Wednesday, September 03, 2008

VSTP could stand for many things-Very Soft Toilet Paper is one


Personal free time is getting more and more scarce around here in the Kingdom of Macrocrania-or more accurately-personal time to do bloggy reminiscing about old toy robots ads is getting more and more scarce around here. I still have a lot of ads to put up at the Toaster Vintage Space Palace but between watching GoLion volume 2, downloading episodes of Macross Frontier, playing the demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and complaining all day about the VSTP ad backlog, I hardly have time to do actual updating. I swear though, this week I will at least get some Very Soft Toilet Papering done and the following four ads are highlights from the batch I'm working on.

EVERYTHING CRAP IS CRAP AGAIN

This Ace Hardware ad from 1978 features The Star Team, which at first glance seems like a cheap knockoff of Star Wars. It actually was but when a lawsuit was filed against Ideal (the makers of Star Team) they won because Star Team was based on toy designs originally released up to a decade earlier. Star Team is actually the final mutation of a line of toy robots called Zeroids that were originally introduced in '67 or '68 depending on who you believe. Zeroids were definitely a product of their time and the robots had a charming sixties sci-fi look. "Charming sixties sci-fi look" is my polite way of saying they looked like a vacuum cleaner fucked a Christmas tree.

Zeroids is the toy robots equivalent of Freddy Kreuger or Jason. It's a novel idea that was cool maybe once but it keeps coming back. After Zeroids died its natural death the first time, Ideal repackaged some of the figures in a Star Warsy way and called it Star Team, hence the lawsuit. Then years after that horrid bastardization, Ideal came up with RoboForce in 1984, which featured pretty much the same outdated Zeroids robot styling just recycled for the eighties. RoboForce robots had many of the same design characteristics like vacuum hose arms and lack of discernible heads and legs. Unbelievably a company called Captain Action Enterprises is bringing back the original Zeroids again this year! Don't they know that rereleasing antiquated toy robot designs that have outworn their welcome is just embarrassing to themselves and their customers?

FROM THE LAW OFFICES OF UNFROZEN CYLON LAWYER

Ads for the original Battlestar Galactica ships always creep me out when I come across them. This Joske's ad from December of '78 is really cool though because it's for the Cylon Raider, which I had when I was a kid. Recently I came across some lawyer blog where they wrote a snarky post about what they consider the ten most dangerous recalled toys of all time. A guy claiming to be the brother of the most famous choking victim in action figure history responded with a comment on the lawyer blog. In the list was a mention of the 1979 Battlestar Galactica missile fiasco, which I thought was pretty interesting because I know the internet is full of crazies but who's going to spend time impersonating Jay Warren?

Those lawyers did a good job writing about the recall. Except they got the year that the kid died wrong. And he didn't choke on the missile launcher itself as they state, but the missile that got lodged in his throat. And they incorrectly stated that the recall was for "all BSG models" when it was actually just the missiles that got recalled. And the part where they state that production was suspended was incorrect because Mattel continued manufacturing the toys, just with modified missiles. Overall it was a decent effort, but please, if you're an unfrozen Cylon lawyer leave the toyblogging to the professionals.

IT TURNS OUT 90 PERCENT OF THE COST WAS FOR ENGINEERING THEIR COMPLICATED ROBOT HATS

What can I say? This is the most fantastic toy robot newspaper ad I have ever seen. It's not just because it's a full page in the Los Angeles Times from November of 1984. It's not just because it features wonderful lineart of some of the greatest toy robots from the 1980s. It's not just because it features classic GoDaiKins like Goggle V, Voltes V and Daltanias. It's all those things plus I finally get to see retail prices for many of these legendarily expensive toy robots. I've run across a handful of GoDaiKin ads before but they've always been in the $35-$40 range. Finally I get to see that Robinson's was charging $85 for the 13 inch tall Voltes V. By comparison the Transformers' Fortress Maximus was a two foot tall robot that sold for $89.99 at Toys R Us. Voltes V may seem expensive until you realize he's wearing a cowboy hat with bananas coming out of it.

IN THIS WORLD NOTHING IS CERTAIN BUT DEATH AND I HATE ROBOT WATCH ADS

Sometimes I'm spending hours looking through miles of microfilm for old toy robots ads (and praying for death) when I come across one that makes it all worthwhile. Such was the case when I found this Ben Franklin ad from December of 1984. It's an ad for a nameless, brandless five dollar robot watch (on sale for $3.44). Normally I HATE HATE HATE toy robot watch ads. They're always the same dumb robot watch in the same dumb pose because it can't do any poses except Frankenstein arms. But check this out-Ben Franklin decided to draw up some killer art that looks like it could have been drawn by the Japanese artists who did the robot drawings on the Transformer boxes (if they were drunk and in third grade).



ALL THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT EXCITING EPISODE OF VINTAGE TOASTER WATCH PALACE!

3 comments:

Benjamin Meyer said...

So sure, maybe in twenty years they will be online, but just like how you corrected the lawyer we need you to help put it all in historical aspect. Being able to connect one toy line to the next and the roots of another bring the ads into a whole new fascinating light. Awaiting more

-Benjamin

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I'd rather be a rich respected lawyer that knows nothing about toys than some nobody who does.

Deadbeat Senna said...

roboplatiholism must really suck if it makes you wish you were a lawyer!

 

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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.