Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of the Decade

I just thought I'd try to get in one last post before the ball drops, and we start a new decade. Oh, and if you're one of those types who believe the new decade doesn't start until 2011, please take your meds and lay down for a while.

Earlier this month I published a post on the December 1982 issue of Electronic Games Magazine. In that post I said I planned to feature more gifts and fun stuff from the magazine in upcoming posts, and so as promised, here's one of them.

The insane ad above from United Microware Industries, Inc. for their AMOK video game has to be one of the most ill conceived ads ever. It's such a bizarre mix of imagery. Fellow blogger, Kurt at Gaming After 40, has a different "mime ad" if you wish to see more of this incomprehensible ad campaign.

I can only assume the ad designer was a friend, or maybe the mime was the daughter of the company owner. If you removed the mime, the remaining fantasy art is pretty good and you'd have a decent and more effective ad for your 1982 video game.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Hope and/or Disappointment

We're smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, and for me the holidays are always a mixed bag of emotions. It's possible to start the season with a heart full of hope and joy, but only find the cold slap of sobering reality as that wonderful Christmastime fails to live up to expectations. Most of us have experienced this before I think.

I received an anonymous comment on my Better Homes and Garden December 1963 post that just might be a microcosm of this yuletide scenario, or maybe I'm simply stretching something beyond reason in a lame attempt for comedic effect. Well, whatever the case might be here is the comment...

Hey David,

Great Blog.

I was wondering if there are directions for an Angel made of paper in that issue. I'm looking for those directions and you're the first person that seems to actually own that issue. Thanks for helping out a total stranger, if you can.

Thanks for the compliment about my blog Anonymous. I'm happy to try to help out during this festive time of year. I had hoped to find those paper angel directions for you, but I must tell you up front, I didn't exactly find you're looking for.

I flipped thru the magazine looking for paper angels. On page 40 there is this paper angel hanging on the wall...

And then on page 48 there's these tabletop paper angels...

Each of these these pics have a footnote to a "Buying Guide" page number that can tell you where to buy things like the bedding and the glassware respectively. But disappointingly no directions on how to make them.

However, if you're (or anyone reading this) interested, the Wise Men from the cover have instructions on how to make them...

Also there are these medieval squire and maid figures on page 41...

And unlike those angel pics, if you look closely at the top you'll see they have a "How-to" on page 80...

So here's the instructions and pattern fromn page 80...

Although I didn't find any instructions for a paper angel, it's not time to totally give up hope yet Anonymous. My copy of this December 1963 issue of Better Homes and Gardens is not 100% intact. There are a few pages that were removed from the back that might have had the directions. If you're sure there are directions for a paper angel in this issue my suggestion is that you check Ebay. There were a number of sellers offering this very issue of the magazine at the time of this writing.

Well, at the very least this gives me an opportunity to post two more fun holiday themed retro ads from this issue...

When was the last time you saw a Santa Mister Magoo in a advertisement? I apologize for the text on the right side getting cut off.

How about this swell and very pink ad for 7 Up. I wish 7 Up would return to this style of logo design.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog 1989

The cover of the fancy Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog from 1989 features a commissioned sculpture "Peaceable Kingdom" by wildlife artist David Everett. Back in 1989 you could have purchased a snow globe with a miniature version of this animal tower inside for only $30.

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog is known for including some sort of crazy super expensive fantasy gift. It looks like this might be the fantasy gift for 1989 - a Russian lynx fur coat for $150,000.00. Hey fellas, no need to feel left out of the fur coat club, because you can get a mink coat of your own for the comparative bargain of only $7500.00. Even if I was an insanely wealthy billionaire I'd never purchase luxury items like this. Although for a laugh, I might buy the coats for a local PETA couple, secretly record their horrified reaction when they open the gift, and then post it on YouTube.

Here's the wackiest gift, a clear Lexan plastic "dinghy" called the See Boat. I wonder how watertight that thing is? I don't think I'd like to row out into the middle of a lake in it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hudson's Christmas Catalog 1976

Here's something very nostalgic for the Michiganians out there, it's everyone's favorite defunct department store, Hudson's, and their unique "Christmas Store" catalog for 1976...

That cover doesn't quite say "Christmas" to me, but I guess the art director was going for something different.

This is the first page of the catalog, and as you can see this ain't your Sears & Roebuck Wish Book. Hudson's was a slightly more upscale store that carried designer brands, and this sexy, yet tasteful, picture sets the tone. One day I too wish to lounge around on Christmas morning by a roaring fire in my robe looking as sophisticated and distant as these beautiful people do.

For a catalog from 1976 theses two pages with apparel in "Bicentennial red, white and blue" are the only things remotely patriotic. One day I too wish to wear color coordinated tennis and ski clothes like these sophisticated beautiful people do.

The obligatory leisure suit page. If you dig this sort of thing be sure to check out Plaid Stallions to get your fill of 1970's fashion mockery.

This is probably the most interesting page in the catalog. Stare in astonishment at all the clunky outdated electronics stuff with shockingly high prices even by today's standards. We should all feel blessed living in our modern futuristic world filled with superior high tech digital merchandise at such low, low prices.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Popular Home 1951

Take a look at the 1951 holiday issue of Popular Home...

Never heard of Popular Home? Don't feel bad because it's not a magazine, it's a magazine-like advertisement from your local "Family Lumber Dealer." When you look inside there's all sorts of ideas on how to improve your home, like putting up paneling in your family room...

Although there is a page full of "Decorating Ideas for Christmas"...

And this nice little page of reto art wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Better Homes and Gardens December 1963

So I was looking at some retro Christmas stuff in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens from December 1963 when I discovered something that is the very definition of quasi-interesting...

I don't know if these Ronson Varaflame Gas Candles are super cheesy, or ingeniously cool. I do know that I'm rather fascinated with the concept of a gas powered "candle." Maybe this sort of futuristic candle technology was simply ahead of their time since these things never caught on with the public.

Another fun ad I found was for Comet cleanser featuring Josephine, TV's lady plumber. Although this was before my time, I am familiar with the "Josephine" ad campaign. Jane Withers played Josephine, and is she ever a spark-plug...

Who can forget commercials like that.

I thought maybe someone might have built a shrine to Josephine so I did a quick Google search. Unfortunately if you search "Josephine lady plumber" it brings up a bunch of angry political blogs who've made a lot of lame jokes comparing Josephine to "Joe the plumber" usually with the aid of some badly Photoshopped pic of an old Comet ad.

Well maybe people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but I won't tolerate those kind of shenanigans here. Here on my blog, I'm very proud to present the largest, cleanest and completely unblemished Comet ad featuring Josephine, TV's lady plumber that you can find anywhere on the Internet.

If I could, I'd like to give those political bloggers a good smack with a sock filled with wet manure. You don't mess with a classic advertising icon on my watch folks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Electronic Games Magazine December 1982

Wow look at all that swell expensive high tech stuff in this two page spread. If you were extra good in 1982 maybe Santa left one of these "gifts for gamers" under your tree...

During this joyous time of year, I plan to feature a couple of these gifts, and other fun stuff from this very special issue of Electronic Games in upcoming posts. If you see a particular favorite gift in the above picture, just leave a comment and I'll try to post what EG said about it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dinky Die Cast Toys Catalog #12

Here's something I picked up from somewhere - it's the American version (but printed in England) of the Dinky catalog for 1976. I never owned a Dinky toy, but I did admire some of their very well-made die cast toys.

Above are the first two pages of the Dinky catalog. I think it's interesting they're featuring the science fiction toys so prominently in 1976. This was a full year before Star Wars made its debut.

The next two pages are sci-fi vehicles from TV shows I had never heard of. I assume British kids where much more familiar with Gerry Anderson's work.

Heck, I only recently heard about Gerry's live-action series UFO...

It looks like cheesy retro fun.


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