1. Victorian Visions of 2000 – Here’s an amazing collection of cards made at the turn of the 20th century that illustrate a Victorian vision of what the turn of the 21st century might look like. Check out the whole set, for sure, but here are a few of my favorites:
Personal flying machines. Safety is apparently not an issue in the year 2000! Put your kids on a tiny platform in the sky! I think I’m most interested in whatever the propulsion method must be for the dragon-looking device on the left.
A weather machine. Mad scientist not included.
Tourists explore the ocean depths in an undersea boat. While the Victorians took liberties with the technology of the future they did not seem to think fashion would change at all.
Train-Boat. Or Boat-Train. I wonder how these tracks were imagined to run in deep seas?
2. Croonchy Stars – Last week we saw Jim Henson selling coffee back before the Muppets were, well, the Muppets. Here’s a few ads from the other side of things, featuring Henson’s legacy selling a Swedish Chef-themed cereal, Croonchy Stars.
3. Mr. Merlin – This 1981 Sitcom might have the worst premise of them all: a kid gets hired to work in an old man’s garage and pulls a crowbar out of some cement. The crowbar is revealed to be King Arthur’s sword Exaclibur, forcing the old man to reveal himself as Merlin. Mister Merlin.
Merlin takes the kid on as an apprentice and they go on to have a season’s worth of modern-day magical coming-of-age adventures before the series was cancelled in 1982.
Here’s the oh-so-80’s intro:
Annnnd the pilot:
4. Sing Me a Story With Belle – This one was submitted via Twitter from @JoseAcevedo1992. Disney rolled out this Beauty and the Beast “spinoff” in 1999. Belle apparently left her fairytale life with the Beast to open a bookstore back in the town. She, a cat, a talking book, and two magical bookworms hang out with kids in the bookstore and tell stories. As far as I can tell, no reason is given as to why Belle has left her perfect life to start this new one. As far as spinoffs go, Disney, you’ve got a lot to learn. The Golden Palace has you beat.
Here’s an episode! Thanks for the lead, Jose!
5 . Going Batty – A 1983 McDonalds commercial featuring a rare appearance from the Professor, a B-level McDonaldland celeb. When you’re a couple of rungs beneath even the breakfast bird, what does that tell you?
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