Unfortunately, toy commercials have become less fun for me over the past year or so. I still love combing through YouTube looking for oldies, but goodies to share here on the site, but modern days ones have become a hassle. Why, you ask? Well, I have a four year old who segued from the nearly commercial-free Disney Channel and PBS to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network which are packed with spots. With each one comes the inevitable chime of “I want that.” It can be exhausting.
But then we both saw the spot for this fantastic looking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Giant Leonardo transforming playset and my faith in toy commercials was restored (for about 30 seconds). Just look at this amazing thing. It would be cool if it was simply a giant Ninja Turtle, but with a few flips and snaps you find yourself rolling down a skateboard ramp, avoiding sewer traps and locking up bad guys in jail!
As a kid, I loved and coveted all of the TMNT playsets from the sewer one to the Technodrome because they always looked rad and came packed with action features like that. It’s nice to see Playmates carry on that legacy. The downside? Now I want to not only buy this bad boy, but a ton of modern TMNT action figures to go along with it!
My three year old daughter has discovered and fallen in love with She-Ra in the past few months. So, it seemed like a good time to go back and scope out some of the commercials Mattel made back in the 80s to appeal the young girls they wanted to sell these toys to. Growing up I was pretty hardcore into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but I honestly don’t remember much about his sister She-Ra. I not only didn’t watch the show, but possibly blocked out the whole franchise, which is odd because I have memories of other “girl-centric” franchises of the day like My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch and the like.
So, I’ve been looking at a lot of this stuff with fresh eyes and think there’s a lot of solid, interesting ideas here. In fact, I’m pretty sure She-Ra would make a better movie than He-Man, but that’s neither here nor there, really. I love this spot for all the usual reasons. I dig seeing kids play with toys and am a longtime playset fan. It is interesting to me how restrained the girls are in this commercial though. Were this a commercial for a “boy toy” the little guys would be going crazy for the new piece of play equipment, but these girls look at the Crystal Castle almost reverentially. They should have been able to show their excitement for such a cool toy!
I’m pretty certain you can completely trace my love of playsets to this one right here. I was lucky enough to score not just Castle Grayskull but also Snake Mountain. I would set them up next to each other and send my toys on epic journeys and battles against one another using all the fun tricks and secrets of both sets. I love that immersive quality of toys and action figures from the 80s. It’s fun to just play with your toys, but to have a recognizable environment to put them in is just next level. I’ve still got both of these at my folks’ house and I about lost my mind when I saw that Mattel made a new one for their Masters Of The Universe Classics line.
Hey gang, hope you had a happy holidays and maybe even got some cool new toys. I’m still going down memory lane checking out the above commercial for some rad old toys. After posted not one, but two different Ghostbusters-related TCT posts, I figured I’d keep going with the above pair (plus a bonus G.I. Joe one if you keep watching). I love playsets, but don’t think I ever saw the Fire House in person. I did however either have or knew people who had those crazy football player and cop ghosts. I still see them at flea markets every now and then and am keeping my eyes peeled for a few good ones to add to my collection. Ghostbusters have some of the all-time best action figures of all time!
I don’t know a lot of 30 year old guys who weren’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans back in the day. That’s either because the property was all but ubiquitous in the late 80s/early 90s or because I mostly hang out with people who still read comics, collect toys and play video games.
I was huge into the line of TMNT figures and loved the cartoon and movies as much as anyone else, but my true love when it came to this franchise was the Ninja Turtles Sewer Playset. I didn’t actually have it myself, but a few different friends did and I always pushed to play with it whenever possible. As far as playsets go, it’s not the flashiest one in the world, but I liked how it gave you street-level and sewer-level options along with lots of little things to have fun with while playing. My personal favorite aspect of the set is the phone lines that your Turtles can hold onto, swing down and knock out the bad guys. This comes as little surprise looking back on a childhood obsessed with things that could do other things you wouldn’t expect.
As you surely know by now, I’m actually in Florida with my wife, daughter and parents this week. We’re hanging out in Disney World, taking in the sites and showing little Lu the happiest place on earth. While I didn’t bring my computer, I did set up several posts to go live over the course of the week.
Anyway, it seemed appropriate to find a Disney toy commercial and I found one with the most basic search on YouTube. While I do remember seeing the stuffed animals seen in this clip, I do not remember that rad Magic Kingdom Main Street playset. I think my daughter would love that. Looks like I’ve got something to look for at this year’s batch of yard sales!
Whoa. I think the above commercial featuring LJN’s Mumm-Ra’s Tomb Fortress mini-playset might be the creepiest thing ever done with Thundercats. I have no recollection of this piece existing, which is probably good because I would have lusted after it hardcore. I love that Mumm-Ra quick change feature as well as what look like a giant statue with moving arms.
It took me a few viewings of this commercial to realize that the ad-makers use some trickery to make this seem like a much larger playset than it is. Still, it looks like a fun addition to any Thundercats collection.