Pop(ple) Till You Drop?

March 1988

Visionaries #3

Who out there remembers Popples? They were like the less exciting, plush version of Transformers: they could transform from a cute creature into… a ball!

Despite my current teasing, I actually did think they were pretty cool back in the day. If I remember correctly, I had a purple one, and my cousin had a basketball one (though the blue one in this ad with the guitar and the pierced ear looks pretty badass – in retrospect, I wish I’d had that one!).

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So, I see that the name of the company that made Popples was “Those Characters from Cleveland” – while I concede that it’s certainly a descriptive company name, not exactly the catchiest company name.

 

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A Touch of Evel

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

I saved the best (at least in my opinion) for last – here’s the last ad I’ve got from Claw The Unconquered: Evel Knievel! He was huge in the ’70s, with all sorts of stunts, TV appearances, and – most importantly – merchandise!

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This line of toys ran from 1972 to ’77, and after releasing the Stunt Cycle in ’73, became Ideal’s best sellers! Despite being so popular, the line was dropped (along with most of Knievel’s other sponsorships) when Knievel assaulted the writer of an unflattering book about him. But the really interesting part about that? Knievel managed to beat the guy to a pulp while still recovering from a stunt gone bad, and both of his arms were in casts at the time! Now that takes determination! (Not that I’m endorsing assault or anything, but still, wow!)

I Know Colors! I’m a Musical Genius!

March 1988

Visionaries #3

I find this ad in this comic kind of odd in that the ad’s intended audience seems much younger than the comic’s intended audience. I’d say this kid is – what? – maybe three? Whereas I’d say the low end of this comic’s audience is maybe seven.

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Anyway, here are two Muppets-themed keyboards – a regular Muppets keyboard for regular kids, and a Muppet Babies keyboard for baby kids!

Don’t Use Your Karate Skills on the Seahorses!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

It’s another random grab bag of mini ads!

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The one that strikes me the most here is the one for live seahorses – they’ll send you two “freshly caught” mated pairs, with at least one pregnant. OK, I have two main thoughts on this:

  1. Sending live, pregnant seahorses through the mail seems like it would be prohibitively difficult/risky.
  2. Capturing seahorses from the wild and then sending them through the mail seems rather cruel… and seems like it should be illegal.

At least Sea Monkeys are in a type of suspended animation when they’re shipped, but live, conscious animals is a whole different story!

Build Your Own GoBots!

March 1985

G.I. Joe #33

I used to have GoBots as a kid (in fact, I still have those GoBots!) – they were cool because they were the same size as Hot Wheels, so you could play with them with all your other cars!

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So when I first saw this ad, I initially thought it was for the standard GoBots toys, but apparently this is for models of the toys… kind of odd, but OK. It looks like they actually do transform, so I’m guessing the main difference is that you put these together yourself? Or maybe they’re more detailed than the regular toys? Not really sure on that.

Tough, Menacing Men of Action!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

“Nothing can stop the smashing assault of Big Jim’s P.A.C.K.”

Umm… do we need to get Spider-Man and the Power Pack back here so they can give us tips on preventing sexual abuse again? Because that’s kind of where it sounds like this is heading!

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I think they’re stretching it a bit with the acronym – “Professional Agents/Crime Killers” – so… they kill… crime? And while I can see how Dr. Steel’s steel hand could come in handy (Ha! Handy!) in battle, that can’t be the best possible prosthetic for everyday use – just think how impractical something like that would be!

It’s a Sure Thing!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

Personally, I don’t know a whole lot about flying remote control planes, but judging by this, I’m going to assume that they’re generally rather challenging. Well, no more! Because Cox now makes planes with Automatic Pilot!

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With Sure Flyers™ you’ve got the choice of Auto Pilot or Hand Control, so it’s easy for beginners! Sounds like a winner to me!