21.5: Super Mutant Barbie Gremlins (A Strange Ride Halloween Crossover)

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It is not enough for the 80s child to reflect wistfully on a simpler time. Rather, we often want to revive the mass cultural products of our youth in a way that maintains their appeal despite or perhaps because of the cognitive and hormonal shifts that come with adulthood. 80s children have done a decent job of keeping our favorite popular cultural icons alive through the last forty years—whether as creators or as hungry audience members rewarding corporations for gazing backward. In movies like Barbie, the adult is invited back to childhood in a way that allows them to maintain all the rights, privileges, and preferences of adulthood. This trick was first invented for the 80s kid, for whom popular culture self-consciously eroded the boundary between content for children and adults.