1. Droid World – This gorgeous Star Wars book was a part of the read-along The Further Adventures series released in the early 1980s. Each book was about 20-25 pages long and came with a record or cassette that you played alongside it. Illustrated by Dick Foes, the artwork was much more impressive than it needed to be.
The Rebels have captured a damaged Imperial Warbot and not even R2-D2 can extract information from it. Luke and the droids head to Droid World, a space station occupied entirely by droids and one human – Captain Kligson, the man they hope can access the Warbot.
Kligson allows the droids on board, but not Luke. While there, the droids uncover a plan to revolt against Kligson and inform him. Turns out the Empire planted the seeds of revolt. For some reason. Everything falls apart after that, and it’s all-out war on Droid World.
Kligson is killed, but then it’s revealed that that was a decoy Kligson because the real Kligson knew about the revolution but needed the droids to uncover it before he could do anything. For some reason. Anyway, Kligson reveals that he built a Warbot of his own and basically dials the whole war on Droid World up a few notches.
Kligson wins, Droid World is in shambles, and C-3PO and R2-D2 head back to Luke. They express sadness for Kligson’s situation and you think that Luke’s going to suggest that Kligson come join the Rebels, but instead the story just ends.
Here’s the whole story. Decent job mocking up Luke and the droids’ voices.
2. The Brady Kids – Did you ever feel like The Brady Bunch was just too rooted in reality? Like it’d be more fun if they travelled through time, or went to space, or if there was magic? Executive Producer Sherwood Schwartz sure thought so, and four seasons into The Brady Bunch‘s run he approached animation company Filmation about a cartoon spinoff. The result hit the air in 1972, called The Brady Kids.
The parents and Alice were left out of the show, and the actual kids did the voices of their character for the first season. There were a few new characters, too: Marlon is the magical bird you see above, there were two pandas called Ping and Pong (groan), and a dog called Mop Top.
The series only really lasted one season; Filmation added a five-episode second season to meet the minimum required number for syndication. Only half of the kids signed on to lend their voices to the second season.
Here’s an episode where they go to ancient Greece to meet Euclid, and Wonder Woman joins them disguised as a math teacher. For some reason.
3. Puffin Biscuits – Seen over at The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit, this ad for Puffin Biscuits really scratches that space-age itch.
4. Maxwell House – I don’t know where to start with this 1960s Maxwell House commercial. The overacting husband? The over-reacting wife? The harsh, patronizing tone the husband takes toward his wife when he learns they’re out of coffee? The Benny-Hill-esque sequence in which the harsh, patronizing husband weeps at the table? The comically oversized Maxwell House jar? The overly passionate kiss when the day is saved? The issues in this household run deeper than keeping the pantry stocked, for sure.
5. Insist on Slinky – This 1957 Slinky ad found over at The Bird Feed is just an absolute stunner.