You’ll Pop Your Eye Out!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Fun fact: Did you know that the original Donkey Kong was actually supposed to be a Popeye game? Yep! But Nintendo couldn’t get the rights to the characters in time, so they ended up changing Popeye, Brutus, and Olive Oyl to Mario (or “Jumpman”), Donkey Kong, and Pauline (or “Lady”)!

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And another fun fact: In Japan there was actually a sequel to this game… that was made to help teach kids English. I don’t know about you, but when I think about proper use of the English language, Popeye isn’t exactly in my list of good examples!

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No-Frills Comics Subscriptions

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

This has got to be the most bland subscription ad I’ve ever seen! No characters, no fancy graphics, not even an interesting font! Come on, Marvel – you can do so much better than this!

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However, one thing that caught my eye on this page was “Blip” – I’d never heard of that title before. Upon looking it up, apparently since kids at this time were spending more of their money on video games and less on comic books, Marvel decided to try cashing in on the video game craze by publishing a magazine about it! It only lasted 7 issues, but it looks amazingly geeky, and I’d love to get my hands on it!

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack(s)!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

You know, all my life, right up until I started preparing this post, I’ve thought of this snack as “Cracker Jacks,” not the singular “Cracker Jack” – I’ve been wrong for all these years and never had any idea!

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Most of us remember Cracker Jack for its “Toy Surprise” – when I was a kid, it was usually some kind of small plastic trinket. I haven’t had Cracker Jack in many, many years, but the last few times I did, I remember being particularly disappointed in the quality of the “toys” – usually just stickers. Well, as it turns out, that’s not so bad! Apparently in 2017 they replaced the toy with a QR code that allows you to download a game – lame! I feel like that takes away all of the specialness that Cracker Jack used to have.

Solar Faux?

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Solar Fox! I’ve never played the game myself, but I’ve heard it’s a really good one. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about this ad – it just makes me cringe!

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For those of you who don’t know, I’m an editor, so spelling, grammar, and punctuation are what I do. I half wonder if anyone proofread this before it went to print. This ad has missing punctuation, incorrect punctuation, ambiguous letters, and possibly even missing words! I’m sure that most people wouldn’t really notice, and for those that would, they probably wouldn’t really care, but it’s my job to care about this, and I can’t just turn it off when I’m not on the clock!

CBS Electronics, I give you credit for doing an ad in the style of a comic, but next time you do (which I’m sure will be any day now!), please have me check it over before it goes to publication!

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!

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?