Pencil boxes, pencils, assorted school supplies. So much awesome stuff for the kids to take to school back in 1978 and me here all of the way in 2019 unable to enter the contest and try to win these prizes. Those UK Star Wars Weekly comics are packed with fun ads!
One of the stranger things about the seventies is how the Marvel and DC characters were often lumped together by toymakers. For example, this 1978 Star Wars Weekly back cover ad has Spider-Man and Batman toys promoted in the same place. There is no way we would see something like this today.
Out of issue #16 of the UK Star Wars Weekly comic book — which was then reprinting the Marvel series — comes this advertisement for Star Wars key rings, just one of a flood of inexpensive Star Wars merchandise that was dumped on the world in 1977 and 1978. I haven’t seen these myself, but I suspect that they’re pretty cheap.
From 1978 and the Superhero Catalogue comes this two-page spread of awesome Batman toys and trinkets of the seventies. Out of all of the toys shown here, I remember having the Batman Colorforms when I was about five . . . and that’s all. I never had those amazing Corgi Batman vehicles, the utility belt, or the other unusual (and likely cheap) toys.
Here we the Mattel Captain Power advertisement that I, back when I was a kid, was most familiar with. Why is that? Simple: Mattel ran this ad in multiple issues of the Captain America comic book at exactly the time I was first reading the book. I watched a few episodes of Captain Power as a kid, but it was this exact ad and the commercials that I encountered more than I ever did the storyline or the actual toys.
This advertisement for Hostess Cup Cakes and Twinkies reminds me: What happened to the days when snack, cereal, and other food manufacturers would print trading cards on their packaging? As a kid, I always loved the fun of cutting out and collecting the cards, and this ad has me wondering: Do kids today just not care at all about physical collectibles like trading cards, or have the food makers simply stopped trying to appeal to the kids?
Here’s a look at NBC’s Saturday morning cartoon schedule for 1978, showing us the Fantastic Four cartoon at the top spot on the roster. I keep trying to figure out why I cannot remember watching the Fantastic Four cartoon when I was a kid, but then I catch a bit of info about the series and silently thank the cartoon gods that I didn’t see this back when it was on the air. I got off easy, gang!
Even though the ad is dated 1978, I uncovered it in a 1979 Star Wars comic book, leaving us to ask: Exactly what year was this advertisement first seen by kids? It likely doesn’t really matter if the ad first landed in the world in 1978 or 1979, but it’s the little things like this that can gnaw and gnaw at my mind as I struggle to get through the day. Hey, it’s important that we get the dates right, kids!