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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Grin and (Care) Bear It!

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

It’s the Care Bears – here to offer you a deal on all of your favorite cartoon tie-in comics! Star Comics was a division of Marvel that was used mostly for cartoon-related comics and other titles that would appeal to young children.

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OK, I know subscription pages generally aren’t very interesting, but just (Care) bear with me – I’m almost finished with each of the comics I’ve been posting from, and soon I’ll have a whole new batch!

 

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It’s the Space Age – 20 Years Later!

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

Everyone thinks of The Jetsons as a classic, but did you know that its original run back in the ’60s was only one season of 24 episodes? Hard to believe, huh? Then the run advertised here added another 41 episodes, and 10 more were produced in 1987. Notable in this ad is the addition of Orbitty, Elroy’s little alien friend. Is it just me, or does he look super out of place here?

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And then we’ve got Galtar And The Golden Lance. I don’t remember this show at all from back in the day, but something about it seems kind of familiar… hmm… a strong, blond warrior, holding obviously powerful swords above his head, riding a large, green animal… I’m just not sure where I’ve seen something like that before…

Apparently Galtar only lasted 21 episodes, so with a short run like that, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that I don’t remember it.

 

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GROSS!

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

Like so many other things from the ’80s, I remember Madballs being around, but didn’t have any or really pay that much attention to them. Upon looking up some info on them, I was kind of surprised to learn that they actually each had names. Fun fact: The guy with the exposed brain was originally named Crack Head… but they later changed it to Bash Brain – I can’t imagine why! ;D  I’m not sure at what point they changed his name, but if they produced any toys in packaging labeled “Crack Head,” I’m sure those would be worth quite a bit now!

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Surprisingly, Madballs are still around! Or, more accurately, they’re around again. In 2006 American Greetings teamed up with Art Asylum and began producing the toys (as well as other Madballs-themed products) again under the Just Play brand. And there’s even a new Madballs YouTube channel! I guess all things old are new again…

 

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