Monday, February 28, 2011

Fun in your pocket

Super-Star Holiday Special, DC, 1979. This one is almost too easy. "Fun that fits in your pocket." I'm not even going to go there. I had the Daily Planet van and the "Jokermobile" when I was a kid, however I think coolest one had to be the Penguins car and Superman's punching car. Man, who thought that one up? Come on now...Superman doesn't need a car to do his punching for him. It flies too? Looks like the Man of Steel is getting a tad lazy. I would like to see Superman driving around in his black van. Creepy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Not an ad but...

Okay, so this is not an advert but I wanted to share it nonetheless. I found this while digging through my long-boxes looking for some issues to bring down to the Emerald City Comic Con to get signed next weekend.

I know you recognize the cover but do you know the language? It's Hungarian! I found this issue and another one (with the cover of Uncanny X-men 201 plus 205) at a flea market in Budapest in the winter of 1999. I thought it was too cool to pass up so I bought for less than a dollar and proceeded to carry the comic in my backpack for the next few months.

This issue contains Uncanny X-men # 137 as well as Phoenix the Untold story. It also contains no ads and the cover is made of card-stock. Interesting. Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 25, 2011


What's the ad for?
Frogger, the video game
Spotted in
The Scoop
Frogger was a pretty fun game when it first came out. I remember playing it at a friends house on the Atari 2600. What I didn't realize was all the gaming systems there were back in 1984. I knew of the aforementioned Atari 2600, Colecovision and a few others. Lets take a quick look at a couple of systems I didn't know of.

  • Atari 5200:  Released in 1982 as a higher end complimentary console for the 2600. We don't have complimentary consoles nowadays. Or is that the equivalent to the overlap seen with next gen consoles (ie: PS2 and PS3). This system was made to compete with the Intellivision. It failed.
  • TI99/4A: What a sexy name for a game console. Well to be fair it was actually an early home computer made by Texas Instruments who I remember more for making calculators, but that's just me. This bad boy was released in 1979 at the price point of $1,150. It was also the first domestic computer with a 16-bit processor. And you can tell!
  • Atari 400/800/600XL: This was Atari's home computer. There was a low-end version known as Candy, and a higher-end machine known as Colleen (named after two attractive Atari secretaries). Can you guess which one was Colleen?

I found this link to a site that has all the old Sears Wishbooks scanned. It's cool to look back at all the toy sand video game we remember as children. Anyway, take a look if you want.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Skil-Craft sets

What's the ad for?
Skil-Craft sets
Spotted in

The scoop
  It looks like Skil-Craft made some pretty cool science kits, with the chemistry one appealing to me the most. Out of all the kits, this one must be the most changed. With the rise of terrorism, illicit drug manufacturing and crazy lawsuits, the chemistry kit of old has been all but neutered. Now the kid in me thinks that this sucks; the chemist in me (chemistry being my chosen profession) has to believe that this is a good thing. Still, most of the old stories of childhood chemistry experiments gone wrong are pretty funny. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gumfighting Do's and Don'ts

What's the ad for?
Hubba Bubba
Spotted in
 The Scoop
I used to chew this stuff until my jaw was sore. And who among you hasn't fallen asleep with a juicy piece of Hubba Bubba in their mouth only to wake up with it in their hair? I know I have. Most of the time I would remove it before turning in for the night, placing it on my dresser until its return to my mouth come morning. Yes, kids are gross, but I have this practice to thank for my unusually strong immune system.

This campaign was very successful and ran for many years. There was even a Gumfighters Kit that you could get in exchange for 6 Hubba Bubba counterbands. It included a game, membership card, a Gumfighters challenge board, a club sign, a gum holster (cool!) and even a bubblemeter for measuring those bubbles. I cannot for the life of me find any photos of these cool items other than this scan of a page from a Wrigley's corporate magazine.

I always loved the dude with the gum head. Gumfighting...make bubbles not war.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chewy Newtons

 Oh, look another maze. Fig Newtons, man do they even make these anymore? I haven't had one since I was a kid. Here we also have Apple Newtons...not quite the same ring to it. They also came out with Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry and Grape Newtons but sorry, they had no banana newtons.

Back in the day Doctors believed most health problems to be related to digestion problems. They recommended having a biscuit and some fruit. This led fig lover Charles Roser to come up with Fig Newtons in 1891. You can't make this stuff up. The dude must have been rich after that idea. I'm a lover of many things, figs not one of them but maybe I could come up with something cool with something that I will probably just turn out rude and crude.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Levi's Poster Kit

I have a box of old comics from when I was a kid. I've mentioned it in a previous post. Reader comics I call them. No bags, no boards. Does anyone else have one? I've got 1500+ comics in bags and boards and then this one short box of yellowed comics that have been read who knows how many times. In that box is a ratty copy of Ewoks #3, Star (Marvel) Comics, 1985.

Does anyone remember the old Levi`s commercial from the mid-eighties? I remember it playing during Saturday morning cartoons. I always liked the Tarzan guy at the end. What the hell is a Klyddian warlord?

Anyway for only $4.75 you could get a poster featuring all the characters from the aforementioned commercial. It must have been a popular spot for them to make a coloring poster. To me it just seems odd to market jeans to children because that is who they are marketing to. A coloring poster in a comic for preteens? I can`t think of another jeans company let alone clothing company that markets to children these days. Or maybe I`m just that unfashionable. Who knows, I get most of my clothes from rock shows.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Skateboarder's Creed

This gem come from the back cover of The Peacemaker #2, published by Modern Comics in 1978. Whenever something becomes popular becomes co-opted by the mainstream. It happened to punk, it happened to grunge and it happened to skateboarding. How many skaters bought this Skateboarder's lucky charm?

Here is a better many skateboarders read shitty comics published by Modern Comics? I don't know about you but when I was a teen the skateboarding kids were always pretty cool while the comic book kids were...not. That's changed a lot in the last twenty years. I hear that girls even read comics (Thank you Neil Gaiman). Who knows, I could be wrong. I mean how else would you learn about the skateboarders creed and all the terminology? They never had the internet back then dude...

Oh look, it comes for both your wrist and neck. Sold...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Marvel Secret Marketing campaign, Say Cheese!

This one was spotted in G.I. Joe, Real American Hero # 38, 1985. Who remembers Secret Wars? I know I do. It was a huge crossover event from Marvel comics that ran from May 1984 to April 1985. It was epic, it was...Marvels answer to DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, wait that should be the other way around.  So the story involved all the major titles and in a nutshell saw the heroes being taken from Earth to "Battleworld" by this dude named The Beyonder! The Beyonder was some lame looking dude in a white seriously, just click on his name. On Battleworld they were given all sorts of cool alien weapons and told to fight all their enemies. One of the biggest developments to come from Secret Wars was Spider-Man's black suit, which in turn became one of his greatest enemies...Venom.

What I didn't realize was that the entire crossover was conceived in order to sell a series of toys. Here is what Jim Shooter, the writer of the series and Marvels

"Kenner had licensed the DC Heroes. Mattel had He-Man, but wanted to hedge in case Super Heroes became the next big fad. They were interested in Marvel's characters, but only if we staged a published event that would get a lot of attention, and they could build a theme around. Fans, especially young fans often suggested to me "one big story with all the heroes and all the villain in it", so I proposed that. It flew.

Mattel thought that kids responded so well to the word, "secret" so after a couple of working names bit the dust, we called the story Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars"

I don't know why this is a surprise to me. I mean it was nothing new. G.I. Joe and Transformer comics were made to sell toys. Don't forget Rom or Micronauts. I guess the thing is when you are a kid you don't realize it. You thing everything is pure and good. Let me say that G.I. Joe was actually a pretty good comic, even today. I think we have Larry Hama to thank for that. 

Say Cheese!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MPC models

This ad comes to us courtesy of Captain Atom 13, DC comics. 1987. Build scale models, get chicks...why did no one tell me this in Junior High?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wildfire electronic pinball

Video games started out as being a simulation of a real life activity. The first video game was Pong, which was a simulation of Ping Pong. All the way up to The Sims and FarmVille, we love to play simulations of things we could, or in the case of FarmVille, never want to do in real life.So here is another entry into that genre of video games. The above ad is for a hand held electronic pinball game called Wildfire. All the fun of pinball without the coin slot. I tried to use that argument 25 years ago to try and convince my mom to buy me an NES. "But Mom, then I wouldn't have to go to the arcade anymore"...yeah right.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gobots! All the Gobots!

This ad appeared in G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #43, Marvel, 1986. Poor Gobots. The Transformers poor cousins from the east part of town. Oh Gobots, when you transform you simply stand up, hardly looking like a sentient robot. I mean look at the blue car robot in the ad...lame. So too were there names. There was no Optimus Prime or Megatron. No instead you had names like Tank (turned into a tank), Loco (turned into a Locomotive) and Dozer (who...wait for it, turned into a bulldozer). Anyone who was a child in the Eighties remembers watching the Transformer cartoon but who recalls watching the Gobot cartoon? It ran for 65 episodes don't ya know?

Another fact. Both the Gobots and Transformers came overseas to North America from Japan (surprise!). However did you know that they were both originally human-piloted? That is a significant change. So why didn't Gobots gain the popularity that the Transformers saw? These are just uneducated guesses but I'd say that marketing was a huge part of it. The Transformers had personality and character with cool names. Everyone remembers the tag-line  "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Robots In Disguise", but what was the Gobots tag line? No seriously what was it? Oh was lame.

Nestle I guess couldn't enlist the help of the Autobots or even the Decepticons for that matter. So they enlisted the help of the Gobots. Some lucky kid won a complete collection of the toys. Oh, well. I'd still be pretty pumped at winning a bunch of toys. Let's face it, toys are toys...or are they?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OJ ads

These bad boys were found in Marvel Super Action # 20, 1980. Where do I start with this one? So we have two ads featuring the same sports star of the one issue. I was only four at the time, plus in Canada it was all Gretzky, all the time. I knew OJ was big, but two sponsored ads in one comic. The dude was everywhere. So first off we have an ad for Dingo leather boots. I wonder if they made leather gloves too? Next is Spot-bilt sport shoes. What`s with all the footwear? I guess he knew he`d be on the run someday. Okay, I gotta stop myself. This is too easy. So the funnest thing I found while looking online was a dude ranting about how crazy the Dingo ad is what he wrote,

1. Although OJ was traded by the Bills to the 49ers and played there for a couple seasons ('78-'79), they never played a team with green and white colors (like the Eagles or Jets) during the regular season. So that first panel is a boo - boo. Unless it is a pre-season game!
2. How in the hell were two kids allowed to just walk into the Niners' locker room??
3. How did OJ change so fast from the 2nd to 3rd panel?
4. Did OJ forget his last name when he signed that autograph? OR,
5. How ticked off would YOU be if OJ signed his moniker "OJ Dingo"? I mean, how valueless is that autograph now?? And who in the hell would believe you if you tried to convince them it really was OJ Simpson that signed it?

Right. Ah you gotta love the internet
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