A couple of years back, I wrote about Five Classic Christmas Commercials. That post featured some commercials that I’m most nostalgic for, as they still stand out in my memory from childhood. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get back to the concept, but we’re going to look at five more Christmas classics.
Hills Department Store (mid-80s)
We all had favorite department stores when we were younger, you know, back before Wal-Mart and Amazon were the go-to destinations. In my area, that department store was Hills. Going to Hills was a treat any time of the year, but at Christmas, it was simply magical. No other store around had as big of a selection of toys as Hills, and they always made sure to flaunt that fact. They weren’t lying when they said “Hills is where the toys are”, as you can certainly see in this commercial. And man, seeing that U.S.S. Flagg is still quite a sight even today.
McDonald’s Holiday Chicken McNuggets (1987)
McDonald’s Holiday Chicken McNuggets have quite a reputation in the retro community, as a lot of people seem to remember the promotion fondly. In short, at Christmas, you could get McNuggets in 9-pack or 20-pack boxes that looked like Christmas presents, and they came with seasonal dipping sauces different from their normal offerings. What’s not to love about all of this?!? These things could hit the market today and become a big hit all over again.
Nintendo Action Set (1988)
For a period in the ’80s, Nintendo was THE toy on everybody’s wish list. I actually got mine at a random time of year and not for Christmas, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. I am jealous of all the cool kids though who got this action set with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, and the zapper gun. Mine only came with the Nintendo Player’s Guide.
Pound Puppies at Hardees (1986)
Pound Puppies were a big deal for a while in 1986, and I wanted them as much as the next kid. But they were pricey when it came to the full-sized versions, so getting a miniature from Hardees was a sweet deal. I think I had two of them from this promotion, and they were the only Pound Puppies I was ever fortunate enough to have.
Burger King’s Chicken Tenders (1985)
W covered the Holiday McNuggets earlier, and while their presentation was cool, Burger King’s Chicken Tenders were vastly superior when it came to taste. And while you could get a 9 or 20-pack of McNuggets, you could get Chicken Tenders in 50-pack boxes! You were going to be the hero of the family Christmas party if you showed up with a 50-pack of these things!
I miss BK Chicken Tenders SO much. The nuggets have similar seasoning, I think, but these were still superior.
I had some of those Hardee’s Pound Puppies growing up, and still have one today. Not sure what happened to the other, though. Hope it’s doing alright for itself.
Never had a Hills.
McDonald’s needs to bring those seasonal dipping sauces back.
I had that NES set. Wouldn’t get the guide you mentioned until many years later, and I wish I’d gotten it a lot sooner, but what can you do?
Never saw a Hill’s, store or ad, so that was new to me. But I do recall the novelty chicken McNuggets used to have. Something special!
Hills is one of my favorite memories. I bought almost all my toys there. G.I. Joe, He-Man, Secret Wars. The Hills in Irwin, PA.
And here today, I’m drinking out of my Hills Department Store coffee cup. 😀