GRIT and Bear It!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

So this is our fourth installment of GRIT, with the previous ones being from 1963, 1972, and 1980. This one is actually pretty stripped down compared to the others, without very much text at all, and this is the first ad of theirs I’ve seen where they’ve used a cartoony character rather than a photo or realistic drawing.

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Also significant on this ad’s order form – “Signature of Parent or Guardian” – this is the first time the kids are supposed to actually get their parents’ permission to sell GRIT!

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Battling Death, 8 Bits at a Time

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

It’s almost Christmas, and this ad combines two longtime favorite gifts: Star Wars and video games! This was actually one of the first licensed Star Wars video games (from what I’m finding, it seems to be the second, but I’m not 100% sure about that), and in it you pilot the Millennium Falcon in a mission the destroy the Death Star – pretty exciting stuff!

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If you want to give it a try, the Atari 2600 version is emulated here. I got 550 on my first try – I’m sure I could do better if I tried again, but don’t have the time at the moment.

Anyway, happy holidays, everyone!

Warp to the Comic Store!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Here we’ve got a classified page that’s (pretty much) full of comics. Here’s your chance to find all those back issues you’re looking for!

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The single non-comic ad here is for Mazewarps – “24 Challenging Videomaze Games in a Book.” I’m a bit confused by this – how can they be video if they’re in a book? Maybe it’s a book on how to program games on a computer? Any of you out there know what the deal with Mazewarps is?

Toy Shops: The Final Frontier?

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Just like our last installment from TSR, at first glance I thought this was for a video game… but apparently Star Frontiers is a role playing game instead.

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While I give them points for style for using a comic-like presentation, the ad doesn’t actually tell you anything about the game other than that its topic is space – personally, this wouldn’t have stirred up enough interest to look into it any further. But I guess they really only needed it to stir up enough interest for people to send for the catalog, so it must have generated at least enough interest for that in some people.

 

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Scrambled Lemonade, Anyone?

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Well, I guess gum counts as candy too, so this works well for a post-Halloween post! Here we have the addition of pink lemonade to the Bubble Yum lineup! I remember liking that flavor – how about you? I was curious as to whether or not they were still making this flavor, so I looked up the current Bubble Yum site, and apparently the only kind they still make is original flavor sugarless – how disappointing!

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Well, since this is another anagram game, I was hoping to have some fun like I did with Fig Newtons, but unfortunately none of these words can be rearranged into something else (at least, not with using all the letters) – sorry to disappoint you!

 

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Oh Yeaahh! It’s Kool-Aid Man!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

I love it when advertising crosses mediums and takes on a life of its own, and here’s a fantastic example of that: the Kool-Aid Man Video Game! Kool-Aid Man, the character designed to advertise packets of flavored drink mix to kids, now has his very own video game! So, in a way, this ad is kind of meta – Kool-Aid Man started as an advertisement, and now this is an ad for Kool-Aid Man! Awesome!

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This was available for both the Atari 2600 and Intellivision. From what I understand, the Intellivision version was vastly superior (as was the case with most games available on both platforms at the time), but you can try out the Atari version here! It took me a bit to figure it out, but it turns out that you need to get the guys who are using straws to drink the water, while avoiding the other guys (and also avoiding the ceiling and floor). Once I figured out what I was doing, I got 6,300 – how about you?

 

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Princess of (Girl) Power!

May 1985

Masters of the Universe #1

We started this issue with an ad for He-Man, so I thought it would be fitting to save She-Ra for last. This was one of my absolute favorites as a kid, and I’ve still got all my action figures! One thing I always wondered, though – how come they never made toys of Shadow Weaver or Scorpia?? They were pretty prominent characters, and way more important than a bunch of figures that actually were released. I guess we’ll probably never know…

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As much as I liked this show, I always thought Loo-Kee was kind of stupid – I thought that hearing “today’s lesson” had a much bigger impact when it came from the characters we loved and respected (like on He-Man), rather than some random little creature who isn’t even really part of the show. What do you think?

 

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