1. Christmas Comes to Pac-Land – I was all about Pac-Land as a kid. A visualization of what Pac-Man’s day-to-day life was like? A side-scrolling game set in Pac-Man’s home town? A cartoon series where the Pac-people talk about stuff and go on kind of boring adventures? I was in. I was in for all of it. Especially the Pac-Man Christmas special, Christmas Comes to Pac-Land, which premiered on ABC in 1982.
The special takes your basic “help Santa out of a jam” template and applies it to Pac-land. Santa crash-lands and Pac-Man negotiates with the ghosts to keep him and the town safe for just one night while Santa uses power pellets to get moving again. I was going to share the entire episode, but you know what? This show doesn’t really age well. This 3-minute clip pretty much sums up the whole thing.
2. Intellivoice – 1982 wasn’t just about Pac-Christmases. Mattel released this add-on for the Intellivision system, the Intellivoice.
The Intellivoice was a module that plugged into the side of the Intellivision and, with a game that supported it, gave you a verbal layer of immersion based on what was happening on the screen. This is a pretty big deal for the technology of the time, and it may have just been slightly ahead of its time. As with most gaming developments around this time there were few games that actually supported it. As a result sales were low and the module was discontinued before it could find any real foothold.
Here’s an ad for it, featuring George Plimpton. (George Plimpton!)
3. Santa with Muscles – Hulk Hogan might have been able to lay waste to the wrestling mat, but box-office success always seemed to elude him.
Case in point: 1996’s Santa With Muscles, a heartwarming tale in which a criminal (Hogan) dresses up as Santa and then gets amnesia and then believes he is Santa and then basically becomes Santa.“A Hero with a Silly Hat!” That’s tag-line genius, right there. Santa With Muscles ran for two full weeks before being yanked from theaters. Didn’t even make it to Christmas!
4. Morton Ad – There’s all kinds of awful going on in this vintage ad for Morton’s salt. It looks like a parody, but it’s not!
5. Michael Jackson/California Raisins – On the heels of last week’s Claymation Christmas, here’s a Will Vinton ad merging Michael Jackson and the California Raisins. Pretty great stuff.
That bit with the strawberry is a little racy!