All The Rage: 5 Retro Christmas Ideas for Teenagers

Beau Lidden is the IT wonder boy of our consulting team, who also happens to be an avid musician, gamer, fan of open source technology, and student of all that is cool and happening in the world. This is the first, of what we hope will be many, posts from young Beau and is full of great ideas about retro gifts for teens.

Pop culture; it goes in one massive circle right? If a teenager had worn a pair of tight-fitted jeans two years ago they would have been condemned on the spot – but now it’s cool. Just like they were in the 70’s. Current day pop culture trends are being highly influenced by the colors, catchphrases and gadgets of yesteryear. You may cringe and ask “why?” but believe it or not some of the trendiest moves made by teenagers today are right out of the handbook of the synthesizer-driven, fluro dominated decade we all know as the 80’s. This post lists some potential retro gifts that will put you in the know…and, as GI Joe says, knowing is half the battle.

1. High-Top Sneakers

All the greats are back and with force! Classics shoes such as the Nike Blazer, Reebok Pump and LA Gear are available from many local and online stores at reasonable prices. Some of the hottest pop sensations are often seen sporting a pair of glistening white Nike high-tops, and we all know that in this day in age ‘bling’ is king. Owning a pair of Reebok Pumps myself I can safely say that you’re giving your teenagers foot the support it deserves. Some good places to start are Footlocker and Pick Your Shoes (is a US Site but handles International shipping).

2. Vinyl LP’s and a Turntable

There’s always a bunch of kids swimming against the tide. In today’s age of mass music digitalisation it’s no wonder why teenagers go back and re-discover where the magic was first born. Everything from the warm crackling of the records as it spins, to the artwork found on and inside the cover yells ‘vintage’ which is considered cool at the moment. Turntables and records pop up on eBay daily and are often cheap as chips. Alternatively you can dust off your old record player and buy your teenager some new vinyl records of their favorite artists. Believe it or not an astonishing number of bands (both old and new) are pressing vinyl!

3. Old-School Teenage Movies

“Bueller? Bueller?” That’s right – Brat Pack films are once again the voice of the teenage generation. John Hugh’s string of films surrounding angst, popularity and coming-of-age issues have seen an emergence of fans who have discovered these classics through popular cartoons making pop-culture references (such as Family Guy and The Simpsons) and word-of-mouth from older friends/siblings. Think of the films you watched in your teenage years – then Google/YouTube it. Chances are they’re out on DVD and there’s a tonne of teenage fans commenting and praising it. The local JB HiFi is bound to have some movies from the 80’s you remember relating to. Some titles worthy of mention are The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Buellers Day Off, Pretty in Pink and Weird Science. Another great source for DVD’s is EzyDVD.

4. Retro Music

With so many modern artists like Cut Copy, La Roux and Lady Gaga adopting a sound reminiscent of 80’s synth pop there’s a good chance your teenager may have heard of 80’s groups like Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Human League and the likes there of. Even outside the pop world, rock groups like Kings of Leon and company have that tone of classic rock groups like Dire Strait’s and Pink Floyd. The majority of these bands have back-catalogs that are no more than $15 a pop. Pick up a copy of MJ’s Thriller or some classic rock such as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and open up a decade of music your teenager never dreamed of.

5. Retro Gaming Consoles

Lets face it – the gaming revolution is a phenomenon. What better way to embrace it than to show your kids where it all began. Consoles like the Commodore 64, Super Nintendo, SEGA Master System (or Megadrive) are still popular in today’s gaming circles and are reasonably easy to get a hold of. K-Mart just re-released a SEGA Megadrive console with 15 games included. Such a gift is sure to bring some entertainment to even the most modest of gaming fans. Nothing can ever come close to venturing through Bowsers castle with Mario and questing with Alex The Kid. Pick up one of these great consoles on eBay and let the adventure begin. The SEGA Megadrive console available at K-Mart can be found here

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Showing 3 comments
  • kelly

    being a hoarder, I still have some of that stuff in my house, even 2 sega consoles. Ergo, my kids won’t touch them, but their friends think I’m cool.

    • Beau

      Nice one kelly. One of the few times I’ve praised my Fathers hoarding ability was when he bought out the old records. I guess there’s good in the habit after all! Isn’t it funny…SEGA’s were all but forgotten about. The curious nature of teenagers, and the yearning to discover technology’s roots never cease to amaze me.

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