Category Archives: advertising

It’s nearly Christmas so let’s look at old catalogue pages and press adverts with toys on them (the seventies)

I never knew that there was a Space 1999 playset (but this is from an American Catalogue so maybe not in the UK?) but putting that relevation to one side let’s not forget – and indeed, let us celebrate) the fact that Space 1999 had one of the best intro sequences and music of any TV show ever;

and then we have an advert for the Waddingtons UK board game ‘Frankenstein’;

The Space 1999 image comes courtesy of an interesting blog with lots of other action figure related posts;

http://webdebris.com/70s/tag/action-figures/

The Frankenstein bord game advert came courtesy of the always interesting ‘The Cobwebbed Room’ blog;

http://cobwebbedroom.blogspot.nl/

There was a Pac Man Land, and it lived in Texas – Plus: They made a board game from a video game & Pac Man 7-up and Pac-Man Cereal adverts (all 1980s)

In the early 1980s, Pac-Man became a cultural phenomena which (arguably) has not been repeated since – a videogame character that crossed over into the mainstream in a highly (profitable) commercial manner. Only Mario (and then maybe Sonic) can lay claim to be somewhere near the iconic status of Pac-Man.

As a result of this popularity, many commercial opportunities were explored. Pac-Man land was one of them. A Pac-Man-themed children’s area of the Theme Park ‘Six Flags Over Texas’, it was open from 1983-1985 (to then be replaced by Looney-Tunes land) when presumably, the Pac-Man hysteria had dampened down and his appearance no longer generated sufficient revenue. By the look of the slideshow (see below), the ‘Pac-Man land’ concept consisted of a children’s play area (like the type you get in family pub chains and fast food restaurants) configured to vaguely look like the maze environment where Pac-Man did his thing.;

Morecambe and Wise Atari advert for Christmas 1982

Just to get you into the Christmas Spirit – and seeing as we are in dire financial times and all that – I think that the Atari 2600 could be a viable alternative to the Wii this Christmas. Of primary interest is the price – observe the listing below as a guide;

Then, just show your kids this advert from a long time ago (1982)and they will understand everything – like the Wii, the 2600 is about playing with friends and family, a communal exxperience. Like the Wii, the Atari games are not so much about the cutting edge in Graphics technologies – rather than that, and better than that, it is about pure playability (who can deny Pac-Man (albeit not the Atari version) is a true gaming classic and deserves its status as such?). Finally, the 2600 is a discreet, charming addition to any household, unlike the monolithic PS3 and Xbox 360. Anyway, here is Morecambe and Wise to seal the deal;

and if you want to see a non-Christmas advert with Morecambe & Wise, an Atari console, Ernie Wise gamely playing the legendary ball-breaker that is Defender, and Eric Morecombe taking the opportunity to cop off with a woman on the sofa, then have a look below;

http://video.play2000games.com/video/462

Finally, for no other reason than that I like it, here is a flyer for Defender, the timeless and still hard-as-nails shooter from Williams (so many buttons!!)

Flyer was sourced from here;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/racketboy/

Link

http://www.atariage.com/2600/index.html?SystemID=2600 – a fantastic Atari 2600 resource

and this is just…….genius. Words nearly fail me;

http://www.labelmaker2600.com/

Jif Dessert Toppings Press Advert (1979)

Remember these things? Fruity syrup to splash all over your dessert (where Ice Cream would have been the most obvious choice) that came in a range of flavours – I am sure you can still get the Strawberry one. Anyway – 3 paper labels from these things plus £1 got you a space calender that would tell you what day a date fell on right through until ‘2001 ad’! Good job too – advertising a 1979 calender in the midst of the summer holidays isn’t the brightest promotion idea ever.

Taken from 2000ad & Starlord prog 126, 18th of August 1979.

Update – Walls ‘Count Draculas Deadly Secret’ advert (1976)

Taken from issue 22 of the British comic Action, dated 10th of July 1976. These were the upgraded lollies, with the ‘trace-a-face’ gimmick, which was a plastic template type stick, replacing the traditional wooden variety. Great advert, remember this one well. How often do you get to see Dracula standing next to a Walls branded ice cream freezer?? Also, how fantastic would it have been to win a movie projector with reels of horror film thrown in? Wonder what the film was – any bets on it starring a certain Vampire, and being one of the Hammer films, or one of the older Univeral horrors starring Bela Lugosi?

This is a follow up post from a lolly themed one I did a few weeks back – for that one (which includes other ads for ‘Count Draculas Deadly Secret’, go here.