Almost two years ago I dug through my books and piles of ephemera to gather together my collection of pop culture maps from all sorts of different fantasy and movie worlds including cartography from the Thundercats, Willow, Fraggle Rock, The Princess Bride, The Smurfs, Dark Crystal and of course my favorite, The Goonies. Well, this past month I discovered that there are two different versions of the map from the Goonies. Not only is there an actual map in the film that leads the way to One-Eyed Willie’s pirate treasure (which I have a pretty darn cool replica of hanging in Branded HQ), but there was also a rather rare piece of mail-away, ephemera that was offered by Hi-C back in 1985.
Called the Goonies Story Card Adventure Map, this mail-away freebie was a giant fold-out map that had a very unique way of presenting the various locations from the film as well as illustrating the plot at the same time. This thing was gargantuan at almost 4 feet long and almost a foot high.
But before I dig into that I want to thank the gracious Dan Goodsell of the World of Mr. Toast for allowing me to showcase his scan of the above Hi-C can label. I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but there are a handful of seriously awesome folks like Dan who have spent considerable amounts of time and money procuring, collecting, and archiving rare ephemera. On the face of it these digitized collections provide an unbelievable insight into packaging that is a priceless archive for graphic artists, not to mention acting as a visual connection that generations of people can connect over via our cultural shared nostalgia. But these collections often hold clues and keys that unlock all sorts of other mysteries for fans of pop culture. When I first stumbled upon the Goonies Story Card Adventure Map I didn’t realize that there was more to the map. But after doing some research and finding the awesome Hi-C scan of Dan’s I was able to fill in some of the gaps that I was looking for. Without these archives, or blogs and sites that freely share their collections of vintage scans it would be impossible to put the pieces of the past back together. So again, I want to thank Dan for being a super cool dude and letting me share this piece from his collection.
So what is this Story Card Adventure Map that I’m so excited about? Well, as part of the Goonies merchandising push back in 1985 Warner Bros. partnered with the Coca Cola Company to offer these free map and card sets either via a mail-away promotions on the cans of Hi-C, or from in-store displays. If you snagged one of the foldout maps in the store you had to collect the story cards that were printed on the Hi-C juice can labels (see above), whereas if you mailed away for the map it was shipped complete with the 24 card set included.
Between the cards and the flavor text on the map you can relive the plot of the film scene by scene, and location by location. But even without the card set that map is really cool because it addresses one of the weird spatial mysteries presented in the film, which is where exactly these underground tunnels and caves are located in relation to the above ground landmarks in Astoria (or at least the Astoria presented in the film…)
Unfortunately this map wasn’t designed to answer those spatial questions specifically, but because of the way that it’s laid out it hints at how a lot of the films locations are laid out and how they connect to each other. Also, as a bonus bit of interesting area layout imagine all that space from the country club on the top left out to the Goondocks on the top right being covered in a newly constructed golf course. I’m guessing the 9th and 10th holes would have been located along the shore right where that neighborhood stands. Stupid Troy and his dumb dad…
Not only did this map generally reveal the location and proximity of landmarks in the film the included story cards and character bios on the back of the map also revealed other obscure details of the film like all of the characters full names. Did you know that Data’s real name is Ricky Roper? That Chunk’s last name was Cohen (which was also the actor’s actual last name, Jeff Cohen.) That Andy was short for Andrea? There’s also some more backstory revealed such as confirmation that Stef and Mouth dated for a bit before the film. Or that at 13, Mikey is the youngest Goonie which puts the other three at, at least 14 and places all of them in the 8th grade most likely.
Do these details actually matter? No, but they’re still cool bits of trivia for any diehard fan for sure. As far as pop culture cartography goes, this map may have just taken the number spot as my favorite ever…