Friday, June 28, 2013

TWO NOVELTY FINDS: COLORED WATER & TOPSTONE FUN DISGUISE

FLEA MARKET FRIDAYS #84

Recently I picked up two fun novelty items at two different antique stores.


First up is a Colored Water joke novelty made by Fun Inc. Ooh, I would love to try this prank on the first lady of Neato Coolville! Look at that poor housewife on the package. She sure looks distraught at the sight of technicolor water gushing out of her faucet. The package says that you get six different colors. Hmm...I only count four different "pills" because there seems to be two reds and two blues besides an orange and a purple. Here's the description on the back - "Break color pill in half and insert it inside of spring. Compress the spring and insert in the mouth of the faucet with one end of the spring outside (that part of the spring which is outside should be in back of the faucet to keep out of sight.) Turn on the water for colored harmless liquid!"



You bet your life I was happy to find this second item! This Fun Disguise was made by the famous Topstone Rubber Company, the makers of the famous monster masks that were advertised in Famous Monsters magazine! Sure, it would have been great to sneak up on a Topstone monster mask, but as a  Groucho fan I was pleased as punch to find this for five bucks.

I wonder if anyone has put together a history of Groucho glasses? For decades, so many companies have made Groucho glasses and it would be fun to see all the different styles throughout the years.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

IF I HAD A HOME ARCADE


The League of Extraordinary Bloggers asked members an age-old question. This question has been discussed by video arcade enthusiasts for decades. If you could have a home arcade, what games would you stock your ultimate arcade with? 

I grew up in a touristy town and fortunately for me it was full of video arcade and pinball machines. Besides the many arcades in town, machines could also be found in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, hotels and resorts. Video games were everywhere and I took advantage of playing whenever I could. Well...as long as I had a pocket full or quarters. 

If I owned a home arcade then these ten video games and one pinball machine would be my first choices.    


Space War - For a year or two this was my favorite game. My brother and I waged many great Space Wars with this machine. He was always the Starship Enterprise style of ship and I was the Asteroids style ship. One of the greatest two player games ever made! Click here to watch a version of this game.


Gorf - If you have limited space, then Gorf is the game to own. You get your Space Invaders and Galaxian fix along with a couple of other games all in one. Long live Gorf! Click here to watch the game.


Berzerk - I got hooked on Berzerk one Saturday after the game ate my quarter. The arcade attendant made it more than right and gave me a ton of free credits on this machine. The talking game kept on mocking me as I kept on playing for free. I became a fan forever after that day! Click here to watch the game.


Wizard of Wor - This two player game was another favorite that my brother and I played a lot. We played it every time we made a trip to the Kwik Shop. Usually we worked together trying to kill the werewolves and eventually the dreaded wizard. Once in awhile, just for fun we would zap one another. (Apparently I have a fondness for talking games!) Click here to watch the game.


Tron - My favorite arcade game of all time and the only game on this list that's not a fantasy as this one sits in my house! I blogged about this game here and to see the game in action click here.


Discs of Tron - Playing this machine makes you feel like you've been zapped onto the game grid. Sure the game play is a lot fun, but the cabinet design is a thing of beauty! Click here to watch the game on Starcade. 


Ms. Pac-Man - A staple of all arcades and a must have if you're dreaming of a home arcade. Make sure you set the game to fast! Click here to watch the game on Starcade.


Tempest - For whatever reason, Tempest seemed to be hard to find in our local arcades and for awhile the local movie theater was the only place you could play it. Tempest is a favorite of the first lady of Neato Coolville. Click here to watch the game.


Donkey Kong Junior - Aw yeah! I had better success with DKjr than I did with his pop's game. After Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior is one of the all time greatest sequel games. Click here to watch the game on Starcade.


Star Wars - I remember standing in line at an Aladadin's Castle arcade for almost an hour just waiting for a chance to sit in the cockpit version to play one game. So for my fantasy arcade I'm taking the cockpit version! Click here to watch the game.



Flash Gordon Pinball - Flash Gordon is one of my favorite movies and to have the pinball machine that's based after it would be the ultimate. Back in the day, I only found this machine in one arcade and for a couple summers and I played the heck out of it! Go Flash go! Click here to watch this machine in action! 

This list could go on forever because if I'm simply fantasizing, then I would have a home arcade with a 100+ games. A few of my other favorite games I could easily add - Outlaw, Space Invaders, Asteroids Deluxe, Pac-Man, Galaxian, Rally-X, Thief, Star Castle, Spy Hunter, Gauntlet, Roadblasters, Trojan, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, Out Run, Roadblasters...um...okay, I better stop.

The Flyer images come from the great website The Arcade Flyer Archive!

Be sure to visit some of the other League's fantasy arcades!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

COMIC BOOK WALLPAPER: SUPERMAN


In honor of Superman's 75th anniversary, I've assembled some Superman desktop wallpapers using elements from old comic covers. Click on the image and save to your computer. You can see the original comic cover by clicking the issue name under the image. Last year I made a wallpaper based after Action #1 and you can find that by clicking here.






Wednesday, June 12, 2013

YUMMY! 1990S ADVERTISING FOOD GIFS

Don't panic! You didn't fall into a 1990s time warp on the World Wide Web! I thought it would be fun to put together a gallery of old-timey ad GIFs found on junk food and fast food official websites. Most are from the mid-90s and up to the year 2000. They're kind of fun to watch all in one place.

Of course I was hoping to find a Jif Peanut Butter GIF!

1996 Quisp

1996 McDonalds 

1996 Burger King

1996 Bullwinkle's Restaurant and Family Fun Center
1996 Oreo

1996 Kellogg's Cereal

1997 Wonka Candy

1997 Kentucky Fried Chicken

1997 Domino's Pizza

1998 Chips Ahoy

1998 Taco Bell

1999 Chee-tos


 2000 Screaming Yellow Zonkers

2000 Pizza Hut 

2000 M&M's Crispy


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

FOUND PHOTO: 1923 CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP TO LAKE TAHOE

It's been a while since I've shared a snapshot from my found photo collection. With everyone planning vacations and road trips, I thought this one from 1923 might give some of you road trippers some inspiration.



The inscription on the back - "This was the day we crossed Calif. line Aug. 19. It constitutes one of the most educational & prettiest drives of all. We rose 11,500 ft in 25 min. When we got to the top of the Mt. we came to a beautiful mountain lake, called Lake Tahoe. It is about 1/2 mi. square & the water has the color of the emerald birth stone. This days drive took us thru Americas Greatest forrest, Pine-Cedar & Spruce. Beautiful & Dense? Mamma comments on it most every day. Geography is now an interesting subject to me."

Isn't that great? Between the photograph and the inscription, it really transports you back to when taking a road trip truly was an adventure. I'm sure this unidentified gent and "Momma" had to deal with some rough terrain and maybe a flat tire or two along the way.  

Saturday, June 01, 2013

JEDI WEEK IS OVER


Whew! Jedi Week is over. After 150+ blog posts this concludes the special 30th anniversary blog events related to the Star Wars saga that started in 2007. Thanks to everyone that stopped by the blog to reminisce about Return of the Jedi with me. I appreciated all of your comments and emails! A special thanks to Mike (Aparofan) MiddletonJohn Rozum and Erick from Wonderful Wonderblog for sharing the Jedi Week link with their blog readers. Also, thanks to everyone who shared Jedi Week on facebook and twitter.

I made the Jedi Week header from this newspaper ad for the 1985 rerelease of Return of the Jedi. 


Yub Nub! May the Force be with you!!

Now, I will leave you with Meco's Ewok Celebration! (Uploaded to YouTube by Andrea Ferrati.)


RANDOM MEMORIES OF RETURN OF THE JEDI

For the last post of Jedi Week, I just thought I would share some random memories and some stuff that I found packed away in boxes from my childhood. Thirteen is an odd age for anyone. It's right at the end of childhood with one foot back and one foot forward. This is the time that life gets a little awkward and confusing. For me, it was nice to have Return of the Jedi in the summer of 1983 for a great diversion from the onslaught of adolescence.


A photo of a thirteen year old me sporting the same T-shirt seen below. I had a pretty extensive Star Wars T-shirt wardrobe back then. 



"It's a trap!" It was always exciting to cut out the proof-of-purchase from the Star Wars figure cards and mail them in for a free figure. Receiving the odd looking Admiral Ackbar just added to the mystery of the last movie in the trilogy. Because of this figure I became an Ackbar fan. I even named my pet fire newt, Admiral Ackbar! 


By age thirteen I had given up playing with my action figures. I found a fun way to still interact with them and that was through photo taking. I tried to make my own scenes from the films with my 110 camera. I remember trekking into the woods to take Endor photos. The above is a snap from that photo session.


Thanks to this Marvel Super Special comic magazine I learned a spoiler. Actually it wasn't the mag's fault but a kid on the school bus. The Super Special was released before the movie and a kid on the bus had a copy. He blurted out that Leia was Luke's sister!


What? I could have killed him! First I didn't believe it and refused to look at the magazine. I even had my own copy at home but was never tempted to open it until after the movie. I really hoped he was telling lies, but to my chagrin he was right. I wasn't a fan of Luke and Leia being siblings. 


A Return of the Jedi birthday card given to me by my Uncle for my thirteenth birthday. Inside, it simply says, "Hope you have a royal time! Happy Birthday."


I attempted to start a Star Wars scrap book around this time. I only filled a handful of pages. I found this  article that I clipped inside. 


My grandma gave me a set of Return of the Jedi activity books. I guess I was too old because all of them are unused. I love that she added an inscription on the cover of the Word Puzzle Book. Back then when I thought I was big time "collector" this always bugged me. Of course now, these signed items are special and they have more value to me than other items in my collection.



I need to ask the First Lady of Neato Coolville to bake a batch of Monster Munchies. If anyone makes any, let met know!


I loved getting polybagged comics! I especially remember getting a bunch of Whitman comic three packs back in the 1970s. Someone gave these to me for my birthday or Christmas and since I had the individual issues, I kept it sealed in the bag!


I purchased this Official Collectors Edition and all the poster mags like the one below at my childhood grocery store, Carl's Market. I blogged about this supermarket earlier this year.


This poster magazine cover always made me laugh! I think Jabba is going to eat little Wicket the Ewok. Gobble gulp!


Memories are weird and for some reason unimportant memories sometime stick with me. My memory of this Rolling Stone magazine is that it caused me to have a dilemma. I saw it on the magazine stand at our local 7-11. The mag cost $2.50 and I only had three bucks, my weekly allowance, in my pocket. Hmm...I had a major decision to make because the 7-11 had a small arcade and I had been trying to master Donkey Kong Jr. The big dilemma was; do I buy the mag or buy a Big Gulp and play Donkey Kong Jr.? Not even a half naked Princess Leia nor a jam box toting Darth Vader could win over the arcade. I didn't pick up the Rolling Stone mag until about ten years after when I found it at a flea market. Just so you'll know, I did master Donkey Kong Jr. that summer!  


Rummaging through my boxes of childhood stuff, looking for things for Jedi Week, I ran across two Return of the Jedi candy heads by Topps. They both still had some candy inside! Check out John Rozum's post about these.

A Return fo the Jedi lid from a tin container.


A sticker sent out by the Star Wars Fan club. I didn't order it, but you could buy a patch of this image with the Revenge title.


A photocopy of a drawing that I did for the 1983 Star Wars Fan Club's Creativity Contest. They gave out some amazing prizes from signed posters to actual movie props. I didn't win, but it was fun entering the contest.


Funny fan club cartoon that I clipped from an envelope received from the club.