– Ben Martens

Throwback Thursday

Teddy Ruxpin

teddyruxpinTyla recently pulled out her the Teddy Ruxpin she had when she was a kid and asked if I could get it to work. Thankfully she still had one of the tapes for it too and I was able to get it all working with just a fresh set of batteries.

Our first thought was, “Wow! This thing must be worth a fortune!” It was such an iconic toy from the 80s. I looked it up and… nope.

You can go to to learn how to figure out what year your Teddy Ruxpin was created and estimate it’s value. If you have a mint condition Teddy Ruxpin with it’s original box, you might hope to get $100. Tyla’s has been played with but it still works so maybe we could get $50 out of it. In 1985, the bears sold for $69.95 (or $155 in today’s money).

So keeping iconic childhood toys isn’t a great investment, especially when millions of them were produced, but it’s still a fun blast from the past. Elijah thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. He sits on the floor and holds Teddy’s hand while Teddy sings songs.

Throwback Thursday – Tyla

This is the last Throwback Thursday for a while. Next week I’ll be starting the fantasy football recap and I don’t need two scheduled posts per week so we’ll drop these photos. And since it’s the last one, I decided to mix it up and show a picture of Tyla instead.I don’t know much about this photo except that she appears to be on a horse.

Throwback Thursday – In A Hole 1987

Dad built us a great treehouse when we were kids. I’ve been thinking a lot about it wondering if I should build something for Elijah and what it might look like. Today’s throwback picture shows just how deep the wholes were for the posts.

I guess this type of photo runs in the family because I did the same thing to Elijah when I dug the hole for the irrigation backflow prevention valve.

Throwback Thursday – Baseball 1997

I just realized that this photo was taken halfway between my birth and today. Wow. Anyway, now that I feel old, here’s a shot from my Junior year of high school baseball. This was the best team I’ve ever played on. Our coaches were awesome and our team was really good. That’s me in the #12 jersey in the middle of the back row.

I dug up the stats sheet from that year:

  • We were ranked 10th in the state and finished 21-6.
  • I had a 1.55 ERA.
  • I set the school record for picking the most people off base. The exact stat isn’t in there, but I’m pretty sure it was 16. As far as I know, that record still stands.
  • My batting average? 0.00. Yep. They usually DH’d for me, but I had 14 at bats and never got a hit. It’s a good thing I could pitch because I was terrible at batting. Pretty much they only time they put me at the plate was when they needed a bunt because I could do that reasonably well.
  • I made the All-District team and the Academic All-State team… What’s academic all-state? Well, you’re not THAT good, but you’re a geek too so we’ll give you some extra credit and make a special team for you.

By now you should hear Bruce belting out Glory Days loud and clear.

Throwback Thursday – Camping 1981

A few weeks ago we got to take Elijah to his first camp site. I wasn’t brave enough for us to spend the night, but he had fun toddling around in the dirt. Mom and Dad took me camping when I was about the same age but we were in a tent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From what I’ve heard, I didn’t have a ton of fun on the trip. Actually come to think of it, I wasn’t really a great camper until much later in life. As a kid I think it’s a little harder to understand the joys of sitting outside and relaxing. That’s what I did all day during the summers anyway!

12 Years of Blogging

I guess it’s appropriate that the 12 year anniversary of my blog falls on Throwback Thursday. Rather than bore you with stats about how many posts I’ve made over the years, I dug up a photo from 2002 a few months after I started the daily blog. This was one of the first photos I took with my first digital camera. I had just gotten the camera that day. I headed for bed around the normal time but I was woken up by a phone call from Jay. “Hey! What are you doing? We’re all at Top Dog. You should be here.” “Oh… yeah… I’m totally awake. Be there in a minute.”

Throwback Thursday – April Fools 1998

For April Fools of my Senior year, we organized a prank on Pastor Schneider. At the beginning of religion class, we had the principal, Mr. Zanto, call Pastor into the office for a call from his wife (both of them were in on the joke.) Mr. Zanto agreed to watch our class while Pastor was gone.

As soon as Pastor left, we quickly moved all of the desks and even the overhead projector out the back door and set the classroom up outside. Getting the principal and his wife in on the gag turned out to be a good move because it mean that he couldn’t get too mad at us. A yearbook photographer was on hand to make sure this made it into the book.

Looking back at this photo, it’s interesting to see the people who weren’t looking back at the photo. Surely this was announced as “hey, smile for the camera” so I guess they didn’t think the joke was funny. Party poopers!