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 🙂

On a theme of flying

Flying. adj. in the air, winged

Up, up, and away! Take to the air with TVTA as we present retro adverts and comic covers on a theme of flying! We promise you all our pilots are teetotal (mainly on Mondays and Wednesdays) and pride ourselves in our company motto what goes up must come down, eventually. Choose from our range of travel options: jet engine, propeller, elastic band launch, glued feathers on card, or why not go full-on space cadet! So, buckle up, grab a Hostess Twinkie, and familiarise yourself with our flight safety instructions (free parachute included).


FEATHERED MADNESS. “NOW, EVEN MORE GOJA!”

Swedish friends may have to help me with this translation. I think ‘goja’ means nonsense, silliness?

Mad Magazine Sweden. 1978.


MORE FEATHERED FANDOOGLERY!

I’ll have what the bird’s having please! Bird seed? Not just any bird seed, it’s Trill!

Trill bird food. 1981. Denmark.


FEATHERED FELONY! PIGEON WOMAN IS PIGEON PERSON!

I like this DC supervillain – Pigeon Woman/Person – and her evil plot to steal famous statues of North America aided by her pigeon army! Pigeons love nothing more than perching (and pooping) on statues, so it’s a brilliant evil plan! Plus, she gets to annoy historians and tourists. Pigeon Person’s costume has that washed-out, grey and black pigeon poop colour, augmented with a crimson red tunic. Her wings quite honestly are spectactular! But bad luck for Pigeon Person that Batman and Robin were ready to foil her plans with those crime-busting super snack allies – Hostess Cupcakes!

Hostess Cup Cakes. Batman and Robin in Birds of a Feather. 1977. US.


WAYS TO FLING YOUR FLYING THINGS!

A 1979 Mighty Marvel Flying Shield. Free when taking out subscriptions. Offer only available to true believers everywhere, but not valid on The Red Skull. No frisbee love for him then. You can almost hear the glee in the Captain’s voice as he tells us this!

Marvel Flying Shields. 1979. US.


MONOGRAM SPEEDEE-BILT. RUBBER-POWERED FLYERS

I have a ton of adverts for the famous Monogram brand, and this new one is an interesting addition: you assemble it, wind it up, then let it go. We all know products sometimes never live up to their advertising claims, but these Speedee-Bilts look fun.

Monogram SpeedeeBilt Flyers. 1977. US.


TAKE OFF ON A TRIP TO ENGLAND

Another Monogram ad, this time a sweepstakes competition to win a 1st prize trip to England at the Farnborough Air Show.

Monogram Wild Blue Yonder Sweepstakes. 1976. US.


FLYING ON AUTOMATIC

This Cox Sure Flyer had an automatic pilot switch as well as the traditional hand control method.

Cox Sure Flyers. 1976. US.


SKY HEROES

Traditional pull-back-and-launch-from-elastic band. Sky Heroes were made by the reputable Marx Toys company, so were probably good value for money.

Superman Sky Heroes. Marx toys. 1977. US.


SUPERGIRL. IN FLIGHT. SHE’S ARRIVED

Supergirl movie. UK. 1984.


THE DARKSIDE OF FLIGHT

WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU! A truly awful outcome for that one time you make a routine parachute landing in enemy territory and discover your comrades are skeleton-dead!

Weird War Tales 44. 1976. US.


OR, AIRSHIPS AND ALIENS!

Weird War Tales 60. 1978. US.


ALPHA FLIGHT – EVIL IS HERE

Alpha Flight N°72. 1989. US.


THE WAR OF THE STARS

Handheld electronic game in which you fly a space vehicle around the galaxy and destroy stuff.

Guerre des Astres. 1983. France.


“THE MOST DEVASTATING KILLING MACHINE EVER BUILT…

… His job … steal it!”

Firefox (when web browser names were simply killer jets).

Firefox movie. France. 1982.


BLOOD-CURDLING VAMPIRE BAT

My favourite line from this 1973 ad: ‘So realistic, it even fools other bats’

Vampire Bat. 1973. US.


That’s all for now, vintage mates. Thank you for flying with TVTA 🙂

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

Never Mind the Adverts Pt14 – Action Figure Frolics and Fun, plus Name-that-Figure quiz, all in TVTA Color!

Welcome to the latest Never Mind The Adverts Here Are The Toys!

In this edition, I finally get my hands on a Thirteenth Doctor action figure as portrayed by Jodie Whittaker in the BBC sci-fi drama Doctor Who. Judge Death stops by to give us an intimate portrait. X-23 Laura Kinney strikes some cool poses. Barbie meets a Dalek! And test your knowledge with TVTA’s fun-time action figure quiz: can you identify the characters and which franchise they belong to?


Doctor Who by Character Options

When 13 met Martha…

The Doctor and Martha Jones finally meet. It’s only natural they strike a pose for the camera.

when Barbie met Dalek

Dalek: Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Barbie: All in good time my lovely new blue accessory… first we have to choose outfits, do our hair, bake cakes, then there’s this cool party I’m throwing later over at my place. What? You haven’t seen my dream house yet!?!


Judge Death – the intimate side 

X-23 – These boots are made for slashing, and a fistful of adamantium! 

X-23… how do you like it?


Quiz time!!!

And now, from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week! Presenting, in glorious TVTAColorVision, the TVTA fun-time action figure quiz: Identify each character for 1 point, its franchise for a bonus point. Can you score more than 14 points? Don’t feel bad if not, this is quite hard, and Wooof only scored 5 points and he’s supposed to be an expert! Haha. Hard cheese, cat… What, shhhh, don’t tell the readers I only scored 3 points!

Answers are at the end of the post… no cheating! Deduct a point if you do, naughty you!

Right, let’s go! Name the following characters, and the franchise they appear in…


Cowboys!

And finally, how about some cool cowboy figures from the 1980s? These were made by a company called Gerca. I remember nagging my mom for ages as a kid for a pack of cowboys very similar to these – I wanted them because their hats and guns were removable and the body parts interchangeable!

Wild West figures. Gerca. 1980s. Made in Macau. Loose.

Wild West figures. Gerca. 1980s. Made in Macau. MIP.


That’s all folks,

Thanks for getting action figure quizzical with us 🙂  Join us again soon for another edition of Never Mind The Adverts, in glorious TVTAColorVision!!