How do you like that acid wash denim background, by the way? I’m pretty sure I had a few pairs of jeans just like that around the time I would have been an avid reader of these three, nerdstalgically cool magazines from my childhood:
Sega Visions Magazine
There was nothing, NOTHING that gave me greater reading pleasure than a freshly-minted copy of Sega Visions Magazine (Sega’s short-lived answer to Nintendo Power). As a huge fan of all things Sega, I would read these things from cover to cover–usually two or three times–taking time to carefully absorb all the previews, reviews and bits of Sega-y goodness scattered throughout each issue. I even enjoyed the ads, which were of course for upcoming Sega games. I loved how the magazine was divided up into different sections for each of Sega’s consoles, like Genesis, Sega CD, and 32X (which obviously didn’t last long).
I can recall many hours poring over the reviews and screenshots for games like Shining Force CD, Boogerman, Jurassic Park, Earthworm Jim and Dark Wizard. A new issue of Sega Visions meant a trip to the my local video rental store, for which I would agonize over my list of potential games to choose from, as I was never allowed more than two at a time. There may have only been 25 issues of Sega Visions ever published, but I will fondly remember it for having introduced me to some of the greatest games I’ve ever played.
Fox Totally Kids Magazine
When I was growing up, most of my favorite shows were on Fox, the network that had something of an empire for cool kids’ shows in the early ’90s. My daily after school cartoon regimen consisted of Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Batman: The Animated Series, and on Saturday mornings it was The Tick, Eek! The Cat, Taz-Mania, Bobby’s World, and X-Men. And I’ll even admit that at one point I was kind of into the The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but I was already a little too old for it at the time, so I think I only watched the first season.
Anyway, Totally Kids Magazine was required reading for Fox Kids Club fans, and as far as I can tell, was nearly impossible to avoid. I don’t ever remember having subscribed to it, yet it appeared in our mailbox month after month like clockwork.
The articles, if they can even qualify as articles, were a bit on the shallow side, but I didn’t care. What I loved most about this magazine were the big, bold pictures of all my favorite cartoon characters spanning its bright, colorful pages–just look at that fantastic Tick cover up above, for example. Some issues even had pull-out posters, like this awesome X-MEN one. Totally Kids Magazine was one of my favorite go-to sources of reference material for use in my shitty middle school drawings. And you gotta love that helpful programming guide right on the front cover.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine
Around 1988 or so was when my huge obsession with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began. I will never forget my first introduction to the Turtles, which came in the form of an episode of the original TMNT cartoon that I randomly saw at my babysitter’s house one morning. (I still remember which exact episode it was, too: “Enter the Fly”.) I couldn’t have known then that my happenstance viewing of that particular episode would be the beginning of a lifetime of Ninja Turtles fandom.
Thankfully, for the obsessed kids like me, there was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine. I can still recall one article in particular, “Catching Up with Keno” (or something to that effect) that was published around the time Secret of the Ooze was in theaters. It was an interview with Ernie Reyes Jr. (Donatello’s stunt double in the first movie & the character of Keno in the second) about his life, hobbies, and how he got started in martial arts. Fascinating stuff, I know!
Matt from X-Entertainment once wrote an exhaustive retrospective of TMNT Magazine that serves as a much better and more thorough tribute than I could ever dream of writing, so I’ll direct you TMNT fans there for a fun trip back in time through Turtles history.
So tell me: what old magazines did you used to love as a kid?