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 🙂

Fighting evil supervillains with cake since the 1970s… Hostess Superhero ads

Insert a

Hostess snacks were the perfect ally of superheroes. What evil criminal or supervillain could resist such yumminess? The Penguin, The Robot Master, The Mummy, Sable Lady, Big Dome, The Home Wrecker… all these and more succumbed to the light, tender crust and real, fruit filling of Hostess Twinkies, Fruit Pies and Cup Cakes!

insert c

Twinkies… distracting Mummies since 1930!

Insert b

Hostess – famous for its Twinkies brand since 1930 – wasn’t content with striking an ad deal with just one comic universe, it went for two – snatching well-loved characters from both Marvel and DC publications. Batman, Iron Man, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Superman, Wonder Woman and many others all took on criminals with the help of Hostess snacks! In addition to costumed heroes, Hostess also employed the talents of Archie, Casper, Richie Rich, Roadrunner and other well-known comic characters.

You get a big delight in every bite!

insert e

I have Fruit Pies… let me go!

insert d

Hulk Hostess detail

The highlighted panels above show some of the quirky humour employed by the writers and artists to advertise the Hostess brand. There seemed to be no shortage of superheroes lining up to fight crime alongside those alluring little snack-cakes.

You can’t have your cake and eat it…

My Hostess comic strip collection numbers 44 different ones so far. Ha! Small portions indeed… there are literally thousands upon gazillions of these ads out there… okay, maybe not, but there are certainly a few hundred or so knocking around in various comic publications. Here are the scans of mine. Go grab a Twinkie and enjoy  🙂

Aquaman and the “Imperiled Sub” 1978

Aquaman and The Space Capsule 1981

US. Secrets of Haunted House. 1981.

Batman and The Mummy 1975

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

Batman and Sable Lady 1978

US. Unexpected. 1978.

Batman “The Whole World’s Upside Down” 1977

US. Weird War Tales. 1977.

Batman and the Corsair of Crime 1978

US. Weird War Tales. 1978.

Batman in Catman on the prowl 1980

Batman and Robin Birds of a Feather 1977

Batman and The Captive Commissioner 1976

Batman and Professor Plutonium 1979

 Captain Marvel meets the Dreadnought 1978

US. The Defenders. 1978.

The Flash in “Marathon Madman” 1982

Green Arrow in “An Arrow in Time” 1980

 Green Lantern and “The Fruit Pie Scene” 1976

US. Weird War Tales. 1976.

 Green Lantern in “The Bobsled Run” 1980

Hawkman in “She’s no Angel” 1980

The Hulk vs The Phoomie Goonies. 1981 

The Hulk And The Ultimate Weapon! 1979

The Hulk And The Green Thumb 1976

The Hulk and “Friends!” 1976

US. The Twilight Zone. 1976.

The Human Torch in “Hot-tempered Triumph!” 1981

The Human Torch in “The Icemaster Cometh” 1979

US. Star Wars. 1979.

Iron Man in “The Charge of the Rhinos!” 1981

US. Doctor Who. 1981.

 The Penguin in “The Cuckoo Cuckoos” 1977

Red Tornado in “Clean Sweep” 1981

US. Ghosts. 1981.

 Shazam in “The Cup Cake Caper” 1976

US. Superman. 1976.

Spider-Man Meets The Home Wrecker 1978

US. Star Wars. 1978.

Spider-Man in “The Rescue!” 1981

US. Doctor Who. 1981.

Spider-Man meets June Jitsui! 1979

US. Iron Man. 1979.

Spider-Man! The Champ 1976

Superman “The Spy” 1975

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

Superman vs. The Laughing Gas Bandits 1981

US. House of Mystery. 1981.

Superman in The Big Fall 1978

US. Weird War Tales. 1978.

Superman in “An Unbeatable Power!” 1978

US. Weird War Tales. 1978.

Superman in The Ionic Storm 1979

US. Weied WarTales. 1979.

Superman in “Gold Mine Rescue” 1981

US. Weird War Tales. 1981.

The Thing in “Earthly Delights” 1981

The Thing and The Ultimate Weapon! 1979

US. Star Wars. 1979.

Thor meets “A Glutton For Gold” 1978

Wonder Woman and Cup Cakes “The Maltese Cup Cake” 1977

US. The Witching Hour. 1977.

Wonder Woman Saves The Astronauts 1979

Wonder Woman versus The Robot Master 1981

US. Weird War Tales. 1981.

Wonder Woman and The Baron! 1980

US. Weird War Tales. 1980.

Wonder Woman in “The Golden Treasure” 1979

Yumm, yumm… More to come… Keep watching this space!

Post updated Aug 2019 with new ads.