Going as far back as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of comic book-based video games, even before I started reading them. Unfortunately, most of them kind of sucked, including the X-Men game seen in the ad above. If memory serves, this one was a top-down game much like Zelda, a game I never got into. As such, I only rented this one a time or two. Still, that art in the main part of the ad is pretty rad, right?
Valiant might not have made a lot of great, accessible comics in my personal experience, but they sure had some wild ads. Gotta love this one for Aerosmith’s album Get A Grip (which I own). I snapped this pic a while back and only now realized that there’s Aerosmith comic art in the background, which is pretty rad. This one’s scanned from Archer & Armstrong #17 from 1993.
This might surprise some folks because I absolutely adore Star Wars, but I’ve only played a handful of the video games based on the franchise in my many years of game playing. I was — and still am — a big fan of the Battlefront games as well as the first Force Unleashed (haven’t played the second one yet). I did not however ever play the Empire Strikes Back game for Game Boy seen in this ad from Magnus Robot Fighter #25 from 1993. Did anyone play it? Was it as good as it good be for the Game Boy’s green-and-white-ness?
While I don’t quite remember which comic I snapped this ad from, I do very clearly remember the Nintendo Cereal System. Set up like the candy Nerds, the inside of the cereal box was split down the middle. You popped open one side and poured out the fruity Mario cereal while the other distributed Link’s fruity concoction. How’d it taste? Probably way too sweat to my grown up pallet, but I imagine that, being the cereal fan that I was, I quite enjoyed it as a kid.
Sorry about the poor quality and small size of this ad. I took a bad photo of it and then shrunk a bunch of my files down a little too far in hopes of saving some hardrive space. Anyway, I have zero recollection of these Taco Bell kids meal toys based on mostly X-Men. You’ve got Sabertooth, Iceman, Mystique, Cyclops, Captain America and Hulk. I just realized how strange of a group this is. When I started typing the list I automatically wrote Wolverine’s name and then realized he was nowhere to be found.
I was about to write about how strange it was that I don’t remember these toys existing, but they presumably came out in either late 2001 or early 2002 (the ad is from 2001’s Defenders #10, which I reviewed over here). While I usually would have been all over any Marvel kids meal toy, especially one at my beloved Taco Bell, I was in college at this time without a car and thus very limited access to Taco Bells. Doesn’t look like I missed too much, though, does it?
Like most people my age, I was a gigantic fan of Nickelodeon. That channel was just packed with awesome for kids of the 80s and 90s. I even remember when my local cable decided to swap the channels that Nickelodeon and USA were on (4 and 6). I probably would have knocked someone out to get a Double Dare or Finders Keepers T-shirt and possibly murder someone to actually get on the show. If you don’t remember Finders Keepers, it was like a live action hidden picture search game show where kids ran through a dissected house to find a certain something (or somethings) in a messy room. As a big fan of Highlights and the hidden picture section of that magazine, this game show was right up my alley. Someone should bring that back. Here’s a clip from the show:
This ad was shot from 1988’s Silver Surfer #18.
Today’s Ad It Up is a double whammy! I saw this one in Silver Surfer #21 (1989) and it made me smile immediately. This comic is from before I read comics, but features not one, but two things that were a part of my childhood. I’ll start with the Quick Shot controllers first because this is a simpler story and boils down to the fact that I had one of these NES controllers (the one on the far right in the smaller picture). I didn’t use it a ton because it was a little awkward, but I actually still have it and it’s sitting in my living room as I type.
The WWF (as it was known when I was a youngin’), I had a more complex relationship with. My dad wrestled in college and always hated this fake stuff and didn’t want me watching it. I assume there was also an element of my parents not wanting me to watch the violent sport, but I bet legit wrestling pride was an equally strong, if not stronger motivator. As such, I thought the WWF was fake and lame and didn’t care about it. But I did like Hulk Hogan (what kid my age didn’t?) and watched the WWF cartoon and oddly enough became a fan of the video games. I remember playing the NES game advertised about at a friend’s house and it was fun. Later, when I was a teenager and regularly babysitting three boys, we spent many an hour playing one of the Sega versions (it had Doink the Clown if that helps). They’re just fun, beat em up games with colorful characters and big personalities, the same thing that drew me to comics, really. I’ve even thought of picking up the WWE Legends game for Xbox hoping it’s kind of in that same vein. Anyone played it? How does it stack up against games I played on occasion almost 20 years ago?