10 extremely Eighties products introduced in 1982
Lordy, Lordy, look who's 40 — CD players, Diet Coke and Ms. Pac-Man!
It was a pretty awesome year for movies, music and television in 1982. Cheers, E.T., Thriller, Blade Runner, Tron, Tootsie, "Little Red Corvette," Knight Rider, Toto's "Africa," Captain Kirk yelling "KHAAAAN!" The sayings "I pity the fool" and "Just say no" both entered the vernacular. The Eighties fully became THE EIGHTIES that year.
There was also a lot of, well, stuff that year that made that decade one of the most fondly recalled in history.
Colas, action figures, sneakers, computers, scents…
Let's turn the clock back 40 years and take a look at 10 memorable introductions.
1. Bud Light
Originally branded Budweiser Light, this lo-cal quaff went with the shortened "Bud Light" two years later. The beer then introduced Spuds MacKenzie, the bull terrier who became a pop sensation. At the end of the decade, in 1989, Bud Light was battling Budweiser — literally — in Bud Bowl ads during the Super Bowl.
2. CD Players
The temporary death of vinyl began here. (Vinyl has had the last laugh. Well, until CDs become cool again?) When introduced, Compact Disc players were insanely expensive, upwards of a thousand bucks. They sold nevertheless. The Sony CDP-101, seen here, was the first commercially released CD player, hitting electronics shops in '82.
3. Commodore 64
For many Gen-Xers, the Commodore 64 was their first personal computer. It is said that between 12 and 17 million units were sold. The 64 stood for 64 kilobytes of RAM. We just typed that sentence on a computer with 16 gigabytes of RAM.
4. Diet Coke
The original wave of diet colas splashed into supermarkets in the Sixties. Pepsi had its Patio, which it quickly renamed Diet Pepsi. Coke offered up Tab. It would be another 15 years or so until Coca-Cola decided to just sell "Diet Coke." Which do you prefer?
5. Drakkar Noir
Ah, the smell of so many teenage dates. And college.
Image: Guy Laroche
6. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
Boomers had their G.I. Joe, the foot-tall "America's Movable Fighting Man" dolls introduced two decades earlier. Their kids would play with the far more fantastic miniatures, now dubbed "A Real American Hero." The Joes now had their adversaries, Cobra. The cartoon would follow a year later. The more you know…
Image: Sears / Hasbro
7. Ms. Pac-Man
The first sequel to the global sensation Pac-Man arrived in 1982 — and gave the yellow ghost-chomper a lover. Ms. Pac-Man improved on the game in every way — more warp tunnels, bouncing fruit, smart adversaries. It was a banner year for video games, the peak of the first wave of gaming. Also arriving in arcades and cartridges that year were Q*Bert, Pitfall, BurgerTime, Dig Dug, Zaxxon and so many more.
8. Nike Air Force 1
Sneaker freak culture arguably begins here. The Air Force 1s (yes, named after the President's plane) remain a coveted icon in basketball and fashion. It was that Velcro strap, you know?
9. Pepsi Free
Most know of Pepsi Free because of a moment in Back to the Future. Marty finds himself back in a diner in 1955. He asks for a "Pepsi Free." The disgruntled chef spits back, "If you wanna Pepsi, you're gonna pay for it." It still exists today, in a way. It's simple Caffeine Free Pepsi. But Pepsi Free just sounds cooler. Maybe too many people weren't paying.
Hot take: The banana is our favorite. There. We said it. Fight away. When the candy launched in '82, they came in banana, cherry, strawberry, orange, and lime flavors.