Non-toy ad Tuesday: Au revoir 2016, bienvenue 2017, what could possibly go wrong?

A Mogwai from Gremlinsptaa



Deep political changes, rising hatred and intolerance, the continuation of war, the loss of so many cultural idols … 2016 is perceived by many to be a truly shitworthy year of humungous proportions. Good riddance 2016. But will 2017 be any better? Me, I’m not sticking around to find out … Wooof and I are off to spend the year in the early 90s.

Inspired by the following French ads from Geo magazine, we’ve decided to swap the inevitable global hullabaloo of year 2017 for the (relative) short-term sanity of 1992 and 1994. It’s a bit like a time-travelling foreign exchange plan but without all the forms to fill in. And as it is so at TVTA – we do not look forward as so much look backwards … hardly surprising seeing as we are the N° 1 purveyor of retro pop culture paperworks (statistic unverified).

So farewell friends, au revoir, adieu, auf wiedersehen and ta ta for now. Bonne continuation, meilleurs vœux, que la force soit avec vous! We leave you with these adverts that come from a slightly more sunnier time. And as Wooof has just pointed out, how often do you see Vanessa Paradis pouring Chanel into the English Channel?

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 163. 1992.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

France. Geo 181. 1994.

à 2017 !!




Scalextric – trade catalogues, part one

Scalextric is a leading brand of slot-car racing that was developed in the UK by Bentram “Freddie” Francis in 1957. Below are some scans and photographs taken from the 1989, 1990 and 1991 Scalextric trade catalogues. These high-quality industry catalogues are packed with amazing colour photographs of (the then) upcoming products. The copies I acquired included dealer suggested price lists, a poster, and a DVD. You can see part two here which takes a look at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 catalogues. Click pics to enlarge.

30th Edition Trade Catalogue. 1989.


Knight Rider Turbo Boost and Pursuit Mode Sets






31st Edition Trade Catalogue. 1990.





32nd Edition Trade Catalogue. 1991.


Batman Chase and Leap sets


Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Turtle Power and Turtles to the Rescue sets





Check out the story of Scalextric at the official site

RIP Carrie Fisher

So sad to hear that Carrie just passed away. I know she did plenty of other great work but she’ll always remain in my heart for her role as Princess Leia. Whenever I saw her interviewed on TV she was always funny and seemed a likeable person. My thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.








Talking teeth, onion gum, imitation bullet holes and other novelty ads


There seemed to be no shortage of these cheap novelty items advertised in American comic books between the 1960s and 1980s. As a child I would stare at these ads with a begrudging fascination, knowing that even if they were available to order in the UK my mum would have surely said something like: “You’re not spending your pocket money on that cheap rubbish!”

Sometimes in UK toyshops you would see a stand displaying similar items like the chattering teeth above, or soap that turned your hands black, itching powder, stink bombs, or those chewing gum packs that snapped at your finger when you took out a fake gum. Yet it was always in the back pages of the US comics where the weirdest and coolest items were to be found. There are a gazillion or more ads like these out there. I just scanned a few from 1969 and the early 70s to give you a taste … (watch out for the onion gum though!)








Thanks for looking!

TVTA Christmas selection box 2016

Here’s wishing everyone a very merry Christmas, peace, love and much success! This year has been good for TVTA – I’ve made many new friends both here at the blog and on its sister site over at Twitter. I’m looking forward to seeing all your posts and pics and catching up again in the New Year!

I can’t promise any chocolates inside this year’s TVTA Christmas selection box but there is a delicious assortment of international-flavoured toy ads typical of what children in the 70s and 80s may have woken up to on Christmas morning.

As always, thanks for looking  🙂

Evel Knievel – 1974, USA

US. The exciting adventures of Evel Knievel. Weird Mystery Tales. 1974.

US. Weird Mystery Tales. 1974.

Bionic Man – 1976, USA

US. The Twilight Zone. 1976.

US. The Twilight Zone. 1976.

Bionic Woman – 1977, USA

US. Richie Rich. 1977.

US. Richie Rich. 1977.

Playmobil – 1979, Italy

Italy. Topolino. 1979.

Italy. Topolino. 1979.

Barbie – 1978, Italy

Italy. Topolino. 1978.

Italy. Topolino. 1978.

Make-up and hair Doll – 1979, France

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

Star Wars – 1978, UK

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978.

Action Man – 1980, UK


Buckaroo – 1981, France

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

Raleigh BMX Burner – 1983, France

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

Masters Of The Universe – 1984, Denmark

Denmark. Anders And & Co. 1984.

Denmark. Anders And & Co. 1984.

Atari – 1984, Brazil

Brazil. Cebolinha. 1984.

Brazil. Cebolinha. 1984.

Ghostbusters Computer Game – 1985, USA

US. Tales of the Teen Titans. 1985.

US. Tales of the Teen Titans. 1985.

Star Wars, Return Of The Jedi – 1985, Germany.

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. No slave Leia figure in 1985, so Luke was chained up by Jabba instead!

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985.

Tomy Super Cup Football – 1988, France.

France. PIf Gadget. 1988.

France. PIf Gadget. 1988.

And finally…

I couldn’t go without showing an annual or two…

UK. Grandreams. 1981.

UK. Grandreams. 1981.

UK. Marvel. 1979.

UK. Marvel. 1979.

And how about this… I’ve no idea of the date, but it’s a vintage advent calendar that came with some recent paperwork. As you can see, it’s a no-nonsense traditional effort without any need to give away chocolates or sweets behind its doors, and was probably intended to be kept for successive Christmas day countdowns – which is perhaps why it has survived this long.

Doors closed…


Doors opened…

The little scenes come alive with light when placed against the window.


Merry Christmas!


Welcome Greece to TVTA ! Mister P Toy catalogue


TVTA is always pleased to add paperworks from countries we have never featured before. Today’s post welcomes Greek toy company Mister P which manufactered and distributed toys between the late 1960s and the late 70s.

The remote control Mercedes 450 SE

I can personally attest to the high quality of at least one of their toys: Christmas, 1980-ish, I received the Mercedes 450 SE remote controlled car as a gift; it was a beast of a toy (sizewise almost on par with Action Man vehicles) complete with flashing lights and opening boot/bonnet.


I had no idea that my childhood Mercedes was made by Mister P. So was very pleased to see the inclusion of it in the 23 page catalogue I acquired. The catalogue contains a host of road and air vehicles, slot car racing sets and trains. Most of the toys are depicted with some truly delightful artwork. Click to enlarge the images.

Thanks for looking 🙂













Palitoy Action Man poster catalogue

1980 British poster catalogue featuring Action Man figures, clothing, accessories and vehicles from the Palitoy company.