1. Communicore Pamphlet – EPCOT Center Media’s got some scans of a pamphlet for Communicore, the park’s communications pavilion. While the other pavilions were more ride-y, Communicore was a showcase of different technologies. Well, it was supposed to be – it actually was mostly souvenir shops and restaurants. It was also a kind of sponsored clearing house – this was where you could really be fed lines about how amazing Exxon and AT&T were, in a practical sense. There was still some showcased future technology, and it was usually pretty cool.
To me, the illustrations on these are the most inspiring part. You can make pretty much anything look clean and futuristic and cool with this style, and the white backgrounds and terrific fonts back all of that up, but it all starts with the illustrations.
2. Count Duckula – Danger Mouse was my first favorite show – I had a few that I liked before that, but DM was the one show that, as a child, I absolutely could not miss. In 1988, Cosgrove Hall created Count Duckula, a spinoff series from Danger Mouse that focused on Duckula – a recurring villain.
While the Count was never one of my favorite bad guys (I was a Baron Silas Greenback guy), the series had a lot of charm and pretty decent animation for the time. As a grown up, looking back, Danger Mouse is clearly the superior show in a writing/spoof sense, but as an overall kid’s show I might have to give the nod to Duckula.
And it’s got a pretty solid intro!
3. Swatch – I was too skinny as a child to wear any wristwatch, let alone a Swatch, but in the ’80s I was always under the impression that you had to have a Swatch in order to be considered even slightly good-looking. Retronaut backs me up with this Swatch ad, adding a family angle as well.
This one’s just for the cool kids:
4. Popeye Video Game – Man, Parker Brothers really went all-in with the Popeye game promotion. Here’s a painful ad I came across on TheDotEaters that’s just…difficult.
Here’s a commercial for the Coleco version. It presents the game as a similarly confused idea. It’s a shame, because the arcade game is pretty good!
5. Careers – But here’s a thing that Parker Brothers got right. Wait, no, it’s a bizarre ad from 1979 for their game Careers.