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An Interview with Len Enders - action figures, vintage t-shirts & going back to the 80's

by Dana Andersen. Published Mon 01 Feb 2021 15:05, last updated: 23/02/21

Len Enders has become something of a YouTube phenomenon - with so many things in his videos including; tapes, clothing and other now ‘vintage’ items - it’s impossible not to ask, is there anything he sees in his old footage that he wishes he’d kept?

Len said: “Yes! Oh my god, usually its shirts that you just can’t find anymore, or if you can find them, they’re ‘vintage’ so they’re hundreds of dollars. So many t-shirts, and some jackets I made, custom clothing, I just don’t know where they went or they disintegrated.

“There is also, the movie alien, I had the original like 16 inches tall alien action figure they discontinued in the 70’s because it was scaring children, but it fell off a shelf.”

There are plenty of Len’s belongings you can spot in older videos that he still has though, and you can bet he’s glad of that.

He added: “I’m so glad I kept my Star Wars action figures; I collected a lot action figures. The videos of my apartment where I show it just filled with stuff, I still have all that stuff it's just in storage. Everything is still in the boxes tucked away properly.

“They’ll probably be worth something someday. There’s Star Wars stuff I got as like an 8- or 9-year-old. I never played with them either.

“I’d take them out the wrapping, but not play with them, just put them in collectors' cases and have them. My friends got so annoyed like ‘Why won’t you play with these?!’ because they’d be setting fire to them, and attaching fire crackers to them and stuff, and I wouldn’t let anyone touch any of my stuff.”

Part one of our interview with Len Enders saw us talk about how people react to his videos, and what it was like to keep a video diary in the 80’s.

Many of Len’s videos feature other people too though, naturally we were curious as to how they’ve all reacted to seeing themselves from decades ago, in a YouTube video garnering thousands of views?

“A lot of people I've connected with on social media, so the vast amount of people in the videos know I’m putting them up, but there are a few where people are like ‘Woah I’m there when I was 15 years old!’.

“It's not really been a problem or anything. There are a few people that didn’t want to be online even from back then and I had to like talk them round or just post it and tell them to deal with it.”

Perhaps even worse than seeing your teenage self in passing, would be watching hours of footage from that time in your life.

“It took a few times before I started to be able to totally be cool with it. Usually, I’m just going through these videos scanning to find a funny part, I don’t want to put up an hour of us walking around all day, it's not all good it does get boring. I just look for the good parts, but I am constantly just cringing at stuff that i said or how I was behaving.

“It's definitely one thing I’ve learnt from doing this is your memory of situations and stuff that happened is not correct. It’s just not, it’s totally off.

“So many things where I remember I was pretty cool in this period, then I watched the video and am like 'wow I was cringe, I really sucked I was pretty lame.'

“But there are also times I remember being super insecure or really shy or didn’t feel like I was cool at and I’m like ‘Woah what was my problem? Why did I have no self-esteem?’

“I think there is just something about being a teenager that's just relatable from any era in a sort of way.

“No matter what's going on in the world or the technology, being a teenager just sucks generally, just totally sucks but then is really fun too.

“I do think maybe part of the difference with 80s is all the things we have now were in the infancy then, and I think that's something that intrigues younger people now.

“Seeing someone using a computer or something, and it's a ridiculous giant box, or watching a movie and having to put in the tape and rewind it to the part you want. They’re so weird but you can still relate to it, compared to the 60s where you’re just watching tv and that's that, you can’t watch a tape or get on the cordless phone.

“The 80’s had video games and things you can still relate to and find interesting now.”

It’s no secret that technology has skyrocketed in the last few decades, and made all our lives a lot easier in a big way.

“Being able to make videos is for sure the biggest, like any of my videos where I initially tried to make horror movies. It was so frustrating because one, I had to buy the camera. Two, there was no way to edit without hooking up two VCRS and bouncing back, so everything had to be filmed for the timeline of the movie.

“It just made it so hard and my friends would get so annoyed. I’d be the director trying to put together the movie.

“Having premier pro, or even movie maker, I would have died for that!

“Any audio recording stuff too, from when I played in bands. It would have been a mind blower to be able to do any of that stuff.

“So many people comment don’t you wish you could go back to that time, people my age saying ‘I’d give it all away tomorrow to go back to then’, and I don’t feel like that at all.

“I think it's cool and fun to look back on but I love the tech we have now.

“People start looking at this stuff through rose coloured glasses of nostalgia, probably the comment I get the most consistently is how it was a simpler time, and it wasn’t at all.

“Maybe their memory is of it being simpler because they were a simpler person that just cared about their BMX and barbies and cartoons, but a lot of things about the era totally sucked.”

The third and final part of this interview will see Len discuss where his channel is headed, and the advice he’d have given his younger self.


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