Thursday, October 11, 2007

VINTAGE SPACE TOAST TOUR 2007 or:My hobby has less to do with buying toy robots and more to do with spending hours in front of microfiche machines

Although I am in Florida on vacation, it is impossible for me to spend any length of time in a city without going to their main library and looking for space toaster ads. My hobby has less to do with the accumulation of toy robots as it does with spending hours in front of microfiche machines at libraries. Somebody needs to invent me a job where I have to visit cities looking at thier newspaper archives for robots ads. I would be employee of the decade, as evidenced by the seven hour marathon I did yesterday at the main library in Fort Lauderdale. Technically it's named the Broward County main library, but from this point forward I will be referring to it as "Fortlibrarius Maximus".



Holy crap is their library big! Although its origins are lost in the mysterious swrils of time, the leading hypothesis is that Superman created the Fort Lauderdale main library as his summer vacation home. Once I got inside "the Fortress of Solitude: Florida division", there were all sorts of crazy things that I would never expect to find in a library. Crazy things like palm trees, waterfalls and gift shops. Apparently this library is so big that they fit Hawaii in here, too. I wondered, who buys someone a gift from a library gift shop? Or the better question is, who looks forward to someone getting a gift from a library gift shop? It all seemed rather nerdy to me. Then I realized I had no place judging the nerdiness of others when I saw their rows and rows of microfiche archives and I started running around the third floor pumping my fists and screaming like I hit the winning home run in the super bowl.



In order to understand the enormity of awesome that is the Fort Lauderdale main library you must realize that the newspaper archives of mere mortal libraries are about as physically large as ten Optimus Prime robots toys stacked side by side. Fortlibrarius Maximus has a newspaper archive as big as every Optimus Prime roboplastico ever made stacked side by side, plus Peter Cullen riding a horse. So I got to work. Thanks to a Florida native guy named Adam (who I've met through secret internet email communications about Lionel Playworld) I knew I could narrow my search down to just the South Florida Sun Sentinel. This helped immensely considering I had to look through about every newspaper created since south Florida cavemen discovered the printing press. Although I had nearly unlimited newspapers, I didn't have unlimited time. I was wiling to blow eight hours and I knew that was only able to get me through about two months worth of papers. I loaded up my machine with weeks of newspapers from the golden age of vintage toy robots ads-the Christmas shopping seasons of 1984-1986. To understand just how I built the Vintage Space Toaster Palace, you have to imagine doing the following for about ten billion hours:



I do it at that speed, too. The Queen of Macrocrania says a strange look comes over me as I'm scanning the papers with Ninja Warrior like speed and endurance. I think it has something to do with the way my eyeballs nearly pop out of my head like hyper ricocheting tennis balls.



Three hours into it my eyes got stuck on automatic hyper tennis ball mode and when I tried looking away from the machine I couldn't focus on anything because my eyeballs kept going back and forth and I almost threw up. After seven hours of scrolling newspaper ads I was questioning not only why I was doing this but why I existed at all. Then I remembered the reason I participate in my personal library vomit challenge is the best reason for doing anything-that reason is so I could put pictures like this on the internet-pictures of the greatest shirt ever made:

13 comments:

Benjamin Meyer said...

My wife is curious, in your browsing do you see Care Bears commercials also?

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yes, I have come across newspaper ads for every major 80's toyline at one time or another, Care Bears being one of the more heavily advertised lines that I've noticed. I've seen lots of ads for Care Bear merchendise from figures to vehicles and playsets and bedding and even halloween costumes. It's a pretty easy property to find ads for.

Anonymous said...

How about My Little Pony ads? Entertainment Earth has reissues for preorder and I'm wondering if they really looked depressed back in the day.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yes, even Little Pony ads. Everything you can imagine from the 80s was advertised at some point in some newspaper somewhere. The larger the library, the better your chances of finding ads for whatever you're looking for. I can almost guarentee you'll find ads for every toy you remember from the 80s at Seattle's main library. But doing a search for old ads to see what the ponies looked like would be overkill as I'm pretty sure that pictures of vintage ponies can be found with a google search.

Hooper_X said...

Trust me, the retro ponies are pretty accurate - Special Lady has a few originals and near as I can tell, the reissues blend in pretty seamlessly (they're also available at Target and maybe Hasbrotoyshop.)

-hx

Bruticus said...

Found some Transformers Toy Ads when i was reading through the old UK TF comics and thought you might find them interesting...

Shameless self promotion below...

This is the crazy sh*t that PSMR makes me do when i'm bored...

Weasel said...

(they're also available at Target and maybe Hasbrotoyshop.)

My local Wal-Mart also had the retro Ponies; for the life of me I can't remember the price.

This is the crazy sh*t that PSMR makes me do when i'm bored...

Um, where did you get that little guitar? That's really, really cute and I wouldn't mind giving it a try. (I'm a sucker for cute. Don't ask.)

Bruticus said...

Weasel, if i remember rightly that's the guitar that came with the Movie Maniacs release of "The Crow"...

Heavyarms said...

So THAT'S how you get all those old Galatctica and Robotech ads. I can't help but be creeped out by and in awe of the thought of you hunched over a microfiche projector for hours on end.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yes it is awesome and creepy. Also mind-numbingly boring, fun and terrifying.

Heavyarms said...

Kind of like the thought of a Transformers movie franchise...

Weasel said...

Weasel, if i remember rightly that's the guitar that came with the Movie Maniacs release of "The Crow"...

I'll have to track one (or two) down. My Bumblebees thank you.
Ye gods, I have no life. :)

Yes it is awesome and creepy. Also mind-numbingly boring, fun and terrifying.

You described what I used to go through during the 1990s. I would spend many hours in the local college library, hunting down anything and everything to do with voice actors. Good times, good times. :)

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Thanks for the UK toy ads, Bruticus. It's weird that they'd bother to advertise for the toys in a publication that was already a big advertisement for the toys.

You can track the laziness of the ad creators as they go from line art based illustrations with furious battle scenes to just flat out pictures of the toys in the final ads.

 

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.