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80s

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Child of the 80's

This is one that I've wanted to illustrate for EONS. There's not much to say about it - I grew up in the 80s, I'm convinced it was the greatest decade to grow up in, and I think it was one of the most creative eras that pop culture has ever been through. This was a time when people were just throwing every idea at the wall and seeing what stuck. A lot of stuff was crap, but so much more of it was gold... And even the crappy stuff makes you nostalgic (I'm talking about you Kid n' Play animated series!).

There's the obvious franchises that we all know: Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Thundercats... But there's also some that have faded into obscurity that were right on par like Bionic Six, Food Fighters and Visionaries. My personal favorite was Silverhawks. Everything had a gimmick, which made the toys awesome and unique (everything now is a collectable it feels like) and everything had a jingle so it stayed in your head for years. The colors were bright, the characters were over the top and gosh darn it I miss the days when bad guys were bad and good guys were good. No plot twists, no anti-heroes, no politics - just good, clean, non-pc fun.

For a standard 11x17 print, I could sadly only fit so many franchises in, and really I just stuck to the ones that I liked the most growing up, but there's enough content out there to make a hundred of these kinds of prints (yeah, not gonna happen from me, carpal tunnel isn't a thing I actually want - but you're welcome to carry on the tradition).

For the background, my goal was to capture the essence of my grade school trapper-keepers. Man I miss neon.

Before I finished the 80s illustration, I had been planning on doing an illustration for each individual franchise - I got as far as "Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light" before realizing just how much work I was making for myself. So I finished this and then just went ahead and did the mashup with a few handpicked favorites. If you knew the toys, I hope you enjoy this. If you didn't know the toys... I shed a tear for you. Kids these days don't know the joys of holograms.