Pop(ple) Till You Drop?

March 1988

Visionaries #3

Who out there remembers Popples? They were like the less exciting, plush version of Transformers: they could transform from a cute creature into… a ball!

Despite my current teasing, I actually did think they were pretty cool back in the day. If I remember correctly, I had a purple one, and my cousin had a basketball one (though the blue one in this ad with the guitar and the pierced ear looks pretty badass – in retrospect, I wish I’d had that one!).

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So, I see that the name of the company that made Popples was “Those Characters from Cleveland” – while I concede that it’s certainly a descriptive company name, not exactly the catchiest company name.

 

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A Touch of Evel

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

I saved the best (at least in my opinion) for last – here’s the last ad I’ve got from Claw The Unconquered: Evel Knievel! He was huge in the ’70s, with all sorts of stunts, TV appearances, and – most importantly – merchandise!

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This line of toys ran from 1972 to ’77, and after releasing the Stunt Cycle in ’73, became Ideal’s best sellers! Despite being so popular, the line was dropped (along with most of Knievel’s other sponsorships) when Knievel assaulted the writer of an unflattering book about him. But the really interesting part about that? Knievel managed to beat the guy to a pulp while still recovering from a stunt gone bad, and both of his arms were in casts at the time! Now that takes determination! (Not that I’m endorsing assault or anything, but still, wow!)

I Know Colors! I’m a Musical Genius!

March 1988

Visionaries #3

I find this ad in this comic kind of odd in that the ad’s intended audience seems much younger than the comic’s intended audience. I’d say this kid is – what? – maybe three? Whereas I’d say the low end of this comic’s audience is maybe seven.

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Anyway, here are two Muppets-themed keyboards – a regular Muppets keyboard for regular kids, and a Muppet Babies keyboard for baby kids!

Personally, I Prefer the B-52s Over the B-17s

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

You can build this cool model plane! And then you can win a trip to see cool planes in person! Pretty cool, huh?

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So first prize is a trip to London to see an air show. But then the second prize winner gets the choice of: A) a trip to Disneyland and the Boeing plant in Seattle, or B) a trip to Disney World and an air museum in Dayton, OH.

Is it just me, or do these seem like really odd trip combinations? I mean, Anaheim and Seattle aren’t exactly neighbors, and neither are Orlando and Dayton. I get that Disney is the prize kids actually want, and the plane-related stuff is to tie in with the model planes, but couldn’t they have found some aviation-related attractions a little closer to Disney?

Build Your Own GoBots!

March 1985

G.I. Joe #33

I used to have GoBots as a kid (in fact, I still have those GoBots!) – they were cool because they were the same size as Hot Wheels, so you could play with them with all your other cars!

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So when I first saw this ad, I initially thought it was for the standard GoBots toys, but apparently this is for models of the toys… kind of odd, but OK. It looks like they actually do transform, so I’m guessing the main difference is that you put these together yourself? Or maybe they’re more detailed than the regular toys? Not really sure on that.

Tough, Menacing Men of Action!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

“Nothing can stop the smashing assault of Big Jim’s P.A.C.K.”

Umm… do we need to get Spider-Man and the Power Pack back here so they can give us tips on preventing sexual abuse again? Because that’s kind of where it sounds like this is heading!

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I think they’re stretching it a bit with the acronym – “Professional Agents/Crime Killers” – so… they kill… crime? And while I can see how Dr. Steel’s steel hand could come in handy (Ha! Handy!) in battle, that can’t be the best possible prosthetic for everyday use – just think how impractical something like that would be!

It’s a Sure Thing!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

Personally, I don’t know a whole lot about flying remote control planes, but judging by this, I’m going to assume that they’re generally rather challenging. Well, no more! Because Cox now makes planes with Automatic Pilot!

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With Sure Flyers™ you’ve got the choice of Auto Pilot or Hand Control, so it’s easy for beginners! Sounds like a winner to me!