Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rainchecks from Cybertron

Target 11 Nov 1984


One thing I love about old newspaper ads is how they can tell stories if put in context over periods of time. One such story involves a series of Target ads run in late 1984 that illustrate how tough it was to get deluxe Autobot cars that holiday season. The first was run on November 11th and featured a pretty neat setup with the Lamborghini bros Sunstreaker and Sideswipe in front of a Mirage box. It was a fantastic choice of the sportiest Autobot cars and a really pretty ad if you ask me. Oftentimes I'll look at an old Autobot ad with the more mundane, boring looking cars like Trailbreaker or Ironhide and I'll wonder if the store really wanted to sell Transformers at all!

Well the sporty cars of the first ad may have worked too well because when Target next advertised Autobot deluxes on December 5th they had to run a disclaimer in the body of the newspaper. It announced that they wouldn't have any in stock due to overwhelming response from the last sale they were still trying to fill rainchecks for! So here I can glean a little insight into the process of how newspaper circulars were made back then and how demand far outstripped supply that first Transformer year. The circulars obviously must have been planned and photographed well in advance of their distribution in papers. In Target's case it was before they could have anticipated the amount of stock they had on hand. I like how their explanation laid blame for the scarcity squarely on Hasbro who wouldn't be able to deliver more Autobot deluxes in time for the December 5th ad. I guess you could say when it came to filling orders for Transformers in 1984, Hasbro completely missed their Targets.

Target 05 Dec 1984

NOTICE: Ads in this post are colorized recreateAtrons based on black and white scans and are not the originals (but they're probably pretty close).

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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.