It’s my favorite time of the weekend, time to go back in time to ads from the past. Found some really fun ones this week, let’s check it out.
1. G.I. Joe: The Video Game (1985)
This video game I’ve never played, but I’ve always wanted to, for the simple reason that this video game, unlike most video games of the time, had a mode where you got to play as the bad guys. That’s pretty unique for the timeframe, as most every game was all about the heroes, doing good, and saving the world. But in this G.I.Joe video game, you could play as Cobra Commander in a big (I’m assuming robot) cobra trying to destroy the forces of G.I.Joe, something like this I wouldn’t see again until the Velociraptor mode for Jurassic Park on the Sega Genesis. Now that was just the best for 13 year old me, and even 37 year old me still thinks that’s pretty rad. It’s always more fun to play the bad guy really.
2. The Incredible Crash Test Dummies (1993)
The 80’s and the 90’s were a weird time, when marketing characters could potentially get their own video game. Sure Burger King continued this trend in the middle 00’s with their series of free games for the Xbox 360 that were fairly fun, but you don’t see that too much these days. Here, anybody could get a video game, from a walking 7-UP spot to The Noid from the Dominos ads, everyone was fair game for a, well, game.
Here we have a few games based on The Incredible Crash Test Dummies, which was a cartoon show based off of the PSAs that the Safety Council came up with for people to wear their seat belts, the general premise of the game and the show being that they could get horrifically damaged and be okay, because they’re dummies. The actual commercials these things were based on were quite dark, but they lightened up and made the whole thing kid friendly by this point.
I never played the game, but I always found it odd that these commercials turned into a toy line, cartoon series and video games, considering how dark the source material was, even for a PSA.
3. NBC Saturday Morning Cartoon Lineup (1985)
Saturday mornings used to be the best when I was a kid, as I’ve talked about plenty during this series. There was just something magical at the time about waking up early, fixing yourself a big bowl of sugary cereal and watching four hours of awesome cartoons that kids today just don’t know about.
Here we have the lineup for NBC’s Saturday Morning in 1985, I watched most of the shows here, but my favorite by far was The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk , which was essentially a mashup of the two previous Spider-Man cartoon shows and The Incredible Hulk cartoon, reruns of both series put together into an hour long format which I didn’t even care was reruns.
4. Risk (1985)
Risk is one of those games that is a lot of fun, but you never see advertisements for it, people just have it in their closets, it’s like Monopoly, but less chance of a fist fight breaking out amongst friends at the game’s conclusion. But, back in the 1980s it was a different time, a time that there were ads for this game, and I love it. They market it as a realistic simulation of wargames like the government uses, which is a great tactic though it’s more about taking over countries and technically Imperialism used by strategy and not actual war, but it’s still a fun game to play.
5. Masters of the Universe Models (1985)
I was a huge Masters of the Universe fan growing up but never really had too many of the accessories, save for Castle Greyskull, and Land Shark.
I can’t say that I ever wanted these model versions of vehicles either, namely due to my aversion for model building (why would you want to build your toys?) I thought at the time. But these are pretty cool nonetheless, and the Attack Trak seems like it more or less is the toy but you have to put it together yourself so that’s pretty nifty, but they were not tricking 5 year old me with even that promise, I assure you.