It’s a bit soon for another edition of Five Retro TV Commercials, but my brain is being pulled in a thousand directions (join the club, I know), and writing three paragraphs about thirty-second things is all I’m sure I can do reasonably well.
In today’s batch: Ewoks, eggs and Unsolved Mysteries. Pretty solid mix if you’re an aspiring detective who likes Star Wars movies, and it’s early.
Tales from the Darkside! (1988)
I think I’ve seen enough old Tales from the Darkside promos to understand how they worked. Seems like the people behind the show created “skinnable” promos for each episode, which the various networks that carried the series — and TFTD was syndicated, so there were a lot of networks in play — could then “repackage” to better fit their brands.
Tl;dr: I doubt this promo’s producers had PHL17’s Saved by the Bell graphics in mind when they created it, but by that point, it was out of their hands. I love the menacing shot of that phone chilling over the background from my 3rd grade school photo.
This specific promo was for one of the show’s best episodes, Sorry, Right Number, which was written by Stephen King. (Not adapted from a King story; I’m saying he wrote it specifically for Tales from the Darkside.) I don’t want to spoil the twist, so hopefully the fact that it stars the mother from Just the Ten of Us is enough to make you curious.
Snickers Ice Cream Bar! (1993)
If I’ve pieced things together correctly, Snickers Ice Cream Bars had a limited rollout in ‘89 and ‘90, with the big national blitz happening in 1991. That tracks with how I remember it, anyway.
They were wildly popular in the early ‘90s, to the point where I might even classify the bars as a “fad food.” At least within my middle school demo, it was *the* ice cream — the thing we picked 9 times out of 10. Snickers Ice Cream Bars had a figurative cool factor to match their literal one. We ate them because they were delicious, but also because they raised our social stock by a good 5%.
Snickers Ice Cream Bars are still made today, but they’re no longer sold in those swank cream-colored wrappers. Lord knows what sort of contrarian-ass focus group led Snickers to make such a stupid change, but I’m still mad at everyone involved. Read More…
I take pride in letting Dino Drac be a distraction from the real world, but to ignore the real world this week is beyond gross. Here’s a list of Black Lives Matter fundraisers that you should consider donating to. There are many orgs on that list that are purely humanitarian, and I’d like to believe that everyone can find causes in there to get behind.
Take your time. This article will still be here later. Below is the latest edition of Five Retro TV Commercials, featuring everything from Garfield-endorsed ravioli to Matt-endorsed Dorothy Zbornak.
TMNT Badges at Burger King! (1990)
With their cartoon, toy line and movie all white hot, the Ninja Turtles completely owned 1990. Or at least co-owned it with Bart Simpson. Life must’ve been wretched for kids who hated the Turtles, because they were everywhere.
“Everywhere” included Burger King. Especially Burger King! Aside from the BK-exclusive TMNT videotapes that literally every person on the planet owned, there was also this collection of “badges” — large, clip-on wearables that straddled the line between toys and jewelry. One free with every Kids Club Meal!
BK was never my preferred fast food joint, but I gleefully traded Ronald’s McNuggets for the King’s Chicken Tenders whenever they came with hot Leonardo swag.
As for the commercial embedded above, it remains the only piece of media starring the Ninja Turtles, Kid Vid and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Garfield Ravioli! (1994)
Arriving in 1994, Garfield Ravioli survived in stores through 1998. It only had major distribution in its first year, though, which explains why so few people remember it.
I, luckily, am among those people. I can’t say that I was especially into Garfield in 1994, but I was especially into ravioli bombs that were stuffed to the point of obscenity. About half as large as avocado pits but nearly as round, each piece was like an Italian dumpling. Smack gnocchi with a Thunder Stone, and you’re in the area.
Garfield drifts in and out of broad relevance like a leaf blowing in the wind. In 1994, I guess the argument was that a Saturday morning cartoon star could still carry canned pasta even in his waning years. I don’t have the box office receipts, but from a critical perspective, Garfield Ravioli got five stars. Read More…
Every single one of you loves sea monsters. I do, too. Always have. Whether it’s a shark with a particular bloodlust or some giant leviathan with twisted sea horns and a big giant human feet, I’m all-in on every sea monster.
Soooo, I’m happy to report that the latest Purple Stuff Podcast is all about — you guessed it — SEA MONSTERS!
This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit dive into the depths and report back on eight great sea monsters, running the gamut from cartoons to movies to, somehow, pro-wrestling.
Come for the Sando Aqua Monster, stay for Octavia from the Evil Horde.
PS: The show is also on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean or whatever other app you prefer. Just search for us. We’re there.
As a reminder, the Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, where you can grab (at least) one bonus show each and every month. Thanks so much for all of your support over there!
Some spoiler pics for the new episode are below, because you’re gonna need visual aids for some of these freaks: Read More…
Dino Drac’s May Funpack has arrived, and if you’re lucky, you found out about it just in time to grab one!
UNITED STATES ONLY! 2 DAYS ONLY!
This month’s box is loaded with hardcore collectibles, stuff to keep you busy, shit to read, and of course, delicious junk food. I’m assuming y’all know the score by now, but if not, here you go:
The Funpacks are sold on a subscription basis. The cost is $25 a month, and that price includes shipping. For as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting boxes of old-and-new nonsense, each and every month. (And of course, you can cancel whenever you want without penalty!)
Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything in the May Funpack! Read More…