Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #15: Alpha Bits Cereal

It's the last Saturday in 2008. As we clean up the aftermath of Christmas and begin looking forward to 2009, let's take a look back about 30 years ago. This week's Commercial Break celebrates the imagination of kids, with a gentle assist from Post Alpha Bits cereal. This was uploaded to YouTube by michend2003.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, it may be a day late, but I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I know that I did.

Santa left this neat box of Frosty Nerds in my stocking, plus an assortment of candies which will surely rot my teeth. The Nerds are looking festive here, delivering a sleigh full of goodies to all the good Nerd girls and boys.

Frosty Christmas Nerds

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #14: McDonald's 1970s

I hadn't posted any of my Saturday Commercial Breaks in a while. I sort of stopped it after noticing that YouTube was removing a lot of television commercials from their site for some reason. Apparently that's not the content they want, although it's really the only thing I care about on YouTube. Anyway, I'll start it up again "while supplies last", as they say.

I got a big smile watching this 1970s McDonald's commercial, featuring a fun song and dance number by some hard working fast food employees. "You Deserve A Break Today" remains one of the most memorable McDonald's jingles for me. (Uploaded to YouTube by JMReid1220)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Update: Funny Face Cartoon wins award

Loudmouth Lime cannot keep his mouth shut about his much-anticipated Funny Face cartoon series, though he must share the spotlight with his other fruity friends. We wanted to take this opportunity to pass along a very exciting and promising update!

The Funny Face team was invited to participate in the MIPCOM Junior licensing challenge in October. MIPCOM Junior describes itself as "the world’s largest kids’ programming screening event and the leading international conference venue for kids and youth programming" and takes place in Cannes, France each year.

84 different projects had submitted applications for the event. Of those, only six were selected to present their pitch at the event.


I'm happy to inform you that the Funny Face team won the challenge as the "most promising property"!

They've put together a brilliant idea for a good, clean cartoon for kids with a splash of nostalgia for us big kids, too. If you have not seen it already, be sure to check out the original Funny Face trailer.

Jolly Olly Orange almost lost his hat while rolling in to remind me of another media highlight. The project was featured in a licensing magazine article which can be seen here.

Help spread the word and keep your fingers crossed that these happy fruits find their way to a television set near you in 2009!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Burger Chef and Count Fangburger

Happy Halloween to all of my trick-or-treating friends! As you sift through heaping bags of candy treats, prioritizing your snacking agenda for the next week, I invite you to take a spooky fast food trip back to the 1970s.

The birthplace of the fast food kid's meal concept was at the once-mighty Burger Chef restaurant chain in 1972. They created and marketed the idea of including a child-sized portion with fun packaging and a toy -- five years before McDonald's test-marketed their trademark Happy Meal.

To help usher in the era of the kid's meal, or the "Fun Meal" and the "Fun Burger" as Burger Chef called them, they created a wild bunch of cartoon characters. The first mascots were chefs named Burger Chef and Jeff, and fortunately they were joined by a group of fun-loving monsters and assorted friends.

Count Fangburger was the Vampire-in-Chief at Burger Chef. Certainly he provided a little scare to the crew at Burger Chef, as one might expect from a guy with fangs, Transylvanian accent and the customary vampire cape. Here he is with his pet bat on a sticker from the mid to late 1970s.

Burger Chef Sticker

[ Curiously enough, he hit the advertising scene around the same time as that cereal munching vampire named Count Chocula. Hmmm... ]

To best appreciate Fangburger, you need to see and hear him in action. Take a look at this original animated commercial on Google Videos, then come right back: Fangburger Commercial

More than your typical monster, Count Fangburger was also a family man -- husband to Mrs. Fangburger and father to "Fangburger's Son" and "Fangburger's Daughter" as they were called. Here's the whole happy family posing on this child's bib from 1974.

Burger Chef Vampire Bib

Clearly our vampire friend had a softer side, too, along with a penchant for those tasty burgers. A few more collectibles below picture the little blood-suckers looking a bit disgruntled. Perhaps Dad forgot to pick up hamburgers on his way home from the office?

Burger Chef Sticker Burger Chef Sticker
The whole Burger Chef cast appeared in numerous toy prizes and colorful Fun Meal boxes back in the day. And what a run it was! Stickers, comics, coins, glasses, puppets and much more...

Yes, old Fangburger had a good run for at least eight years (1972-1980) and probably a few more. But by 1982 the Hardee's hamburger chain bought out Burger Chef, converting many into Hardee's and closing others. Fangburger retreated to his coffin, never to be seen again.

Here are a few more goodies -- a Fun Meal token coin, a punch-out figure for a mobile (1974) and a Zoomer Fly frisbee (1974).

Burger Chef: Fangburger CoinBurger Chef: Fangburger Burger Chef: Zoomer Fly

I hope you enjoyed this little trip back to Burger Chef. Maybe it stirred up some memories or introduced you to something you missed out on thirty years ago. I welcome any comments and Burger Chef memories you wish to post (click the link below).

Count Fangburger Puppet

I don't know if I hit this one out of the park or not, but I'll wrap up with a baseball theme regardless. These baseball cards from 1976 show the Count about to throw some high heat and poor Mrs. Fangburger getting bonked on the noggin. Stranger things have happened in the land of Burger Chef.

Burger Chef: Fangburger Burger Chef: Mrs. Fangburger

Until next time...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jean LaFoote's Pirate Kit

Yarrr!! Today be ye official "Talk Like A Pirate Day". Visit ye official website if ye dare:

Here's my favorite pirate, Jean LaFoote, from Cap'n Crunch cereal fame. This pirate kit was from the 1970s. You, too, could dress up like a pirate with a fake mustache and golden earring! Good luck swiping cereal from Cap'n Crunch. It never worked for LaFoote.

Jean LaFoote's Pirate Kit

Happy looting, everybody!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

R.I.P Irvine Robbins

I heard recently of the passing of Irvine Robbins, and wanted to share the news here. He died on May 7, 2008 at the age of 90.

Mr. Robbins opened his first ice cream store in Glendale, California in 1945. In 1948 he joined forces with his brother-in-law, Burton Baskin, to form the Baskin-Robbins ice cream store chain. Mr. Baskin's name came first because he won the coin flip.

Together they came up with that magic number - 31. Customers could always count on Baskin-Robbins to have 31 flavors to choose from. One might call that sweet deal, or otherwise a frozen dilemma.

Personally, I must walk down the whole counter and peruse all 31 choices. Anything less would be un-American. -- Chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry... mmm...! Whatever the choice was, I knew there were 30 more to try next time.

The rest, as they say, is history. Rest in peace, Mr. Robbins.

You can see a picture of him and read his obituary here: Irvine Robbins

I wanted to share a few Baskin-Robbins collectibles that I have. Here's a Pinky the Spoon bendy toy from 1991, and below that is a chocolate mint ice cream pinback button which is probably from the 1980s.

Baskin-Robbins Bendy Spoon

Baskin-Robbins Button

I've always been a fan of their chocolate chip ice cream. As a kid, I also remember enjoying a peppermint flavor with little crunchy bits of peppermint. I think there's an ice cream cone waiting for me now, and I can thank Mr. Robbins for that.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Funny Face Cartoon Trailer

If you've pondered the age-old question "How do you make a banana split?", you are not alone. Being a Goofy Grape of sorts myself, I may just have the answer for you today!

Blog readers may have encountered my previous post about the planned Funny Face Cartoon Series, based on the characters used to promote the old powdered drink mix.

While eagerly awaiting more information on the series, I got a little scoop from someone behind-the-scenes. The project is going well and many short cartoon segments have been created. They are hopeful for early 2009 to get picked up for television.

Until then, the original cartoon short, by Renegade Animation, has made its way to YouTube, posted by mickilas. Here's a great preview of the antics of Goofy Grape and friends, including new characters named Top Banana and Bad Apple.

And now you know how to make a banana split!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy 7-Eleven Day 2008

Today is July 11th, or 7/11, which means a day to celebrate my favorite convenience store 7-Eleven!

Every 7-Eleven Day you should make your way to a nearby store for a delicious Slurpee, Big Gulp or other tasty snack. I'll be heading out for a Slurpee later today. Yum!

An oasis in the hot summer sun, I have fond memories as a kid of many trips to get Slurpees and candy there. It often required pestering my parents to drive me, or permission to ride my bike there with friends. It's really something I've never outgrown to this day.

Since the '70s, 7-Elevens have had great periodic promotions with collectible plastic cups featuring cartoon characters, sports stars and super heroes. I had so many of those cups, most of which faded, cracked and found their way into the trash can over the years.

In the '80s and '90s I remember when the Slurpee cups would have a secret compartment underneath where you would get a cool prize like a flicker coin of a baseball or football player. I still have many of those to commemorate the Slurpees of yesteryear.

To help with the celebration, here are a couple of pogs from the early 1990s.

7-Eleven Hawaii Pog

7-Eleven Slurpee Pog

I've started a new group on Flickr called 7-Eleven : Oh Thank Heaven! Feel free to join in the fun and share your 7-Eleven memories. If you're not on Flickr, you can get a free basic account right away and start uploading photos and joining groups.

Have a happy 7-Eleven Day! Oh thank Heaven for 7-Eleven!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Cheetos Cheesy Rider T-Shirt

Here's a brief follow-up to my article on the Cheetos Mouse.

Blog reader Rosanne saw the article and sent me this great photo of her vintage Chee-tos "Cheesy Rider" t-shirt. What a great image of our cheesy friend -- out on the open road with an ample supply of Chee-tos brand crunchy snacks!

Thanks, Rosanne for send me this great photo and allowing me to post it here on the blog!

I would love if someone printed up some new t-shirts with this image. :-)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #13: Burger Chef

"Whatcha gonna get at Burger Chef?" was a slogan used by the defunct Burger Chef restaurant chain. Burger Chef was a fun place with a large cast of advertising characters, including Burger Chef and Jeff in this commercial from 1974.

Burger Chef was an early pioneer in the concept of kids' meals, offering their Fun Burgers and Fun Meals aimed at kids with a smaller appetite. The meals included a fun toy, sticker or comic book to enjoy. Burger Chef was doing this in the early 1970s. By comparison, McDonald's was just starting their test market of Happy Meals in 1977.

Burger Chef was bought by Hardee's hamburger chain and eventually all Burger Chefs either converted to Hardee's or were closed down in the 1980s.

Well here's the commercial of the week, uploaded to YouTube by WookieCookie.

For more fun, check out the Burger Chef group on Flickr.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #12: Cookie Crisp Cereal

Sorry that I took a few weeks off from Saturday Commercial Breaks. Now I'm back.

Here's a fun animated commercial from the early 1980s. It's Cookie Jarvis, the wizard, and the Cookie Crook promoting Ralston-Purina's Cookie Crisp cereal. Ah, cookies for breakfast...!

Feel free to post a comment and share your memories of Cookie Crisp cereal. I ate this a few times, but cookie cereal just wasn't right for me. But I did enjoy old Cookie Jarvis.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #11: McDonald's

This week's commercial pick is a Wild West themed trip for the McDonaldLand friends. Ronald McDonald, Mayor McCheese, Captain Crook and the Hamburglar star in this one from 1976.

This was uploaded to YouTube by Namzso1.

I've always been a big fan of 1970s McDonaldLand. Feel free to post a comment with your memories from this era.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #10: Funny Face with Goofy Grape

In keeping with the Funny Face theme this week, here's a 1970s commercial featuring an animated Goofy Grape preparing to quench some thirsts at a basketball game.

Be sure to check out my other Funny Face posts from this week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Funny Face Coupon

I was sifting through a pile of vintage coupons recently, and was thrilled to discover this cool offer for Funny Face drink mix. It is not dated, but would be from between 1965 and 1967.

Fortunately no one cashed in on this sweet "Save 7 Cents" deal, which equals more fun for me some 40 years later. :-)

Characters from left to right are:
  • Loud-Mouth Lime
  • Freckle Face Strawberry
  • Lefty Lemon
  • Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry
  • Jolly Olly Orange
  • Choo Choo Cherry
  • Goofy Grape
(click to see larger version)

Funny Face Coupon

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Funny Face Cartoon Series?

Funny Face cartoon series, you say? Yes, I did. And no, you are not dreaming!

My friend Dan at a sampler of things alerted me to the news that Renegade Animation has obtained the rights to make a pilot for a cartoon series based on the old Funny Face characters.

Funny Face was a powdered drink mix, like Kool-Aid, made by Pillsbury in the 1960s and 1970s. Each flavor featured a funny, anthropomorphic fruit character. Many kids from that era have such fond memories of Funny Face, and this will most certainly stir up more nostalgia in anticipation of the cartoon.

You can read more information about the project at Cartoon Brew who recently broke the news.

The characters featured in the picture above are:
  • Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry
  • Loud-Mouth Lime
  • Goofy Grape
  • Jolly Olly Orange
  • Freckle-Face Strawberry
  • Captain Black Cherry
  • Lefty Lemon
  • Choo Choo Cherry
There were several other Funny Face drink characters over the years, but this represents the nucleus of the gang.

I expect great things from this production. Renegade Animation does tremendous work, producing many wonderful shows such as the revival of Mr. Men which airs on Cartoon Network.

As the plans are currently to make a pilot, there's no guarantee that the series will be picked up for a run on TV. Along with the enthusiasm there's uncertainty. Because of that, I urge everyone to help spread the news! Notify your friends, post a note on your blogs, websites and social networks. We can help by creating a buzz about the show in advance.

If you're helping to spread the word, please post a comment in reply here. Include a link to your blog post, website, etc. where you're helping to spread the word. Thanks in advance!

Can you tell how excited I am? :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #9: Trix Cereal

Here's a fun commercial for Trix cereal by General Mills in 1978. The Silly Rabbit is scheming, once again to get a bowl of that fruity goodness!

They were giving away great Marvel Super Hero stickers in this promotion.

This commercial was uploaded to YouTube by Antifrodis.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #8: Orange Hawaiian Punch

This week's commercial is for orange-flavored Hawaiian Punch -- for breakfast!

The little man with the funny hat, of course, is "Punchy" and he's always been a favorite of mine. If you recall watching these commercials over the years, you know they usually end the same way, with Oaf taking a beating from Punchy!

This was uploaded to YouTube by daftmahatma.

I never get tired of watching these. You can read more about Punchy here in a previous article I wrote.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #7: Keebler Elves

Today's installment in the Saturday Commercial Break series is from Keebler cookies in 1985. Ernie and the rest of the Keebler Elves are up in the tree-house baking up some of their new Soft Batch cookies. Mmmm!

This was uploaded to YouTube by sheaguevara.

Feel free to post a comment and share your memories of the Keebler Elves. See you again next week.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #6: Hardee's

This week's Saturday Commercial Break is from Hardee's restaurants in 1972. The man behind the counter is enthusiastically telling customers about the Hardee's Huskee Jr. burger.

This was uploaded to YouTube by alecwally23.

I'd love to find some '70s Hardee's commercials with the old characters named Gilbert Giddyup and Speedy McGreedy. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2008

On behalf of my pal Uncle O'Grimacey and myself, we'd like to wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a vintage plastic cup from the 1970s. These were given away in McDonald's around St. Patrick's Day when they were serving up Shamrock Shakes.

The beloved Uncle O'Grimacey, pictured here, was the Irish uncle of Grimace, and he would usher in the Shamrock Shakes season with all the pomp and circumstance that one would expect around McDonaldLand.

If you can still get Shamrock Shakes in your area, or if you've spotted Uncle O'Grimacey, let me know!

Uncle O'Grimacey

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #5: Frosted Flakes

For today's commercial break, let's enjoy an oldie from Kelloggs Frosted Flakes cereal, starring Tony the Tiger. Tony was voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft, who gave us one of the most recognizable commercial slogans -- They'rrrre Grrrrreat!

This commercial appears to be from the 1960s and was uploaded to YouTube by Freenbean.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #4: Charlie Tuna

This week's Saturday Commercial Break is from Starkist Tuna, featuring everyone's favorite sea-dwelling hipster -- Charlie Tuna.

In this 1970s spot, uploaded to YouTube by daftmahatma, Charlie is planning a vacation and a new way to impress the folks at Starkist.

Stay classy, Charlie!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #3: Cheetos

For this week's installment in the Saturday Commercial Break series, I've selected a great animated Chee-tos spot from the mid 1970s. It features one of my favorite advertising characters -- the sophisticated Chee-tos Mouse. In this adventure, he's taken his sailboat out to sea and, of course, brought along some delicious snacks.

You might enjoy my previous blog post regarding the Chee-tos Mouse here.

If you're wondering, yes, they used to spell Chee-tos with a dash, but they don't do that anymore. Here's a link to the official Cheetos website.

This commercial was uploaded to YouTube by TVNETWORKS.

Please post a comment and share your memories of the Cheetos Mouse.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #2: Nestle Quik and Atari

Continuing in my new weekly series, this Saturday's commercial features the Nestle Quik bunny and friends playing some Atari video games. This was uploaded to YouTube by retroist.

I think this would be from the early 1980s or maybe late 1970s. Mix up a tall glass of Nestle Quik and have a great Saturday!

As always, I'd love to hear your comments about this commercial and memories of Nestle Quik or Atari. See you again next Saturday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Commercial Break #1: Cocoa Krispies

Hey blogfriends! I'm starting a new weekly series today called Saturday Commercial Break.

Each Saturday I will highlight a classic TV commercial, transporting us all back to Saturday mornings filled with bowls of Super Sugar Crisp cereal, Hong Kong Phooey cartoons and Incredible Hulk pajamas. [ Insert your own cereal, cartoon and pajama type for the full effect! ]

As always, I welcome your comments and memories you wish to share.

[ These commercials will all be embedded from YouTube and should display if you've got Flash installed in your browser. Click the play button and ZING, off you go! ]

On with the show... this is it!

Saturday Commercial Break #1: Cocoa Krispies

Here's a commercial from the late 1970s featuring Tusk Tusk the elephant, trumpeting the wholesome goodness of Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies cereal. This was uploaded to YouTube by lloydbentman.

Enjoy the commercial break, and please post a comment with your Cocoa Krispies memories or your opinion of this commercial. Stay tuned for next week!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

McDonald's Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!

To celebrate the day, I thought I'd share some old Valentines. McDonald's used to give these away over several years in the 1970s. Here are four Valentines from 1974 (or maybe 1973), making this the earliest set that I've found.

Here we have:
  • Ronald McDonald
  • Captain Crook
  • Officer Big Mac
  • Evil Grimace
In the early days of McDonaldLand, Captain Crook had green hair, as shown on this card. Shortly afterwards the green hair was cut to make him look more like an average pirate that you'd see on the street back then.

Also of note is the Evil Grimace. Our furry friend Grimace used to have four arms and was originally a bad guy called the "Evil Grimace". This is one of the last promotions that I've found with the four-armed version. After this, they dropped the "Evil" from his name, dropped two of the arms and made him into the more friendly-looking Grimace that most of us know.

Here are the cards. Enjoy!

Ronald McDonald Valentine

Captain Crook Valentine

Officer Big Mac Valentine

Evil Grimace Valentine
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