Archive for the 'Ads' Category

The Sword and Sorcery Movie That Never Was: Paul Morrissey’s Torc

Torc Poster

I recently talked about Milton Subotsky’s Thongor: In the Valley of the Demons, scheduled for a 1979 release and nearly the first sword and sorcery film, and now I find out that Paul Morrissey had plans along the same lines in 1977. Of course, plans for a live-action The Lord of the Rings film go back to 1969, and there were several earlier films (Harryhausen’s fantasy output, notably) that are true to the spirit of sword and sorcery, all the way back to Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen (1924). However, the phrases “sword and sorcery” and “heroic fantasy” weren’t coined until 1961 and 1963, respectively, and were meant to describe a very specific genre descended from the pulps.

Paul Morrissey is best known for directing a number of barely watchable Andy Warhol vehicles in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and I’m not sure Torc would have been any better. The Variety ad, meant to garner interest at Cannes, is clearly trying to emulate the underground fantasy comics of the time, including Heavy Metal and Richard Corben’s Fantagor.

(Image via Temple of Schlock)

Computer ‘Softwear’ T-Shirts, Circa 1982

1980's Geek T-Shirts

Tuck those t-shirts in, nerds. You wouldn’t want to get beat up or anything.

(Photo via SA_Steve)

‘Space Toys’ Ads (1978)

Space Toys Ad 10-78

Space Toys Ad 12-78

Space Toys Ad 1980

The ads are via Roboplastic Apocalypse, the most comprehensive robot toy site on the internet. Notice that Santa is riding the Viper in the first ad, followed by his other outer space reindeer. Very clever.

The last ad features Combatra, the priciest item on the Shogun Warriors menu, selling mostly at high end department stores for $49.99 or more. There’s a great entry on the toy at CollectionDX, where I got the pictures below. Click on the link to see all five vehicles combine into a giant robot, long before Matchbox’s Voltron entered the fray.

Combatra 1978

Combatra 1978-2

Combatra 1978-3

Middle Earth Clothing Ad, Circa 1967

Middle Earth Clothing Ad 1967

Middle Earth Clothing Ad 1967-2

The artist is Terre, who is closely associated with Haight Ashbury’s Straight Theater, which is identified on the middle left of the map. The exotic fruit hanging from the various branches, as well as the mountains at the bottom of the ad, are direct allusions to Barbara Remington’s cover art for the first authorized paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings.

According to SFist, in 2013 the awning of a beauty salon was removed in North Beach, San Francisco, revealing a beautiful, hand-painted sign (below) of what was once a second Middle Earth Clothing location.

See also A Change of Hobbit Bookstore.

Middle Earth Clothing 1317 Grant 1968

(Images via eBay and SFist)

Woolworth’s Halloween Ads, 1965 – 1969

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1965

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1968

Woolworths Sunday Comics 1969

Beautifully illustrated ads that originally appeared in the comics section of the Sunday paper. They sold recently on eBay for a large sum.

50 pieces of Bazooka bubble gum for 79¢? A Spider-Man costume for $1.98? Speaking of which, the Ben Cooper Spider-Man costume is probably the first Marvel licensed product, originally appearing in 1963, just a few issues into the comic’s run. It’s got a very interesting story that you can read at Hero Envy.

`Hobbit T-Shirts’ and `Come to Middle Earth’ Ads in Rolling Stone (December, 1977)

Rolling Stone 1977

The Quest of the Magic Ring board game, seen below, was published in 1975 by Land of Legend, the placer of the ad on the right. You can see more photos at Board Game Geek. The first board game based on Tolkien’s work is probably Conquest of the Ring (Hobbit Toy and Games, 1970).

The ad image is via Butterfly Mind, where you can see more of the Rolling Stone issue. “Come to Middle Earth” and “Frodo Lives!” were slogans adopted by the counterculture starting in the late 1960s.

Quest 1975-2

Quest 1975-3

Return of the Jedi ‘Death Star Battle Sweepstakes’ Ad and Entry Form, 1983

ROTJ 1983

Look at that Grand Prize, nerds! A “futuristic video room,” an Atari 800, and Atari’s Star Wars coin-op! I also dig the Darth Vader Speaker Telephone, even though it looks like a blender.

I love how the entry form requires at least some rudimentary knowledge of the movie and the game (which I never played). The ad art is very Berkey-esque.

Ad is from Starlog #76 (November, 1983) via Martin Kennedy. (If you’re not following Kennedy’s Tumblr, you’re really missing out.)

‘Poster Explosion’ Ad, 1971

Posters 1971

Posters 1971-2

My favorites:

  1. The Frank Zappa poster (he was an outspoken atheist)
  2. The young lady who’s demonstrating the scale of the trippy “wall n’ ceiling” poster
  3. The headbands
  4. The hefty price of the black light fixtures ($17.95 is about $105 in today’s money)

The ad is from a 1971 Co-Ed magazine via Phoney Fresh.

Swatch Ads, 1984






Models in the first four ads are, from top to bottom, Morgan Brittany (Dallas, Glitter), Lauren Hutton (Lassiter, Once Bitten), Tom Berenger (eating spaghetti, for some reason), and Bruce Jenner. Brittany and Jenner hosted the second season of Star Games (1985-1986), a sports competition show featuring teams of celebrities.

The Swatch craze was absolute madness, and probably the first time I had a real conception of economic class. There were so many fashions and fads going on at the same time, and only the kids with money could keep up with them. The idea was to wear as many Swatches as possible (wrists, arms, ankles), and the gluttonous, neon ’80s did not disappoint.

(Images via Wishbook)

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Ad, 1980

FF #17 1980-5061

The back cover of Fantastic Films #17.




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