Better Than Pennies – ’70s Halloween Commercials

We’re pretty stale and orderly with our Halloween celebrations these days, so much so that it’s easy to forget the Wild West that was Halloween in the 1970s and 1980s.  Suffocation-threatening vinyl masks,  flammable vinyl shrouds to match said masks, and the ever-present threat of razor blades in your candy brought an edge of danger…

Mini-Munsters (1973)

I’m not really sure what happened here. I wanted to share something from ’70s television with a spooky vibe, and then I stumbled across this, and while I can describe it and comment on it, I’m just not sure what exactly it is. Originally broadcast as a one-hour “movie” on The ABC Superstar Saturday Movie, “Mini-Munsters” re-aired…

Mysteries of the Unknown – Time-Life Books (1980s)

The “Mysteries of the Unknown” series is the jewel in the Time-Life crown. You can’t talk for long about Time-Life books without this exploration into the paranormal coming up. It makes sense; UFO abductions, Stonehenge and Easter Island, telekinesis, ESP, and deja vu were at super-high popularity in the ’80s. Magazines and books like “Mysteries…

The Enchanted World – Time Life Books (1985)

Back in the ’80s you could have probably convinced me that Time-Life was a branch of the Department of Education; their authoritative ads for book series on everything from UFOs to the Civil War to The Old West to pasta recipes came across to a young me as more of a public service than a…

Followup Friday: 1981 Atari Ad

No cartoon interpretations here, just a gorgeous rainbow stack of Atari game boxes in a beautifully designed print ad from 1981.  And an odd claim that Space Invaders “launched the space age game category”. Do they think Pong takes place on Earth?

The Computer Will “Razz” You – 1981 Atari VCS Catalog

The idea of print catalogs being annually mailed to houses as the sole way of informing a consumer of a company’s upcoming product line is a quaint one; it harkens a time when marketing technology was limited and opted-in consumer interest was guaranteed – two qualities that don’t exist anymore.   Taking that view would…

Don’t Drink It – MagiCans (1990)

Money in Coke cans?! Putrid smelling liquid in Coke cans?! People drinking putrid smelling liquid they found in Coke cans and getting sick? This 1990 Coca-Cola MagiCan promotion  really had it all. Coke kicked off the Summer of 1990 with an ambitious promotion: stash money or coupons redeemable for trips and other prizes into Coke…

All Hail the Hamburglar (1970-1980s)

It’s weird to single out individual aspects of McDonaldland for the sake of pointing out how strange that individual aspect is. The whole idea is strange.  The wonderful thing about McDonaldland isn’t just the absurdity of a fast-food themed magical wonderland populated with less than two-dozen beings each resembling a fast-food menu item or category…

Stephen King’s “IT” Ads (1990)

IT is most likely my favorite book. I’ve read better books, I’ve read more meaningful and profound books, and I’ve read (one or two) longer books, but IT edges them all out as the book that meant most to me at the time I read it (I was eleven) and as the book that grew with me…

Mario Teaches Typing/Mario Teaches Typing 2 (1991-1996)

THIS is how you license Mario out. Those who lived through the ’90s may remember the glut of typing tutorial programs that filled software store shelves.  Mavis Beacon ruled the roost with her legion of titles for all skill levels, but there was plenty of room for any company who had a half-cute character in…