Author Archives: The Vintage Toy Advertiser

About The Vintage Toy Advertiser

Love late 20th Century pop culture? You’ll love it here :) TVTA’s mission is to digitally showcase as much vintage advertising as it can get its ink-stained fingers on: from toys, to film, to music, to comics, video games, fashion, food, drink and household goods and much more. TVTA began life in 2010 as a French blog documenting French toy adverts. In 2011 the site moved to its current WordPress home and expanded to include international adverts, catalogues and posters that went beyond toys. Today the site is an ad-free, non-revenue platform aiming to serve as an excellent digital archive and resource. TVTA loves: books, magazines, comics, film, poems, music, photography, art and design, Halloween, Horror, drums and percussion, peace, love, nature, fairies, the stars and space, nonsense, silliness, and of course... vintage toys! Thanks for stopping by :)

Construx by Fisher Price

Construx. Speelboom, Netherlands.

Some of you may know of the recent Mega Construx building sets by Mattel, featuring well-known franchise entities like Masters of the Universe, Pokémon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monster High, Call of Duty and more. But did you know that Mega Construx has its origins dating back to the early 1980s when it was owned by Fisher-Price and known simply as Construx?

Construx. Speelboom, Netherlands.

The original Construx sets can be comparable to Lego, especially Lego Technic sets, in that creations could be built from a choice of interlocking and movable parts. Sets came with large-size beams that acted as frameworks; these were connected to smaller pieces by connector blocks. Hinges, motors, wheels, pulleys and figures added to the build and play experience.

Construx. Speelboom, Netherlands.

Construx production appears to have ended around 1988, with Mattel (current owners of Mega Brands, including Mega Bloks) re-imagining the line for their Mega Construx sets in 2017. When making my research for this post, an overiding sentiment I found among the original owners of Fisher-Price Construx was that it was one of the best construction sets of its time – even better than Lego, with many agreeing it was a toy limited only by the imagination of the builder.

Construx. Speelboom, Netherlands.


The following images come from 1986 and 87 Dutch catalogues, when the brand was heavily geared to space and action themes.

Construx. De Speelboom, 1987. Netherlands.

Construx. Intertoys Speelboek, 1987. Netherlands

Construx. Speelboom Club Journal N°4, 1986. Netherlands.

Construx. Speelboom Club Journal N°4, 1987. Netherlands.


Thank you for connecting and interlocking with us 🙂

The Barbie, Ken and Midge Wardrobe Booklet – 1962


Here is the second of the three 1962 Barbie in-pack booklets I recently added to my collection. These beautifully illustrated catalogues show the fashion range available back when Barbie was just 3 years old!

Alongside dozens of fashion items for Barbie, Midge and Ken, other gems found inside the catalogues are the Barbie board game, the Dream House and Fashion Shop, knitting patterns, Trousseau Set and the Barbie fan club and magazine.

Below are scans from the blue version wardrobe booklet – Barbie, Ken and Midge. Click images to go bigger.











As always, thanks for looking 🙂

Ten misread internet instructions that prove I am a serial killer at heart

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. 2013. Japan.

Or so Wooof reckons… The cheeky office cat suggested I might have serial killer tendencies due to my occasional habit of misreading text, replacing innocent words with a terrifying synonym, and adding murderous instructions onto the end of online mission statements!

Pfft. Wooof’s a fine one to talk… he’s killed more than enough mice, birds, moths and garden frogs to put Ed Gein’s cat to shame, if Ed Gein ever had a cat, that is.

Dear readers, trust me when I tell you I don’t have serial killer tendencies – just poor eyesight and cheap reading glasses, and a fondness for Halloween.

Yippee!! Only 200 days to go till Halloween!

Image courtesy of days.to


You misheard it here first!

10 misread internet instructions that prove I am a serial killer at heart…

  1. eBay – Don’t forget to leave feedback for your victims.
  2. Email – You have twelve undead messages.
  3. Privacy – Your privacy is important to us, which is why we are recording you undressing.
  4. Tabs – You have multiple open stabs. Do you wish to create stab groups?
  5. Facebook – We know what you did last summer (even if you aren’t on Facebook).
  6. Blogging sites – Proudly prowled by WordPress.
  7. Virtual Assistants – You have severley disabled Alexa.
  8. Defunct Social Media – In MySpace no one can hear you scream.
  9. Twitter – Find people you know (drug them, blackmail them, kill them).
  10. YouTube – Create a personal chainsaw. Fill out the details to name your new chainsaw and verify your account.

As always, thanks for looking for innocent victims to chop up according to the voices in your head  🙂 

Top tips for being a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty


Greetings vintage mates,

If you wish to become a successful blogger in this age of uncertainty,

you will need…

#1 – a ridiculous but click-worthy title. Like the one I’ve used for today’s post. Utterly meaningless. But somewhat intriguing. I’d click on it for sure.

You will also need…

#2 – attention-grabbing pic fairly early on, as some people simply won’t be bothered to read your words, no matter how good a wordsmith you are. I already added a cool pic at the start of the post, but here’s another one to keep things fresh…

How to handle your hamster correctly.


#3 – you will also need a sense of self-deprecation. As editor of TVTA I daily suck at many things. I try to do well but often fail miserably, or spectacularly. Here I am one time in Paris, trying to look cool but in reality taking up valuable image hosting space which could be used for something far more useful. Thank goodness I don’t have a Facebook or Instagram to share this photo on!

I eat croissants. Portrait of the artist in pre-tentious moment of vintage grandeur. Mon Dieu, I love France, and it’s curious and beautiful people, and old-school postcards, and display rack anti-theft devices.


To be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty you will also need:

#4 – a loyal and intrepid office cat. Like TVTA’s very own Wooof! 75% of stuff that gets done around here can be attributed to the cat. The other 25% is me, but only because the cat has mind-control powers which I am unable to resist – no matter how often I wear my protective blue and red lens vintage 3D glasses, or the orange and purple-striped teflon-lined woolen jersey Mrs Coldkettle the tea lady knitted me last winter.

Wooof, TVTA intrepid office cat (in secret moustache and Dicky Bow disguise kit).


#5 – a fear of clowns. This will help you to focus, stay sharp, and keep you on your blogging toes at all times!

Run like the wind!


#6 – space ships. Statistics show that 71% of successful bloggers in an age of uncertainty have access to functional spaceships.


#7 – Giant motorised fruit and vegetables. A must-have for bloggers in an age of uncertainty!


#8 – you will also need a Karma Credit Roll

What’s this?

A Karma Credit Roll, or as TVTA likes to sometimes call it The Boomerang In Your Arms Effect is quite simply the force of love. In the words of the great German thinker/Scorpions vocalist, Klaus Mein: “The more love you give, the more you’ll find.” In blogging terms this can be related to an appreciation of the works of your fellow bloggers to gain an appreciation of your own work, while at the same time creating an enriching environment for all.


#9 – you’re also gonna need a stack of vintage adverts, magazines and comics! (if that’s your thing). Luckily Wooof and I have a few thousand of these scattered around the place…


#10 – and lastly, to be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty, you will need to post a Top-Ten list of something you think is cool, even if it’s been done before, or it’s not cool, or it doesn’t make any sense – you absolutely must (by internet law) make a Top-Ten list of something… which is exactly what I’ve done with this post 🙂

Now, sit back, soak up all those likes, comments, reblogs, and endorsements from major corporations and Hollywood stars. You’ve earned it baby!

Suggested power song to blog to today: “The Best” by Tina Turner.

As always, thanks for looking 🙂

This post was brought to you by office cat disguise kits and top ten lists of top ten things to top ten list about when you generally avoid top ten things. No hamsters, fruit or vegetables were handled incorrectly in this production. All images courtesy of French comic/magazine Pif Gadget

Le Ciné c’est Chouette! (cinema is cool)

Le Ciné C’est Chouette ! “Salut les Héros” by Jean Solé. 1985. Pif Gadget. France.


Below images courtesy of Wikipedia The Kid (1921 film)