Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Doll Squad 2001

After the great catostrophe of 1996, a group of bionically enhanced woman are on the run from their cruel overlords, watch them encounter a new civilization each week Friday nights at 9 on ABC...

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Wonderful World of Blythe

It's amazing how this very Mod little doll was virtually unknown until 25 years after she was cancelled when it became a pop culture phenom thanks to the photography of Gina Garan. This is the Kenner catalog from 1972 and Blythe only gets a single page (click on it for a larger view) now she's a full blown icon.

Google the Blythe story one of these days, it's a good read.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

DVD Review: Monster Squad the Complete Series

Believe it or not, DVD reviews were originally a part of this site, I just stopped doing them mostly because of laziness (here is one I did almost three years ago) but I just needed to bring it back for the release of the Monster Squad TV series.

Monster Squad was one of those shows I was convinced I'd never see again, it had a huge impact on me as a wee one, I'd take my Lincoln Monster dolls and shove them in the G.I. Joe Capture Copter and pretend they were on patrol. I think my love of monsters stems from this and Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Then it got cancelled and well, I spent the majority of the eighties and nineties looking for tapes and discovering that people had largely forgotten the show.

So when this DVD got announced, it gave me joy and a kind of sick feeling, like a lot of things you like as a kid, what if it turns out to be total crap when you're an adult?

I'm happy to say after watching all 312 minutes, that I was pleasantly surprised at how good this show was. I'm not saying it's for all tastes but if you're a 70s kid who likes the Krofft shows, this is actually a cut above from say things like, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.

That's probably because the show's creator Stanley Ralph Ross was one of the headwriters on the 1966 Batman TV Series (another show that BEGS to be on DVD) and kind of passed on some of it's goofy brilliance, in fact, Monster Squad could have been a prime time series in the late sixties. It knows it's a stupid show and decides to make the best of it.

The Premise is simple, Walt, a night watchman at "Fred's Wax Museum" (played by a pre Love Boat Fred Grandy) accidently brings the statues of three famous monsters to life with his "Crime Computer" (a big blinky box), Bruce W. Wolf, Frank N. Stein and Dracula want to do good to make up for their past mistakes so they become crime fighters.

So each week the squad battles a new villain played by a celebrity guest star, above is Mephisto played by Barry Dennen, he played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar in case you were wondering. It drove me nuts until I IMDB'd it. Part of the fun is the guest, you get see the likes of Julie Newar, Geoffry Lewis, Alice Ghostly, even Sid Haig gets in on this!

The show has some witty writing and pokes a lot of fun at itself, especially the scenes with the monsters trying to "act casual" (it always fails), there are other moments that are downright surreal and look like "Mr Show" sketches. The entire series in done on film, so the cheap sets look almost on purpose. Some of the fight scenes suffer from early 70s non violence rules, especially the scene where the Skull (Geoffry Lewis) tries to kill Bruce with a silver bullet, no gun, he just throws the bullet at him!

The bottom line is, everybody looks like they're having a lot of fun and it's kind of infectious. Let's talk about the DVD Fabulous Films has put out:

Film Quality: After years of watching 15th generation VHS, it's a joy to see the Squad so clean again, the film transfers are better than I expected.

Extras: I wasn't expecting anything and that was a good thing, I got a stills gallery and graphics on the menu that were scanned from the board game!

Value: I can't tell you how many bootlegs I've spent $20 on, this is a bargain. Amazon has this for $21.

Bottom Line: Not into Saturday Morning Cheese? Stay away in droves. However, if you're a Monster Kid or you dug the old Shazam! series then this is a lot of fun to be had. my kids really dug it as well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Planet of the Apes by Well Made Toys Inc

Planet of the Apes Toys by Well Made
Well-Made Toys wasn't a real household word but they were very well known in 1974 when they landed the Planet of the Apes license and filled toy stores with their cute plush novelties based on the TV series. It burned brightly but not for a long time, leaving lots of cool toys in it's path.

Planet of the Apes Toys by Well Made
Planet of the Apes Toys by Well Made
Planet of the Apes Toys by Well Made

More Apes:

lone ranger toys

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye to an icon

I can't not mention the unfortunate passing of Farah Fawcett on this blog, if the seventies have a representative, Farrah would likely be the supreme candidate.
She was a Charles Angel, a runner, she was married to the Bionic Man, Girls wanted to be her and her hair style rocked a nation, guys being guys bought her poster at an alarming rate.
70s kids and Gen Xers, we've lost our Marylin Monroe....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Planet of the Apes Colorforms

I love it when a toy concept I adore is crossed over with a license that rules, in this case it's the merging of Colorforms with Planet of the Apes. One of the my favourite things about this piece is it seems strongly influenced by the "Return to the Planet of the Apes" cartoon series.
That show is where is my "Ape Love" originated from, so I'm especially soft when it comes to that.

Fly a Kite Cornelius

You know you've hit monsterous proportions when you're on a kite and having nothing to do with flying. I'd love to find a display of these or heck, even one. Click on this picture for a bigger view.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Apes by the Truck Load

1974 saw the deluge of Apechandise as evidenced by this great newspaper ad, with the cancellation of the series in 1975 would see this stuff go on clearance.

When I started toy collecting in the early eighties, you could find discounted Apes merchandise in almost every convience store in Toronto, it was a good time to be alive.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Playsets of the Apes

More shots from the 1974 Multiple Toys Catalog featuring these awesome Planet of the Apes playsets, I've seen the packaging on the set bove before but that doesn't mean it wasn't released.

I actually had this set at one point, I love how the soldiers are referred to as "earth men", I guess the folks at Multiple didn't stick around to see the Statue of Liberty...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Planet of the Apes Week

This next week will be devoted to all things simian. Iy you grew up in the 1970s (which I'm guessing much of my readership did) then you couldn't have avoided "Apes Week" unless you didn't have a TV or lived in a cave. We'll spend the next five days looking at the garbage bags of merchandising produced for this landmark science fiction series, both logical and nonsensical.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Justice League at Sea World

Erick from Wonderful Wonderblog made my week with this fabulous shot of the Superheroes at Sea World, seeing the heroes like that must have been just trippy.
For more on this check out our gallery.

And if you have anything to add, I'd be your friend for life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Godzilla Day!

Well, it's one of those days where your teacher is too hung over to do anything so he just wheels in the projector. In my case, I'm sick but it works just as well. I thought it would be fine time to showcase these commercials from our DVD showcasing a character near and dear to my inner eight year old, Godzilla!

First off is this commercial for the Mattel Godzilla Game a product I honestly don't remember but it was part of Mattel's late seventies love affair with the character and the graphics are just sweet.

Secondly and this really is the classic, the Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla, while I think every 70s toy collector should be court ordered to buy one, I'd also love to get a hold of the Japanese version which looks more like the big guy.

Get him Stretchy Supes!

I'm still hopelessly devoted to finding the HG Toys "Godzilla vs Tricephalon" play set for myself someday. Anybody got one for sale, I guess it would help if I checked Ebay for one.

Lastly, another classic, the Ben Cooper Godzilla Halloween costume, another thing that made you jealous when you saw kids wearing it on October 31st..

Have a great weekend people, I'm off to stomp a city!

Stretch Monster is $9.44 at K-Mart

Here's a close up at that funky Stretch Monster Art:

Other Toy Flyers and Circulars from the 70s



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inaction Heroes

I've got a real appreciation for these well sculpted Marx figures now but I have to be honest, as a kid I did not enjoy them. Occasionally I'd find a Superhero or a soldier in someone's toy box and think "who'd want this?". I guess I was spoiled by Mego at that point, so much articulation.

Now I've got some of the Universal Monsters on my desk as I type this, odd how that works..

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Potpourri of Coolness

Just a few random things I've forgotten to show off before hand. Firstly, I am elated to announce the DVD release of the Monster Squad television series this June 23rd. Not to be confused with the 1980s movie of the same name, this Monster Squad was a Saturday morning show reminscent of the Adam West Batman series. I can't be alone in my admiration for this series can I?

While many of us remember Mall Appearances through our child sized eyes, Stephen remembers them through his Spidey Mask. Heroes in my Closet is a fun blog recollecting the experiences of a man who played Spiderman for almost a decade.

And rounding out the Monster theme started is this rare commercial for the Maxx Fx line (from Max's creator Mel Birnkrant) even though it's an 80s toy, I've always been disappointed that Matchbox foolishly chose to launch the line with Freddy Kruger, thus dooming it. Try to ignore the 80s white guy rap and just take a look at the toys, we wuz robbed! For more Maxx check out our gallery:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Joker at Sea World Part 2

This is without a doubt my favourite picture from JD, the Joker and the Riddler getting harrassed by the dynamic duo, not only do you get a view of the Sea World stage but the Bat Boat as well! The more I see of this show, the more I realise that I really missed out as a kid. Grrrrr!
For more on this check out our gallery.

And if you have anything to add, I'd be your friend for life.

Friday, June 12, 2009

1974 Kenner Easy Bake Oven Catalog

Playing homemaker is still around but the 1970s were probably the last gasp of it being the norm. The 1980s saw a rise in little girls playing career woman, so things like the Easy Bake Oven became less prevelant. However, we're looking at 1974 and it was all the rage to emulate "Betty Crocker" and whip up a sugary treat in the playroom.

Not even children were immune to Fondue-Mania

Click on the images below for more Girl's Toys:


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