Friday, December 18, 2015

Vintage Computers - Atari, Apple, TSR-80 and more

Computers. I was around for basically the dawn of the personal computer.

My parents had that pong game that Sears sold. It only played Pong. And then of course we got the Atari 2600, which began my lifelong love of Atari.

 But then...

I can't remember the exact timeline, but somewhere around 1980 my parents got us(my brother and I) an Atari 400. It was this clunky computer whose keyboard was a flat piece of plastic--no individual keys. It made typing a challenge.

But my dad showed me some Basic commands, and I was off to the races. I started teaching myself Basic from books.

Shortly thereafter we got Apple II computers at my school. Our teacher showed us a text-based adventure game and man, did it even blow my brain up. I could MAKE games like this. Basically, create stories that people could play.

Creative-me was super excited.

We got the Atari 800XL soon after that. My buddy got a Commodore 64. Much as I hated to admit it, the Commodore had much better graphics but was SO much harder to program. At this point I was tinkering between Basic and Assembly language, and had programmed some Infocom-like games.
(If you don't know what Infocom times...)

But I wanted to move more into things like Alternate Reality or Bard's Tale, where there was graphics and text.


Anyway, I could bore you with pages and pages of my adventures in computing. But I temporarily forgot this is just for vintage ads, so there you go! Some of the late 1970's-1980's computers!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas meant the Sears Wishbook

When I was a kid the big thing was for our parents to hand us the Sears Wishbook and say "Tell us what you want for Christmas".

We'd page through the amazing toys and select everything, and let our parents figure it out.

Here's a couple of pages that really remind me of being a kid, plus some older ones.

1966 cover

And finally, a bunch of ads for stuff that I would have killed you for in 1979. From Star Wars to Star Trek, to Atari(which you'll hear more about in upcoming posts) to robots--man, I LOVED the old Tomy Robots...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas -- it's in your soda!

You know what's more American than Christmas? Drinking soda at Christmas!

There are so many vintage Christmas soda ads that you could make 50 books of nothing but them. So here's just some of the ones I like the best.

Like...could this be creepier? I'm not even sure what this is saying, except WATCH OUT SANTA THERE'S A GIANT FLOATING KID'S HEAD BEHIND YOU!

But seriously...Dr. Pepper is terrible, so HOT Dr. Pepper...?


And Coca-Cola and Pepsi battled it out with 7-Up for most soda Christmas ads...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Star Wars Ads - From a Galaxy Far Far Away

The original opening

It seems fitting to open this blog up with a post about Star Wars, now that we're only one week away from the new Star Wars movie.

It's the first Star Wars movie since 1983 that I am actually excited about. In 1983 my mom took my brother, me and our friend to the mall to see Return of the Jedi. Turned out that the first showing was sold out.

So we waited the 2.5 hours in line for the next showing. Thanks mom!

When Lucas announced the prequels I wasn't excited because let's face it--we're going BACKWARD in the story? Who cares?

But now, even though I really never wanted to see old Luke, old Leia, and old Han, I am excited about the new flick. I think JJ Abrams is a great choice, and if he can't make Star Wars fun again then probably nobody can.

I've even managed to dodge all of the commercials save the teaser they first aired.

Anyway, on with the ads!

When I was a kid, my brother and I were crazy for Star Wars figures. Man, we lost so many of those in the sandbox that I could probably pay for my kid's college if I just went out there now and dug through it.
The ad above brings a smile to my face just remembering it...

I've seen a lot of Star Wars movie posters, but hadn't seen this one until recently. I'm not sure exactly where it came from, but it's pretty cool!

Finally I'll leave you with this ad that Steven Spielberg took out in Variety magazine to congratulate his buddy Lucas on breaking the rentals record for Jaws. 

Pretty cool!

Next up, some vintage Christmas ads!