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”)!

1983-12_Popeye_P

 

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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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!

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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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!

1983-12_KoolAidMan_P

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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The Science of Gross

January 1998

Thunderbolts #10

Since last week we had “GROSS!” Madballs, I thought this would be an appropriate followup: Grossology. This is software (based on a book) that tries to teach kids about biology by presenting it as something gross – and therefore fun. So if you want to learn about snot, pee, pimples, scabs, or other sorts of bodily substances and/or functions, this is the place!

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Just in doing a quick search on this, I found out that there’s an official website for Grossology that’s still active… and while it says that it was last updated in 2010, it looks more like it was last updated closer 2001! This is a seriously vintage website, and great for a walk down memory lane to the good (?) ol’ days of dialup. It’s also great for showing to the kids/grandkids so you can tell them, “Back in my day, this was what our internet looked like! It took five minutes to load, and we were grateful for it!” (and feel free to add “you young whippersnappers!” for extra effect).

 

Do you enjoy reading Comic Book Ads? If so, please consider supporting me by clicking here for my Amazon link – I’ll get a percentage from everything you order! Thanks!