About The Vintage Toy Advertiser

TVTA’s mission is to digitally showcase vintage print advertising and catalogue images which have helped shape pop culture across the years: from toys, to film, to music, to comics, video games, fashion, food, drink, and much more! TVTA began life in 2010 as a French blog documenting French toy ads. 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: the 1970s, 80s & 90s; comics; video games; music; movies; art & design; writing; photography; fashion; and of course... toys! Please feel free to join our growing community of pop culture lovers and help spread the fun!

Six Sentence Stories: Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace

Dracula. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Noise.


Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace  

The noise began as a SCREAM, then pitiful groans, soft whimpers, lastly a hollow silence before the tools of Comtesse Marie-Paule set to work making noises of their own: hack, chop, grind, slice, rend; noises which leeched into the downstairs quarters of the lodge, where Emilio stared grimly at the rafters and said to Lucianne, “What’s she doing up there?”

“She’s making sure,” Lucianne said evenly, her old, grey eyes not daring to shift from the lodge door and the yet banished possibility of minions charging in to avenge a slain two-thousand year old master.

Upstairs, the noises persisted: thump, slop, splat, burst, spatter – and a reek pervaded the lodge like a creeping mist clad in the robes of all fevers, plague, leprosy, and rotting bodies strewn about fields of military campaigns.

Comtesse Marie-Paule closed the door upstairs, and clopped down the steps to meet her two servants, and she gave to Emilio her wrap of tools, bloodied, wet and stinking, as was her cloak, her chains and crosses and pale skin, and she said to him, “Clean them.”

“You took your time, Comtesse,” Lucianne said to her mistress.

Marie-Paule gave a knowing smile and said, “These ancient vampyrs… you know… such tough meat to cut while abroad… unlike the tender, young ones we always find at home.”

Dracula N°6. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I Vampire N°308. 1982. US.


Thank you for assisting us with an ancient menace!  🧛‍♂️🦇


 

Raleigh bicycles

TVTA is pleased to present catalogue images and print adverts featuring bicycles as made by the Nottingham based British bicycle manufacturer Raleigh.

Raleigh catalogue. Circa 1978. France.

Raleigh cover rear. Raleigh catalogue. C1978. France.

Images from the Coventry Transport Museum, England.

Coventry Transport Museum.

Coventry Transport Museum.

Coventry Transport Museum.

Print adverts – Raleigh BMX

Other print adverts

25 Raleigh Grifter bikes prize competition. 1980. UK.


Thank you for cycling over bumpy roads with us 🙂

Six Sentence Stories: The Duet at the End of the World

WH Barnes Ltd Vinyl Records. 1955. UK.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Safety.


The Duet at the End of the World 

It was said that each evening at seven, the sound of the boy’s piano would chime from the window where he sat and played, his notes flitting about the apartments and balconies like fluttering butterflies, damselfly chords and dragonfly harmonies beating wings above rooftops and chimneys to the inevitable dusk, and the saddening of yet another thieving night.

Lo, the residents, in fear of their number – they claimed safety in the boy’s music, wore his tempos and flourishes as suits of armour against the marauding dark; his soothing renditions of Rachmaninov, Satie, Chopin, Beethoven – they placed these compositions to their hearts like a sonic crucifix to ward off the night.

The residents, ever dwindling in number – would catch their breath at the boy’s bombastic offerings of Gershwin, Joplin, Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk – once, Queen: But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me (He’s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity).

Hark, the residents, huddled in their cubes of isolation – did listen to the night come rapping at their windows with slimy fingers and hacking lungs, while the boy played on: ‘twas Holst, Mars, Bringer of War.

And it was said, as the gathering night claimed its last souls, that the boy struck notes upon his piano sweeter than a whispering call to Heaven’s gate, and that he played until midnight, and only stopped when there was no more audience to hear his song.

And then, one evening, lo, when all was silent and the night had grown old and weary and relinquished its sting, the boy played a song by Elton John… which was magically claimed by a girl’s voice, lyrics poured loud from her balcony below the boy’s window, a magenta feather boa waving to the night as she sang, she sang, she sang, she sang: I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah…


Corgi audio range. 1980.

Play this one fkn loud!! \m/

Never mind the adverts (Pt17) – 2000 AD figures by ReAction

2000 AD ReAction Figures. The complete set. 1999. UK.

Welcome to part 17 of TVTA’s series Never Mind The Adverts… Here Are The Toys!

In this edition I complete my 1999 ReAction figure set for characters from the British comic 2000 AD. I was missing Durham Red and Johnny Alpha, but now have them both 🙂 Another collection ticked off the list!

My original post for the figures I had can be seen here

For now, take a look at how cool the full set looks… starting with the mutant vampire Durham Red…

Durham Red 

Durham Red. 2000 AD ReAction Figures. 1999. UK.

Durham Red. 2000 AD ReAction Figures. 1999. UK.

Durham Red. 2000 AD ReAction Figures. 1999. UK.

Durham Red. 2000 AD ReAction Figures. 1999. UK.


Johnny Alpha 

Johnny Alpha. 2000 AD ReAction Figures. 1999. UK.

Continue reading

The pandemic and I. (6) fools, cake, roadblocks, a cold beer, Michonne from The Walking Dead, and a welcome lie in.

Report – Saturday 28 March

Due to staff shortages at work, I haven’t had the energy nor time this week to enjoy the wonderful world of WP blogging. I’ve just finished for a weekend off after completing four 10 hour shifts in a row. Prior to that I’d already done two 10 hour shifts with only a day off in between.

Imagic, Atari. 1983.

I’m not complaining here. Work is a rewarding (if risky) distraction, and it’s a good feeling knowing our team is doing all it can, and so far successfully, to keep our 74 elderly residents virus free. But to say that come Friday evening I wasn’t hallucinating a little, unable to think and speak correctly in either English or French, and had a yearning for a cold beer or two, followed by a sleep knowing a lie in was in store the following morning, would be an understatement so massive it could easily be seen from space.

So what’s been happening for TVTA this week during the pandemic? And, dear friends, how are you all coping and managing?

  • Safety in numbers? (a) Our units house 74 vulnerable elderly people presenting a range of medical conditions. To date, no one has died from Covid-19, nor have had, or are showing any symptoms. In France, where numbers of deaths and infections are rising in many retirement homes, we consider ourselves fortunate so far.
  • Safety in numbers? (b) Since last week, our residents remain in isolation in their rooms. Some are coping well – even loving it. Some are starting to get a little stir crazy. Some don’t understand the situation at all, and leave their rooms constantly. Staff do all we can with what small time we have free to take those who are suffering from isolation outside – individually, and under protocols – into the gardens for 10, 15 mins fresh air and exercise. It’s not much, but helps enormously to lift the spirits of some.

Roadblock!

Majorette police toys. France. 1986.

  • Holy crap! I got stopped for the first time during our lockdown by the police. I was cycling home from shift. There were eight of them blocking the entrances to a town roundabout. They asked to see my papers. Asked where I worked. As a health carer, I have to carry government papers validating the reasons why I am outdoors during the lockdown. I showed my papers (outstretched hands, 1 metre distance between me and the gruff officer). He looked my papers over, mumbled Merci, monsieur, and sent me on my way. It was a bit weird being stopped and questioned liked that, but I respect the police having to do so in trying to catch those breaking the strict social distancing rules.

I pity the fool!

Mr T. Eagle. 1983. UK.

  • I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to laugh. I certainly don’t want anyone to suffer from this horrible virus, nor would I wish it upon anyone. But I will state: some people are born fools…

United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson (right) and Rishi Sunak clap in appreciation of NHS workers. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty Images.

“I’m shaking hands continuously. I was at a hospital the other night where there were actually some Coronavirus patients & I shook hands with everybody. People can make up their own mind but I think it’s very important to keep shaking hands.” Boris Johnson. 03 March 2020.

“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.” Boris Johnson. 27 March. 2020.

Cake, glorious cake!

Cover. The Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating 1982.

  • At work, the family of one of our residents sent in food parcels for the staff. The delivery contained delicious cakes, croissants, pain au chocolate, and fresh fruit. Not supermarket stuff, but expensive, top quality products. Did we feel treated? Did we feel strong as lions after eating such a feast? Oh yes 🙂

I love Michonne!

Image Source: Wikipedia

One of my coping mechanisms to ‘decompress’ during the pandemic is catching up on seasons 2, 3, and 4 of The Walking Dead which I never watched. I watched season 1 when it first came out, then didn’t pick it back up until season 5.

I’ve always liked the character Michonne. She is fearless, fierce, cool, stubborn, deadly, moody, bold… seeing her introduced for real in season 3, armed with her katana, hooded, and dragging along two shackled walkers which she was using for protection and camouflage… I thought: just wow, and what the…!

Season 2 completed. I’m on season 3 now.

The Walking Dead season 3. Image courtesy of AMC.

Cat communications to help us!

We end with a message from our overlords, the cats:

“Meowl, miew, meow, mrahhh, purr, myawl!” translation: “Dear humans, be safe, isolate and rest, wash often. Like us!”

Cats. TVTA collection.



For the most accurate and up to date information regarding all aspects of Coronavirus, go to the World Health Organization website Please share this link to others so that we all have the same information.


Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given, and the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by the World Health Oraganization public advice pages 

The pandemic and I. (5) Learning one of your colleagues tested positive

Report – Monday 23 March

We learned this weekend that one of our colleagues from the elderly medical retirement home we work at has tested positive for Covid-19. As care workers from the same team, how does this make us feel?

Shocked and sad – for our colleague, a close team member; Worried/stressed – that others may be infected, staff, residents (impossible to know when testing is not made available until someone shows symptoms); Weary – we lose another staff member when we are already suffering losses due to other reasons, and staff having to reorganise work for family commitments. Example, the morning shift yesterday we were only one staff short, but on the evening shift we were three short; Realising we are vulnerable – some of us have a sense of ‘invincibility’ as we are under excellent and strict control measures and protocols at work. Learning one of the ‘troops’ has gone down definitely puts a chink in the collective armour; Relieved – no one else has reported symptoms as yet, and all residents are in good health; Determined and/or resigned – to work on under the most difficult and evolving circumstances.

Our latest protocols:

  • Isolation procedures put into immediate effect for all residents. No one leaves their rooms at any time now. This ensures zero contact between the residents themselves. Quite distressing for some as they feel a prisoner in their own room. For others they are very happy – never having to leave their room, room service, TV all day.
  • All personnel now have to wear masks when previously only if you had a cough, cold or had not been vaccinated against seasonal flu. The reason was a) no one was Covid-19 positive at the time, and b) we didn’t have enough masks. This shortage of masks is not something exclusive to us, or even France, but a worldwide issue. Our management has now requisitioned enough masks for all personnel (Maybe they had been stockpiling ready for our first case?).
  • Continuation of twice-daily temperature taking for personnel.
  • Continuation of no visitors except medical personnel. This policy has been waived on two occasions to allow relatives (under controlled measures) to see a family member who is receiving end-of-life care and is not expected to live beyond 48 hours.
  • A former visitor’s lounge has been cleared and transformed into a stock room full of boxes standing floor to ceiling containing medical equipment, hand sanitisers, toilet roll, cleaning products.

Upbeat, somehow, you have to be!

We’re hoping there are no more cases for staff, and that we can keep our extremely vulnerable residents safe. In the absence of any quick, easy and sound means to test staff daily, it’s impossible to know who of us might bring the virus in. The onus is of course on us not to bring the infection into the home of the residents, and we can only do this by following strict protocols both inside the units and in our own homes, and by limiting our exposure to outside.

TVTA morale is upbeat!

Gonna wash my hands and wash my hair! Plus, free cute kitten!!!

UK. Film Review. 1979.

From kittens and nice hair to…

… distraction TV blood, guts and zombies!

Thank you The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead season 2. Image courtesy of AMC.

For me personally, one of my coping mechanisms to ‘decompress’ is catching up on seasons 2, 3, and 4 of The Walking Dead which I never watched. I watched season 1 when it first came out, then didn’t pick it back up until season 5. (must be a time travelling thing for TVTA, and I’m totally enjoying seeing the pre-evolution of certain characters and storylines). Thanks to Netflix very responsibly streaming in low-definition during these troubled times to help free up internet speeds, I can finally see these three seasons I missed.

TVTA escapism? Avoiding reality? Mr Editor, is it wise for you to watch a TV show set in a violent and death-filled post-apocalyptic world?

Hell yeah! Fiction is good for the soul. And just imagine how much more we’d feel fkd up with zombies trying to eat our faces!! 🙂

By contrast, I could also look at more kitten images, and drink tea. Or both!

Hello Kitty tea set.

Stay well and healthy everyone. Thank you for your messages of encouragement and support. Together we can get through this!

Remember…


  1. Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, care takers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough.
  2. Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  3. Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
  4. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
  5. Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
  6. Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
  7. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
  8. After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
  9. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
  10. Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.

Information: WHO


For the most accurate and up to date information regarding all aspects of Coronavirus, go to the World Health Organization website Please share this link to others so that we all have the same information.


Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given, and the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by the World Health Oraganization public advice pages 

Six Sentence Stories: Adam’s Imaginary Friend

Image from the illustrated book and record The Jungle Book. Walt Disney. 1983.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is Question.


Adam’s Imaginary Friend

 

Adam decided to name his friend Bagheera, after the black panther in The Jungle Book. Inseparable, they spent hours playing in the basement: Dungeons & Dragons, Pac-Man, Star Wars, Hungry Hungry Hippos and G.I. Joe…  while Dad – upstairs in the study, agonized over family bills, and Mom – at the kitchen table, inserted pieces of paper into envelopes to earn extra money.

An only child, Adam embraced Bagheera as his best friend and confidant; secrets whispered, anxieties shared – the grave mood of Mom and Dad and the way they never seemed to have time anymore to give to Adam, and all their hopes, dreams, wishes… evaporating in inky mists made to disappear in the blink of tired eyes.

One evening, in the basement, Bagheera gave Adam a shoe box – inside it, tightly-wedged bundles of bank notes – twenty dollar bills – hundreds upon hundreds of them crammed together like paper sardines, the wild-haired and bushy-browed face of Andrew Jackson staring off into the distance.

With eyes the size of frisbees, Adam said, “But where did you get all this money?”

Said Bagheera, “Don’t ask questions… just hurry upstairs and put this box on the kitchen table, while your mom and dad are busy watching St. Elsewhere.”


Thanks for reading 🙂

500 vintage bonus points for the first person to state which year this story is set!

Japanese chirashi posters – Wonder Woman 1984 & more!

Wonder Woman 1984. Japanese chirashi poster. Front.

Wonder Woman 1984. Japanese chirashi poster. Reverse.

New Japanese chirashi movie posters just in at TVTA, and the Wonder Woman 1984 as seen above is simply one of the best posters I’ve seen!

Also freshly scanned are these other ‘wonders’. Enjoy 🙂

Pretty Cure. Chirashi. Japan. 2020. Front.

Pretty Cure. Chirashi. Japan. 2020. Reverse.

Hokusai. Chirashi. Japan. 2020.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Chirashi. Japan. 2008. Front.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Chirashi. Japan. 2008. Reverse.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Chirashi. Japan. 2019. Front.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Chirashi. Japan. 2019. Reverse.

Godzilla Anime. Chirashi. Japan. 2018. Front.

Godzilla Anime. Chirashi. Japan. 2018. Reverse.

X Men 2. Chirashi. Japan. 2003. Front.

X Men 2. Chirashi. Japan. 2003. Reverse.

The pandemic and I. (4) Buying toilet paper during a lockdown

France is in a state of full lockdown. If you want to go outdoors you have to carry a declaration form called Attestation De Déplacement Dérogatoire. The form entitles you to give a justifiable reason to the police why you are going out, and must meet the government’s strict criteria.

  • You may go to work (essential and approved employees only).
  • You may purchase essential goods (at approved outlets).
  • You may seek medical care.
  • You may visit family if they are in a vulnerable situation, like aiding elderly relatives or looking after family children.
  • You may partake in exercise like jogging, cycling, etc., but no collective or team activities. And you may walk your dog.

Each time you go out, you have to fill in a new one of these forms and date it. I don’t need to carry and produce one for work as I have official papers stating I am soignant – health care worker. Citizens are subject to a police fine of 135 euros if you don’t produce your paper.

Talking of paper…

Buying toilet paper during a lockdown   

Surely it wasn’t much to ask, but I needed a pack of toilet paper; just one pack of six would have done, hell, even a four pack, a twin-pack… but seeing as the French population has been panic-buying packs upon packs upon packs of the stuff, I knew my little detour to buy this simple yet essential necessity on my way to the boulangerie this morning would be like something akin to finding the lost city of Atlantis or the Holy Grail.

The first shop I called at. The shopkeeper glanced up at me from his till as I entered his shop, which was worryingly empty of customers apart from me. He rolled his eyes and went back to doing his crossword. One look at his aisles and at the almost completely bare shelves, was enough for me to realise he wasn’t going to have any toilet paper to sell to me. Au revoir.

The second shop I called at. I decided to be proactive. So in my best rubbish French I asked the shop keeper if she had any toilet paper. My response was a volley of oaths enough to make a pirate blush, and then she produced a baseball bat from under her counter and started waving it at me, ordering me to leave immediately. Luckily, Wooof was with me, who speaks much better French than I do, and as he hastily tried to explain to the irate shopkeeper that we only wanted loo roll, she pointed a stiff finger at a sign on her door, which read: NO DOGS. Blast. Double-whammied in less than a minute! After trying in vain to explain that he wasn’t a dog, but was in fact a talking, green cat, Wooof gave up. “Well, she was a bit grouchy to say the least,” I said to the cat outside the shop. It was then that Wooof informed me that the shopkeeper had misheard my bad French accent request for toilet paper as: “Madame, I am pleased to be infected today, may I please use your toilet?”

The third shop I called at. I was overjoyed to see a lady with a basket containing a loaf of bread, cheese, and a twin-pack of toilet roll. Cool! Next, I saw a man with a basket containing a twelve-pack of roll. Yay! Next, a lady with a pack of 24 under both arms. “Things are looking up,” I said to Wooof, as we headed to the aisle. On the way, we passed a man with a trolley completely stuffed with the product. Then another shopper, with two trolleys, towers of the damn things in all their bright packaging. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” said Wooof. We were just about to round the corner of the aisle when we saw another shopper, who had tied several baskets together to make a train – each one laden with loo roll, kitchen roll, boxes of tissue, even wet wipes for goodness sake! And of course, when Wooof and I arrived at the aisle for toilet paper… everything had gone!

The fourth shop I called at was under armed robbery. Toilet rolls again. This time the high-end stuff only the 1% buy. Later we would learn on the news these precious packs of 3-ply, quilted, velvet, embossed, stamped with images of unicorns frolicking in meadows, would be sold on the black market for five-thousand euros a pack!

In the end, Wooof and I gave up, and went to the boulangerie. And it is only now, while dipping our croissants and pain au chocolate in our hot coffees, that the cat and I are able to look back and chuckle at our unsuccessful adventure.

Out of control behaviour

It seems some people are not always good at sharing, are not very patient, and get themselves into a right old tizzy over certain products. Remember the French Nutella riots of 2018?

Good news for wine sellers!

There has been a massive increase in the sale of wine during the pandemic. This surge is likely due to citizens guarding the bottle corks. When in time of pandemic, and toilet paper has ran out, what better solution than a smartly-inserted cork to delay the call of nature!

TVTA morale in good shape!

Spot the difference:

This is a photo of The Vintage Toy Advertiser editorial team taken long before the pandemic, in happier times and days…

TVTA editorial staff annual general meeting last summer.

And this is us now, during the pandemic, and in complete lockdown (and with no toilet paper).

TVTA editorial staff meeting during 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Report – Wednesday 18 March

  • As you might have guessed from this post, I’m keeping my spirits up as the most self-induced constipated care worker in France can do right now 🙂
  • The streets here are eerily quiet during this lockdown. Hardly any traffic. No crowds. Rush hour is now like a Sunday morning. And no aeroplanes in the sky! It’s almost like being in some post-apocalyptic movie…
  • At work, no reported cases of Covid-19 🙂 Morale good between staff and residents. Yesterday we were four staff short for the afternoon and evening shift due to family commitments. Our head nurse, psychologist, and activities coordinator stayed over to 19:30 to help out when normally they finish at 17:00. #TeamSpirit
  • Post offices are closed. Some family wishing to send parcels to residents have taken to driving to the main gate and leaving presents of cards, chocolate and flowers 🙂

That’s all for this update. Stay well and healthy everyone, and thank you for your messages of encouragement and support. Together we can get through this.

Post script

Later that day, after another journey to the shops…

Yipee!!

At last. Toilet paper success at TVTA towers!


For the most accurate and up to date information regarding all aspects of Coronavirus, go to the World Health Organization website Please share this link to others so that we all have the same information.


Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given, and the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by the World Health Oraganization public advice pages