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Official Article

Retro Comic Book Ads and Commercials

It's been quite a while since I went digging for old TV, toy and candy ads hiding within the pages of my rapidly aging comic book collection in this article. So I figure it's high time we take a nostalgia trip with the aid of old newsprint that's sure to bring out the kid in you. Adding to the fun, I decided to include some old commercials that tie into the ads, so let's go!

Kideo TV (1986)


I totally remember the Kideo TV logo popping up a lot during my 80's Saturday Morning Cartoon watching, often featuring a PSA message from Captain Kangaroo or these weird punk rock teens, but I never realized it was an actual syndicated programming block. The Get Along Gang was probably my favorite of this group, though I watched a fair amount of Popples as well. I remember Lady Lovely Locks toy commercials, but not what I assume was her short-lived cartoon series. It's weird that all these characters shared a universe.


This Kideo TV interstitial segment is from my personal video collection. Do you remember these guys?

Oreo Cookies Mickey Mouse Club Promotion (1987)


80's era Disney and Nabisco have always been linked in my mind and I think it was cross-promotions like this which created that synergy. There's also the fact that 3 Oreos placed in the right configuration look like the silhouette of Mickey's iconic head. I just love Miami Vice style Mickey Mouse from 1987 rockin' his t-shirt and blazer. Plus that Mickey Mouse Club Logo is a thing of beauty that I may steal for my own business someday (y'know, if I start one).


This commercial is another from my VHS library, not the exact same promotion, but a very similar scenario of an animated Mickey visiting a live-action kid in their kitchen.

Bonkers Candy and Robot Watch (1985)


Speaking of Nabisco, though they were best known for cookies and crackers, they also had their hand in the candy explosion of the 80s and comic book pages were filled with ads for this unique treat. Taking on the appearance and texture of gum, bonkers were rectangular fruit chews with an unforgettably strange marketing campaign. An aging housewife from the midwest would try a bonkers candy, then literally get BONKED with a giant piece of fruit which would send her into a laughing fit. Old people mascots marketing to kids always struck me as odd.


Also connected to Bonkers for a while was this offer to get a transforming Robot-Watch for $3.95 and 3 Bonkers labels. There were several versions of the Robot-Watch offered by many companies, but I think this is the strangest tie-in since Bonkers had zero sci-fi or adventure elements in their advertising. Unless the giant fruit were actually meteors from outers space containing pod people, YIKES!


Here's an example of the classic Bonkers TV Ads that used to play Saturday Mornings.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1985)


Was there any other toy line/cartoon show that had better promo art than Masters of the Universe? Even their comic book ads were painted masterpieces! Although it was odd to promote an animated show using higher quality artwork than Filmation was ever budgeted to produce. Our buddy Vaporman87 must be thrilled to see his favorite Eternian mech-man, Roboto bringing up the rear of the heroes line-up, but you gotta feel bad for ol' Whiplash on the villain side. Just look at Skeletor totally stealing the green guy's face time. Could the artist not have worked a little harder on the layout to prevent such embarrassment?


Let's not forget that Masters of the Universe had some of the coolest toy commercials as well.

She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985)


Because we believe in equal representation here, let's enjoy this ad for She-Ra: Princess of Power. I'll admit that I played with my female cousin's She-Ra figures when I was over to visit. I mean how could I resist, they were so sparkly. I watched the show a fair amount as well and got a kick out of Loo-Kee revealing where he was hiding at the end of the episodes. I think it shows a lot of Filmation's faith in Princess Adora that this ad only has text announcing "Guest Appearances by He-Man", without pushing one of her teammates out of the spotlight for a picture of the "most powerful man in the universe".



Of course getting the combined forces of the royal siblings of Eternia was a monumental TV event.

I hope you enjoyed this multimedia (there's a word you don't hear anymore) look back at some great retro comic book ads. Let's do it again soon. If you want more commercials like these you can always check out my YouTube channel that's full of those mini-movies that used to play between our favorite kids shows here

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Superman Posted on Apr 19, 2018 at 02:58 PM

This is a fine collection of retro ads. I especially like the Mickey Mouse one.

jkatz Posted on Mar 29, 2018 at 01:03 AM

Oh my God that Mickey Mouse logo is so deliciously 80s. I love it.
I have a lot of old comics that I've dug out of quarter bins and I come across those two Bonkers ads a lot.

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 26, 2018 at 03:00 PM

Of course I’m partial to the MOTU promos here (especially since they include rad bot Roboto), but I’ve got to admit the Mickey dressed like Crockett is sweet.

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