12/29/17

FAIL Friday: The Things That I See (continued)

It's that time again! Time to look at some of the baffling things I have run across.  Here we go:

Here is a CD-single of some sort of dance song from 1998 (attempting to cash in on the American Godzilla "film")...but NOPE, it's not even Godzilla at all, on the cover.  It's Yongary, a Korean co-production (attempting to cash in on the Japanese Godzilla films).

NOT quite Oscar the Grouch.
Quarter machines are, to this day, the protected (well, let's say ignored) bastions of bootleggers, but you can't just add a letter...and change the color...and expect us to...oh well, here's another one:

NOT quite Ultraman and his brethren.
This one is especially infuriating to the type of people that read this blog.  In a way, it sort of looks like what an American 1970's ULTRA BROTHERS comic book would have looked like, with everyone different colors...but, what do you expect from bootleggers, anyway? They think a quarter is worth 10 cents!

Okay, I had to see what this would look like:


I do too, Chinese backpack.  I do too.
This is from an, apparently, Chinese-made backpack ordered from Amazon.  I can only assume that the word at the top is, perhaps, supposed to be "CHANGE," but then again, who knows.  And the drawing on the left...is maybe, a cap of some sort? It's open to interpretation.

Not Bronze Age, or Golden Age...."Renaissance Age".

I love old comics...heck, I prefer old comics. But this is absurd, Amazon.  Do these include hand-drawn illuminations by monks?

12/28/17

Godzilla Party Invitations (Paper Art, c. 1995)

Here's a sealed pack of 8 invitations and envelopes.  You will notice that the art and logo fall in line with the early Trendmasters stuff, so I'm dating this around 1995, since there is no date present.  
Would you be confused if you got one of these in the mail? Would you wonder why? Well, don't worry...

The inside quickly tells you:  IT'S A PARTY.  Whew! Not necessarily a birthday party, just a party.  At least we know what the inside looks like, without having to open them!
Paper Art produced other party supplies, such as a paper tablecloth, party hats, and, I believe, blowers, all with this logo! You can party like it's 1995!

12/18/17

Godzilla Jokes and Riddles Coloring Book (Cinnamon House, 1979)

Here is an exquisite rarity that I learned about last year, when I missed out on a Japanese Yahoo auction due to the time difference.  I had known about the other three Cinnamon House activity books, which I own:  Godzilla Dot-To-Dots (has a very similar cover), Godzilla Search-A-Word Shapes, and Godzilla Puzzlers, which all three also came out in 1979.  We will have to do a post on them at some point--all four of these books are pretty rare! And, there are very few items tied to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.


The premised of this coloring book (unused, thank goodness) is exactly what the title says.  Pages to color, interspersed with several original, but really bad jokes.  This would have been right up my alley in 1979, but even small me wouldn't have told some of these.  Let's take a look:

Nope....this one was phoned-in.  At least Godzilla is "on-model," that's the nicest thing you can say for this coloring book!
Groan...that's not a potato!
Through the dimming prism of time, we can look at the design of the Stone Creatures and laugh, because they look like California Raisins...or wait, exactly like a Geodude, a Pokemon!

Lizard Minnelli? What kid is going to get that? Or, Studio 54 for that matter? Wait a second, what was that?
Oh dear! My daughter said this "looks like the woman on Shark Tank." At least now we have an idea where Minya might have come from....!
Another phoned-in oldie on the left...on the right: it's funny to stop and think about how omnipresent the Goodyear Blimp was in the 1970's.  It was a huge deal at the time.

Both of these are confusing...Roston Ruins? Did this turn into the Scooby Doo jokebook? I do like the way Godzilla is sitting on cars at the drive-in, but I'm not sure the illustrator had seen REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, to come up with this:
Looks more like THE GODZILLAFATHER to me...oh crap, now I'm doing it. Help.

I'd like to say the bad puns are over, but...Smashbrowns. The worst joke, to me, was a page that didn't get photographed...no amount of discussion can prepare you for this, so here goes...get ready:

Why did Godzilla get divorced?
Because he's a home-wrecker.

Really, Cinnamon House? You just did that?

"It's a laugh riot!"

12/15/17

FAIL Friday: Hilarious Bootleg Action Figures

Here are two amusing bootleg action figures that I have recently encountered.  This one got away:

Remember that time when Spider-Man, Batman, and Zorro fought a dinosaur in the desert that is in front of the Capitol Building?
This one, however, did not:


It's called BATMAN & SUPER HERO, but it's just Batman. Having a fashion crisis.  What's unfortunate is that we can't read the complete text behind him:


We can see THE STORY OF BANMAN BEYOND, and a paragraph that ends with something about "the Neural..." but we can't be completely sure of the Engrish content behind the sword-thing.


There is also an axe-thing:

Is that a giant fist that holds the axe-thing? What in the world are you supposed to do with it?

12/14/17

Absolutely Bonkers Bootleg EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Cover Description!


In honor of tonight's premiere of THE LAST JEDI (I don't know if people realize this, but this is the real turning point for Disney.  Everything else up to this point, opinions aside, has been based on nostalgia, and was pretty "safe".  This is them taking the reins, completely, for the first time.  I read that there were no co-writers, even, this time....it better be good, Disney, or you are dead to me.).

You will have to click and enlarge the above photo, but you are in for a treat.  We have looked at a lot of "Engrish" from time to time on this blog, but I think the above better qualifies as "complete gobbledegook."

This is from the cardboard cover to a bootleg EMPIRE STRIKES BACK DVD that was in my local Goodwill the other day.  Just the cover, because that's all there was.  No DVD, no insides that would even hold a DVD.  Just the cover.  Luckily, I snapped this photo of it.

Here is a summary of the three sections:
1) A review of EPISODE I, that was typed with someone's toes, underwater, and in complete darkness.
2) A block of Chinese characters...that could say anything.
3) A cut-and-paste of a forum post, or perhaps a relative's e-mail, stolen from somewhere...apparently to fill space.

12/11/17

GIGANTIS, THE FIRE MONSTER Pressbook (Warner Bros., 1959)


Here is the 1959 Pressbook for Godzilla's second Americanized feature, GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER.  We all know that in reality, it was Godzilla's first meeting with Angilas (or Anguirus, if you are so inclined), but for the picture, the monsters were renamed to Gigantis and Angurus.  A superb woodcut-themed art campaign was crafted for WB's striking posters and ads, which you can see in the following pages:




You will notice the mention of "teaser" ads; apparently somebody at Warner Bros. thought highly enough of their investment that they did a rare thing, at least for Godzilla movies:  they issued a "teaser" poster....today, this is business as usual, of course, for any "special effects" film (read: "CGI cartoon").


Unfortunately, in many areas, GIGANTIS was lumped into a double-feature with the lackluster TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE.  Wikipedia says that in some places, the second film was actually RODAN, which would have been the way to go!

But, what's this? A coloring contest! Here is a better photo:


Feel free to print out and color...no prizes here, though, just the guaranteed feeling of accomplishment (patent pending).


Also notice special mention of the TEASER TRAILER (which, also today, is a common practice).  On the YouTubes, the full trailer and at least one TV spot are also easy to find.  At some point, I've seen an original combination ad that included TEENAGERS, which I thought was a TV spot, but it ran longer than the 20-second time mentioned above, so I will have to locate it and watch it again.
As for radio ads, an LP of them appeared on Ebay within the last year or so...it seems like the opening bid was set too high, and it didn't sell, if I remember right.



The above page shows some combo ads, and the posters that were available (but not the "teaser" though...interestingly enough).  


Here are sample ads for theater owners to buy newspaper space and use.  Imagine reading your breakfast paper, and amidst real news about Nikita Khruschev or the Space Race, you see this:


And now, the best part of any pressbook, "EXPLOITATION!"


Some of this is a little familiar...see my articles on other Godzilla pressbooks, (especially GHIDRAH). Let's look at some of it more closely:


This is very much like suggestions we have seen before, on this blog, but let me spell it out for you:  

Warner Brothers wants you to ask your "local armory" (you know, the one by the 7-11) for a flame thrower.  Or a bazooka.

After all, you can just "strap them on lobby board" (whatever that means), "behind roped-off area." I mean, that way the public can't handle your flame thrower.  
Robbed a bank? Stole a house full of furniture? No, "tried to promote his local theater's showing of GIGANTIS"

My favorite in the above photo is "Promote smashed auto from wrecking service."  I'm just going to let that sink in for a moment.  As if that were even possible, why not let the rest of the town gather around the wreckage of Patricia's uncle's car...you know, the one killed by the drunk driver? Look! Now it's got a funny sign on it! It says "SMASHED BY GIGANTIS!" Ha! That's hilarious!

By the way, was the theater-owner really supposed to "display" the crumbling wreckage of a destroyed automobile in front of the theater? (To say nothing of the safety of his patrons.) Surely not in the lobby, either? I feel like nobody in the "Exploitation" department thought any of this through...

But wait, there's more:


Invite your "Civil Defense" people to come and sit in the lobby of your theater for a few days. That's better than anything they are doing, right?

Also, arrange for "local shops" to have GIGANTIS sales, and you will need to include BIG bargains (get it? because GIGANTIS is big?) and LOW prices (which obviously makes sense, because.....wait, what is that supposed to refer to?) 


Today, we would say you should look for these people are "in basements," but I will submit to you that, in the 1950's, "Mouseketeers" were a thing, but "Science Fictioneers" was most certainly not.  Here I am, harassing my newspaper's science editor on a daily basis, and spending hours combing through all of my local mailing lists, and all because of your made-up words! You insult my intelligence, Warner Brothers "Exploitation" Department!

12/6/17

Godzilla VHS Promo Poster (Simitar/Blockbuster, 1998)

In 1998, Simitar released 5 Godzilla movies in the United States in multiple forms: both alone and in various boxed sets, and in both VHS and DVD formats.  (I remember buying the 5-DVD boxed set the same day I bought my first DVD player.) At Blockbuster stores, individually-wrapped VHS editions were packed with a folded promotional poster inside!

Unfortunately, the poster uses the wonky, GODZILLA 1985-inspired artwork from their KING OF THE MONSTERS, but I guess free is free. 

12/4/17

Godzilla Dr. Pepper Skateboard (Sport Fun, 1986)


If you recall, Dr. Pepper had a marketing campaign in 1985 & 1986 that included Godzilla (and resulted in some product placement in what was called GODZILLA 1985 in the USA).  We have looked at a bumper sticker and even a Diet Dr. Pepper can with a T-shirt offer, but this item stands at the top of that promotion, for sure.


Sean Linkenback first turned me on to the fact that this gem even existed.  This amazing item was a prize from grocery store drawings.  It was manufactured by Sport Fun, and it's unclear whether a few were actually sold via retail, or possibly mail-order, methods.


This one is a real beauty.  These skateboards have turned up two or three times in the past year or so, but it's hard to find one that wasn't actually used, like this one [note: my actual skateboard appears in the photos with a white background; the photos with carpet are from a much older auction].  But what sets it apart even further is that it includes the original box, which is that much more impossible to find.

Original shipping box with "DP" markings!
Top of original shipping box.  To the right you can see some writing done with a ballpoint pen, that says that the enclosed skateboard is "For the Kids," the rest of which is marked out.  Either the winner didn't need a skateboard, or possibly a Sport Fun employee obtained one, and gave it as a gift.
One of the crown jewels of any Godzilla collection!