Nostalgia Sells and We’re Buying

That’s a pretty obvious statement, right?

Well I’m currently part of a generation that is embracing nostalgia as if tomorrow will never exist.

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday #WaybackWednesday #Vintage #Retro are only a handful of the hashtags and phrases used to talk about anything from yesteryear.

We’re holding onto the 80s and 90s as if we’re still little kids and teenagers. Are we afraid to grow up? Are we afraid we’re going to forget? Or are we just out of ideas and we know emotions will sell.

I bring this up because both Backstreet Boys and Jonas Brothers were in Philadelphia this weekend and I knew plenty of people who went to both concerts, mostly because they were such big fans of the groups 10-20 years ago (respectively). By no means am I saying the groups don’t have the talent, but you know they could’ve just stood on a stage for 90 min. and people would’ve loved it.

Let’s take a look into some entertainment offerings that are bringing Millennials / Gen X’ers back to their adolescence.


Animated features Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story, and even live-action film Star Wars are all movies that came out anywhere from 1941 to 1995. Disney released live-action versions of Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King within three months alone this year. Toy Story, Pixar’s first sequel, came out with the fourth movie in the franchise nine years after its predecessor. While I haven’t seen either new Lion King or Toy Story 4, I’ve heard some adults were first in line to see these films (I’m only kind of joking).

Star Wars, which will release Episode IX this year, had the first trilogy, now known as Episodes IV, V, and VI, were initially released every three years. After a 16 year hiatus, people flocked to Episodes I, II, II in 1999, 2002, and 2005. Now, since 2015, there’s been at least once Star Wars film a year, whether it’s an origin story, like Rogue One or Solo or one of the episodes. The movie studios are banking on the super fans and the nostalgia factor to help purchase tickets.


I was in Pittsburgh when the Pirates celebrated the 1979 “We Are Family” World Series Champions. They brought everyone who was still alive back out. It was cool to see, especially being a Phillies fan. They even wore their 1979 uniforms while the Phillies wore their powder blues. They apparently do this every Friday night. The Phillies wear their powder blues every Thursday home game. Once a year, they do a throwback to a certain decade. This year, they wore their 1977 all-maroon uniforms, which I’m glad are not an everyday occurrence. Every team in every sport keeps their alumni around and parades them around in some capacity because they know fans still want to see them in any capacity.

WWE had a massive random reunion on RAW in July in Tampa, which included numerous Hall of Famers like Ric Flair, Steve Austin, and Hulk Hogan. It was for no reason except ratings have been low and they were looking for a boost. When Smackdown goes to FOX in October, they’re planning another massive reunion, which includes Goldberg, the Undertaker, and Sting. WWE fans soak up the nostalgia factor because it’s with the wrestlers they grew up with. Sadly, some of these wrestlers wrestle as if they’re in their 50s and 60s and not in their prime.

Courtesy of


I already mentioned Backstreet Boys and Jonas Brothers, but think of the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger had open heart surgery and still went out on a country-wide stadium tour in front of 60,000+ fans. While definitely one of rock’s best bands, a lot of people purchased tickets because it was the Rolling Stones, knowing full well, it wasn’t going to be the same band it was in the 60s and 70s. Now, full transparency, from what I heard, they put on an awesome show and some people left the show I was at saying it was the best show they ever went to.

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

Elton John is on his farewell tour, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back one more time and the crowds will eat it up.

When the Spice Girls tour outside of Europe, the entire world would go into a frenzy.


As a Philadelphian, The Goldbergs, and now its 90s spin-off Schooled thrives off nostalgia and I eat it up.

Roseanne, Will and Grace, Boy Meets World, Beverly Hills 90210, Gilmore Girls, Murphy Brown, Star Trek, Full House, X Files, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, are just a handful of the shows that either have been rebooted or had a spin-off of sorts.

Mad About You and Gossip Girl are two shows also getting a reboot.

Some of these shows are straight to a streaming service, so you won’t weekly watch parties like Friends had in 2003. I mean, you could have a steaming party and watch whenever you want because most seasons complete filming before uploading to their platform.

But the thing is…

Everyone will watch. At least the first episode or two. They’ll give it a chance because it was one of their favorite shows growing up and they hope it’ll bring back some great memories.

If You Build It, They Will Come

Field of Dreams got it right with its most famous line, “If you build it, he will come.” Now, I’m not telling you to give up everything in hopes a baseball team comes and plays in your cornfield baseball field, but the entertainment industry is banking on the hopes you walk back through the proverbial cornfields and to enjoy one last show.

I know musicians want to tour as long as they can, as it was their livelihood. Groups will break up and get back together for a reunion tour (i.e. New Kids on the Block) and they will charge an exorbitant amount of money because people will pay it. The second *NSYNC gets back together, people will lose their minds because Justin Timberlake has only performed with the group once since 2002.

My generation, the 80s-kids, are trying to put our own spin on Hollywood, both movies and tv-shows. There are so many streaming services now, so many channels, and so many movies that hit theaters, that the actual hope of an original idea is going to be few and far between.

We’re going to buy tickets to see a remake of our favorite animated feature. We’re going to buy tickets to a concert from our favorite band as a kid now touring as adults. We’re going to get the streaming service (or at least borrow someone’s login) to watch our favorite show from the 1990s in a 2019 setting. We’re going to get tickets to the sporting event that celebrates championships from 10, 20, 30, and 40 years ago, no matter the athlete’s ages.

We live off nostalgia.

Now, if only the prices were in nostalgia territory.

Cher – “If I Could Turn Back Time.”