Read the whole catalog here. I was not smart enough to be on any sort of “Aerospace Team,” and that’s probably for the best. It would have ended in tragedy.
Archive for the 'Catalogs' Category
You’ll have to buy it if you want better scans. I’m broke.
Related to the above: I’ll be on vacation for a couple of weeks starting tomorrow. Happy 4th!
Courtesy of Tom at Garage Sale Finds, where you can flip through the whole catalog. I suspect the (costly) films here were purchased primarily by elementary schools, because I remember watching a number of Disney flicks on the trusty projector in the 1970s. They were always the second tier films, though: Herbie, Snowball Express, The Apple Dumpling Gang, etc. I would have jumped around like a delighted madman if one of the teachers had busted out The Black Hole.
On the first page of the 1981 TSR catalog, you’ll find the D&D Basic and Expert Sets, core role-playing products you’d expect to be front and center. In 1983, the toys come first. It looks like the action figure line wasn’t ready when the catalog went to press, because only the bendable monster and “adventure figures” (PVC) are seen here.
SPI games make an appearance on page seven because TSR acquired SPI’s trademarks in 1982/1983, as I mentioned here. Three of the computer games listed on the facing page are available at the Internet Archive: Dungeon!, Dawn Patrol, and Theseus and the Minotaur—(thanks for the heads up, Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary). I’ve never seen or heard of Ordeal of Magic and Alien Conquest. Does anyone know if they were ever released?
Happy New Year, by the way.
Select pages only. I didn’t remember how unwaveringly creepy the Cabbage Patch Kids were/are until the catalog jogged my memory. The “anatomy” lesson seals the deal.
The Coleco tabletop arcade games were at the top of every kid’s holy grail list. Other handhelds were good, even great, but these looked like actual cabinets and you could take them anywhere, especially to school where the other kids (and some adults) followed you around like so many hungry puppy dogs. It didn’t really matter that the screen was so tiny—the idea that you had a real arcade at your fingertips melted the logic circuits. We had some sort of fundraising drive at my elementary school in ’82, and the grand prize was either the Coleco Galaxian or Pac-Man. The number of chocolate bars one had to sell to get the thing was impossibly large, but I have very tangible memories of knocking on doors around the neighborhood all day long with dreams of that little machine dancing in my head. It was not to be, but I did get my beloved Atari 800 shortly thereafter.
The E.T. Rider? No, Coleco. No.
The G.I. Joe Arctic Recon Patrol? Yes. Very much yes.
Only in America, and only during the 1980s. LJN’s Entertech line (1986 – 1990) was hugely popular, and might’ve saved its parent company if not for all the cops shooting kids holding realistic-looking weapons. All toy guns were required to be fit with an orange tip starting in 1989.
Photon was the first laser tag unit to be sold commercially (1986), followed almost immediately by the Lazer Tag brand (released by Worlds of Wonder). Both were out of business by 1990.
LJN also produced a Gotcha! The Sport! NES game and paintball gun in 1987, based on the 1985 movie.
There were several memorable commercials for Entertech products. I’ll dig some up.
Real life superhero Mikey Walters strikes again (he uploads faster than a speeding bullet!). Check out his Six Million Dollar Man Flickr Album to see the rest of the catalog, along with original boxes and instructions for the Critical Assignment Arms and Legs, “one of Steve Austin’s last resort measures in critical bionic situations.”