1. The California Raisins: The Grape Escape – Here’s a puzzler: it’s the ’90s and the California Raisins can do no wrong as a franchise. Neither can Capcom, the developer of such hit original franchises as Mega Man and licensed home-runs like the Duck Tales games. So why was it that a NES game based on the California Raisins and structured similarly to Duck Tales was basically completed and never released commercially?
Here’s the plot: some jealous haters have kidnapped the Raisins and their musical notes (?), and you as the sole un-kidnapped Raisin have to go through five levels to retrieve them. It looks like a pretty cool platformer, and the fact that your characters can (explicably) moonwalk and (inexplicably) shoot unlimited grape jellybeans gives a little uniqueness to the game. Unfortunately, it was not to be. It’s hard to imagine how the ax could have fallen this close to the finish line – the game was reviewed in published magazines and you can see the completed box art above with a Mega Man coupon offer.
Maybe the Raisins had fallen off of the pop-culture shelf by then? Or maybe those haters who stole the musical notes got the last laugh after all.
Thanks to the existence of review copies and the internet, emulation of this game exists. Here’s a playthrough. Rest in peace, The California Raisins: The Grape Escape, you were too beautiful for this world.
2. The Toothbrush Family – This 1977 Australian cartoon imagined what would happen if your toothbrushes came to life at night, when the moon shone on them. They had unique personalities and taught kids about oral hygeine. Pretty creepy-slash-charming stuff.
3. None Such Coffee – A great ad from 1934 about coffee that you can keep in your icebox! Fresh! In a jar! Try HALF of it and see, and they’ll give you your money back if you’re not satisfied!
4. Polished Floors Are Man Traps – This 1970s PSA from the UK cautions that placing a rug on a polished floor is a “man-trap”, but not the kind of “man-trap” that results in landing a man to marry, the kind that results in hurting one.
5. Barbie’s Outfits in 1963 – From LIFE Magazine, here’s a spread featuring all of Barbie’s possible outfits that were released in 1963. From nurse to nightclubber!