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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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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Endorsed By King Kong And The Moon!

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

I actually had to add a new category for this one – Health & Hygiene (“Hi, Gene!”) – since stuff like this isn’t advertised in comics that often.

I remember the toothpaste pump fad in the mid-’80s – they just seemed to come out of nowhere, and then all of the sudden, they were everywhere! I think the rationale was supposed to be that the toothpaste was easier to use (was it really that difficult in the first place?) and that there would be less waste (which was difficult to judge, since the toothpaste came in opaque, rigid tubes).

I thought that toothpaste pumps died out in the ’90s, but apparently they’re still around! Whaddaya know!

(Fun fact – While typing that last part, at first I accidentally typed “toothpaste pimps,” which gave me a really interesting and amusing visual! “Hey, man, you wanna go home with some sweet fluoride tonight? You can pump it all night long!”)

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I think it’s funny that in this ad they don’t expound on the advantages of getting your toothpaste from a pump rather than a tube. The whole message of this ad can basically be summed up as: “Yay! It’s new!” While not exactly the worst I’ve seen, I think a little more product info could be a good thing.

 

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M&M’s Are So Sporty!

May 1986

Masters of the Universe #1

M&M’s are a classic candy that has been around for generations. The colors shown here are the ones I remember growing up: orange, yellow green, light brown, and dark brown. I remember red being added (and upon looking it up, that was in 1987), but apparently red had already been used from 1960-1976, until people started to believe that red dyes caused cancer. I still think of the blue ones as the “new” M&M’s, and still think they look out of place, but apparently they’ve been around since 1995!

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Fun fact: Did you know that Steven Spielberg originally wanted to use M&M’s in the movie E.T., but Mars turned him down? So instead he approached Hershey, which was more than happy to have Reese’s Pieces featured in the film!

 

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Were the Dancing Ones Called Go-GoBots?

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

Back when I was a kid, I remember thinking of GoBots as cheap imitations of Transformers. I still watched/liked the show, but didn’t think it was as cool for some reason. I also remember asking for Transformers for Christmas/birthdays, and getting GoBots instead. I only ever had four of them: Leader-1, Road Ranger, Rest-Q, and Hans-Cuff. However, I did appreciate the fact that they were the same scale as Hot Wheels, so at least I could play with my GoBots with my other cars.

Well guess what – years later I found out that it was actually the other way around: GoBots came out first, and Transformers copied them! It makes me wonder why Transformers always seemed like the “main” cartoon to me (and apparently many others) – maybe they just had better marketing?

In an interesting twist of fate, Tonka (makers of GoBots) was actually acquired by Hasbro (makers of Transformers) in 1991, so now they’re all (technically) part of the same family anyway!

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I love the “THEY’RE AWESOME!” in the middle of this ad. To me, it kind of feels like a temporary placeholder that they either forgot to replace, or they just couldn’t come up with anything better, so decided to leave it as is.

So I spent quite a bit of time scouring the internet to figure out who the GoBots (other than Leader-1) in this picture are – I was able to come up with two of them, but still have no idea who pink one is – any ideas, anyone?

To see one of my GoBots toys, click here for my CBA IRL post!

 

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Actually, It’s a JPEG

May 1986

Masters Of The Universe #1

Unscramble the letters? But the first one is already a perfectly cromulent word: GIF! Could this possibly be the first-ever use in print of that term??

Just for fun, I looked up anagrams for the rest of them. It turns out that “apple” can be rearranged to “pepla,” which is the plural of “peplum,” which is essentially a type of toga, so… toga-flavored Newtons! I couldn’t find any good anagrams for “cherry,” but for blueberry, take your pick: beery blur, blurry bee, burly beer, lube berry, or rubber lye (or several other options, but the ones listed seemed like the best)! Hmm… given those options, I think I’d have to go with lube berry…

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I’ve always thought that choosing fig as their go-to flavor was kind of an odd move. I did a little research, and I found a little info on its origin (apparently eating fruit and biscuits were considered good for health, and this was a convenient solution that included both), I couldn’t find any info on why figs specifically were chosen over other flavors that may have been more popular/appealing. Maybe figs were just “in” back in the 1890s?

I was actually surprised at just how little information seems to be out there on such an iconic snack – even from the brand’s own website! We all know that fig is the original flavor, and according to an ad I posted earlier, apple had already been introduced by 1985. This ad introduces cherry and blueberry, so we know those were new for 1985/’86. Apparently the current fruit lineup is: fig, blueberry, strawberry, and mixed berry. So I’m not sure at what point apple and cherry disappeared, or when strawberry and mixed berry were introduced (and I’m sure no one besides me really cares anyway!).

 

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