A trip down memory lane.
Let’s celebrate the days before the digital revolution, where things were far simpler and the world was less convoluted. A time where communication was bound to a landline and punters played marbles instead of Minecraft.
With Victorians now submerged by a stage four lockdown, reminiscing can be the most powerful motivator. So let’s ride the wave of nostalgia as we break down 20 iconic things from every Aussie millennials’ childhood.
1. Footy cards
Trading footy cards is where we learnt important life skills: how to negotiate and barter. The hustler mentality for Melburnians was instilled from an early age all because we knew the value of trading Nathan Buckley for Michael Voss.
2. Chocolate cake from Woolies
If it was someone’s birthday at school, it was a given this chocolatey goodness would make an appearance. That is unless your teacher shook things up by bringing in the equally-unparalleled triple-layer napoleon ice cream cake.
3. Dolly Doctor
Before there was drug and alcohol specialist Paul Dillon stopping by for a visit, Dolly Doctor was the go-to for edgy life advice. Flipping to the sealed section of Dolly magazine would connect you with many taboo topics. “I have a crush on my friend’s brother, what do I do?” read one confession. “Is it wrong to be in love with your first cousin?” utters another. Dolly Doctor confronted the unspoken truths and for that, we were endlessly thankful.
4. Harold the giraffe
Before Dolly Doctor, the dangers of drugs and alcohol were delivered by a giraffe who rolled up to schools in his van. Ok, hearing it back doesn’t make it sound so great.
These were fucking yum.
6. Tuck shop money
On Fridays, mum would you give you a little tuck shop allowance. Killer pythons never went astray, nor did Sherbet Bombs. If they had Warheads it was game on while strawberry Fizzers were nothing to be sneezed at.
Tamagotchis are like cut off jean shorts – somehow, they’re always coming back in style. This digital handheld gadget only had four or five buttons, but the technology was mind-blowing at the time. Not to mention when your Tamagotchi jumped into your friend’s screens for a pet playdate – talk about innovation.
Scoobie strings dethroned Tamagotchis when they catapulted into every child’s creative consciousness in primary school. At some point, you’d look around and see everyone making keychains, friendship bracelets and little trinkets with these mini plastic strips.
9. Adventure playgrounds
An Aussie kid’s very own mini Disneyland sporting slides, swings, monkey bars and cool hidey holes that became the perfect playing field for hide and seek.
10. Kraft string cheese
Alongside Roll-ups and Yoghurt Tops, came the calcium-boosting Kraft string cheese. While many of us peeled the cylindrical block, there was always that one maverick who chomped it whole. Rogue.
11. Filling your school hat with water on hot days
The best thing since sliced bread. On those scorching hot school days, everyone crowded the drink taps, filling their hats up with water for that 15 seconds of bliss.
To pair with your drenched hat, a Sunnyboy was the most refreshing treat. Were you a biter or a sucker?
13. Watching Ready Steady Cook on sick days
In between daytime talk show reruns and gargling Benzydamine, Ready Steady Cook was always there for us on sick days.
14. Double Dutch
Double Dutch was everything about nothing. To be honest, I don’t know why anyone wasted their time trying to learn this language but it sure was memorable.
15. Knowing every word to the Round the Twist theme song
“Have you ever, ever felt like this?/Have strange things happened? Are you going round the twist?”
16. Smiggle pens
Glitter Smiggle pens were treated like precious cargo. Like befriending a kid with a pool at home, you would always align yourself with anyone who had the Smiggle stationery kit.
17. The Gym Bus
This was a lawsuit on wheels. Who thought it was a good idea to hand over a bunch of kids to a stranger riding around a bus? Not to mention it was incredibly stuffy in that bus and whenever you were thirsty, they’d spray you with water.
18. Playing marbles
If you asked me right now what the objective of marbles is I couldn’t tell ya. Still iconic though.
19. Playing Beyblades
If you loved things that span real fast and got a bit out of control, then Beyblades were probably consuming your lunchtimes.
20. Getting to ride the tram by yourself meant you were a big kid
You were the next level of cool if you finally were able to catch public transport alone. Coupled with your slick side fringe and brand new Nokia AJ34653234523… whoops.
Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece on the eight quintessential Melbourne Instagram pages.
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.