Willy Wonka’s Magic Jumping Disc and other curiosities

Willy Wonka’s Magic Jumping Disc. US. 1982. I remember some jumping toys that were sold in the 80s and 90s – they were spring-loaded and you had to moisten a rubber suction cap then press it down onto its base. A few seconds later, the force of the spring would release the cap and the toy would jump. There were multiple variations of these toys featuring novelty animals and things, and I’m wondering if the Willy Wonka Magic Jumping Disc employed a similar method… or was it really Wonka magic at work?


Cube Lube

Cube Lube. US. 1982. Cleverly marketed on the back of the Rubik’s Cube craze yet not once mentioning the word ‘Rubik’ – possibly for fear of legal action. Cube Lube was deployed into being as a lubricant to increase your time at solving puzzles like… Rubik’s cube. The ad states the product’s greatness for other toys with moving parts, as well as the benefits for bikes and cycles. 


Triple-Flips by Takara

Takara Triple-Flips. US. 1982. Japanese toy company Takara had a number of successful toy hits it was proud to put its name to such as the Japanese license to sell Kenner Star Wars toys for the first Star Wars film; Microman (Transformers); Micronauts; Battle Beasts and Beyblade. Therefore I was surprised to see today’s Takara advert in all its low-tech and simple gadgetry – Triple-Flips – a humble travelling 3-in-1 pocket board game with magnetic playing pieces.


Hostess Cup Cakes – The Flash

Hostess Cup Cakes. The Flash. US. 1982. I’m always pleased to discover a Hostess advert I haven’t added to my collection yet, and this is my first ad for The Flash! Cup Cakes, Twinkies, and Fruit Pies products were advertised by Hostess in the pages of DC and Marvel comics in single page strips that starred famous superheroes allied with Hostess cakes to take down evil villains. There are hundreds of these quirky, bizarre and sometimes plain weird adverts to be found inside comics throughout the 1970s and 1980s. To date I have 44 in my collection, thanks to The Flash! 


The Jorvik Viking Centre, York

Jorvik Viking Centre Eagle comic competition. 1985. UK. Early print advert featuring the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England. The advert is a prize-winning promotion in conjunction with Eagle comic in 1985. The Jorvik Viking Centre was opened in 1984 as a museum and visitor attraction on the excavated site of what was once the Viking city of Jorvik in the 10th century. The centre is still open to date and is one of the regions most popular visitor attractions.


Peter Pan Playthings Stunt Man Hang Glider

Stunt Man Hang Glider by Peter Pan Playthings. UK. 1983. Another promotion for the readers of Eagle comic with the chance to win a Stunt Man Hang Glider toy.


Worzel Gummidge – Scatterbrook Farm’s resident scarecrow since 1936 

Worzel Gummidge. Look-In N°15. 1979. UK. Worzel Gummidge was a massive TV show hit for children back in the 1980s. The title character was played by ex-Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee. Worzel Gummidge was first featured in children’s books in the 1930s and was written by author Barabara Euphan Todd. In 2018 it was announced that the BBC is planning to make a new TV series based on the Barbara Euphan Todd books, with Pirates of the Caribbean actor Mackenzie Crook playing the Scatterbrook Farm scarecrow. 


Capsela Construction Action Vehicles

Capsela construction. US. 1982. Snap-together interchangeable parts for building motorised land and water action vehicles. 


Four Monogram models adverts


Magnum 440 by Tyco

Tyco Magnum 440. US. 1982. Slot-car racing for use on Tyco and AFX racing tracks.  


Bubble Yum Sweepstakes

Bubble Yum Sweepstakes. US. 1982. Some superb prizes on offer in this Bubble Yum bubble gum sweepstakes promotion.


Thanks for looking 🙂

13 thoughts on “Willy Wonka’s Magic Jumping Disc and other curiosities

  1. I recall thinking Willy Wonka candy was only ‘ok’. Disappointing, especially, in light of all the work that goes into it over at the mysterious Wonka Factory. RE-posted on twitter @trefology.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi TVTA, if I recall the Willy Wonka Jumping Disc had a “leaf” spring inside. The spring is a strip of metal that is stressed so it is bent into a curve. If you press down on the “hump” of the curve you compress the spring, and depending on the thickness of the metal it will bend back on itself and curve the opposite way. For a while the spring will stay inverted but the tension eventually wins out and the strip will release and return to it’s original shape. So if you have a spring and line it up so you press UPWARD to prime it, when it snaps back it pushes downward hitting the floor/table and launches the disc into the air. The only problem was the metal strip can be thin and when the disc split and it was exposed the edge of the metal could be real sharp.
    And Jorvik is still a popular and smelly tourist attraction today…I say smelly in a positive way, around ten years ago the venue added smell generators to add to the ambience and experience! Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that spring mechanism with the strip of metal makes sense now you say it.
      I was reading about the Jorvik centre not long after I discovered the ad, and you’re right that they installed smell generators to enhance the experience. Sounds like a good place to visit and a tribute to them that they’re still going strong since the early 80s. Cheers FT!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes you could smell the attraction all around the area, luckily they dialled the settings down on the generators and the smell doesn’t travel as far now! But it is still a great place to visit. I was interested in it because my dad was a Metal Detector Enthusiast and we used to find quite a lot of Viking/Danish and Roman artefacts around where I lived,

        Liked by 1 person

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