Peel Here #77, Go, Go, Gadget-Adhesive-Remover!

By Shawn Robare

Finally got a chance to post again, the day job has been sapping my strength.  I thought I was going to post a follow up to the Mr. T sticker book from the last Peel Here, but I just caught something on eBay that I want to post with the follow up, so it’ll have to wait.  Lets just say it involves crayons that smell like chocolate.  Anyway, for this week I thought I’d do a quickie.  Here’s a package of Inspector Gadget puffy stickers from 1983 (by Gordy International.)

Back of the package…

Gordy was the same company that brought us a million other puffy stickers like the Silverhawks, Mr. T (from the cartoon), and the Real Ghostbusters.  If all the puffy sticker companies I think I dig Gordy’s work the most because the guys and gals they had designing them added an extra little bit of flair, typically in the form of a colored geometric shape that helps the characters really pop on the stickers.  Other companies try for more basic designs with just artwork or pictures that are closely cropped.  Granted the overall Gordy sticker lacks the nice little accent of being shaped roughly like the character it’s depicting, but oh well.

I haven’t been able to locate any additional Inspector Gadget puffy sticker packages, but Gordy also tended to release these in sets of four or five, so I’m betting there are some other designs floating around out there, hopefully with stickers featuring Chief Quimby, Dr. Claw, Claw’s cat, Gadgets car, and possibly a M.A.D. agent or two.  At least I’d like to think so.  As far as the show itself goes, I was smitten from the first time I heard Don Adams voice.  I was a pretty big fan of Get Smart as it was playing in heavy syndicated rotation on Nick at Night while I was growing up, and I’m sure to my adolescent mind I just figured that Inspector Gadget was a cartoon spin-off, sort of like a reverse to the whole Pink Panther craze.  Of course it didn’t hurt that IG was also played in heavy rotation on Nickelodeon, which was my fall back channel of choice since they concentrated on kid-friendly content for most of the day.  If there were no shows on like He-Man, G.I. Joe, or the Transformers, I was always flipping to Nick to see if I could catch an episode of Inspector Gadget, Danger Mouse, or Count Duckula.

Besides Don Adams, I loved a lot of the conventions of the IG cartoon, from the self-destructing notes of Chief Quimby to the crafty way the producers and writers decided never to reveal what Gadget’s arch nemesis Dr. Claw really looked like (all you ever got to see what his gnarly looking gloved fist pounding on the arm of his chair.)  I also loved and coveted Penny’s (Gadget’s niece) electronic book that she invariably used to uncover the schemes of Dr. Claw and his M.A.D. agents.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I think Inspector Gadget was one of the first 80s cartoon properties to be re-imagined into a live action flick (at least later on down the road and not at-the-time like the ill fated He-Man flick.)  I guess like all his gadgets, he was way ahead of the curve on bumbling pointlessness in terms of becoming a live action parody of itself.  Sigh.

Next time, hopefully, there will be some 25 year-old chocolaty scented goodness, but we shall see…

  • Lamar The Revenger

    I remember the first time I saw Inspector Gadget. Thanksgiving Day 1982. After about 20 or so episodes I got fed up because they never showed what Dr. Claw looked like. It was like never seeing Cobra Commander bucket-less or hoodless.

  • HooveR

    I think they made a Dr Claw action figure that (naturally) showed his face! Google no doubt has the answers.

  • Jay

    I always loved the puffy sticker collections! I didn’t have the Inspector Gadget series though. I did have all of the Super Heroes and Batman sets as well as Michael Jackson, A-Team, and Scooby Doo. About that Dr. Claw figure…It was a huge disappointment at the time. We waited years to see his face and the unveiling was like one of those silent farts…

  • Mesterius

    Hi there! I’m just wondering… are you *sure* your first watching of Gadget was on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 25) of 1982? I’m just wondering because that’s almost a whole year before the actual series premiered on American television; so in theory it would have had to be the pilot episode you saw. I’m surpriced at any rate, because I’ve been researching the IG pilot’s original airing, and so far my research has told me it aired in December 1982 on the local Field stations across the U.S.

    • Shawn Robare

      Maybe it was 83, but I’ve known LTR for years and can attest to his uncanny knowledge of toys and cartoons of the 80s. Either way, the specifics of the dates aren’t wasn’t important about the comment he left, but rather the fond memories of watching the series and the frustration we kids had to being kept from the face of Claw! :)

      • Mesterius

        I realize the specifics of the date aren’t important to most people here, but they’re important to *me* as a researcher of the Inspector Gadget series, and particularly of the first, original TV airing of the pilot episode. Not much information exists online, so people’s memories of it can be interesting to look into. So far, I’ve found one exact date – for the Kentucky area, where the pilot apparently aired on December 25, 1982: But that doesn’t need to be true for other areas, since it aired on local stations across the United States. Anyway…

        Personally, I loved Gadget from the first time I watched the series (when I was 11), and I actually never had a problem with them not showing Claw’s face. :P Two episodes in or something I realized this was how they was playing the character, and I liked it.

  • Mesterius

    Too bad the 1992 action figure is not canon to the original cartoon series whatsoever. (Plus, it looks awful.)

    • Shawn Robare

      Is merchandise ever really considered cannon? I think the point Hoov was trying to make is that there was eventually a reveal in an DiC approved Inspector Gadget cartoon-branded product (that took pains to connect itself with the series as they hid the character’s face in with the packaging.

      • Mesterius

        Well, of course the toy tried to connect itself with the cartoon — that was the whole selling point! Kids who had been wanting to see Claw’s face for the past ten years… naturally. But it feels so cheap. The design is terrible, and it feels so totally out of tune with the series itself for the simple fact that it does show Claw’s face. The whole point of the character in the original show was that we never knew what he looked like. This toy breaks completely with the show’s intentions, and all for a cheap cash-in attempt. That’s the number one reason it will never be canon in my book.