Tag Archives: vintage toy advertising

Etch A Sketch

An original boxed French-produced Etch A Sketch marketed as Télécran in France, the country in which it was invented.

The linographic drawing toy Etch A Sketch was invented by André Cassagnes and marketed as Télécran in France. The mechanical drawing board is instantly recognisable with its plastic red frame and two white knobs. The knobs are turned by hand to control a vertical and horizontal stylus across an aluminium powder-coated surface which creates solid lines on the screen.

Classic toy

Etch A Sketch has proved an immensely popular toy throughout the 1960s to present times, winning numerous awards like the ‘Toy Oscars’, induction into the ‘National Toy Hall of Fame’, the ‘Century of Toys List’, recommendations by the French Ministry of Education, and character roles in all three Toy Story movies.

Suitable for office cats?

You bet. I asked Wooof to test out our 1980s French version. Several hours’ later and three spent boxes of Catbizkit Chowbars, here are the stunning results, straight from the cat!


Adverts

Etch A Sketch catalogue entry. Ets De Neuter. 1995. France.


Etch A Sketch catalogue entry. Trampline. 1980. France.


The Toy Story films

Disney Pixar.

Disney Pixar

 


How does Etch A Sketch work?

Basic mechanism of operating a 2-dimensional plotter. All of the numbered components correspond to those which move the plotter’s stylus horizontally, and the lettered components with those which move it vertically. Device consists of a series of 10 pulleys, 6 cables, 2 rails, and a stylus. 
The toy is a kind of plotter. The inside surface of the glass screen is coated with aluminium powder, which is then scraped off by a movable stylus, leaving a dark line on the light gray screen. The stylus is controlled by the two large knobs, one of which moves it vertically and the other horizontally. Turning both knobs simultaneously makes diagonal lines. To erase the picture, the user turns the toy upside down and shakes it. Doing this causes polystyrene beads to smooth out and re-coat the inside surface of the screen with aluminum powder. The “black” line merely exposes the darkness inside the toy. Filling in large “black” areas allows enough light through to expose parts of the interior. – Author: K.D. Schroeder – graphic name.svg from Wikimedia Commons – License: CC-BY-SA 3.0


That’s all for now Etcher-sketchers, thanks for getting doodly with us 🙂

Knights of the Zodiac – a milestone ad

TVTA is pleased to publish its 2000th vintage advert – Knights of the Zodiac, or as the title of this 1990 Italian advert translates I Cavalieri Dello Zodiaco. Knights of the Zodiac was a Japanese manga series entitled Saint Seiya, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada and serialised between 1985 and 1990. It was also adapted into an anime TV series and feature films. Other merchandise included video games, CDs, and a Bandai-produced toy line.

I Cavalieri Dello Zodiaco. 1990. Italy.

 

Here is the English version opening theme for the anime series. ‘I ran’ performed by Bowling For Soup. EDIT 14/04/18 Big thanks to Best Stuffed Animals for correcting me that ‘I Ran’ is not the original theme to Saint Seiya. It is ‘Pegasus Fantasy’ which according to Wikipedia is by Japanese metal band Make-Up. I’ve included this version in the post after the Bowling For Soup fan video.

Dino Riders

Dino-Riders was a VHS and TV series animated show that ran between 1987 and 1988 with an additional special feature in 1990. The storyline concentrated on the war between the time-travelling Valorian and Rulon factions, and their relationship with and employment of prehistoric dinosaurs as weapons/vehicles.

A toyline was created in the US by Tyco featuring both the humanoid and dinosaur characters. The dinosaurs were so highly regarded for their detailed sculpts and colour that the famous Smithsonian Institution approached Tyco to reproduce adapted versions for their “Dinosaur and other Prehistoric Reptile Collection”. The following two adverts are from France and Italy.

France. Cora catalogue. 1988.

Italy. 1990.

 

Zoids – motorised monster machines by Tomy

The motorised monster machines Zoids. You only have to assemble them to discover a fantastic and surprising world created by Tomy. France. Tomy mini-catalogue. 1983.

Presenting another new toy entry at TVTA.

Zoids are fictional mechanical lifeforms formed around a techno-organic ‘core’ which serves as its heart and mind. The Core is considered to be ‘alive’, making the Zoid a living creature – often some kind of animal, dinosaur or fantastic beast. The Zoids franchise includes multiple model lines since 1982, five anime series, multiple video game series, and additional supporting material. Text adapted with thanks from Zoids Wiki

Below are the scans from a tiny French Tomy catalogue I picked up showing the 1983 model range.

Click to enhance images.

Who are the Zoids? On a planet far away, millions of light years, the fantastic monster Zoids revel in titanic combat. Zoids are powerful and mobile and equipped with a super motor.


Catalogue image from Super Jouet, France, 1985.

Zoids PifGadget 870_1985. Catalogue_Super Jouet post


 

Horse Play

Wild horses. Carousel, Square Louise Michel, Montmartre, Paris.


France. Castors Juniors. 1979.



France. Pif Gadget. 1978.



Italy. Topolino. 1979.



France. Pif Gadget. 1985.



France. La Redoute mail order page. 1978 / 79.



France. Pif Gadget. 1981.



France. Pif Gadget. 1983.



Creations RC catalogue page. Date Unknown.

Thanks for looking!

Happy birthday to the editor, and RIP Harry Dean Stanton

Oh Leia! The princess perils of partying!

It’s my birthday today and I’m a little hungover – not from partying you understand; yesterday I worked my third eleven-hour shift in a row, and then spent five hours working on my novel way into the wee hours (Way Into the Wee Hours is not the title of it by the way). Apologies for any splelling errors – I will never proof read this, ever, and our sub editor long ago eloped to Scotland with the photocopier repair guy. Ah, I love an office romance. Apologies too if the following ads make little sense, but then things don’t always make sense at TVTA, which is absolutely fine, according to Wooof.


The day started off with some nice pressies and cards, but also with the sad news that actor Harry Dean Stanton died. I absolutely love his work with David Lynch, and also his roles in Alien and Pretty in Pink. RIP man!

Alas, there’s nothing in the TVTA archives to represent Harry Dean, other than this cool Japanese Chirashi of Alien in which HD played the character Brett.


In other hungover vintage news…

Feeling scummy? Then you will need Skummy bar! Excellent for long days and late nights, and a guranteed Dolphin to drag you merrrilly into Christmas!


For that lingering hungover feeling…

Try Trill.

Seems to work for budgies! (Please stand on your head to view pic correctly).


Works for Harvey too!


Rufus! Get ootay ma heed! The last thing you need when hungover is a skateboarding cheese with a turd-shaped hairstyle zooming around in your head!


Kaboom!

TVTA is most definitely going to try and find one of these at the next flea market we go to, and turn it into a time machine! And our first stop? 1967…


We will party like it’s 1967!!

Thanks for looking. Happy birthday everyone around the world!