11/30/18

Godzilla / Dr. Pepper Store Display Poster (Dr. Pepper, 1986)

Here is a quick post for a Friday afternoon.  I haven't even had a chance to take my own photographs of this jewel, but I need to get it on the site, so here we go swiping the seller's Ebay pics:


This amazing piece is a store display poster, measuring the unusual size of 13 x 28 inches.  This is from the fondly-remembered Dr. Pepper ad campaign during the time of GODZILLA 1985.  If you aren't familiar with the TV ads from the time (I believe there are two, with a cinema version of one that is slightly longer), they are on YouTube! Check them out; you won't be sorry!

Love, American style.
Even stranger, a new character was created for the ads--which, you have to believe, took Toho approval--which was a girl Godzilla called only "Newzilla."  Far as I know, she hasn't been heard from since [insert your own jokes about chemicals in diet soda here].

11/28/18

Star Wars Trilogy - 10th Anniversary VHS (CBS Fox, 1987)

I made a cool find the other day.  Here is the order that things became apparent to my brain:

1) Star Wars on VHS
2) The entire trilogy on VHS
3) Still sealed
4) With 10th Anniversary labels? Wait, STILL SEALED? 

Unfortunately, still in the original shrink wrap, but they had been opened from the bottom [If they hadn't, they would be worth some coin!].  However, the tapes are in brand-new condition, and the copies each contained a postcard discussing things that were available for the 10th Anniversary (the front of which is at the top of this post).

If you don't remember, or weren't there, in 1987, Star Wars was dead.  Dead, dead, dead.  [We can argue about whether it should be now....here's a hint, I lean toward "yeah, probably."] The movies were done, and so was the classic line of Kenner toys and the long-running Marvel comic.  There had been little new product, other than Saturday morning cartoons that under-performed, some sequels to the Ewok TV movie (that under-performed), oh, and also a failed 3-D comic from a different publisher (that also under-performed) that lasted 3 whole issues.

When you read the list of merchandise that was available, you can sort of form an understanding of the state of things:
Pins, jewelry, and...Hamilton plates.  Yes, now you could hang your tacky Star Wars plates next to your entire series of plates about the "Charles and Diana" wedding.  I'm sure there are folks that fondly remember the role-playing game, but it was incomprehensible to me.  We can probably agree that the STAR TOURS ride is the coolest thing on this list, even though it can be viewed as a precursor of impending doom.  And, note that you have to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive catalogs from each manufacturer! That was just the way things worked then, kids.

Here are the tapes themselves; essentially the 1984 releases in 1987 shrinkwrap, but lovely specimens of pure, unadulterated OT:
That's cool...wait, THIRTY BUCKS?! Oh yes, friends...anyone else around here remember that the first movies released to VHS were over a hundred dollars?





11/26/18

Brumberger - Morse Code Instruction Course (undated)


Not doing anything today? Maybe you'd like to take a few minutes, and learn Morse Code? Here is an undated 45 that I recently found, credited only to "Brumberger," and contains two beginner's lessons.  


Really, that's about all that I can say about this disc.....other than, by the time you get to Lesson 2, and they start showing you examples of letters and numbers, it struck me that they all start to sound the same.  I toyed with making a joke edit where each and every example was followed by the same couple of beeps.  In fact, the beeping they use on the record is pretty weak, and could have been a much more effective sound! The only other observation I can make is that I feel like Morse Code would be pretty difficult to learn, and even harder to keep up with once you were using it! What do you do when you are in the middle of a long sentence, and lose your place? 

LINK:  Morse Code Instruction Course

11/21/18

Canary Training Record / Training Your Parrakeet To Talk (1952)

A double-shot of helping people, which is what we do here...well, if you own a small and ridiculous bird, that is.  This is your one-stop shop for training your small and ridiculous birds.

First up is the well-titled "Canary Training Record," Featuring "The Hartz Mountain Master Canaries."  Take a moment to appreciate this.  These aren't just any run-of-the-mill padawan canaries; they are on the Council!
When I was young, my mother owned a parakeet, so I don't know much about canaries, but I do know this:  you can teach canaries to sing.  It's what they do.  I thought the purpose of this record was to teach them THESE SONGS, as in, the ones that are on the record.  The two sides of this record contain six classical songs (for want of an appropriate category) performed on organ and, for some strange reason, marimba.  
Well, if that is possible, it won't be with this record, because it sounds like the organist (and marimba-ist) are set up in a pet store.  There is random canary singing--several at once--going during the entire time each song is playing.  And no, it's not following along.  It sounds like complete chaos.
Maybe the point of this record is just to teach them to sing, randomly, and hearing other birds causes this? I don't know; I'm not a canariologist.
This record is undated, and the back shows you that you need approximately 25 different Hartz products to keep your one-ounce bird alive, so good luck!

Next on our agenda is "Training Your Parrakeet to Talk," from 1952.  You will notice right away that they use the archaic spelling of "Parrakeet," which my spell-correct keeps underlining, because today we (meaning "we" in the bird-training-record-posting field) use the more common "parakeet."  
Also right away, you will see that the "bird" featured on this record is named "Peter Parker."  Now, this pre-dates AMAZING FANTASY #15 by a good 10 years, but is it possible that Stan Lee's (or Steve Ditko's) wife had a non-talking parakeet, and he needed to go out and buy her this very record, which ended up inspiring the name of the alter-ego of his newest super hero? As Hong Kong Phooey would say, ".......Could be!"
This record has instructions, but also has an announcer, who reads you the instructions, which takes up half of the first side.  Now, I said "bird" in quotes earlier because I'm not 100% sure that the recording of the actual animal talking isn't faked.  As I said, having lived with a parakeet, I am aware of what they sound like.  Maybe I am just hearing him repeat his owner's weird voice, and that's what sounds strange to me, but I keep getting the suspicion that the talking passage isn't real.  Judge for yourself, though! It is interesting that as smart as he's supposed to be, he can't count correctly!
There is a second side to this record, but unfortunately, it's the "teaching" side, which means it's just a woman repeating a few phrases over and over (one of which, oddly enough, is "take a bite." I don't know why you would want your bird to say that.)  If all of this sounds familiar to you, it's because we have visited an entire LP of bird-training before, a couple of years ago.  You may still bear the scars.  
Here, for your listening torture, are both records, in one convenient place!

LINK:  Double-dose of Bird Training 45's

11/19/18

Boris Karloff - Tales of Mystery & Imagination (Cricket, 1959)

It has been a long time since we offered any audio around here, and I've had a pile of vinyl on my desk at home for some time.  I am glad to report, I addressed the entire thing this past weekend, and we have several surprises coming up in the next five or so posts!
First up, this.  An entire album where Boris Karloff reads Poe? Wait, though...it's not Poe.  It's actually two stories by Washington Irving.  But, it uses a Poe title, even though the two Washington Irving stories are often published together...okay.  It's a bit confusing.  So: an entire album where Boris Karloff reads Washington Irving? Yes, but there is still a downside.  He is constantly interrupted by kitchy 1959-ish songs by "The Cricketone Chorus & Orchestra."  (Cricket, by the way, actually being Pickwick, who would go on to crank out an endless supply of children's records for years.)  Just so you know what you are getting!
The good news is, this is the most "normal" item that is going to appear in our upcoming audio offerings!

LINK:  Karloff