Showing posts with label Retro Scans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Retro Scans. Show all posts

Retro Scans: TV Guide 1996 Fall TV Preview

Monday, September 12, 2022

Fall may not have officially started yet, but with Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer firmly in our rearview mirror, many of us are thinking of cooler weather and our favorite fall activities.

For the longest time, Fall, and specifically September, often meant a new slate of TV shows and an exciting amount of new programming.  

Growing up in the 90s, I can remember the excitement of the new crop of television programs and the immense amount of advertising these broadcasting companies put into them.  

For me, diving into a fresh Fall television lineup was akin to waiting to see who the New York Rangers would trade on Deadline Day or the excitement of the wheeling and dealing during Silly Season in NASCAR.  

As I poured over the TV listings, it was always exciting to ask myself questions like which of the new series would flop and get canceled.  Who would survive until the end of the season?  Will they get renewed?  Which new show will be the next big thing and launch the actors into megastardom?   

Today... not so much.  There is much less risk with new series and often networks will run the course with a sure thing or cancel it before production.  

That's not just for television, too.  Sports free agent markets have changed so much in recent years thanks to large contracts, corporate input, and salary caps.  Things don't just seem as much fun as they once were.

I can write paragraphs about how streaming services have diversified the viewing landscape.  I could also go on about the lack of "seasons" on television anymore, but that's an entirely different discussion for another time.

As we knew it back then, the fall schedule consisted of new television series paired with returning favorites packaged into a giant media frenzy and advertising campaign launched at the end of August.  The shows would begin their season in September and run through December, taking a hiatus during the holiday weeks when viewership declines.   A "midseason" premier would occur in January and historically run through mid to late May.

Recently, several networks have staggered the new and returning shows without necessarily following the standard fall and spring schedules.  In 2008, NBC was the first to make it official, claiming they'd follow the "52-week television season" with fewer episodes than the current standard.  

For comparison, back in the 1950s, I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes from September through May.  In the 90s, Seinfeld ran 24 episodes from September through May.  But in 2022, Better Call Saul ran only 7 episodes during April and May, followed by a two-month break, before finishing the season (and series) with only 6 more episodes. 

This reduced number of episodes leads to changes in presentation and storytelling, of course.  One would argue that the shows are much more like "mini-films" these days, and you'd be right to some extent.  Rising production costs, increased actor salaries, and reduced advertising budgets created by declining audiences have led to the need to shorten television seasons.  

The audience's desire to binge-watch a series on a streaming platform also reduces the number of episodes per season.  When I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes in a single season, they did so by producing them one week at a time.  When a series is placed on streaming platforms to be watched all at once, all episodes must be filmed all at once, requiring a more extended production schedule.  Many streaming platforms are now following Disney Plus' lead and are getting away from the Netflix style of "dropping an entire season at once" and returning to the standard weekly episodic model.  

You can also consider audience attention span and viewing fatigue as contributing factors.  Today's viewers need a constant "new-ness"; otherwise, a show will wear out quickly.  Today's audience has a more discerning palate, it seems.  

Speaking of advertising budgets, did you know the original reason that the Fall Premier season is a big deal is that it was created to help automobile manufacturers promote the new car lineup for the coming year?   

The more you know... (cue the shooting star). 

In the 90s, an old Seinfeld rerun could earn 20 million viewers.  Today, a "hit" streaming show on Netflix or Amazon may be considered a "massive success" with only a few hundred thousand views, as long as it gets social media buzz to drum up online ad sales.  

With limited time this week, and after working on my "Retro Museum" at home, I came across a copy of an old TV Guide from 1996 I had aquired many years ago that highlighted the new Fall Season.  

Some of the shows featured in the following pages I remember fondly.  Some I had long forgotten, and some I don't remember whatsoever.  I scanned some excerpts, along with a handful of fun advertisements that piqued my interest.  

Look through the scans below and enjoy your own stroll down memory lane.  Do you remember any of these shows?  Did you watch any of them faithfully, only to be disappointed when they were canceled?  

Let me know in the comments section, or drop me a line!  

You can find the "Drop Me a Line" box on the right side of your screen if you are using a laptop or desktop computer.  You can find it on a tablet or phone below the posts towards the bottom of the page.  

Or, you can always just click on the little envelope in the top right corner and send me an email!  

Retro Scans: 1994 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Super Pack

Monday, May 9, 2022

Go, Go, Power Rangers!

Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers brand has made quite a resurgence in the past few years.  As my generation (and the one immediately following it) fondly look back on the campy children's tv show from the 90s, all sorts of nostalgia-based merchandise have recently hit the market.  It's even become cool again for grown adults to wear Power Rangers clothing and display their toys and other collectibles.  

Believe me, there was once a time that liking Power Rangers was very not-cool for kids older than 5. 

That was also the same time I discovered and really enjoyed the show.  Like a few things I enjoyed growing up, I was probably a year or two old for it when I really got into Power Rangers.  For a while, the neighbor kid I was friends with was really into the show as well.  Then one afternoon on the school bus, I talked about looking forward to getting home to catch that day's episode.  Suddenly, he announced loud enough for the other kids on the bus to hear that Power Rangers was a stupid show for little kids.  Of course, I quickly agreed with him to save face but ran home to watch the Power Rangers anyway.  I secretly watched the show and played with my Power Rangers toys for another year, despite constant teasing from my older brother.  

The Power Ranger franchise is a live-action superhero series based on the Japanese franchise Super Sentai. Initially produced by Saban Entertainment, later Saban Brands, and today SCG Power Rangers, LLC (and its parent company Hasbro), the series takes much of its footage from the Super Sentai television series.  The first entry in the American series debuted on August 28, 1993, under the title "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," on the Fox Kids programming block.  The show quickly launched a line of action figures and other toys made by Bandai, which generated over $6 billion in toy sales by 2001.

As of 2002, Power Rangers consists of 29 seasons on television, 3 theatrical films, and 21 different themed series (Power Rangers in Space, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers Dino Charge, etc.).

The show was briefly owned by The Walt Disney Company from 2002 to 2010 when Haim Saban, the creator of the series, regained ownership.  Saban later sold the Saban Brands company to Hasbro in 2018.   

I'd say that I got into the show sometime in 1994, towards the end of the first season.  Shortly after getting hooked on the show, Tommy, the Green Ranger, turned into the White Ranger, which was a big deal with the kids in school.  I would have been in 5th grade when that major storyline took place.  I was captivated by the bright colors and cartoonish action and fight scenes which were pretty similar to the colorful world of pro wrestling that I loved so much back then.  

Next year, in the fall of 1995, I was in the 6th grade, which according to kids on the school bus, was too old to watch Power Rangers.   I kept watching regardless until one cold, rainy Saturday morning.  My Dad had hired a marine mechanic to come to look at the motor on the Ra-El, the family's fishing boat.  I was in the living room, minding my own business, watching a rerun of Power Rangers.  They were coming through the house when the mechanic stopped in the living room and looked at the television. 

After getting himself an eyeful of Mighty Morphin action, he looked at me and then my Dad.  Never mind the fact that it was raining outside, he said something along the lines of, "My kids watch this baby junk instead of playing outside, too," and the two continued on to the backyard.  

This man I never met before, nor ever saw again, was just one more person telling me I was too old to watch a show I enjoyed. 

I never watched another episode.

That's why I was highly interested in ripping into this pack of 1994's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Super Pack of trading cards.  This pack included a handful of beautiful POGS that I found visually appealing.  The POGS were just another reminder of the time that was the wonderful 1990s.  The bright colors in the images bounced off the cards and captured my attention right away.  My interest in the show spiked again, and I watched an old episode just for old time's sake on YouTube.  

While I enjoyed it, I can finally agree with that grumpy old boat mechanic that I am too old to watch the show now.

However, I'm not too old to enjoy this trip down memory lane... and I hope you enjoy it too!  

Click "Keep Reading" to check out the entire pack of trading cards from 1994!

Retro Scans: 1995 WCW Main Event Trading Cards

Monday, March 28, 2022

Unfortunately, I've been a little too busy with work and things at home this week to put out a thoroughly researched article for ya'll to enjoy and one I can be proud of.  

Since my last two posts were about professional wrestling, focused on Big Van Vader and Scott Hall (CLICK HERE FOR MY TRIBUTE TO SCOTT HALL), I figured it would be a good time to break out a pack of 1995 WCW Main Event trading cards for an old fashioned Retro Scan!  

This pack of trading cards from 1995 is probably from my favorite era of professional wrestling, or at least, the era I'm most nostalgic for.  This was when wrestling was still 'banned' in my house by my parents, and to be honest, I was probably still 95% convinced it was real.  So, I'd sneak in a half-hour or hour of WWF or WCW's Saturday morning syndicated recap shows.  Then that evening, I'd head over to Granny and Gramps' house where I'd watch WCW Saturday Night (at 6:05PM on TBS) while they were eating dinner in the other room in order to get my wrestling fix.  

I'd say when wrestling was on top of the world, between 1996 and 1998, was the best wrestling would and will ever get, but as far as personal memories are concerned, nothing beats WCW in 1995 for me.  

I'm sure you real wrestling fans are rolling your eyes and gagging because 1995 WCW was pretty darn bad.  But for a kid like me?  It was great!  This was when the larger-than-life characters were bright and colorful, with flashy gimmicks (like Scott Hall's Diamond Studd) or were real-life monsters (like Vader).  

This pack of cards from 1995 is pretty hard to find on eBay.  Like most trading cards lately, prices have skyrocketed, and just the other day, a complete, unopened box of these cards sold for over $750!  Just crazy, considering a few years ago, I pulled these packs for just a few bucks each.  I may regret opening this pack one day, as prices continue to climb... but I'm just as eager to look inside as any of you are!  What does having a stockpile of all trading cards mean if you never open them?  I guess that's another discussion for another day.

Immediately, I was excited to see a Vader card!  After writing about Vader and his time on Boy Meets World (CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT IT), I have been on a Vader kick.  I've spent time watching several youTube clips or firing up the WWE Network on Peacock to see some of his old matches and it's been a lot of fun reliving the early 90s.  

I was also delighted to see my favorite ever, Sting (sans face paint), in my preferred "surfer Sting" gimmick as he plays beach volleyball.  What a great photo of a great guy.

Besides the baby-faced Tony Schiavone card, one other card of note was the card featuring the promotional poster for WCW Fall Brawl 1994 on it!  I've mentioned a few times before that the 1995 Fall Brawl was my favorite match ever, just for the leadup and promos alone.  Vader was scheduled to be in that match as a member of the Hulkamaniacs alongside Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Sting... but he was fired shortly before the show and replaced by Lex Luger.

In the 1994 Fall Brawl, Vader would defeat Sting in a number one contender's match for the World Title, but the promotional poster makes it look like the two would appear in the caged War Games match.  

Ok, ok... on to the trading cards!  Click "Keep Reading" to check them out!

Retro Scans: 1995 Street Sharks Trading Cards

Monday, February 7, 2022

I like to get at least one item posted here per week, but unfortunately, I'm short on spare time these days.  The next big piece I've been working WEEKS on is a very long article... but it feels good to go back to the style of some of the early articles here at YesterYear.  

You'll find it similar in vein to my Lunchbox Snacks series as I take a deep dive on a restaurant AND motel franchise from days gone by.  Unfortunately, I had hoped to have it complete by today but just couldn't finish in time.  So, please enjoy this Retro Scan that features a great set of trading cards from the 1990s animated hit cartoon "Street Sharks!"   

The Street Sharks is an animated superhero series about half-men/half-shark crime fighters airing from 1994 to 1997 in syndication.  Like many series targeting children during that period, the cartoon was created to promote a line of action figure toys made by Mattel.

In 1996, the cartoon was paired with another line of toys, the Dino Vengers, and the show was retitled "Dino Vengers Featuring Street Sharks."  

Retro Scans: 1995 Fox Kids Network by Fleer

Monday, January 24, 2022

For anyone who has read more than one article on this site, you'll know that I watched a lot of television growing up.  One of the cool things growing up during the time I did, was that I got to see a ton of memorable programming blocks and channels made just for kids.  Disney Afternoons or TGIF comes to mind, but FOX Kids was one of my favorites during the mid to early 90s.

The story behind Fox Kids is for another article another day (coming soon, I promise!).  Still, I felt this one would be appropriate with the recent passing of comedian Louie Anderson.  

Unfortunately, there weren't any "Life with Louie" cards in this pack, so I'll admit this whole thing is a bust... but I still wanted to pay some sort of tribute to the life of Louie Anderson anyway.  I'll have to honor Life with Louie in an article of its own, but for now, I'll add an episode of Life with Louie or two to the Video Drive-in for you to enjoy.  

"Life with Louie" was an animated series based on the childhood of well-known stand-up comic Louie Anderson.  Viewers watched along as he grew up with his family in Cedar Knoll, Wisconsin, during the early 1960s, even though Anderson himself is from Saint Paul, Minnesota.  

Anderson provided the voice for the child version of himself as well as his father.  Legendary character actor Edie McClurg voiced his mother.

The first two episodes aired in primetime on Fox in late 1994, before moving to Saturday morning on Fox Kids.  The show ran from 1995 to 1998, where it achieved little critical success but developed a large fan base from its mostly child audience.  After Louie's passing, despite his extensive body of work, one of the most mentioned on social media by fans was "Life with Louie."

Various merchandise was released based on the show's popularity, including apparel, VHS tapes of multiple episodes, a comic book, and a book series for children.  The book series was based on various show episodes and contained six books in total. 

Kids' meal toys were also produced for several fast-food restaurant chains, including Taco Bell (1996), Hardee's (1997), Jack in the Box (1997), and Dairy Queen (1999).

For a time, Life with Louie-branded Spaghetti-O's, in character shapes, were available.

There have not been any DVD sets released in the United States of these shows, but some episodes are available on YouTube and Daily Motion.  

In tribute to this show, I figured I'd open up a pack of these Fleer 1995 Fox Kids Network trading cards, but unfortunately, a "Life with Louie" card was not included, so it's a bit of a bust.  This pack did have some great cards from memorable tv shows like "X-Men," "Bobby's World," "The Tick," and "Spider-man!"

Click "Keep Reading" to be blasted with some nostalgia from 1995 and the Fox Kids Network!

Retro Scans: 1989 McDonald's Roger Rabbit Halloween Coupons

Thursday, October 28, 2021

One of the things I looked forward to getting as a gift when I was a kid would be McDonald's Gift Coupon booklets.  These "McDonald's bucks" (as my brother and I called them) would often appear in my Christmas stocking and still smell like the salt and grease of the french fries they sat next to in the bag of food. If you would, please check out my article from a few years back about getting these fantastic old-school versions of gift cards  BY CLICKING HERE.

Rather than run a Happy Meal promotion that targeted children, McDonald's decided to run a special "super-size" promotion for Disney's 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."  The move was designed to appeal to teens and young adults, whom the movie was also targeting.  

I recently acquired this Roger Rabbit "Happy Halloween Certificates" on eBay.  There's a lot of these out there, and they are very affordable, but I thought it would be a great addition to this site as we wrap up our Halloween celebration.  

The booklet contained several coupons for 3 different items.  A free ice cream cone, free cookies, or free fruit pie.  At the back of the booklet is a coupon for a free Roger Rabbit car window plush with a purchase of the movie on videocassette.  The seller on eBay included a puffy sticker with my item, so I've included that here for you to enjoy too!

Click on for the photos!

Retro Scans: 1993's Tales From The Crypt Trading Cards

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Tales from the Crypt was a series that ran on HBO from June of 1989 to July of 1996 for 93 episodes.  Based loosely on the 1950s comic book series of the same name, the show was hosted by The Cryptkeeper, a wisecracking corpse puppet. The puppet was operated and voiced by John Kassir.

Thanks to the premium cable subscription service that is HBO, "Tales From the Crypt" was free from censorship from the FCC and the network's standards and practices department. HBO allowed the series to include content like graphic violence, profanity, and nudity.  

Most of us, myself included, first learned of the series in 1994 when edited reruns began to air on the FOX Network on basic cable.  If you want to read a little about Fox's Halloween Bash, CLICK HERE NOW!

Each episode would begin with the Cryptkeeper's famous "Hello, Boils and Ghouls" or "Hello, Kiddies." Each episode was self-contained and bookended by an outro sequence featuring The Cryptkeeper's antics.  

In 1993, a Saturday morning cartoon called "Tales from the Cryptykeeper" was spun off the HBO series. The violence and gore were toned down and, at times, entirely omitted due to the target audience. Child psychologists were hired to review the scripts to make sure they were suitable for young audiences. The Cryptkeeper was animated as they felt the puppet would be too frightening for children. The cartoon lasted for two seasons on ABC with a total of 26 episodes.

In 1995 and 1996, two films were spun off the popular TV series. "Demon Knight," the first was a commercial success, but "Bordello of Blood" was a box office bomb panned by critics and fans alike. The lack of success for the second film caused the third in the trilogy to be shelved for good.  

As I write this, due to licensing issues, Tales from the Crypt is not a\vilable on any of the HBO or Fox-owned streaming services. 

Retro Scans: Topps 1988 Fright Flicks Wax Pack

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Let's keep the Halloween celebration going by taking a look at a Retro Scan of the 1988 Topps trading card series "Fright Flicks."  These things are pretty bountiful on eBay, making this series probably one of the most overlooked yet fondly remembered wax packs of the 1980s.  

Fright Flicks mixes gore and comedy in a way that can entertain you but still make you cringe.  The set doesn't hold back the blood and guts but balances it all with campy groan-worthy one-liners and stories.  One of the reasons this set was so popular was that kids could get their hands (and eyes) on some scenes from popular R-rated movies that they would otherwise be too young to see.

The other interesting thing about this series is that it draws images from 15 different major horror franchises.  Licensing so many major film series into one spot will likely never be replicated again, especially in today's world where content ownership is king.  

The 90-card series has cards from film classics such as Ghostbusters, Poltergeist, Predator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and even The Fly!  Admittedly, due to its immense popularity in the late 80s, the set is heavy on Freddy Krueger and Nightmare on Elm Street.  

On the reverse side of the card is the film's title that the image was taken from (if you couldn't tell) and a hauntingly weird little urban legend under the "Did It Ever Happen?" tagline.

Of course, there is a 33-year-old piece of bubblegum still intact that, as is tradition here at YesterYear, I've included in the scan for your viewing pleasure.  

Fair warning for the squeamish:  Some of the photos below are pretty graphic and heavy on the gore compared to the stuff I normally post here at YesterYear.

Retro Scans: 1992 Marvel "The Uncanny X-Men" Trading Cards

Thursday, September 2, 2021

For our final Retro Scan of the summer, I found this neat little pack of 1992 Marvel's "The Uncanny X-Men" trading cards!  

In the early 90s, the X-Men saw a bit of a resurgence in popularity, fueled mainly by the animated series on Fox Kids appropriately called "X-Men:  The Animated Series."

The series debuted on October 31, 1992, and ran for 5 seasons with 76 episodes.  The cartoon featured X-Men similar in appearance to the early 1990s X-Men comic books drawn by Jim Lee.  The team was composed of characters like Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, and an original character made for the show called Morph. 

You may be wondering by now what any of this has to do with summer and summertime memories...

Well, I specifically remember one summer morning, likely 1993, that my parents were at work, and I was spending the morning at Granny and Gramps' house next door.  That year in school, I had scored a "Where's Waldo" type book featuring the X-Men at one of the Scholastic Book Fairs.  Do they even still do those at schools?

That morning, I clearly remember laying upside down on their couch (as kids tend to do), searching the pages to find hidden X-Men.  I also remember running in circles in the living room as I imagined myself running through the different scenes in that book, all the while singing the iconic theme song to that cartoon at the top of my lungs.  

My favorite card here is the final image.  This hologram of Gambit was hard to scan properly while still showing the original image, but I think it came out well enough.  Gambit was always one of my favorites from the animated series.

While I'll admit, this set really isn't from the animated series, it is from the same era of early 90's Jim Lee drawn "X-Men."  Either way, these colorful cards remind some of a rainy summer day at Grandma and Grandpa's house. 


Retro Scan: 1996 Olympic Games Pog Set

Monday, August 23, 2021

I remember the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games being a huge deal.  Maybe it was just because I lived here in the US, where the games were held, and the full propaganda machine was pushing out every merchandise and advertising agreement they could, but I easily remember what seemed like the whole country was focused on those games.  

I certainly remember spending most of the summer of 1996 staying up late watching several events with my brother, especially the gymnastics and wrestling events.  

This year's Olympics?  Unfortunately, I don't think anyone really cares.  The games have been so politicized, and with COVID, nobody seems to be even talking about the games unless an athlete is making headlines for quitting or what have you.  Nobody I know has any clue what is going on in Tokyo this year.  Admittedly, it could be because, in 1996, we had very little to fill our free time with, and in 2021 we have 50 different streaming platforms and devices to fill every waking moment.  The time difference from Japan to the United States doesn't help much, either.

In 1996 though, it seemed like everyone was on top of the games and knew the top athletes in most events.  

What was everyone in my age group doing in 1996, also?  Playing with POGS, of course!

POGS (or "Milk Caps") is played with flat circular cardboard milk jug caps. Players make a stack of these caps and take turns to drop a heavier "slammer," causing the caps to be disrupted.  Each player keeps the face-up caps and restacks the face-down ones, repeating the process until there is a winner.  

The name POGS comes from the original brand of juice, "POG," where the game was created in Hawaii.  The drink was a mixture of Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava juice.

Upon opening this pack of milk caps, I sort of felt short-changed, even 25 years later.  They promise 5 caps per pack, but 2 of the 5 I received were the same ones!  Oh, well!

Enjoy this collection of nostalgia fun from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia... 25 years ago!

Retro Scans: 1992 Topps Jurassic Park Movie Cards

Monday, August 9, 2021

"Jurassic Park" began its life in film history in 1990 when Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment (Steven Spielberg) purchased the rights to the novel by Michael Chrichton before the book was even published.  The book itself was very successful, and it's safe to say so was the 1993 film adaptation.  The film was selected in 2018 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The 1993 movie, which hit theaters on June 9, 1993, is still considered one of the greatest films of the 1990s and received several sequels.

In "Jurassic Park," John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) is the owner of a theme park located on Isla Nublar named, of course, Jurassic Park. After an incident with a velociraptor, Hammond brings in three specialists to sign off on the park to calm investors. The specialists, paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), are surprised to see the island park's main attraction are living, breathing dinosaurs, created with a mixture of fossilized DNA and genetic cross-breeding/cloning. When lead programmer Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) turns off the park's power to sneak out with samples of the dinosaur embryos to sell to a corporate rival, the dinosaurs break free, and the survivors are forced to find a way to turn the power back on and make it out alive. 

Spielberg cited Godzilla as an inspiration for Jurassic Park, specifically Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), which he grew up watching.  The film is regarded as a landmark in the use of computer-generated imagery and was praised by critics.  It grossed more than $914 million worldwide during its original release, becoming the most successful film.  "Jurassic Park" surpassed E.T. as the most successful film of all time, until 4 years later when "Titanic" was released.  It is currently the 17th highest grossing feature film but the most financially successful film for Steven Spielberg.  

I enjoyed browsing through the following set of cards, and I hope you enjoy the summer blockbuster flashback!  The photos on the cards aren't all great, but it's still enough of a nostalgia blast from the early 90s that won me over.  That's the point of this whole site, now isn't it?  I liked the sticker included in the pack, The Brachiosaur.  My favorite dinosaur, the Brontosaurus, was a close cousin of this one featured in the film, and I believe at the time schools were teaching the Brontosaurus didn't really exist, but I think they've reversed that decision.  

The flip side of the sticker (and last image here) is a puzzle piece, as most card packs include.  Seems to me it's a piece to a picture featuring the dinosaur that spits tar-like goo all over Dennis Nedry!

Retro Scan: 1978 Jaws 2 Wax Pack Trading Cards!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"Jaws 2," released June 16, 1978, was the sequel to the blockbuster hit "Jaws" by Steven Spielberg.  It stars Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody.  Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton co-star as Martin's wife Ellen and Amity Mayor Larry Vaughn.  

The plot centers around Chief Brody's suspicion that another great white shark has begun to terrorize the seaside resort community of Amity Island.  Following a series of incidents and disappearances, Chief Brody's suspicions are proven to be true.

Jaws 2 suffered from some production flaws.  The first director, John Hancock, proved unfit for an action and suspense film and was replaced by Jeannot Szwarc.  The lead, Roy Scheider, only agreed to reprise his role to end a contractual issue with Universal Pictures and was very unhappy throughout filming.  Reportedly, Scheider and Szwarc got into several heated exchanges that delayed filming.  

Nonetheless, "Jaws 2" was the highest-grossing sequel in history, even if for a brief moment.  A year later, Rocky II was released and took the title away from the Jaws franchise.  

The "Jaws 2" tagline of "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." has become one of the most famous taglines in history.  It's been parodied and reused several times over the years.

After mixed reviews, the franchise received two more sequels.  It was followed by the gimmicky "Jaws 3-D" in 1983 and "Jaws: The Revenge" in 1987.

The trading cards, by TOPPS, were in pretty good condition for being over 40 years old.  The gum, of course, was still mostly intact, as you'll see below.  I included the card backs that provided "Movie Facts" information about the film, but those without film information had puzzle pieces of a larger photo.  The final image I included is all of those card backs together.  Also included in the pack was a photo sticker, in this case, the bloody killer whale found on the beach.  I like that the sticker backing has the Jaws 2 logo on it and not just a blank "Peel Here" icon.

Retro Scans: 1989 Ghostbusters 2 Wax Pack on GB-2's 32nd Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

As we kick off a "Ghostbuster Summer" worth of advertising and special themed product tie-ins, I thought it appropriate to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of "Ghostbusters 2."  As we wait for the next installment of the Ghostbuster series in November, let's take a look back at the less popular (but in my opinion, just as great) sequel to the original.

Debuting 32 years ago today, June 16, 1989, Ghostbusters 2 was produced by Ivan Reitman and written by stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.  Also starring Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts, this movie was a direct sequel to the 1984 "Ghostbusters" smash hit.  Set five years after the first film, the Ghostbusters have been sued to death and out of business because of the destruction created by the battle with Gozer in the first film.  When new paranormal threats emerge, the team reunites to save the world.    

The script went through many iterations because of studio objections, as Aykroyd and Ramis wanted to portray the consequences of negative emotions caused by large cities.  The writers and studio eventually agreed upon paranormal events that fed off New York City's infamous negativity.  Filmed in New York and Los Angeles, with a budget of $40 million, filming took place between November 1988 and March of 89.  New scenes were reshot during March and April, just two months before its release.

The movie debuted to generally negative critical review.  At the time, most critics considered it a copycat of the first film that had toned down its adult dark humor for a family-friendly venture.  When Ghostbusters 2 debuted, it was the sequel to the highest-grossing comedy film of all time and was expected to dominate the box office.  Instead, it earned $215.4 million compared with $282.2 for the original film.  Columbia Pictures considered it a financial and critical failure, which was enough to convince Bill Murray to not participate in a third Ghostbusters film and stalling the franchise for over 2 decades.  Interestingly enough, the film's soundtrack hit single "On Our Own," by Bobby Brown, was a great success that spent 20 weeks on the United States music charts.  

While it may not have received the critical praise of the original movie, Ghostbusters 2 has since developed an audience following.  The film itself spawned merchandise like video games, comic books, music, toys, and even these trading cards.  

These cards were a little warped with age, and several of them were pretty dirty and dusty.  I cleaned them up the best I could without ruining the images, but I apologize if it shows in the scans; but what do you want for 32-year-old trading cards?  The brittle piece of gum included in the pack was also stuck pretty good to the card, which may obscure the image on the back of the Ray's Bookstore card.  

All in all, these were a great collection of trading cards that I know for sure as a kid I enjoyed combing through back in the day.  The pack included a good collection of film images, some from iconic scenes like the courtroom, and even a "behind-the-scenes" image of them filming the underground sewer-of-goo scene.  The sticker of the Scoleri Brothers is a great image and may or may not already be headed towards my workshop in the garage, where I have a collection of some of these stickers.   

Retro Scans: 1992 Topps Batman Returns Photo Stickers Wax Pack

Friday, April 16, 2021

Here's a fun little retro scan of five photo stickers taken from the great 1992 Batman sequel "Batman Returns" by Topps.  It's sort of disappointing there are only 5 stickers in this wax pack, but they are some great shots.  I think I may have to pick up some more!  

Without further ado, here they are:

Retro Scans: 1987 Harry and the Hendersons Wax Pack

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Harry and the Hendersons is a 1987 comedy film starring John Lithgow and Melinda Dillon. Steven Spielberg served as its uncredited executive producer, while Rick Baker provided the makeup and the creature designs for Harry.   It's the story of a Seattle family's encounter with a Bigfoot, partially inspired by the many claims of sightings in the Pacific Northwest.  

The film won an Oscar for Best Makeup while earning $50 million worldwide ($29 million domestic).  When "Harry and the Hendersons" opened. it debuted third behind "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "The Untouchables."  

The film had a television series spin-off also called "Harry and the Hendersons," which ran for 72 episodes from 1991 to 1993.

Below, enjoy this 33-year-old wax pack, complete with the original stick of gum and a sticker card! 

Retro Scans: 1981 Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark Wax Pack

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is one of those movies I just have to watch when it's on AMC or Paramount or whatever channel seems to play all three Indiana Jones movies in a row all weekend long.  As a rule, the first movie is often the best in any series, and it holds true with "Raiders."  

Something about the sequel, "The Temple of Doom," always has bothered me.  I think it was the creepy little boy (girl?) with the voodoo doll.  The whole thing scared me as a kid and is sort of off-putting.  I don't like that there was no Marion and find Short Round to be a pretty annoying side-kick.  I also think it was the weakest of the movies.  

"The Last Crusade" has really grown on me after watching it time and again during these weekend marathons.  Sean Connery is great as Indiana's dad and I really enjoy the return of the Nazi bad guys like in "Raiders" after that weird jaunt to the underground cult in India, or Pakistan, or wherever.  

I won't even mention "Crystal Skull" because, well, if you've seen it... you know why.

Today, we open a pack of 1981 Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark wax pack for your (and mine) enjoyment!  

It even has a piece of 40-year-old gum in it!  

Retro Scans: 1992 Saved by the Bell TV Photo Cards Foil Pack

Sunday, January 3, 2021

"Saved by the Bell" was one of my favorite shows growing up.  If you read my recent article that was featured here and over on The Retro Network about "Saved by the Bell" and the disappearance of Kelly and Jessie during the final season (which you can read HERE), then you'd know just how big of a fan I was.  Still am, to be honest.

The New Year brings many things for my wife and I to watch, among them the new release of Saved by the Bell on NBC's new streaming platform called Peacock.  The pilot episode of the new reboot of the series was funny enough to get my wife, and I interested in watching, and we're slowly but surely working our way through it.  

I actually scanned these cards in February of 2020 while waiting for Lauren to go into labor with our daughter and never got around to posting them.  What better way to kick off 2021 than joining in on all of the SBTB nostalgia going on these days than posting them now?!  

Please enjoy these scans without any further ado as we flashback to 1992 and hang out at the Max with the gang from Bayside High with a Saved by the Bell TV Photo Cards Foil Pack.  

1987 U.S. of ALF Super Sticker Cards

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The TV show ALF ran from 1986 to 1990 on NBC.  Right at the height of its merchandise popularity, came these 1987 U.S. of ALF "Super Stickers."  On Election Day 2020, enjoy these celebrations (and caricatures) of these fine United States of America.

1984 Gremlins Wax Pack

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Gremlins is not really a Halloween movie.  It may fall into that category of "horror-comedy" and some even call it a Christmas movie.  I guess it takes place around Christmas, but to me, the theme must be ABOUT Christmas to qualify... but I digress.  It's just a few days away from Halloween!

As part of Freeform's 31 Days of Halloween (which my wife and I have really been enjoying, I must say) we caught Gremlins for the first time in many, many years, and remembered what a blast this movie is.

Anyway, I dug through my box of old retro stuff and dug up a wax pack from 1984 for you to enjoy.  I even included the 36-year-old piece of gum for you... consider it like knocking on my door while Trick-Or-Treating... sorta.  Enjoy, everyone!