Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Ghosts and the Teen Idols

What's cooler than the Partridge Family? The Partridge Family in a Haunted Hall, that's what! I can just picture those groovy Partridges running around like they were in a Scooby Doo episode, except Mrs. Partridge would never put up with that ghost nonsense.

A Tan Brady is a Happy Brady

I remember my Dad buying this book for me when I was sick. That was really cool of him. The thing I don't understand is why I felt compelled to not only rate their tans, but write it on the cover in ballpoint pen.

One More Childhood Dream Shattered...

What kid wouldn't want a bowl full of happiness? I always wanted sea monkeys, but never had any. I never met anyone who had them either. But I have heard distant grumblings from the many who bought them, and instantly burst into tears.

Another Fine Product

These used to be displayed next to the bubblegum cards. There were a total of 55 cards to collect. I think I only bought one or two packs, but I remember being fascinated with them, folding them over and over. Give me a break. I was ten years old.

There were two sides. You fold them to make wacky new ads, newspaper headlines or faces, depending on the card.

Here's just one of the nine wacky pictures you could make.

They must not have been very successful because I never did try to collect all 55, and I didn't see them for sale any other year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kristy! Jimmy! Music! Mayhem!...and lots of Satin

Please tell me you remember this 45. I have no idea why someone would give the McNichols a record contract - except that they thought they could make money. I guess they did. I bought the 45 and the album. I listened to the single constantly, and even chalked up twenty two listens in one day. After I returned from the sanitarium, I made sure to only play it on alternating weekdays.

Alfred Hitchcock's Terror Inducing Children's Mysteries

The Three Investigators books ruled! I loved reading about their spooky adventures and always wished I could investigate mysteries with my friends. But we ever saw anything like that green ghost, we'd run right up a tree in terror.

Goddamn Dog Stole My Head!

It almost looks like Scooby's shadow is a pile of dirt...where he's buried the guys head.

Severe Disappointment Straight Ahead

Wow! Daredevil stunts! Wild action! That little cycle is jumping more cars than Evel Knievel. And look, it can also do wheelies! Why am I skeptical?

Friday, August 19, 2005

I will give you $100 for the one bubblegum card I'm missing

I loved the 1974 Planet of the Apes tv series. When they came out with bubblegum cards, I was determined to get the whole set. Every time my mom went to the mall, I would beg to be taken to Woolworths. The candy counter was the only place that I knew of that carried these bubblegum cards. I would buy three or four packs each time.

I finally got to the point where I had all but one card, and I just couldn't get it. For weeks I dutifully bought packs of cards and I never got the one missing card. My brother's friend got it, but he wouldn't trade it to me - bastard! So finally in a fit of desperation, I saved up some money and bought 20 packs of cards. The candy counter girl looked at me like I was insane. But I got the card I needed. In fact, I got about five of them. I ended up with three complete sets of cards, plus a huge stack of extras.

William Shatner a college campus near you

Wow, I got this postcard in 1977, which prompts me to believe that at some point I must have written a fan letter to William Shatner. How else would they get my address? I would have purchased the album, except I always spent my allowance right away and the thought of sending off for a record and then waiting weeks for it to arrive was too much for me. But I certainly wish I bought it. I'm sure it's full of hilarity. It was recorded on... Shatners college tour?!?! The first lp has readings from Shakespeare, H.G. Wells, and an explanation of how scifi developed through the years. The second lp has "droll stories, humorous anecdotes, the fun and laughter of Bill's inside stories" about Star Trek. Woah, Shatner's droll stories and explanation of scifi... what more could I ask for?

Hey kids, you too can attack Cuba!

Can someone explain this to me? It's supposed to be a working nuclear sub. The ad talks about the hours of imaginative fun you can have diving, surfacing, maneuvering, watching peole through the periscope, and releasing nuclear missles and torpedos?!?! It's "sturdily constructed of 200lb test material." So what does that mean? The thing is 7 feet long and can seat two kids. So does "imaginative fun" really mean that you have to imagine you're in the water? Did kids actually tool around the lake with this thing? Did some idiot kids decide to take it out to sea and have it disintegrate? It just looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Space 1999....boy were they wrong

Space 1999 was a short lived late 1970s tv show, and this is one of the novels that was released. I used to watch the show every week even though all the main characters were old and none were cute. Actually they don't seem that old to me now. I was really into sci-fi and was upset when this show went off the air. I don't remember much about it, except that in one show there was a disgusting corpse which had no skin. It really freaked me out. I think I remember the show mostly because I bought the four paperback novels.

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's Evel...and he's crashing again...and again...and again...

Evel Knievel... loved that crazy daredevil. If you look at the ad, you'll notice that the Sky Cycle even includes a realistic "screee", the sound Evel's brain made before he plunged into the Snake River Canyon. Actually, can you imagine any other toy that was based on complete and utter failure? Normally a horrible body maiming accident is avoided as it doesn't sell product, yet with Evel it's the impetus for another toy!

Monster Robot??? Where do I sign up!

This is incredible! I know when I was a kid I thought they sent you the monster robot for $1.00, but it's actually only the plans to build one. I wonder if you could actually walk around in this thing? More than likely you'd just crash into tables, get shoved around by your older brother, and the robot outfit would fall apart due to faulty building plans.

Welcome to the Leif Garrett Fan Club...that will be $4.95

If there's one thing a fan club message should be, it's sincere. Guess it's too bad Leif didn't realize that because this thing is so stilted and awkward, that when you hear it you can't help but picturing him reading a long page of text that he's never seen before - either because it was written by someone else, or because he was in an alcohol induced haze when he scrawled it on a cocktail napkin.

It's a ghost...and he's filled with love.

What kid doesn't love haunted houses? Another great book I got through the school book fair. The funny thing is until I saw this scan on the screen, I could never see the ghost in the lower right. I always thought the ghost was the bright light in the center. Geez, thirty years wasted..

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Lidsville is the koo-koo-kookiest

In the 1970s Saturday morning meant there was a Sid and Marty Krofft show on tv. Live action shows were my favorites and I loved the Kroffts. Where else am I going to see the kid who played Eddie Munster falling into a giant hat and ending up in a land full of living hats. Oiks!


One of my favorite tv shows of all time is The Night Stalker. Carl Kolchak, played brilliantly by Darren McGavin, was a reporter who always seemed to wind up investigating crimes that were perpetrated by some supernatural being. His editor and the police never believed him, and thought of him as a troublemaker. Each show had a plot involving vampires, werewolfs, ghosts, or some other strange being. The show also managed to maintain a nice mix of tension and humor.

Encyclopedia Brown vs the Hippie Long Hair

Another great thing about the school book fairs - Encyclopedia Brown, the exceptionally clever child detective who had encyclopedic knowledge...of everything. I used to have all his books, but somewhere along the line I gave them away to Goodwill - except for this one because it had a hippie on the cover. In case you're not familiar with good old Encyclopedia, I guess I'd better state that he is not the hippie.

The color!

Oh yeah! I was too little to watch this when it was first on, but I saw it in reruns. John Steed and Emma Peel were the coolest. It is interesting to note that the theme song was released on Hanna Barbera Records.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It's true kids, Steve Martin used to be funny

You know what this is, kids? It's an 8 Track of Steve Martin's "Wild and Crazy Guy". Can you say 8 Track?... Back then Steve wasn't a bland, mainstream, big budget movie star. He was a stand up comedian who sold out concerts in Civic Centers and actually made people laugh.

Bread - it's not just for breakfast anymore

"If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you?"... That was the question Bread asked in the seventies. The answer turned out to be Gene Simmons spitting blood in David Gates' face which all but destroyed light rock as we know it.

Archie - Bubblegum yes, Comic Books no

Everything's Archie? If thats true, then I'm outta here. I used to read Archie comics and watch the cartoon, but I never really liked it or thought it was funny. However, I do actually like their sweet bubblegum music.

The Bionic Santa

It's called the Kris Kringle Caper, but only the story on the first side seems to have anything to do with Santa. Also it's a bit disconcerting to listen to since the voices do not sound like either Steve or Oscar. But perhaps most disturbing of all is the little Steve drawing on the label looks a kind of sinister.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dukes of Hazzard in Space

Lorne Green's head looks huge in this photo. You ever notice how tv shows with two young male leads always have one guy with brown hair and one with blonde hair? Then they throw in old guys with huge heads to appeal to children and grandmas.

Big Jim will Kill You

Big Jim's P.A.C.K.? It stands for Professional Agents/Crime Killers. Yipes! They seem kind of violent. I never knew anyone who had one of these. The kids I knew had Johnny West or G.I. Joe instead.

Use Cards, They're Cheaper and Don't Invite Ridicule

We didn't need no stinkin' glow spokes. We attached playing cards to our back wheels with clothes pins so they'd sound like a motorcycle...well, to a kid it sounds that way. The ad shows a teenage boy with Glow Spokes on his wheels and talks about their "dazzling display of color." But I'd be willing to bet that any boy who put these on his bike would be taunted so unmercifully that the things would be in the trash by the end of the day.

I am ready to operate on interplanetary visitors

I got this as a gift for Christmas 1977. I was really excited. I opened it up, flipped through it, and then thought "what the hell am I going to do with this?"

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Nope, This Isn't Scary At All for a Little Kid

As a kid I always thought these were 3D monsters, but if you read the fine print it says it's on "durable polyetheline." It also says it has glow in the dark eyes. Is there any kid in their right mind who wouldn't be terrified when they went to bed and saw lifesize glowing eyes across the room? Geez, I had a Frankenstein model with glow in the dark head and hands that I had to put it in the closet every night. It was so spooky it made my heart pound like a jackhammer.

The Amazing Spiderman vs the Nazis

Hey look! It's the little blonde von Trapp boy from the Song of Music film, and he's all grown up! He's....the Amazing Spiderman?! Another super hero show that I used to watch, but wasn't all that enamored with - I guess no one else was either as it only lasted a year.

Creepy Dads Love the Easy Bake Oven!

Does anyone else think it's kind of creepy for a Dad to be lurking in a dark room watching his young daughter bake a cake?

Jimmy McNichol and Lorenzo Lamas = failure

Hey, remember that show California Fever? Me neither, even though I'm pretty sure I watched it. It starred Lorenzo Lamas as a health food store owner (!?) and Jimmy McNichol (Kristy's brother) as a guy who had a band. It was only on from September to December 1979. The show did have a great theme song though - one of those catchy bubblegum tunes along the lines of Richie Brokelman, Private Eye...which no one probably remembers either.