Some print ads are worth spending whole days obsessing over.
…like this one, from 1985!
As part of a special co-promotion between Toys “R” Us and Post Cereal, kids had a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree. If you plucked the winning game piece from a box of Super Golden Crisp, you’d get to zip around your nearest TRU and fill multiple shopping carts with as much as you could grab.
Similar contests ran throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, and I know I’m not the only one who used to daydream about winning them. In the mind of a child, that $1000 maximum sounded more like a million. The idea of getting everything you ever wanted all at once was totally intoxicating.
This Post Cereal contest ran in 1985, so naturally, the print ad basically mashed the entirely of that year’s Sears Wish Book onto one overstuffed page. (Especially incredible is the fact that even that much stuff couldn’t have retailed for $1000, so the winner presumably went home with even more!)
If you’re having trouble identifying all of the goodies in that shopping cart, no worries, I took care of it for you. Read on, and imagine getting all of this treasure on one exciting afternoon! Read More…
After my TMNT eBay romp, reader/pal Sammy Hain suggested doing one for The Simpsons. I’m so game.
Below are some of the most interesting pieces of Simpsons memorabilia currently on eBay. I stuck with stuff from the show’s earliest years, when Homer and Bart were still the coolest dudes in town.
If you’re too young to have been with The Simpsons from the start, man, those were different times. The show still has millions of fans, but at the beginning, the cool factor was off the charts. During its first few seasons, it was by far the safest thing to obsess over… because literally all of your friends were doing the same thing.
Bart Simpson T-Shirt!
Asking Price: $39.99
In a rare case when I was ahead of the curve, I was the first kid in school to wear a Bart Simpson t-shirt. (Fourth grade, if I remember correctly.) It was a bootleg found in Manhattan, from back before there even were official shirts.
The other kids treated me like a hero, and quite liking the feeling, I made sure to wear that cheap shirt 3-4 times a week. It was my first experience with the law of diminishing returns, but that’s neither here nor there.
Soon enough, “real” Simpsons tees — like the one shown here — were available everywhere. Seemed like every kid had at least two of ’em.
Because some included light obscenities, my school eventually banned all Simpsons shirts. Boy, we were PISSED. Kids took to wearing them under other shirts, only revealing their true allegiances during recess, away from prying eyes. Really, when a $10 t-shirt was all it took to brand you as a cool kid, no grouchy principal was gonna stop you. Read More…
Below: Seven of the most interesting TMNT items currently on eBay. I can afford nearly none of them.
TMNT Sewer Hockey!
Asking Price: $224.99
Table hockey is fun under any guise, but when your team includes the likes of Casey Jones and Genghis Frog, you’re compelled to never stop playing, fully aware that things can only go downhill from the moment you stop.
Subterranean Sewer Hockey’s high price owes as much to its rarity as its awesomeness. Since the game was shelved far, far away from the “normal” TMNT toys, the only kids who really noticed it were those who pored over their Sears Wish Books with extreme scrutiny.
Neat note: Despite being produced by Remco, the various player figurines were very obviously based on Playmates’ toy collection, down to every last detail. Which means that Rat King is still covered in albino rats even while playing hockey. I’m naming him the MVP based on that alone. Read More…
Get set for another edition of Five Random Action Figures!
Admission: I’m trying to hurry through these so I can get to the next milestone edition, which is when I’ll allow myself to splurge on toys that aren’t already hiding in my office bins. Can’t wait to finally buy that old Serpentor figure with the Sparkle Crest toothpaste cape. I’ll only have to do this fourteen more times. Faaaaack.
My love for All Things Congo is already on record, and it’s thanks largely to the movie’s villains: A horde of snarling, battle-damaged grey gorillas. (Well, “villains” may be too strong a word. They were just doing what grey gorillas did.)
Due to Kenner’s penchant for making longshot bets about which movies would capture the hearts of children, Congo miraculously scored an action figure line, featuring such wish list toppers as Peter Elliot and Kahega. Really, if anyone bought Congo toys, it was for the line’s three grey gorillas.
I already showed you Mangler on a previous edition of Five Random Action Figures, who joined Blastface — another steak-faced simian — on the front line. When all else failed, the apes called in Bonecrusher, a “deluxe” figure that came with giant occult accessories plus a smaller monkey to boss around!
Really digging that battle staff. If you’ve never seen Congo, I’ll go ahead and confirm that none of the grey gorillas were seen using weapons, let alone meticulously carved weapons which presumably had the power to raise the dead when paired with the right assemblage of spooky vowel sounds. Read More…