Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Peel Here #107, Hey, hey, hey, it’s the big Master Control Program everybody’s talking about…

Well, 2010 is shaping up to be one hell of a year.  I’ve had some of my highest highs with personal projects and experienced some personal family tragedies that I had hoped never to live through.  Though I still haven’t recovered from the latter, I don’t want to lose track of Branded, so I thought with the upcoming Tron Legacy sequel hitting theaters this weekend it’d be a good time to share some ephemera from the original film.  So for the rest of this week I’ll be sharing my meager collection of Tron goodies.

Before I jump into that, I did want to make note of a milestone that Branded recently crossed as the site has had over one million distinct page views.  When I set out to work on this project, the million page views mark was one of my personal goals, and I’ve made a promise to myself that once I reached it, I’d stop looking at stats and stuff.  So next week, I’m going to shed the hit counter, dropping off an outdated bit of old school web design in the process.  A very heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who has ever stopped by to read some of my ramblings or to take a gander at some of the magazine, stickers, and advertising scans I’ve put up.  I’m just glad this stuff has gotten out there.

Anyway, back to Tron.  Today I’d like to share the complete Tron sticker card collection from the 1982 Donruss card set…

 

The sticker set only consisted of 8 cards, five featuring screenshots of the Tron video game, two images from the movie, and a pretty sweet logo sticker.  Each of the five video game stickers also featured “tips” for the game on the back (as you can see below), though they aren’t so much as Nintendo-Power-esque game tips as they are straight up descriptions of the various levels in the game.  I’m sure there was a legion of kids disappointed in these less than helpful descriptions.

I’m glad the Donruss design team included the game screen shots as stickers because I’ve never had the opportunity to play the Tron game and I at least get a sense of what the game looked like.  I am kind of surprised that they didn’t make the sticker set a little bigger though including other scenes and characters from the flick.  I’m glad we get a sticker featuring Tron and the lightcycles, but I would have loved to have some stickers featuring Sark and Flynn, and maybe even the ugly mug of the Master Control Program…

 

Though I’m sure there are a ton of sites providing commentary on the Tron legacy this week, I’d like to take a second and point to one of my favorite spots on the web, Neato Coolville.  Run by Mayor Todd, Neato Coolville is featuring a whole week of posts with all sorts of great stuff including vintage magazine articles, artwork from the film, some of the regular trading cards from the 1982 Donruss set, and much more.  If you get a second stop on by and tell him Branded sent ya…

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Molly ringwald wants you to eat your raisins!

I’m breaking out of my post Halloween downtime to remind everyone that back in 1982 Molly Ringwald and who I believe is a very young Emily Schulman (the nosey pugnacious next-door-neighbor on Small Wonder) wanted you to eat your raisins.   If raisins are like the red-headed step children of grapes, then I think the California Raisins Ad Council chose pretty well spokes model-wise.  I mean, Ringwald was one of the girls written out of the second season of The Facts of Life, and Schulman, well, for anyone who’s seen an episode of Small Wonder, is the poster child for red-headed nuisances…

This ad is kind of interesting for Ringwald fanatics as it’s an example of the type of work she was taking in-between leaving The Facts of Life and landing her breakout role as Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles.  Aside from pimping raisins as Linda, founder of Linda’s Babysitting Service, Ringwald was also spending a lot of time recording vocals for Disney albums around this time.  Alright, back to working on the Up! Fair and junk…

Peel Here #106: Ah, ah… why am I drippings with goo?

So it’s the last day of September, and as anyone who has been following Branded for awhile knows, that means that tomorrow marks the beginning of another annual Countdown to Halloween blog-a-thon!  This will be my fifth year participating, and the second year for newly re-designed Countdown hub website (where you can find over a hundred other sites that are also digging up their coffins and dragging out all their orange and black goodies.)  This year I’m bringing back the 31 Days of Monsters which will showcase another batch of Real Ghostbusters animation cels.  So to kick off that theme I thought I’d share my collection of the 1989 Topps Ghostbusters II sticker cards!

Though I know a lot of people don’t seem to care for the Ghostbusters sequel, I can honestly say that after walking out of the theater back in 1989 there was one big smile across my twelve year-old face.   I mean with an animated Statue of Liberty led by a modified NES Advantage controller, references to He-Man, one of my favorite actors at the time Peter MacNicol, pink slime, a Real Ghostbusters cartoon influenced make-over for Janine, Louis in full-on Ghostbusters gear, the ghosts of the Titanic, and the crazy courtroom scene with the Scoleri Brothers, what’s not to love?

As far as this set of sticker cards goes, I am so happy that the Topps designers decided to mostly forgo portrait stickers and stills from the movie in favor of featuring what at the time would have been rare concept art.  My best educated guess is that these paintings were done by Henry Mayo (not the famous doctor, but the 80s/90s era movie concept artist) based on the fact that he designed the Scoleri Brothers and that these are very similar to that original concept art.  There’s also the clue of the four-armed, six-eyed specter in the group shot on sticker #2, which matches concept art for the same creature elsewhere.

All in all, this set totally makes up for Topps not covering the first film with a card and sticker set, at least in my book.  I wonder if Mayo did any concept art for the ghostly baby-snatching version of Janosz?

Anyway, get ready everyone, because tomorrow marks the beginning of the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters here at Branded in the 80s.com!

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Wax Paper Pop Art #18: The All Singing All Dancing Horror Edition…

In honor of the impending spooktacular festivities coming in just one short week I thought it would be fun to make today’s Wax Paper Pop Art a super-sized, all-horror edition.  First up we have the complete set of wrappers from the 1988 Topps Fright Flicks card set (you can see the Stickers here)…

 

 

Next up we have the wrapper from the 1986 Topps Little Shop of Horrors Sticker Card set…

Straying a bit into some more classical monster territory we have the wrappers for the 1980 Topps Creature Feature sequel set (the stickers for which I talked about here), as well as the wrapper for the original 1973 set…

 

 

You can’t talk about 80s horror without mentioning the Gremlins.  Well, at least I can’t.  This is the wrapper from the 1984 Topps trading card set, the stickers are mentioned here

For this last wrapper we’ll need to hop in the DeLorean and travel back all the way to 1964, ending up on 1313 Mockingbird Lane for a visit with the Leaf Munsters trading cards…

 

 

Wax Paper Pop Art #17: Jumping the shark, In Space!

Felling like a bloated, overblown spy adventure in space today.

Moonraker Bubblegum cards from Topps, 1979.  I talked about the stickers here.

Wax Paper Pop Art #16: Bubble gum? These should have come with Reese’s Pieces…

To cap off the E.T. theme this week, here’s a better look at the wax wrapper from that Buster Browns shoe ad I shared on Tuesday.

E.T Topps bubblegum cards, circa 1982.

Wax Paper Pop Art #15: Trippin’ through Ohio with the McDonaldland Gang!

To sort of keep this week’s McDonalds posts going I thought I’d take a minute to share some awesome trading cards from the impressive collection of the one and only Brandon of the Waffle Whiffer Zone.  Brandon’s site and Flickr feed have been a constant source of inspiration on Branded for the last four years and change.

Since I haven’t been able to find a physical example of any McDonald’s branded wax packages, I figured the next best thing would be to take a look at some trading cards the company produced in Cleveland, Ohio back in 1974.  These promo cards are all themed with specific iconography of the area including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (behind Grimace), Hale Farm & Western Reserve Village in Bath, Ohio in Summit County (behind Mayor McCheese), the Cleveland Health Museum and Education Center (behind Officer Big Mac), the Great Lakes Historical Society Museum in Vermilion (behind Captain Crook), the Cleveland Zoo in Brookside Park (behind Ronald McDonald), and the Blossom Music Center, located between Cleveland and Akron (behind a very laid back Hamburglar.)

       

One of the things that I love about these cards is that the art is so simplified and interesting.  It’s the same aesthetic that draws me to bubblegum card wax package art. It’s much better than the art in that 1980 Calendar I shared on Monday too.

       

       

Heartfelt thanks go out to Brandon for letting me use the images from his Flickr feed.  You should definitely take a moment and visit him at his site, Waffle Whiffer Zone for some amazing nostalgic ephemera…

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Wax Paper Pop Art #14: We named the dog Indiana…

Today on Wax Paper Pop Art, Indiana Jones.  The first wrapper is a little boring, if only because Topps/O-Pee-Chee used a glorified photocop in the artwork instead of loosely re-drawing the image.  I’m much more interested in the crude, simplistic renderings with these wrappers, or at least re-drawn images.  Photo quality is just sort of lifeless…

Raiders of the Lost Ark from Topps (O-Pee-Chee in Canada), 1981.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom from Topps, 1984.  I talked about the stickers here.

The Great Pudding Pop Wars of 1982…

Thinking about some magical food moments from my past I can’t help but immediately gravitate towards the splenderferious invention that graced America’s freezers in 1982 (by my best educated guesstimates), the Pudding Pop.  Sure, there are other frozen treats that I love, Screwballs, Otter Pops, and Slurpees, but sucking on a pudding pop was like having a symphony in your mouth and it always played the theme to Star Wars.  Seriously though, there was something magical about the smooth, velvety texture of a good pudding pop that other treats (Fudgsicles and ice cream bars) just couldn’t match.

Growing up there was only one pop in my household’s freezer, the Bill Cosby endorsed Jell-O Brand Pudding Pops from General Foods.  Introduced in 1982, these frozen treats were originally available in three flavors, Chocolate, Vanilla and Banana.  Personally I was a vanilla man, though I have a vague recollection of eating a banana pop or two.  One of my favorite food related sense memories is of the thin coating of ice that would envelop the pudding pops.  It was always fun to see if you could loosen it in an entire sheet and slide it off the pop.   This ice coating also made for a great makeshift wall between the bottom of the pop and the stick so that the pudding wouldn’t melt directly onto your hand if you decided to savor the experience.

Though Jell-O was the only brand in my house, there were others available, in particular Swiss Miss, which had a much more robust variety of flavors…

I’ve had a tougher time trying to nail down the date that these Swiss Miss Pudding Bars were introduced, but I’m betting it was in and around 1982 as well based on this television commercial.  The ad above is from 1984 and features no less than eight different varieties including chocolate, vanilla, chocolate covered chocolate & vanilla, chocolate chip, fudge swirl, and chocolate toffee covered chocolate & vanilla.  There were also sugar-free varieties (mentioned on the back of this box in Jason Liebig’s collection.)  On a side note, I really dig the older style Swiss Miss mascot design because she was a claymation style puppet.  Drinking Swiss Miss hot chocolate back in the day was like sipping on a Rankin/Bass Christmas special, and ever since they switched to a more realistic rendering it’s just never been the same (even if it is only in my mind.)

I think it’s interesting that the print ads for Jell-O Pudding Pops strayed away from using spokesman Bill Cosby, and instead focused on the guilt-free aspect of the frozen treat.  As this above ad from 1984 showcases, the pops only had 90 calories and apparently were just as good as eating an apple or a banana.  Insane nutrition claims aside, I do have to admit that, that is one heck of an attractive calorie count.  It brings to mind the other Jell-O frozen treat introduced in the 80s (1981 according to the Jell-O website timeline which suspiciously doesn’t even mention pudding pops, but I’m betting it was also in 1982 alongside the pudding pops), the Jell-O Gelatin Pops as seen in this 1985 ad…

These fruit pops were only 35 calories and were a much slower melting bar because of the added gelatin.  According to the above ad, General Foods also produced chocolate covered Jell-O Pudding Pops, though I don’t remember ever seeing those for the life of me.

Unfortunately, sometime in the early 90s Jell-O Pudding Pops seemed to disappear from our grocer’s freezers.  My guess is that after the line-up of General Foods brands were merged in with the Kraft family of products in the mid 90s (as Phillip Morris owned both by that time), their frozen treats were dropped as Kraft didn’t really have a market share in the sweet end of the freezer section.  As far as the Swiss Miss bars go, your guess is as good as mine.  It wasn’t the last time we’d see Jell-O Pudding Pops though.  They made a small comeback in the early 2000s under both the Jell-O and Popsicle brands, but they weren’t the same product.  Offered in a slimmer Fudgsicle-like stick, the flavors and consistency just weren’t the same.  There’s also a Jell-O branded pudding pop maker for kids, though I’m guessing it’s not much different than sticking a pudding cup in the freezer.

Today there are still some brands of frozen pudding pops though, mainly Kemps and Blue Bunny, but this summer Coldstone Creamery is also presenting a variation on the Pudding Pop with Jell-O branded pudding ice-cream.  It’s not the same, but it’s as close as we’re going to get.

Here are some Jell-O Pudding & Gelatin Pop commercials to take you back to the 80s for a few minutes: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1984, 1985, & 1986.  I wonder if Bill Cosby misses these pudding pops as much as I do?

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Wax Paper Pop Art #13: Coming back for seconds…

This wrapper reminds me that there are still a few sets of sticker cards I still need.  Also, this is an example of a Canadian Topps wrapper which is distributed under the name O-Pee-Chee.

Jaws 2 from Topps (O-Pee-Chee in Canada), 1978.