Tag Archives: vintage

A mixed bag of MOTU for your viewing pleasure

Masters of the Universe 7 inch record story book. 1985. France.

I love how they used the actual toys to illustrate the cover of this!

1983 Masters of the Universe 7 inch record from France, and Secret of the Dragon’s Egg Super Adventure

Masters of the Universe Danish comic cover 1987

Two ads, Masters of the Universe toys

Denmark. 1987.

Denmark. 1988.


Mattel relaunched the Masters of the Universe toy line with a 1989 line called He-Man, which featured a more streamlined look for the action figures. The storyline shifted the adventures of He-Man and Skeletor away from Eternia and into outer space.

Denmark. 1990.

He-Man and Masters of the Universe transfers

Denmark. 1988.

Castle Greyskull maze puzzle page

Denmark. 1988. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.

ABBA Dolls by Matchbox

Swedish pop legends ABBA didn’t escape the eye of the toy industry. In the 1970s, British company Matchbox launched a set of dolls based on Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid. The dolls measured 23 cm (9 inches approx) and came with their own costumes. Additional costumes were available to buy separately. The dolls were sold in the UK and other European countries. The below ad is from Denmark, 1978.

Denmark. 1978.

Matchbox made a great job of designing the clothes, even reproducing the famous ‘cat suits’ of Agnetha and Anni-Frid.

ABBA in cat suits, Bengt H Malmqvist. This well-known picture is taken at the Swedish Television building at Gärdet in Stockholm. Owe Sandström designed the wonderful cat suits worn by Anni-Frid and Agnetha. Photo and info taken from abbathemuseum.com

Bonus trivia: so far as TVTA is aware, ABBA is the only group with a palindromic name to score a hit with a palindromic title, namely SOS.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Welcome to TVTA’s vintage assortment of TMNT merchandise ads showing toys, video games and household goods!

TMNT logo

Named after Italian Renaissance painters Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Rapheal, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are four anthropomorphic friends trained in the art of Ninjutsu (not to be confused with the Teenage Figural Ninja Symbolists Dali, Duchamp, Miro and Ernst – who battled underworld criminals while painting strange landscapes).

The Ninja Turtles originated in a 1984 American comic. An animated TV series came in 1987 followed by further series and feature films. Playmates Toys are responsible for the original toy figures and later Bandai. The turtles also appeared in a number of video game titles as well as promotions for merchandise ranging from dental care to breakfast cereal.

US. Groo. 1989.

US. Groo. 1989.

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Nintendo. Denmark. 1991. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.

Gameboy. Denmark. 1991. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.

US. Groo. 1990.

Ninja or Hero? Censored in Europe

Due to strict censorship policies in some European countries, the name “Ninja” had to be replaced with “Hero” because of the violent associations of the word “ninja”. This meant that products sold in these countries had to be undergo packaging and advertising changes. By 2003 these censorship policies ceased and our four friends could once again become “ninjas”

Denmark. 1990. Image supplied by Jaltesorenson.

Denmark. 1992. Image supplied by Jaltesorenson.

Denmark. 1990. Image supplied by Jaltesorenson.

Denmark. 1991. Image supplied by Jaltesorenson.

France. Pif Gadget. 1991.

France. Pif Gadget. 1991.

France. Tortues BD. 1991.

France. Tortues BD. 1991.

US. Nth Man. 1989.

ZEROIDS – workers of the future

“From the planet Zero come the incredible workers of the future – grabbing, pinching, clawing, carrying, attracting, throwing, pushing, pulling and hauling. From turret to track they are realistically simulated in awesome detail.”

I love how in 1972 the Ideal toy company was using the word “awesome” to describe one of its products – awesome being a word heavily in use today to describe… well… awesome things. Things like toy robots. Things like Zeroids!

Zeroids was a line of battery-operated motorised robots able to propel themselves across surfaces. They appeared on toy shelves in 1967 and underwent a rebrand in the late 70s and more recently in 2016 by the Toyfinity company. The original robot characters in the line are Zobor the Bronze Transporter, Zintar the Silver Explorer, and Zerak the Blue Destroyer.

UK. Ideal catalogue page. 1972.

Revell: toy-making since 1945

The Revell and Monogram brands were born back in 1945, both on different paths: Revell started out with plastic toys (one of their first was a Toy Washing Machine), while Monogram was making model kits (originally from balsa wood). Over the years that followed Revell and Monogram – once fierce competitors – joined together as one company and to date continue to enjoy that partnership.

Adapted from the official site: revell.com

Check out TVTA’s entry on Monogram too! Monogram

US. Weird War Tals. 1974.

US. Weird War Tals. 1974.

US. Justice League America. 1984.

US. Superman 296. 1976.

US. Superman 296. 1976

UK. Victor. 1973.

UK. Victor. 1973.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

V is for Vigilance…

Yesterday, when I walked in the park, I met this lady. She wore shades of purple paisley, and appeared to me to be splendiferously dandy. And her accent was French and clipped with American, as she asked me if I recognised her. I said no – for she was the perfect stranger to my eyes. And then she laughed, and replied: Excellent! So my disguise is working after all (for certain, she’d had her doubts about this). Please tell me, who are you? I asked her. Shhh… she said. Now that would be telling wouldn’t it?

Masks and Costumes. Volume I

Suggested listening:

Pause transmision. Vigilance.