and it’s such a great article of one of the most entertaining game shows ever on television.
While we were deciding on what theme I should choose for my office, we went back and forth on themes. Movies, Apple-like theme, modern, design-oriented (I’m a graphic designer). We couldn’t really settle on anything and all of a sudden, it came to me. 90s. As soon as I said it to Sarah-Marie, she was like “Duh! That’s totally you!”
More notable items:
- A Friendship in Vienna and The Wizard VHS tapes. Yes, more Jenny Lewis stuff. Of course, I have to have the movie that I first saw Jenny Lewis in and it took me years to track down a copy. It’s long out-of-print and darn near impossible to find, but I finally found it! The Wizard is a great movie. Well, it’s really a 90-minute Nintendo commercial about 3 kids that go to California to play in a video game competition. This movie first introduced Super Mario Bros. 3 to the masses, the greatest video of all time. Yes. I said that. If you’re an 80s baby/90s kid, this VHS is a must have.
Opryland USA Guide and Opryland USA 1997 Park Map. This is a little more specialized to the Nashville area. Opryland USA was a theme park that was a staple of Nashville. People here are still not over its closing after nearly 20 years. I found the guide on eBay and it was printed in 1989, when Opryland added a large amount of new attractions to the park. The park map is from the last year it was open and I’ve had it since I was 14. I also have the ticket from my last visit, a few pictures, a pennant, a shot glass and some t-shirts. Opryland was the first theme park I ever visited and it still depresses me that they tore it down to build a mall.
The 90s were a very special time. Historians say the 90s was the “last decade of innocence.” They mark the beginning of the Gulf War to be the end of an era where we weren’t always surrounded with world news, especially bad news. When I was a kid, I didn’t have a smart phone constantly telling me how many people were being killed in other countries, how politically divided we were as a nation. All I cared about was candy, video games and Nickelodeon.
More notable items:
- Yikes! Pencils. Oh yeah! These were THE COOLEST pencils in the whole world and if you didn’t have them, you were simply a dork. Not only did I find a pack on eBay, but it’s a sealed pack!
- Michael Jordan McDonald’s Get Fit Stopwatch. Not only did McDonald’s have an entire Happy Meal Toy line with Michael Jordan, it was also centered around getting and staying fit. Yes, McDonald’s did that. As a kid, we ate McDonald’s and were still fit. Know why? We played freakin’ OUTSIDE! Of course, we didn’t have McD’s all the time, it was a rare occasion, because our parents were a thing I like to call “smart.” Just imagine, if McD’s came out with a Get Fit line today, people would laugh at them, but I think it would be for the wrong reason. McD’s used to know what they were, but people today think McD’s is for something else entirely.
3. The very best thing in the room: SUPER SOAKER 50. Yes, yes, yes! The Super Soaker 50 was hands down my favorite toy from my childhood. Ever. Hours and hours of shooting refilling with this bad boy that could shoot up to 50 feet! Holy cow! I have so many different distinct memories with my SS50, including having an all out water war where the person who got the most soaked, won! I found one on eBay a few years ago. The cost? Well, let’s just say I paid more than MSRP…4. Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. These were THE three systems to have in the 90s. The SNES is my very own from when I was 10 years old and I’m proud to say it still works. In fact, all of my systems still work and very well, I might add. I only occasionally have to blow the cartridges to get some dust out, but the systems still perform as well as they did over 20 years ago. No red circles of death with these bad boys. If you drop them, they’d probably break the floor.I have recently condensed the room quite a bit. It’s still 90s-themed, but it doesn’t have nearly the amount of stuff in it. Now that we are preparing for foster kids, I hope to give them a taste of the magic we had as kids in the 90s by letting them hang out in the room, play some old school video games and listen to cassettes. Yes, the 90s are long gone, but as long as I have my collection, they will be with me wherever we go!