Showcasing 20th century print advertising and pop culture curiosities. Specialities: toys, fashion, comic books, movies and art. One of the most comprehensive archives you'll find on the net. Established 2011.
Our office cat, Wooof, suggested that instead of putting up some new adverts of toys how about some actual toys instead!
Good suggestion Wooof, thanks! Now get back to work chasing those pesky mice who keep nibbling away at the archives down in the cellar. What? There are too many mice? Okay, hang on, I’m coming to help you. Let me grab my inflatable cat ears and retractable claws set.
In the meantime, here are some photos of a few bits and pieces from my toy collection. Back soon (at least I hope so… the last editor who was foolish enough to go down to the archives hasn’t been seen since! That was way back in 1984!!)
Beatles Taxis by Corgi 2008
Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot Power of the Force Prototype coin, 1985
Corgi John Player Special Lotus Formula 1 Ronnie Peterson 1973
Batman vehicles 2004 / 5 by Corgi and Joker art print
Hulk Smash Tank from the 2003 movie
X-Men Vans Set by Corgi 1992
X-Wing Fighter by Glasslite, Brazil, 1988
X-Wing Fighter by Palitoy, UK 1980
Doctor Who figures and Flight Control Tardis by Character Options
Presenting: from 1978, movie artwork from the Space 1999 Destination Moonbase Alpha. A 1984 Cheerios cereal promotion to claim free The Muppets Take Manhattan storybook and records. Harmony shampoo-in hair colour from 1979. Coca-Cola ‘Coke adds life’ tea mash-up, 1979. And Players Number 6 cigarettes also from 1979.
Look carefully at the advert below featuring the Jabba the Hutt play-set… in the absence of a slave Leia figure (often cited by collectors as a figure they would like to have seen produced back in the day) Parker decided to employ a Han Solo (small head) figure to be chained up by Jabba.
Germany. Fix Und Foxi N° 37. 1984. Kenner didn’t make a ‘Slave Leia’ figure so Parker decided it would be fun for Jabba to chain up Han Solo! Dance, Han, dance! He doesn’t look too impressed does he?
The following year, no longer content with grumpy old smuggler Han, Parker designed a new advert showing Jabba with a Luke Jedi figure now in chains! Palace denizens such as Bib Fortuna and a couple of Gammy guards look on as C-3PO makes a sporting attempt of showing Luke some dance moves. Luke, like Han before him, seems most unimpressed. Jabba… well he just keeps chugging on that old hookah.
Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. This time it’s Luke’s turn to be chained up by Jabba! C-3PO tells master Luke to try the mash-potato!
I’m curious to know if Parker ever set up a scene with the Leia Boushh figure in chains. That would have made a bit more sense in the grand scheme. But I quite like seeing the ‘wrongness’ of Han and Luke in chains. Obviously Parker were very keen to show off the ‘slave’ features of the excellent Jabba the Hutt play-set… little realising it would cause a bit of a giggle in later years.
Something else I like about these Parker ads is the clever use of graphics. The ‘Swaaawaa’ sound effects in the title emulates an utterance Jabba might well make. The font design aims to represent -deliciously – the ugliness and gooeyness of Jabba.
These cool design touches can be seen again in other Parker ads like the ‘Ffftthhh’ sound for the X-Wing Fighter and the ‘Ssssccch’ sound for the Speeder Bike. Note also: the figure in the cockpit is not Luke X-Wing Pilot but a B-Wing pilot! Thanks to Bonsai_Tree_Ent for pointing that out!
Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker!
Germany. Star Wars N° 1. 1985. Is the ‘Ssssccch’ sound being made by the Speeder Bike? Or cleverly-hidden Ewoks about to spring a surprise?