Thursday, February 25, 2010

And the Nostalgia Continues....

Remember when you were a young buck and simple things would get you all riled up? I’m talking about simple things like Legos or a giant cardboard box, real elementary stuff. But much like today, commercials were what really got the kids to buy whatever crap was the hot product. Remember there used to be tons of commercials for awesome toys? Maybe it's because I don’t watch Saturday morning cartoons anymore (or, not that much) but I feel like the only commercials I see now are for beer and Oxi-Clean products. Sure there are still a few good jingles out there, but it's not the central part of commercials like it used to be. When I was a youth, if I saw an awesome commercial with a catchy theme song for some retarded toy or game, I had to have it. Thank God my parents were cool and would usually drop the $10-15 on the useless piece of crap just to shut me up. If not I'd probably be into poetry and Coldplay now.

So, although this may be more of a personal list, these are the top 5 most memorable commercials from my childhood. Not necessarily most memorable because of the product, but more because I still find myself singing the jingle now and again. And on a side note, I thought I might have a little trouble finding some of these; no sir. Apparently there are people even more retarded than I am, but they're computer savvy enough to put these on YouTube. God bless those people.

5- Mr. Bucket

Finds it way onto the list, not because it was a great toy, in fact I don’t know anyone who actually had it, but rather because even at a young age the line “I’m Mr. Bucket, balls pop out of my mouth” was hilarious. And was this the attempt of the toy maker to create the most ambiguously gay toy of all-time? Seriously, this has to be the dumbest game ever, just putting balls in a bucket and waiting for them to come out. "No honey, don't hire a babysitter, we'll just get the kids a Mr. Bucket, they'll be occupied for hours while we're out scoring crack." Real educational stuff.

4- Flintstones Vitamins

Ten million strrrrroonnnnng….and growing. Who could forget that? Great stuff, but really they didn’t even need the clever jingle to sell these things. Kids loved them cause they tasted like candy and parents loved them because they were “vitamins.” These things were crack for grade schoolers. They're also a vital part of a theory of mine. Now, personally I have a strong immune system, I rarely get sick. I can say the same for my brothers. And, maybe it’s just me being a hard-ass, but I feel like kids nowadays get sick a lot more often than I did when I was growing up. The reason? Because I ate Flintstones Vitamins like they were Pez. They had to have something good for you in them, so by going through a bottle a week I was loading up on some sort of super medicine that protected me from all ailments. Without knowing it, Flintstones Vitamins created a generation of super-humans. Don't believe me? Ask LeBron James, Michael Phelps, Reggie Bush and Sidney Crosby if they took Flintstones Vitamins. I feel like parents now either a) don’t give Flintstones Vitamins because they’re total crap or b) don’t let kids consume mass quantities because they’re “medicine.” Look, if it were possible to overdose on Flintstones Vitamins, I would’ve done it by age 6. And the line in the commercial "no one knows more about helping kids grow into it than Flintstones?" I'll take a doctor over Fred Flintstone.

3- Connect Four

GO FOR IT, CONNECT FOUR! Now this was a great game. Again, no real skills involved, but just non-stop action. Sure my 10 year old cousin can whoop my ass in chess, but bust out a Connect Four game and I’ll mop the floor with the little shit. And the jingle was what a jingle should be; catchy, simple and to the point. How many times when someone says “go for it” now does someone else chime in with an aggressive “CONNECT FOUR!”? I’d say 75-80% is a safe assumption, but again, that could be because my friends are retarded.

2- Cross Fire

The game Cross Fire was a major player in a serious sea change right at the perfect time. We were getting a little older in the mid 90’s starting to move on from “little kid games” when Milton Bradley dropped this bomb on us. The commercial was sick; two dudes in sick leather jackets battling in out in what strangely resembles a futuristic Hell, through lightning bolts and molten lava and ending with a rock-star type high pitched “CROSSSSFIYYYYYAAAA!!!!” Listen to the song, it sounds like the lead singer of a Van Halen cover band; dude can hit all the notes. I still sing this song and it always gets a solid reaction from dudes my age, and looks of “what the fuck are you talking about,” from girls and younger bros. Believe me, it's worth knowing this song.

1- PlaySkool Dinosaurs

This is definitely more of a personal one, but MGM knows exactly what I’m talking about. PlaySkool, who was no stranger to success in the "useless toy" world, really knocked the ball out of the park with their Dinosaurs. I mean, you could play with them real rough! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the lyrics to this commercial, which completely personified toys of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Poor production quality, shitty set, crappy toys, a catchy theme song and of course, kids with bowl-cuts. Love the line by the dude at the end. No you didn't scare me bro, but your inevitable slide into child-actor drugs and alcohol definitely scared your parents.

Honorable mention: Chia, Hess Truck, Hungry-Hungry Hippos
Would love to hear other peoples' favorites so I can relive being 8 again and escape from the cruel, cruel world that is my adult life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post made my day.