Five Things – 3.6.17 – POWER PLUS

TurboGrafx 16 Infomercial This 18-minute promotional video for the TurboGrafx 16 game system pulls a page or two from the Saved By The Bell book of video effects. Most videos like this have a terrible-yet-fun narrative angle threading the game showcases together, but outside of an awkward little kid occasionally playing unseen games we get a…

Five Things – 12.7.15 – Thanks For Lending Me The Suit

1.  A Bionic Christmas Carol – This 1976 episode of The Six Million Dollar Man does a copy/paste of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in a way that fits mostly, but not entirely. Steve gets assigned to investigate a potential sabotage issue at a space-tech factory…on Christmas Eve… He’s not happy about it, but he goes because that’s his…

Five Things – 11.24.14

1.  Jack and Jill Magazine Covers –  Jack and Jill is a kids’ magazine that started its run in 1938 and is still in publication. Think Highlights with less Goofus and Gallant and more of an outside-the-doctor’s-office circulation.  It was created by the same family behind Country Gentleman, and maybe that explains why I can’t get…

Five Things – 11.3.14

1. That Refreshing Look – The appropriately-1950s-named Vendo corporation produced this promotional film touting the benefits of Coca-Cola’s new vending machines.  The part that’s actually about the machines themselves is a little dry, but the crisp color imagery of 1950s American life at the beginning and the ‘roleplay’ selling scenarios at the end are fantastic.

Five Things – 10.27.14

1.  Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) – Of course Freddy had a video game.  He had a few, actually, but the NES game was the one I played as a kid. (His pose is less menacing than I think they were intending.  He seems to be saying “I give up!”) Developed by Rare and published by our…

Five Things – 3.3.14

1. Wonderbug – Part of the Krofft Supershow in the back half of the ’70s, Wonderbug was about some kids who find a magical car in a junkyard. In its non-wonder state the car was called Schlepcar and was pretty hideous. Then, when a magical horn was sounded, Schlepcar would turn into Wonderbug, a mildly less…

Five Things – 11.25.13

1.  Turkey Television – In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, here’s a mostly-forgotten sketch show from Canada called Turkey Television.  It was commissioned by Nickelodeon after the success of You Can’t Do That On Television, but didn’t fare quite as well.  It premiered in 1985 and was cancelled after one season. While much of the material was…

Five Things – 10.21.13

1.  Wizards and Warriors – Decades before Game of Thrones, there was Wizards and Warriors.  In 1983 CBS took a gamble on the idea that the general public was ready for swords and sorcery, that it was finally time to wrest the concept from the hands of the nerds, pull it out of the basements…

Five Things – 8.19.13

1.  Oz Theme Park – So apparently, in North Carolina, there’s an old theme park dedicated to The Wizard of Oz.  I know! It was built on Beech Mountain, a resort town, in an effort to keep the area profitable year round.  It focused on the book series rather than the movie, opened in 1970…

Five Things – 5.13.13

1.  Gemini Man – In 1976 someone had the bright idea to make an action series on TV based on H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man.   Called Gemini Man, it featured established TV actor Ben Murphy as a special agent who had had some sort of accident which turned him invisible.   He wore a watch…