I love sifting through old catalogs and sale papers from the ’80s and early ’90s. They’re filled with so much nostalgia with so many toys I had, and those I didn’t have but wanted gracing every page. For this Retro Ramblings entry, I’m going to highlight a few cool things I found in a KayBee Toys sale paper from 1989.
I’ve already documented my love for all things Nintendo here on the blog, and this ad for games is certainly in line with my love for all things Nintendo. Featured in the top left is my favorite game for the system, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. I also see some of my other favorites including Bionic Commando and WWF Wrestlemania. I could sit and look through old game ads all day and continue to drool over just how awesome we had it with our game systems back in the day.
Play-Doh Make-a-Meal Spaghetti Factory!
Play-Doh was never really a top toy in my book unless I had a cool playset like this for it. There was just so much you could do with sets like these with all the various presses and cutting tools. Besides making plates of spaghetti and meatballs like the set intended, you could do other things with them. Like make your own cool monsters with long stringy hair. The various playsets offered almost limited play that other toys couldn’t.
Micro Machines Super City Tool Box Playset!
In the past, I chronicled my fascination with the Super City Tool Box in a Classic Commercials post. While I never actually had the toy, I always wanted it. I had more than my fair share of Micro Machines, and several playsets, but this one always eluded me. I’m going to have to track one down on eBay now I think.
1989 Baseball Cards!
1988 was the zenith of baseball card collecting, well, until Covid-19 hit in 2020 and the hobby exploded all over again. But with 1988 being such a banner year for the business, it was no surprise that a ton of cards were also produced in 1989. Not all of them were good. Like these Bowman cards featured here in the paper. I had some Bowman ’89 cards in my collection back in the early ’90s, and they just weren’t good. They were slightly larger than other cards and were troublesome to get to fit into card pages. Plus they just seemed to be of cheaper quality. But all of that said, that would have been a good price to pick up a complete set of anything back then since finding all 492 cards in single packs would have cost a fortune.
Domino Rally Basic Set!
So in the early ’90s, I thought Domino Rally was just so cool. Forget the fact that I could have just taken all the sets of old school dominos that were scattered around our house and accomplished the same thing, I had to have the brightly colored, thin plastic dominos that came in these sets to set up and then knock over. Plus, Domino Rally sets came with cool pieces like bridges and loops that had dominos attached that you could add to your falling masterpiece. These things really upped the falling dominos game to new heights.
Being 1989, I’m thinking this is in the early days of the release of the system. That and I don’t see Sonic the Hedgehog’s mug plastered all over the ad. I do see Altered Beast though, and I know that was an early hit for the system. I was always a Super Nintendo guy, and I always will be. But even in saying that, I would be a fool to not want to highlight this from the ad. Any old game system is worth a mention in posts like these.
Well, there’s six highlights from an old KayBee Toys sale paper from 1989. I encourage you to check out our full scan of the entire thing in the Time Capsules section of the site and pick out your own highlights. If you do, drop them in the comments below so I can check out what you thought the top picks were. I always get excited about stuff like that.
Yep, 1989 was the release of the SEGA Genesis in North America, following its debut in Japan as the Mega Drive the previous year. =)
One thing that always fascinated me about these ads is the line art used in them, and I can’t help but wonder how it was produced.
I’ve wondered about that too. I know back in the ’60s ads were all done by artists and they were fantastic. Could they still have been doing that for cartoonish-looking toy ads like this?