That’s right! It’s time for another sequel in the old comic book ads universe. This makes the fourth time that we’ll be heading down memory lane to check out cool old adds. We’ve got some junk food stuff, video game stuff, trading cards, and toys so it should be a fun edition! Let’s get to it.
Nintendo Cereal (1989)
In 1989, I was all about Nintendo. It had probably taken over as my favorite toy by that point if you want to consider it a toy. And I was already self-aware of my finer tastes in junk food. So Nintendo cereal coming along was right up my alley. And given how I love gimmicky junk food, the fact that this mimmicked Nerds cereal by featuring two different flavors packaged sperately in the same box made it a sure bet that a box of this would end up coming home from the grocery store with us.
I can’t recall what it tasted like, but the box says the Mario cereal is “fruity” and the Zelda cereal is “berry”. Each one appears to feature three different shapes based on items that appeared in each game, but I see no marshmallows. That’s not a good start for a kid’s cereal if you want to make it long-term. But the ad itself is quite nice featuring the box, and the popular characters from the games.
American Defense Action Figures (1987)
These American Defense figures are the first G.I. Joe “bootleg” figures I recall seeing. Or at least the first bootlegs of decent quality. FOr the most part, they were constructed the same way as our beloved Joes, but with cheaper materials. And while they may not have made for a good figure line on their own, they were certainly great at filling the role of figures who could take the bullet or jump on the grenade instead of your favorite Joe characters. And let’s be honest, we all needed figures like that. You can’t just have Gung-Ho or Quick Kick taking an early exit from play time, No, you need some fodder inthe lineup so the real stars can continue on with the mission.
1990/1991 NBA Hoops Trading Cards (1990)
This set of NBA Hoops cards were my first foray into the worl of basketball cards. And I was into them at the dawn of what would be my glory years of trading. I saw them at my local grocery store one day and bought a few packs. I really didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that some other kids at school were trading basketball cards and these were basketball cards. I found that I loved them. The silver border was cool. I knew some of the players, there were rookie cards and all-star cards to try and find, and my friends at school now wanted to include me in their trading. All was well with these cards.
The next time we went to the store, I spent my whole allowance on packs of these. When we got to the car, my mom threw a fit about me using that money on cards. She gave me lecture on how cards aren’t worth what people think they are. In her words, “if they were worth anything, they wouldn’t put them in those packs. They’d just sell them for what they’re worth.” She clearly didn’t understand how the secondary market worked. And she didn’t understand that having these cards got me into a somewhat exclusive group at school. To me, that made these cards worth spending a whole week’s allowance on.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest for Nintendo (1987)
I’ve never hidden the fact that this game is my favorite all-time for Nintendo. Most players hold Castevania III in much higher regard that this, and I can see where they are coming from. Dracula’s Curse was an amazing game with an amazing feature that let you keep changing which character you were using. But for me it all goes back to this my first role-playing game, and I had bought it myself with weeks and weeks worth of saved up allowance money. Thus, I prefer this over the more poular Castlevania III.
And this ad…boy is it a beaut! It’s got screen shots, box art, details on the game via intricate storytelling, and great art that is relative to what the game is. Take out the fact that this is my favorite game, the ad itself is just really good. It sends a pretty good message as to what you would be getting in the game and creating a sense of need to own it. Even Don Draper and the boys at Sterling Cooper would be proud to have made this ad.