Friday, December 11, 2009


ToyCity 11/21/85

This ad I got from Pasadena is kind of weird because of the added Autobot sigils in the line art and how his right foot looks like it's melting away in robot mode. I suspect what happened was the dino mode was originally oriented facing the opposite direction and the tip of the tail slightly overlapped the foot of the robot. When the ad was laid out the dino mode was clipped off and then mirrored to fit the space better, leaving the robot foot looking misshapen. Aside from that the pose seems really familiar but off the top of my head I can't place the source photograph used to do the line art. I'm intrigued by this one and will have to do more research. Of course I don't have to point out anything because Dinobots do not need explanations for how they are interesting.

------------------UPDATE! UPDATE!--------------------------

Playland Toys 12/07/85

In an unbelievably fortunate coincidence I found a different version of the same line art in an ad from Playland Toys in Tampa, Florida. Sure enough, the dinosaur is connected to the robot and overlaps a little at the foot just like I predicted. I've seen so many instances where retailers cropped the Hasbro produced line art that I wonder why Hasbro didn't separate the robots from their alt modes in the drawings initially. Some retailer edits were so extreme they looked like limb amputations. I guess it wasn't a big deal since line art dwindled away as time went on and retailers shifted towards photographs of figures, leaving mangled robots drawings a quirky footnote in the history of toy robots newspaper ads.


Brian Kilby said...

"As seen on TV!"

Dude, you need to add an Add This button ( to your template so I can easily link to your posts. You always find the best crap.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Done! Thanks for showing me how to do that 'Add This' stuff.

Toy City was probably just taking cues from the Hasbro toy catalogs with their liberal use of "As Seen on TV" blurb. I think it was used for toys if the figure assortment got a commercial. Heck, Toy City even put it on their ad for Action Masters and those guys were only ever seen on TV in commercials.

That graphic is funny to me because it's usually associated with infomercial products. I'd love to have seen Billy Mays do a "BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!" presentation with Action Masters.

Sean said...

Hey Steve I'm interested in doing a collaboration of sorts with our sites. Do you think you can make one of your funny cartoons and e-mail it to me (at Apparently some kid somewhere tried to plagiarize something from my blog and his or her teacher searched and found whatever they stole through I just think it's hilariously sad that, first of all, someone would be writing academic work based on collecting toy robots, and second of all, be stealing it from my site when your work and Nala's work is so much better than mine. But yeah, I figured there would be a funny cartoon you could do somewhere in there about a stupid kid ripping off sites about toy robots.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

That's a fantastic story, Sean! I'd do the comic but I'm afraid it'll get ripped off! Just kidding. I don't think I'd know where to start on a comic about that particular situation but it sounds like you've been inspired. I say you should run with it and try out webcomicing yourself. The guy who ripped you off might even like it. At the very least you know he's going to read it.

In blogging there is no "better", just a lot of "different".

Sean said...

Oh I didn't mean a whole comic, I just meant one of your things like that picture you did of Luke and Obi-Wan where he's saying "those aren't the zoids you're looking for," with the word bubble but maybe with a guy telling a student off, saying something like "I was going to give your brilliant essay on Leader Prime an A until I saw it on Transformers and other Plastic Crack!"
Seriously though, if that site is for students and teachers to use to see if Academic work is plagiarized, that means some kid must have ripped something off from my reviews and the idea that toy reviews can somehow be involved in academic work is just hilarious to me. I'm guessing maybe a kid does reviews for the student paper and ripped me off as that makes more sense than a kid doing a deep analysis of what makes Leader Prime so heroic. As I said though, if he's going to rip off people who write about toy robots, he's better off with your material or Nala's. I'm like your less guys' less talented apprentice. :)

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I just assume anyone visiting my blog from a .edu or movie studio IP is a plagiarist ripping me off. You will learn to accept this, too!


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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.