Retro Superheroes: Remembering Our Childhoods With Our Kids


That’s the strange thing about superheroes, to me, anyway: There are so few “new” ones out there. Occasionally a genuinely new superhero will come along, with unique powers and an intriguing backstory. The Incredibles come to mind, that adorable family of reluctant superfreaks who save the planet in their own bumbling way. There’s Finn and Jake from Adventure Time, but those guys are complete idiots. Hilarious idiots, but idiots just the same. And there’s the supercool superheroine Adrienne, from the comic Princeless. She’s a fantastic role model for little girls, and her adventures are comic book gold.

Still, these “new” heroes are few and far between. So when I think of the superheroes of my childhood, they seem to jibe nicely with the superheroes of today. Even the aforementioned super dudes and dudettes pull heavily from the comics of yore. That’s to be expected, since there are only so many ways to battle evil. But for my money, and my for my kid’s bedroom, I tend toward my own nostalgia.

I was never a Superman fan, not until the ‘80s movies anyway, but I loved the old Batman serials. I was an Aquaman fan, too, for some strange reason. Maybe because he hung out with sea animals or because his outfit featured a little too much orange. And I loved Wonder Woman. I was also a huge Star Wars fan, and I consider Luke Skywalker and, to a lesser and drunker degree Han Solo, superheroes in their own right.


So I am completely digging on this heroes and villains pillow. Especially nifty is that we get both sides here: Boba Fett and the Stormtroopers coupled with loveable old C3PO. There’s Iron Man and Batman & Robin juxtaposed with Skeletor. I mean, what would a superhero be without some menacing (and usually very awesome) villain against whom to battle? And, honestly, we all love us some Darth Vader, right?


Also very nice is this stressed-look Iron Man T-shirt. Vintage is the word here, with the old-style Iron Man and logo. But I am partial to the Bat Kids Fan Club T-shirt (below). I love the ‘50s-era illustration. I may have a little girl, but I would totally deck her out in this thing …


I was never a fan of action figures, although I did have an Evil Knievel action figure, complete with rev-able motorcycle and ramp. Man I loved watching that thing wipe out. Just like he did at Caesar’s Palace.

That being said, I am attracted to the Captain Action figure, simply because of its utility. A master of disguise, Capt. Action accommodates various other action hero costumes. So, for the parent who is sick of messy bedrooms and overflowing toy boxes, this dude is perfect.

Captain Action

Created in the mid-‘60s, the Capt.’s original design was used for basic G.I Joe, but Captain Action himself was created to wear the costumes and accessories of Superman, Spider-Man, Capt. America, Flash Gordon and a ton of others. He could even double as The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Yeah, he’s THAT awesome.

Is it odd that we look back with such reverence for the icons of our childhoods? It’s understandable that when we reminisce, we are holding on to our mortality in some way. But there must be more to it. The things we loved then seem cooler to us now. We wish we had kept all that stuff, tucked away so we could show our kids all the things that made us happy when we were their age. Maybe these toys and T-shirts and nerdy trinkets will, in some way, help us to remember the good times, help us share them with our own kids as they create their own nostalgia for tomorrow.

Pick up the Heroes and Villains Pillow at Culture Label.

Get the Iron Man T-shirt at Junk Food Clothing.

The Bat Kids shirt is also available through Junk Food Clothing.

Captain Action action figure is available right here.

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