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 :)

My Dog Has Fleas! Ideal toy shop catalogue, 1980s, France

My Dog Has Fleas (Sacapuce) game from Ideal.

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Halloween’s coming!

Swamp Thing movie. US. 1982

Not long now, dear readers, as TVTA crawls from its editorial swamp in time for one of its favourite events of the year… Halloween!  And this year I have something special in store… something a bit different than my usual fare of gruesome printed matter…

Clues:

They may only be short, but they’re long on scares… Something fiendish to digest before falling asleep… Grisly brush strokes… Thirteen (unlucky for some?)… Fifty (50-50 chance of survival?)

All will be revealed on All Hallows’ Eve!

Samhain is coming! 😈💀👻🎃🎃🎃

Meccano Magazine 1958

Cover of Meccano Magazine N°10, 1958, France.

Following on from my previous post about Frank Hornby’s Meccano toys, here is a Meccano enthusiast magazine sold in France in 1958.

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Meccano toy catalogue, France, 1972

Front cover for the Meccano S.A. Catalogue Général, 1972, France, showing the new blue and yellow parts colour system.

Originally called ‘Mechanics Made Easy’, Meccano is a popular and enduring toy construction set invented in 1901 by Frank Hornby from Liverpool, England. Due to its huge success and demand, Hornby opened factories around the world, one of which features in today’s post – the Bobigny factory in France, which in 1951 was producing more than half a million Meccano box sets a day! 

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Homework assignment: building a better robot

We can do it!

Gerry Anderson Andromedan Warbot. 1979. UK.

Starlog Japan. 1981. Maximilian.

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I’ve been treffing

I like to tref… There, at last, I’ve said it. Truth is, I’m a bit of a trefologist, and I follow trefology because I am interested in learning about life.

If you haven’t yet treffed then I wholeheartedly recommend you do. To find out more about the wonderful world of trefology, get yourself over to fellow WP blog site trefology and follow the fun. You won’t regret it.

An ant story

I.

I wanted to capture ants

Not just any ants, but special ants who wear velvet slippers

So I sprinkled sugar over my terrace to act as bait

And soon a colony of ants in velvet slippers arrived to feast

But then came anteaters in moccasins, who gobbled up the ants

Followed by coyotes in ballet shoes, who ate the anteaters

Followed then by mountain lions in hiking boots, who ate the coyotes

Followed by pandas in clogs from Amsterdam, who ate the mountain lions

By evening my terrace resembled some apocalyptic wasteland of bones and shoes, and I was forced to call the police on the surviving pandas, who were staring at me hungrily

When the police finally came, they ate the pandas, plus their clogs, plus all the other shoes left on my terrace, and then they promptly left, complaining of indigestion

Which is a rookie detective mistake to make – eating such a tough meal as all that while responding to an incident…

So, I dedicate my new book to those hungry police officers: Eats pandas, shoes, and leaves.


II.

If the Very Hungry Caterpillar had been gobbled up by a tree snake at the beginning of its quest to eat, then thousands upon thousands of books might have been spared from the indignity of being sold with holes in their pages.


III.

The following print adverts may become more relevant when you start learning trefology. Only you can discover!


Thank you for wearing shoes and dining with us 😍🍕🥨🍰🍭🍺🍷🍴🥄🥢


With thanks to Lynne Truss, Eric Carle, and trefology.

Words by the editor. Images from the collection of TVTA. ‘learn life learn trefology’ flyer by trefology.

The Prize of the Cat: Wooof’s missing pony from 1979!


A TVTA Short Story Mystery Special !! 


WHSmith Pony competition Look-In N°15 1979 UK


Our intrepid office cat Wooof reckons that in 1979 he won a pony in a W.H. Smith ‘outdoors’ competition, and that W.H. Smith cheated him out of his prize by deliberately misplacing ‘Bess’ at the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, England (Wooof told me he had already named the pony ‘Bess’ even before the ink had dried on his entry form, such was his confidence in winning!).

“I vote we crank up the TVTA time machine and go back to 1979 Birmingham to find out what happened,” said Wooof.

“Right now?” I replied. “I haven’t finished scanning those vintage egg-cosy knitwear patterns Mrs Coldkettle the tea lady donated.”

“Forget fashion accessories for boiled eggs,” said the cat. “We need to find Bess!”

CUT TO:


** TEN MINUTES LATER ** DIAL SET TO 1979, BIRMINGHAM BULL RING SHOPPING CENTRE ** SOUNDS OF TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


1979!!!

Crivens! Wooof and I arrived in 1979 Birmingham to absolute mayhem… flipping dinosaurs everywhere!! Funny, I don’t remember dinosaurs being around in 1979 in the West Midlands… Gah! Worse was that one of the vicious beasts, a T-Rex no less, had captured our missing nag and was about to make a pony sandwich out of her! Poor Bess!

“NOOOOOOooooooo!!!!” cried Wooof.

“It’s okay Wooof,” I said. “I don’t think that’s actually Bess in the jaws of that mad dinosaur… look closely… the poor creature is a fully-grown horse… whereas Bess is a mere pony and has WHSmith gift tags attached her!”

“Thank goodness for that!” said Wooof. “So, tell me, if the dinosaur doesn’t have Bess, who does?”

“A simple process of elimination will have us arriving at a satisfactory answer in no time at all,” I replied.

“I’m all ears,” said Wooof. “Who’s the culprit?”

Elvis Costello!”

Wooof frowned. “No way. Elvis Costello would never stoop so low as to rustle a pony!”

“Alright, fine, if not Elvis, how about the TV versions of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Incredible Hulk?”

“That’s just sick!” said the cat. “Superheroes are sworn to protect all ponies!”

“Even the TV superhero ones?”

“TV ones especially! There was no one else to look up to back in their day.”

“Maybe TV Hulk accidently stepped on Bess?”

“Are you serious?”

“Sometimes.”

“Next you’ll be accusing Captain Kirk!”

“Don’t be daft,” I said. “But maybe, just maybe… Spock has Bess!”

“Spock doesn’t have Bess,” sighed Wooof.

“Monkey?”

“Gahhhh! No,” said Wooof.

“Wonder Woman then?” said I.

“!!#!@!!! No!!!” cried the cat. This process of elimination is going to take ages!”


** SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS LATER **


Finally… I came up with a good solution to our dilemma…

“How about I call Spaceline?” I said.

“What in the name of holy cat biscuits is Spaceline?”

“It’s a recorded information line in 1984 that sometimes deals with time travel issues. All we have to do to access it is travel to 1984.”

“Well what are we waiting for!” said the cat, “Let’s hit 1984!”

CUT TO:


** DIAL SET FOR 1984 ** SEATBELTS FASTENED ** POWER FROCK SHOULDER PADS IN POSITION ** DURAN DURAN CASSETTES INSERTED INTO SONY WALKMANS ** SOUNDS OF TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


Wooof and I arrived in 1984 quicker than you can say ‘Big Brother is washing your Mullet.’ After several attempts we managed to locate a working red telephone box, and Wooof dropped a 10 Pence coin into the slot while I dialled the number on my print advert. We waited. Beep. Beep. Beep. ‘The time sponsored by Accurist is…’

Oops, wrong number. Try again…

We were eventually connected to a well-spoken female robot, and she said to us: “Welcome to Spaceline. You are speaking to Trinity9. How may I be of assistance?”

“We’re looking for my prize pony,” said Wooof. “Her name’s Bess…”  and he went on to explain the whole sorry story down the phoneline to Trinity9.

“I see,” said Trinity9. “So… you believe you were cheated out of a 1979 first prize pony by the competition organiser, and you suspect that this pony, who you named ‘Bess’, is currently located somewhere in a shopping centre in 1979 Birmingham, England?”

“Absotiffily!” said Wooof.”

“Liar!” said Trinity9, making Wooof jump. “There is no way you could have entered that competition in 1979… you weren’t even born!”

“I resent that undeniable fact!” said Wooof.

“He’s actually sixty-one in cat years,” I said.

“Your office cat is a big cheater!” said Trinity9.

“How dare you call me a cheetah!” exclaimed Wooof. ‘I’m a mixed breed Domestic Panther Tabby Green Nikto, if you must know!”

“He’s cross,” I said.

“I’m fuming!” said Wooof.

“We don’t appreciate these slurs,” I said.

“Too right,” agreed Wooof. “And I’ve been working hard on being appreciated!”

“Whatever,” replied Trinity9. “It doesn’t change the fact you manipulated your way into the past with the sole aim of winning a pony. This cat is a law breaker!”

“Operator, you’re crossing the line with these accusations,” I said.

“Mm.. actually, can you hold the line a moment…”

  • Please hold while you are connected to the next available agent.
  • For English press 1. Para Español presione el número 2.
  • Would you like to upgrade to our Elite Gold Viscount Emperor plan?
  • Your premium-rate call is important to us. Please continue to hold.
  • We’re sorry. All of our agents are busy. Please hang up and try again.

“Hello, Spaceline operator,” I said. “Trinity9, are you still there?”

“I’m still here.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing. I just put you on hold while I called the police.”

“Seriously? You called the police on us?”

“No. Not this time,” said Trinity9. “But think on… your cat cheated by secretly time-travelling to 1979 in order to win a pony. Just this very morning, he picked up an entry form from W.H. Smith… filled it in… posted it… then dashed back to the present time before you even had time to finish your breakfast! Cock-a-doodle-cornflakes!”

I turned to the cat. “Wooof, is this true?”

“I cannot lie,” replied Wooof. “I entered the competition this morning. I travelled back in time. I cheated. And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that pesky Spaceline operator!”

“Wooof!” I cried. “Why? Why?!? You know our New Year’s Resolution this year was to stop cheating. Pfft. Failed once again… and we made it as far as October this year!!”

“Actually,” said the cat, “didn’t we, like, fail in February when you ‘accidently’ scanned 180 euros which you tried to pay the electricity bill with, and then we ended up…”

“Shhhhh! Not now, Wooof!” I hissed. “That was just an April Fool prank.”

“In February?”

“Ahem, ahem,” coughed Trinty9.

“Yes?”

“Talking of euros… it is my duty to inform you that your call so far has cost 50 euros in charges.”

“50 flippin euros!?!!”

“It’s a premium phone line, sir!”

“Well, for 50 euros you can at least tell us if Wooof won that perishing competition or not.”

“No, I’m afraid your cat didn’t win.”

“Not even the sailing holiday prize?” Wooof asked hopefully.

“No.”

“A Binatone TV?

“Nope.”

“The runner up prize of a camera?”

“No,” said Trinity9. “You won absolutely nothing. And good… serves you right for cheating!”

“Well that sucks massively,” said Wooof. “So how do you explain disappearing ponies called ‘Bess’ in the middle of Birmingham, shopping centres, dinosaurs on the loose, and all the other crazy things we haven’t even had time to mention yet?”

“I’m afraid your time-travelling shenanigans caused multiple time paradoxes,” said Trinty9. “Your competition cheating has damaged the very fabric of time.”

“Like the Butterfly Effect?” I said.

“More like the Bull-in-a-china-shop Effect,” replied Trinity9.

“Yes,” said Wooof. “We wondered why we saw dinosaurs in 1979 Birmingham. That really was stretching credibility to its absolute limits.”

“Yes,” I said, adding, “About as likely as finding King Kong in the Bullring Shopping Centre in 1972!”

“Ha, ha,” laughed Wooof. “Imagine that!”

“Ahem, ahem,” coughed Trinity9. “Sir, may I inform you that your call charge to Spaceline is about to exceed the 100 euro mark? This call is costing you and your cat a small fortune.”

“Wooof,” I said to the cat, handing him a shiny 50 Pence coin. “Nip to the nearest newsagent for two 10p mix-ups and a couple of comics, while I chat to the nice Spaceline operator.”

“Yippee!” cheered Wooof, leaving me alone in the phone box while he made for the nearest John Menzies.

John Menzies. Look In N°15. 1979. UK.

“So, what do you suggest I do?” I said to Trinity9. “I can’t possibly take Wooof back to the present time without some kind of pony prize… the poor cat will retreat into weeks of solitude and dark reflection, like how he did when he found out SpongeBob SquarePants wasn’t real.”

“I myself was equally shattered when I discovered Bob was only a cartoon,” replied Trinity9. “Didn’t sleep properly for days… and normally I’m a out-like-a-light-kind-of-robot-gal the moment my head hits the pillow…”

“Listen, Trinity9,” I said. “I’m not here to talk pillow talk… I’m here to kick missing first prize ass and chew nicotine replacement gum… and right now I’m all out of both! Come on, Spaceline lady robot buddy, help an editor out here… We can’t disappoint the cat! Fix it so that Wooof wins the pony, hm?”

“If you are suggesting I try and help you cheat in some way…” sniffed Trinity9.

“Not cheating…” I said, “Think of it more as bending the integrity of truth into a funny shape kind of thing… like those Bend ‘Ems toys, or Stretch Armstrong.”

“Or Play-Doh?”

“Yes! Absolutely! Do it for Play-Doh… think of the children!”

The phone went silent for an agonisingly long time.

Then: “Okay, Mr TVTA editor,” said Trinity9. “I have just the idea…”

“You do?”

“Oh boy do I!”

CUT TO:


** ONBOARD TVTA TIME MACHINE ** 1970s SWEETS AND COMICS BEING ENJOYED ** VERY HAPPY OFFICE CAT AND RELIEVED EDITOR ** DIAL SET FOR PRESENT TIME ** TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


“How do you like your new pony then?” I asked Wooof.

“She’s adorable,” replied the cat. “And you’re right… doing things the honest way is far more rewarding than cheating.”

“Correct,” I said. “Wooof, you know… cheating is never good… cheating is like…

[INSERT 4th wall break – brief lecture on the virtues of honesty vs cheating to get ahead, followed by back-slapping congratulations and manic laughter]

“Oh man! You are so right when you say all that!” agreed Wooof.

“Absolutely so. Now, tell me, old cat, what are you going to call your new pony?”

“I’m going to call her New Bess… In honour of Old Bess.”

“Wooof, that’s so thoughtful of you. Old Bess would be pleased to know you cared about her so much.”

“I miss her terribly,” said Wooof, gazing off into space, a sadness coming over him.

“I know, old cat. It’s going to take days to get over something like this.”

“Good thing I have my replacement pony then,” said Wooof, perking up a little.

“I admire your courage to move forward so quickly. Especially as it’s only been thirty minutes. Say, where is New Bess?”

“She’s right here,” said Wooof. “I just finished tidying her stables, and we’re all done with her grooming. Time for sugar cubes I think. New Bess…” Wooof called out to his pony… “Come to Wooof-daddy. It’s chow time!”

Enter:

New Bess

LATER…


TVTA EDITOR AND OFFICE CAT RELAXING IN FRONT OF LOG FIRE AT TVTA TOWERS ** COMICS, SLIPPERS, WARM MILK, G&T, PELICAN BEER, PIPE, VEGGIE CAT BISCUITS, PIZZA **


“What are you reading there?” I asked the cat.

He looked up from his vintage comic. “Catwoman,” he replied. “She’s my hero. But hey, I was just browsing some of the ads… and I was thinking of entering this, erm, competition thingy…”

“Hmmm… And what competition would that be?” I asked suspiciously.

“Oh, nothing too crazy.” Wooof handed me the comic, the page open to an advert… a competition… 1985…

“Wooof, no!!” I said, horrified.

“Come on… it’s only a quick trip to 1985… that’s just like yesterday man! And you know how much I’ve always wanted my own collection of art dinosaurs…”

“Absolutely no Wooof! No, no, no!!!!”


FIN


Story: TVTA

Images: scanned from the collection of TVTA

Dinosaur eating a horse comic strip images: Eagle, UK.

King Kong Bull Ring photo: Birminghammail.co.uk

Disco-claimer: No ponies or dinosaurs were harmed in this short story. Birmingham is a fictitious city and any resemblance to second cities in the UK either alive or dead is pure hearsay. No competitions were entered into illegally. W. H. Smith please don’t sue us… the above short story you have just read has been deep faked into the electronic pages of TVTA without our permission and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Please help save TVTA immediately by donating cryptocurrency or sending hard cash in an envelope. We also accept diamonds, speedboats, Duran Duran tapes, pizza, cake, and cameo roles in indie or big budget films. Thanks.

Publicités et couvertures – Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont – Le Mag (3)

Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. Sept 2019. France.

Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. Sept 2019. France. Ad Astra.

Welcome to part 3 of my ongoing web series showcasing print adverts and covers from French publication Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont Le Mag, featuring recent films you may have seen or are planning to see.

Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, c’est une chaîne de cinema appartenant à Pathé, active en France, aux Pays Bas, en Suisse et en Belgique. Voici plusieurs couvertures et publicités de films récents, scannées à partir du magazine français Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont!

Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont is a cinema chain owned by Pathé, with operations in France, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium. Here are some covers and adverts for recent movies you may have seen, scanned from the French magazine Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont!


Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. July 2019. France. Playmobil: The Film.

Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. July 2019. France. Playmobil: The Film Pop’N Box promo.



Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. Oct 2019. France. Le Mans 66.

Pathé Gaumont Le Mag. Sept 2019. France. 4DX.


Merci! Thanks for looking 🙂

AIRGAM – the Spanish toy for the children of the world

Airgam was a Spanish toy company which made a popular range of articulated figures sold throughout parts of Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. These figures were called Airgam Boys and included the lines Miss Airgam, Airgamlandia and Airgam Comics. The figures were similar in style to the famous Playmobil and Play-Big / Busy Bodies toys of the same era, and they came with a number of accesories including vehicles and play sets.

TVTA is pleased to present a selection of Spanish catalogue pages featuring Airgam figures from 1977 to 1980, plus images from the Airgam Comics line showing the Super Fantastics and Super Diabolics superhero figures from the mid-80s – courtesy of the excellent site Weirdotoys.com


Airgam Boys and Miss Airgam

Airgam Boys Wild West. Airgam catalogue page. Spain.

Miss Airgam. Airgam catalogue page. Spain.

Ouch!

Nurse: “Bend over. This might hurt a bit.”

Patient: “But I’m only supposed to be having my tonsils out.”

So many different figures to choose from…

It’s impressive how many themes Airgam explored. Just some of the figures the company made were: cowboys and indians; aliens; astronauts; military; circus; Dracula, Frankenstein and Satan (no kidding!) from the ‘Terror’ line; Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and other Disney characters from the ‘Zooland’ line; World Cup 82 football teams; emergency services; pirates; musketeers; vikings; Romans; Robin Hood; Zorro, and many, many more.

Get behind me Satan!

From the Airgam Boys ‘Terror’ / ‘Monster’ line: Satan. Image courtesy of Lulu Berlu


Airgam Comics: Super Fantastics and Super Diabolics

There is no mistaking the similarity of some of the Airgam Comics figures to well-known superhero characters from Marvel and DC comics. How Airgam managed to avoid any lawsuits in the production of these wild, wacky and wonderful figures is probably a superhero feat in itself. Spider-Man, anyone? Captain America? Batman?

Pictures courtesy of Weirdotoys.com Check out the link for more excellent photos of these cool figures!

Airgam Comics Super Fantastics and Super Diabolics loose figures. Image courtesy of Weirdotoys.com

Airgam Comics Super Fantastics and Super Diabolics MOC. Image courtesy of Weirdotoys.com

Airgam Comics Panther Man and Bad Tiger figures. Image courtesy of Weirdotoys.com

Airgam Comics Super Fantastics and Super Diabolics play sets. Image courtesy of Weirdotoys.com

Airgam Comics Red Maskermobile vehicle. Image courtesy of Weirdotoys.com


Airgam Vehicles

Action jeeps and helicopters.


Airgamlandia

Mini Airgam figures, doll house play sets and accessories for small hands.

Airgam ‘Airgamlandia little house’ collection. Catalogue page. Spain.


I’m trying to get hold of a few Airgam figures to add to my collection. if I do i’ll be sure to add them to this post. Until then, thanks for looking 🙂


Images scanned from Spanish Airgam catalogues 1977 – 1980 by TVTA.

Special thanks to Weirdotoys.com for additional images.

Airgamboys.Wordpress.com for additional information.


 

Retrogaming ads 1982 – 1985

Pink Panther hand held electronic game by Orlitronic. France. 1984.


TVTA is pleased to present a selection of retrogaming ads from 1982 to 1985 … featuring The Pink Panther, Mickey Mouse and The Smurfs hand held games from Orlitronic … Atari … Coleco Vision … Parker Brothers … CBS Electronics … and the not-much-known-about French electronics company ITMC.


Mickey Mouse hand held electronic game by Orlitronic. France. 1984.

Smurfs hand held electronic game by orlitronic. France. 1983.

Atari. France. 1983.

CBS Electronics / Coleco Vision. France. 1984.

CBS Electronics / Coleco Vision. France. 1983.

Amidar by Parker Brothers. US. 1982.

Pole Position by Atari. UK. 1983.

Scott Adams presents Hulk, Spider-Man and Fantasic Four home computer games. US. 1985.

Atari video games. France. 1984.


Let’s get dizzy…

This 1983 ad for Solar Fox does its worst to perpetuate the sexist trope of the dumb blonde. CBS Electronics… what space cadets!

Solar Fox by CBS Electronics. US. 1983.


In. The. Mystery. Corner.

We end with these colourful and fun adverts for hand held pocket games from hard-to-track-down French company ITMC. When researching ITMC I found very little information other than these 1983 hand helds were made in Japan and sold in France along with other ITCM-branded gaming consoles. There is also a connection to the French toy chain JouéClub, either in promoting or co-producing certain models.

Panique Spatiale / Space Panic by ITMC. France. 1983.

Guerre des Astres / War of the Stars by ITMC. France. 1983.

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking 😎