It’s time for another trip back in time to our collective youth via the ads featured in comic books of the past. So strap yourselves in and if you see your past self, don’t come in contact with it, unless you want to end up like Ron Silver at the end of Timecop.
1. The Atari Lynx (1993)
After Nintendo introduced the Game Boy in 1990, everyone was trying to get in on the handheld game market, and out do them. Nearly everyone did at first, well graphics wise at least, which wasn’t hard at the time as the Game Boy’s screen was this olive green LCD like the readout of a Pip Boy in the Fallout games.
The Atari came closest in my book to really beating Nintendo, with their Lynx, but the only problem with the Lynx was the awkward size of the thing. Picture holding a small tablet with a control pad to the left and right of it with a battery life of the box office returns on a Pauly Shore movie and that’s what you had with the Lynx. Now, sure, you could just plug it in, but that defeated the whole purpose of it being a portable game console. Thus why people were totally fine with the Game Boy for 8 years being this green gray screen but it was truly portable so it won our hearts.
2. Candy Chalk (1987)
We that grew up in the 80’s had lots of weird candy to choose from, there were even candy cigarettes that we would get because they made us seem tough and cool, even though they would taste as nasty as actual cigarettes were deadly. I can’t say that I remember Candy Chalk but it does not surprise me that this was a thing that was around in my childhood. I like their attempt at clever marketing by offering up a mail in calculator, but no kid that I knew back then would have been excited by this proposition. But points for trying there, Leaf Inc.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal (1993)
By 1993 the Turtles could do no wrong, that third movie withstanding, and such Ralston Cereal, makers of every novelty cereal that tied into a movie or tv show from 1984-1996 put out this cereal. I really enjoyed this cereal, it was one of those ones that was like a Frosted Mini Chex crossed with Lucky Charms because you need the marshmallow shapes in any licensed cereal property and it clicked. This one lasted a bit longer on the shelves than some of the other attempted tie in cereals.
The thing I remember most about this cereal was the special bowl that came with the cereal when it first came out. They looked as cool as they were cheaply made. But they definitely made it an easy sell for kids.
4. Diaclone Imports (aka the original Japanese Transformers) (1985)
I remember seeing these ads in the Marvel comics I was getting around this time, and even I knew back then that they were fake Transformers figures. Especially “Astro Magnum”, the robot who transforms into a gun is clearly Megatron. Or at least that’s what I thought it was until I did some Googling, and discovered that they were actually selling imported Diaclone figures, and Astro Magnum was their name for the Decepticon we knew over here as Shockwave.
Had I known as a kid that these were Japanese Transformers I’d have begged to get some, ah if only I knew then what I know now.
5. Turbo GrafX 16 (1993)
The Turbo GrafX 16 was the console, much like the Colecovision of the decade prior that nobody actually owned, but they all had a friend that had one. Seriously, I’ve only played this console a few times over the years, and every time it was at somebody’s house, a friend, or a friend of a friend, but that’s it.
I don’t recall too much about the console, other than that it had the Splatterhouse game, which was pretty edgy for us 13 year olds back then, and some of your standard games but nothing enough to actually compel you go get this console over a Super Nintendo or Sega. We, Americans especially are a binary thought processed people primarily. You can get with this, or you can get with that. You should get with this , cause this is where it’s at. Option 3 scares people, even if options one or two are terrible, we stick with one of two and that’s how we roll.
I did always like their attempt at edgy 90’s marketing though, even though it’s a terrible slogan. “The difference between Turbo GrafX 16 and other consoles is all in your head.” Which is true, as they all had the same graphical output, but that didn’t make this one any better than the other two, it just didn’t have as many good games, was it’s downfall.
Well that’s it for this trip back to the past, be sure to come back next week, same Geek time, same Geek channel.