November 26, 1984. The Wilkes-Barre, Penn, Times Leader newspaper offers up this “sale” that I am sure is nothing special when it comes to price. $3.50 for an Autobot minicar in 1984 feels to me about $0.50 over what the regular price was for the toys at the time. Am I right?
This Osco advertisement for Hasbro’s G.I. Joe is from the same newspaper where I found this ad for the
Robo Force, Star Wars, Roadbots, and Starriors toys last year, leaving us to ask: Why didn’t I spot this last year? Sometimes, when I am searching the newspaper archives, I zero in on an item and then move on. I can’t imagine how insane I would go if I stared at all of the pages of a single newspaper in one pass . . .
I paid something like $20 when I bought Shockwave in 1985, and I know I’d happily pay that again if I found a G1 Shockwave for sale at that price. (Yes, I have one. I know, it would be silly to buy another. But we all know I would for that price.) If only I had waited until 1986 I could have gotten two for $20, as we see in this November 13, 1986, Newark Advocate newspaper ad from Newark, Ohio. Shockwave is still the best of the G1 toys, and it is always a treat to spot the toy for sale in an old newspaper ad.
December 13, 1984. We’ve seen both the Ro-Gun cheap transforming robot toy (battlegrip.com search) and Tomy’s Starriors (battlegrip.com search) before, but that isn’t going to stop us from enjoying this newspaper ad for the two. The West Palm Beach, Florida Palm Beach Post had these two in an Albertson’s ad, which again reminds us that cool toys were once available in grocery stores. That’s not as common today as it was decades ago.
Here’s a line of cheap transforming robot toys from the eightes that is new to me. From the December 16, 1985 issue of the Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Republic newspaper comes this ad block that is sure to set me off in search for information on the line. So far, this post at the-liberator.net is the best I’ve uncovered. Okay, those pics make me ready to seek out more info about the Androforms robot toys.
July 30, 1986. The South Florida Sun of Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers up this Walgreens coupon to get Mattel’s Masters of the Universe action figures for only $4/each. This ad is one of many early warning signs that the brand was in trouble; as we know, 1987 sales of Masters of the Universe were so weak that the line came to a close.
March 22, 1984. Avalon Hill’s Lords of Creation roleplaying game (Amazon.com search*) makes an appearance in this newspaper article from the Akron Beacon Journal of Akron, Ohio. I’ve not touched on the Lords of Creation RPG often (2016 post), but only because there’s not a lot of old marketing and advertising material for the game. It was an unusual approach — a player can become the GM by gaining enough experience, and it is multi-genre — and there are some nifty concepts hiding inside the game books.
After last week’s ad for the Powers & Perils roleplaying game, I pulled the game from the shelf and spent a little time flipping through the books. Yeah, complicated stuff, maybe too complicated for what you get. Fortunately, the box also had this treasure: An order form from Avalon Hill!