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The 50 Best/Worst Childhood Fads
First Things ^ | 7/2/10 | Joe Carter

Posted on 07/02/2010 10:31:26 AM PDT by MissTed

They were the best of fads, they were the worst of fads—all at the same time. The faddish objects or our childhood were sometimes loved and sometimes hated but they were hard to ignore. Here are a list of the 50 best/worst from the 1960s to today:

1. Beanie Babies What made it the best: You and your friends loved collecting them. What made it the worst: Old ladies loved collecting them too.

2. Bratz Dolls What made it the best: 559 different dolls to choose from. What made it the worst: They all looked like strippers.

3. Cabbage Patch Dolls What made it the best: You got a birth certificate certifying when you “adopted” them. What made it the worst: They were just an overpriced stuffed doll.

4. Charm necklaces What made it the best: You could create them to match your personality. What made it the worst: For every birthday someone would give you a cheap charm instead of a real gift.

5. Cheap cologne What made it the best: The girl you had a crush on loved the way you smelled. What made it the worst: Every other six grade boy smelled like Old Spice/Polo/Drakkar Noir too.

6. Chia Pets What made it the best: They were easy to grow. What made it the worst: Not matter what shape they were supposed to be, they always ended up looking like a green afro.

7. Cinnamon Toothpicks What made it the best: Liquid cinnamon on a stick to make your tongue burn—in a good way. What made it the worst: Because you couldn’t stop at just one, your tongue blistered—in a bad way.

8. Clackers What made it the best: You could scare your little brother by clacking them right beside his head. What made it the worst: You were a little brother.

9. Energy Drinks What made it the best: After a can of Red Bull you could stay up all night texting. What made it the worst: After the sugar crash, you felt like you needed to go to rehab.

10. Friendship Bracelets What made it the best: Getting them from your friends. What made it the worst: Not getting them from people who you thought were your friends—but obviously not since they gave them to every one but you, even to that ugly girl that they talked about behind her back and that other girl . . .

11. Friendship pins What made it the best: They were cheap and easy to make, all you needed was colored beads and safety pins. What made it the worst: Whenever you opened the pins the beads would spill everywhere.

12. Frisbees What made it the best: Could make anyone feel like a minor athlete. What made it the worst: Unless you had a frisbee-catching dog, they quickly became boring.

13. Furbies What made it the best: Your first robot! What made it the worst: Big-eyed robots are kinda creepy.

14. Garbage Pail Kids What made it the best: They were disgusting. What made it the worst: They were disgusting.

15. Gel Pens What made it the best: Notes to friends looked better in neon orange. What made it the worst: They always smeared.

16. Hacky Sack What made it the best: They were easy to carry around; you could start a game anywhere. What made it the worst: Phish-listening hippies made them uncool

17. Hello Kitty What made it the best: They’re so cute. What made it the worst: Good grief, they’re everywhere!

18. Hula Hoops What made it the best: Having “hooping” contest with friends. What made it the worst: Trying to find a place to store them.

19. Kewpie Dolls What made it the best: They’re cute. What made it the worst: They’re creepy.

20. Koosh Balls What made it the best: You could throw them around without fear of breaking anything. What made it the worst: They were only fun for five minutes.

21. Lava Lamps What made it the best: The calming effect of watching the lava go up and down. What made it the worst: They turned you into a hippie.

22. Lipsmackers What made it the best: What could be better than makeup that taste like root beer? What made it the worst: Realizing that it was just flavored chapstick.

23. Mad Libs What made it the best: The fun of thinking up strange/funny/naughty words to fill in the blanks. What made it the worst: After the third one they started to seem all the same.

24. Magic 8-Ball What made it the best: More fun than flipping a coin. What made it the worst: Ask again later.

25. Choose Your Own Adventure Novels What made it the best: You got to be the hero of the story. What made it the worst: The stories usually weren’t worth the page-flipping effort.

26. Matchbox Cars/Hot Wheels What made it the best: They were almost as cool as having a real Ferrari/Corevette/Camaro/etc. What made it the worst: Dad stepping on them in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom.

27. Mood Rings What made it the best: People could tell what mood you were in by looking at your finger. What made it the worst: Unless “hot and sweaty” counts as a mood, they couldn’t detect anything.

28. Nerf Balls What made it the best: Finally, a ball that you could bean your siblings with and not get in trouble! What made it the worst: If they came in contact with nature (water, dogs, etc) they’d become a mess.

29. Ouija Boards What made it the best: They were dangerous and mysterious. What made it the worst: They were a starter kit to occultism.

30. Paper Footballs What made it the best: They were easy to make. What made it the worst: No matter how many you made, the teacher always took them away.

31. Pet Rocks What made it the best: It’s a rock. . . and a pet! Get it? What made it the worst: What? I paid how much for a rock?

32. Pez What made it the best: They were cheap and easy to collect. What made it the worst: The candy was terrible.

33. Pogs What made it the best: You could both collect them and win them. What made it the worst: Your friends would always get them taken away by the teacher.

34. Pokemon What made it the best: You could collect them all. What made it the worst: No matter how much money you spent, you could never collect them all.

35. Pop Rocks What made it the best: The fizz and the pop. What made it the worst: Didn’t they kill that Mikey kid from the LIFE cereal commercial?

36. Rubik’s Cube What made it the best: They made you think you were smart enough to solve them. What made it the worst: They made you realize you weren’t smart enough to solve them.

37. Scratch ’n’ Sniff Stickers What made it the best: The cherry and banana stickers that smelled like cherry and banana (sort of). What made it the worst: The licorice one that smelled like the inside of a baby’s diaper.

38. Sea Monkeys What made it the best: The ad in the back of the comic books made it look like they were people from the lost city of Atlantis. What made it the worst: Brine shrimp? Seriously?

39. Silly Bandz What made it the best: They are cheap and easy to collect. What made it the worst: Realizing that your generation is getting stuck with one of the lamest fads ever.

40. Silly Putty What made it the best: You could press them on the Sunday comics and make a colored copy of the picture. What made it the worst: There wasn’t much else you could do with them.

41. Skateboarding What made it the best: The rush of riding for the first time. What made it the worst: The first rush to the ER after you fell off and broke your arm.

42. Slime What made it the best: Sliming your friends, brothers, and sisters. What made it the worst: Trying to get snot green plastic out of the carpet.

43. Slinky What made it the best: Those cool television ads that showed it “walking” down the stairs. What made it the worst: They taught you the meaning of false advertising.

44. Super Balls What made it the best: Nothing could bounce higher. What made it the worst: They’d always bounce to a place you couldn’t find them.

45. Swatch Watches What made it the best: They made you feel sophisticated. What made it the worst: Your parents wouldn’t buy you an overpriced piece of Swiss plastic.

46. Tamagotchi What made it the best: Like having a pet that you could carry around in your pocket. What made it the worst: Like having all the responsibility of having a pet without the loyalty, love, etc.

47. Troll Dolls What made it the best: They were adorable. What made it the worst: When you’re not looking, they eat your soul.

48. Yo-Yos What made it the best: The sense of accomplishment you got from learning to “walk the dog.” What made it the worst: The stupid string always got tangled and knotted up.

49. Waxed lips candy What made it the best: You could convince that cute girl/boy to give you “kiss” on your wax lips. What made it the worst: The heartbreaking let-down of wax lip kisses.

50. Whiffle balls What made it the best: The bat. What made it the worst: You could never figure out how to actually play Whiffle ball.


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: childhood; fads; toys
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1 posted on 07/02/2010 10:31:29 AM PDT by MissTed
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To: MissTed
Beanie babies were not during the sixties.
2 posted on 07/02/2010 10:32:34 AM PDT by org.whodat
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To: MissTed
Bratz Dolls What made it the best: 559 different dolls to choose from. What made it the worst: They all looked like strippers.

"Slutz" would have been more appropriate.

3 posted on 07/02/2010 10:32:52 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: MissTed

4 posted on 07/02/2010 10:33:37 AM PDT by Lucky9teen (I'll just say the 2nd amendment to the Constitution is there for a reason!)
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To: dfwgator

5 posted on 07/02/2010 10:35:22 AM PDT by Lucky9teen (I'll just say the 2nd amendment to the Constitution is there for a reason!)
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To: MissTed

I remember Clackers. The worst part was the potential for them to shatter. Wiffle ball was popular.


6 posted on 07/02/2010 10:37:04 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it! www.FairTaxNation.com)
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To: MissTed

Pokeymen made the list.


7 posted on 07/02/2010 10:37:21 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Ping!


8 posted on 07/02/2010 10:38:40 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: org.whodat
Beanie babies were not during the sixties. A lot of the things on the list weren't
9 posted on 07/02/2010 10:39:32 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: MissTed

How about Lawn Darts?


10 posted on 07/02/2010 10:39:46 AM PDT by A. Patriot (CZ 52's ROCK)
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To: org.whodat

“from the 1960’s to today.” :o)


11 posted on 07/02/2010 10:39:46 AM PDT by MissTed (Never buy products from ACME.)
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To: org.whodat

The article says 1960’s to today.

They got me at the troll dolls.


12 posted on 07/02/2010 10:39:46 AM PDT by I still care (I believe in the universality of freedom -George Bush, asked if he regrets going to war.)
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To: MissTed

Rubik’s Cube were not invented till 1974.


13 posted on 07/02/2010 10:39:57 AM PDT by ThomasThomas (Isn't enough always enough?)
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To: MissTed
50. Whiffle balls What made it the best: The bat. What made it the worst: You could never figure out how to actually play Whiffle ball.

cut the end off the "bat" stuff it full of wet newspaper. Now you have a more proper bat/weapon

14 posted on 07/02/2010 10:40:12 AM PDT by NativeSon
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To: org.whodat

It does say “from the ‘60s to today.”


15 posted on 07/02/2010 10:44:56 AM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Just leave this long-haired conservative alone.)
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To: MissTed

Mad Libs. I missed that one but it is a redundancy anyway and these days we have a plethora of them starting with the current White House occupant.


16 posted on 07/02/2010 10:47:43 AM PDT by xp38
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To: MissTed
Spinning tops

Plastigoop

17 posted on 07/02/2010 10:48:23 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: Lucky9teen

My son can do it in 11.6 seconds ... stupid pet tricks? Does he qualify?


18 posted on 07/02/2010 10:50:05 AM PDT by lkco
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To: MissTed
Vac-U-Form!
19 posted on 07/02/2010 10:51:12 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: MissTed
Frisbees What made it the best: Could make anyone feel like a minor athlete. What made it the worst: Unless you had a frisbee-catching dog, they quickly became boring.

Boring?

Ultimate frisbee (cross between football and hockey) and frisbee lacrosse are two of the greatest amatuer/unorganized sports. Go to any college campus on a nice May day and you'll always see ultimate frisbee. Also try playing catch with a frisbee where you have to "catch" it with a hunting knife. Not good for the frisbee, but its a lot of fun.

20 posted on 07/02/2010 10:51:20 AM PDT by kidd
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To: Lucky9teen

Wasn’t listed, but I remember playing “MASH” (Mansion, apartment, shack, house) in elementary school to determine which boy I was gonna marry. It was wildly inaccurate. ;op


21 posted on 07/02/2010 10:51:25 AM PDT by MissTed (Never buy products from ACME.)
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To: MissTed

How about the Slip and Slide? Lots of fun but make sure there are no rusty sharp objects protruding from your lawn.


22 posted on 07/02/2010 10:52:38 AM PDT by GSWarrior (Be wary of all politicians..... especially ones that you admire.)
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To: A. Patriot

The guitar player in my old band threw one and it stuck right in the top of his brother’s head. His nickname was “Chrispy”.


23 posted on 07/02/2010 11:02:35 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: MissTed

A few they missed: Mop Top haircuts (bangs), Pukka shell necklaces, POW/MIA bracelets, Spiro Agnew watches (I still have two!), peace symbol stickers, Zots, parachute pants, bell-bottoms, hair nets (Mexicans), dickies, stacks, Hush Puppies, Gilligan hats, CB radios, Schlitz or Stroh’s, MD 20-20, leather pants, Farrah-do’s, Izods (collar up), black-light posters, the Bic Banana, Space Food Sticks, custom vans, pull tabs, “Keep On Truckin” & “Dyn-O-Mite!” shirts, Hot Rod Monsters stickers, Peter Max...


24 posted on 07/02/2010 11:08:41 AM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: MissTed
Fun list.

The top best/worst that's not on the list: The ads in the old comic books. The best was they promised magical things. The worst was that the most interesting part was figuring out how they were lying to you in the ad. The list has the "Sea Monkeys" that are really brine shrimp. I also remember the X-Ray device that let you look through walls. Many years later, I found a book that was written by the guy who made most of the rip off ads. He did the X-Ray device thing after buying a couple of thousand of those door peepholes. Oddly enough, the ad didn't mention you'd have to drill a hole in the wall to see through it. That was one of his more honest ads.

25 posted on 07/02/2010 11:14:02 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: TruthHound
The Goody comb sticking out of the back pocket of your 501 jeans was the mark of coolness too. Now.....not so much.
26 posted on 07/02/2010 11:15:31 AM PDT by MissTed (Never buy products from ACME.)
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To: Lucky9teen

I’m going to market one of those that has removeable and replaceable color stickers.

Perfect for today’s “self-esteem” culture.

Make a million, I will.


27 posted on 07/02/2010 11:17:40 AM PDT by Erasmus (Looks like we're between a lithic outcropping and a region of low compressibility.)
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To: massgopguy
That made his brother un objet d'art.
28 posted on 07/02/2010 11:23:23 AM PDT by Erasmus (Looks like we're between a lithic outcropping and a region of low compressibility.)
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To: MissTed
45. Swatch Watches What made it the best: They made you feel sophisticated. What made it the worst: Your parents wouldn’t buy you an overpriced piece of Swiss plastic.

What made it the worst was that acetone ate the plastic. Yeah, not a good thing to wear in chem lab.

29 posted on 07/02/2010 11:24:44 AM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: MissTed
7. Cinnamon Toothpicks

One of the only times in my life when I have had an allergic skin reaction.

30 posted on 07/02/2010 11:26:35 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: MissTed

Speaking about what you could buy from a comic book. Anyone else remember POLARIS SUB? I so much wanted one, but $6.98 was unreachable when I got $50 a week allowance. IF I got my chores done.

The Ad

http://www.michaelchuck.com/the_submarine.htm

Actual photo of the Sub

http://boingboing.net/2007/06/14/photo-of-comic-book-.html


31 posted on 07/02/2010 11:51:56 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: MissTed

Should of included Sting-Ray Bicycles.


32 posted on 07/02/2010 11:54:07 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: MissTed

Pogs were the Vanilla Ice of the toy world


33 posted on 07/02/2010 11:55:40 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: NativeSon

wiffle ball bats — stick bottle rockets in the hole at the end and use them as rocket launchers against your friends, ha ha ha.


34 posted on 07/02/2010 11:58:54 AM PDT by Gothmog (I fight for Xev)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I had to Google them, but I remember now. :)


35 posted on 07/02/2010 12:01:58 PM PDT by MissTed (Never buy products from ACME.)
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To: MissTed; All
What's a Tamagotchi? I've never heard of that one.

OT....is FR loading slowly for anyone else? This is the only site in which this happens to me and it's been going on since that last time it was down for a day or so.

36 posted on 07/02/2010 12:14:10 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (WASS!)
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To: MissTed
30. Paper Footballs What made it the best: They were easy to make. What made it the worst: No matter how many you made, the teacher always took them away.

Some things never change, I had a desk drawer full of them at the end of the school year.

37 posted on 07/02/2010 12:14:32 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free, Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: Pan_Yan

I’d go with the Rubix cube for me, when I was a kid.

As for the cheap charms.... it didn’t work that way. I wore pretty gold charms on a gold loop around my neck, never a cheap bracelet. Maybe that was just fashionable for where I lived?

For my kids, from my perspective... the beanie babies when he was tiny, tiny.

Those plastic animal bracelets she’s wearing, now.

Also, they gave you the eight ball that is on your desk at work.


38 posted on 07/02/2010 12:15:02 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Utopia is being foisted on Americans for their own good.-- J. Robert Smith)
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To: Richard Kimball
MONSTER, magazine, or was it Famous Monster Magazine.

Anyway I loved going to the stationary store and buying it.

39 posted on 07/02/2010 12:19:42 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free, Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: mware
Wish I had saved those Famous Monsters of Filmland.

The first edition is selling on Ebay for $7,000.

40 posted on 07/02/2010 12:23:11 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free, Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: xp38

‘Mad Libs. I missed that one but it is a redundancy anyway and these days we have a plethora of them starting with the current White House occupant.’

What a great idea for the July 4th BBQ! Might be more fun that ‘Apples to Apples’!!!! Thanks!!

Transcripts..... I need transcripts.....!!!!!


41 posted on 07/02/2010 12:25:36 PM PDT by CaptainPhilFan
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To: xp38

‘Mad Libs. I missed that one but it is a redundancy anyway and these days we have a plethora of them starting with the current White House occupant.’

What a great idea for the July 4th BBQ! Might be more fun than ‘Apples to Apples’!!!! Thanks!!

Transcripts..... I need transcripts.....!!!!!


42 posted on 07/02/2010 12:26:03 PM PDT by CaptainPhilFan
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To: org.whodat
Beanie babies were not during the sixties.

The article didn't say they were: "Here are [sic] a list of the 50 best/worst from the 1960s to today:"
43 posted on 07/02/2010 12:29:18 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: CAluvdubya

Tamagotchi was a little electronic device that created a virtual “pet” on an LCD screen. They were usually attached to a keychain, and were maybe two inches by two inches. Instead of being a game where you played the whole thing at once, you had to feed them every few hours, play with them, clean them, and turn the lights on and off at intervals so they could sleep. If you neglected them for too long, they would run away or die. Depending upon how you tended to them, you could make a game go on for several weeks, giving it a few minutes of attention every few hours. The way you tended to the pet also affected the way it grew up. It would become either a monster or a lovable pet depending upon how you treated it.


44 posted on 07/02/2010 12:31:30 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Richard Kimball

Thanks! I don’t know how I missed out on that one.


45 posted on 07/02/2010 12:35:19 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (WASS!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Slime was awesome. Until it came in contact with hair, carpet, dirt, food, pets, water, etc.

I liked the timeless classics best: legos, playdough, army men, toy guns, matchbox cars. Note to the author, matchbox cars have been around waaay to long and sold waaay to many to several generations to be classified as a fad.


46 posted on 07/02/2010 12:43:13 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: kidd

“Also try playing catch with a frisbee where you have to “catch” it with a hunting knife.”

So, I am going to run around with a 6” blade and try to catch a frisbee. What could possibly go wrong?


47 posted on 07/02/2010 12:55:34 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: Clay Moore
During the mid 60's marbles were very popular in my neck of the woods.

Every boy and girl had their own individual marble bag.

We played a version of marbles that required digging a small hole in the ground. The teachers finally banned us from playing that version when one of the teachers sprained her ankle after stepping into one of them.

48 posted on 07/02/2010 1:20:53 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free, Free Republic.com baby.)
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To: MissTed
Incredible Edibles
Whacky Stickers
Bud Man stickers from the beer distributor
Baseball cards
Lawn darts
Marbles
Wrist rocket to get rid of marble collection
SST race cars
Slot cars and racetrack
PONG
Snorkel coats
Water and compressed air rockets
Balsa wood gliders and wind up rubber band powered planes
49 posted on 07/02/2010 1:50:40 PM PDT by mickey finn
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To: Man50D

I had clackers too. All the kids at school had massively bruised right arms. They were finally banned from school because the string broke on one and sent the glass clacker hurtling thru the air, narrowing missing a kids head. What were people thinking?


50 posted on 07/02/2010 3:39:28 PM PDT by gracie1 (visualize whirled peas)
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