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Sunday, July 15, 2012

After These Messages! A couple of my favorite commercials as a kid.

Was there ever a toy, game or product that you remember as a kid where you actually sat through something you cared little for or actually taped a show just to get to watch the commercial?  I'd have to say, as much as I love toys, besides the commercials for Hero Quest and Crossfire (and for some reason Sky Commanders which I never owned) there really are only two major commercials that totally blew me away as in my young years.  Both of which are connected to Nintendo, the Super Nintendo to be exact.   The first one for Super Mario World especially was the keeper.  I remember it aired on a Friday night during ABC's TGIF lineup and the show was Dinosaurs.  (decent enough show...not the mama)

It certainly would be one long wait for Christmas that year!
I remember getting so pumped about seeing the preview for Super Mario World in Nintendo Power in 5th grade and wondering what this Famicom was?  Japan already had it and I was actually daunted by the aspect of a whole new Nintendo system coming out and wondering if I'd be able to handle all of those buttons...Questions arose like "How is Mario on the flip side of that Fence?" "Mario flys with a cape???" "You get to ride a dolphin AND a green dinosaur?????"  It was all just too much for me.  Somehow (I have no idea how) I found out the SNES commercial was airing that Friday night and I just sat there with the VHS player on "record".  Then it happened and I was never the same.  The epic music, the narrators voice, what was shown, bright colors, varied levels, Mario rocking out on Yoshi!... even the lightning bolt SNES logo and the subsequent "Now you're playing with power...SUPER POWER!" got me psyched as hell!  All of these factors culminated in one massive, 16-bit, anticipatory feast for the senses.  This advertisement showed up in October and boy, was it a seemingly endless wait til Christmas morning but (by far) the best Christmas morning I ever had.

Pardon the poor quality but by far my favorite SNES commercial!

The next (set of) commercial(s) pertain-s to another great SNES title and besides Final Fantasy III, along with the aforementioned Super Mario World, this is my all time favorite game.  It's nothing that original as I'm almost certain these three games are on countless top three lists, even more top 5 lists and possible all top 10 lists.  This game is none other than Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past.  I remember being stoked for this title since I saw it on the back of the SNES box.  Just that picture was enough to blow my mind with the vibrant colors, the lush depiction of the overworld, a fully realized Link, Larger than life depictions of trees, a river and a bridge and what seemed like Darknut Knights wielding swords, bows AND arrows!  All I thought was "when is this game coming out???"  It wouldn't be out until April 13, 1992 so, again, this would be another long wait.  But I remember both of  these commercials airing around my birthday in late March.  The best part about them is that they were the ultimate examples of what a "teaser" commercial really was. They showed no gameplay; one was a live-action Link traversing climbing death mountain to find the master while the other was a panning camera over desert, swamp, castle, forest and mountaintop to find a treasure room with a sword only to have the sword be an illusion and it be a classic drop-down trap door!  These commercial nailed the feel of the game so well and really succeeded at revisiting the back-to-basics, top-down Zelda style.   You may disagree with me but I think Nintendo can truly cast some fine live-action depictions of their properties...another example being Samus from the Metroid: Other M commercials two years back.  Just like the narrators amazing ability to raise your anticipation in the Mario spot, this one is talking about traversing parallel worlds, light becoming dark, and "a Game that's already a Legend! Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past!"  Well...I'm really to play, are you?

The commenters are right, he DOES look like Brock Samson!
Anyway, let's finish it off with some other fine works of children's advertisement.

Sky Commanders
Where is this taking place? Nevertheless, I wish I lived there.

Hero Quest
Because when I play my board games, it's always in a dungeon. Gotta love the "I'll use my broadsword quip" too...why isn't that on a tee-shirt?
Cross Fire
Just as with Hero Quest, my friends would always wear leather and go to post-apocalyptic lightning-filled wasteland behind our houses to play this game.



  1. Pretty much every Nintendo & Sega commercial from back in the day got me fired up, even if they were awesomely bad (http://shezcrafti.com/5-awesomely-bad-sega-cd-commercials)

    And hell to the yes for both Crossfire & Hero Quest; two of my favorite games from childhood.

    Some other awesomeness:

    - Zack the Lego Maniac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDH3AoOQzE0)

    - Johnny with the mad Simon skills (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVzZVYtt64I) This kid was so badass. I wanted to be his girlfriend.

    And any commercial related to X-MEN & TMNT -- toys, products, Pizza Hut, Happy Meals, whatever -- I wanted all of it!

    1. Gotta love the x-men and tmnt commercials...i remember the blackbird jet being an awesome spot so was monster in my pocket and creepy crawlers! Bucky O Hare had some super commercials too!

      Sega CD did have some great spots (fav was Ground Zero Texas) It always seemed to be the motif of the game characters beating the shit out of the kids. (btw, tried to view your link and it wouldn't let me)

  2. Yeah, sorry about that. My site was down for about 12 hours last night & part of today, FTL. It's back up now. :)

  3. I remember that SNES commercial for Mario and man, did I love Sky Commanders. I must have had a ton of them. My brother and I were notorious for getting into offbeat toy lines.

    1. They were super offbeat but great in their own right. I had a buddy who had 3 older brothers so his house was where it was at for pretty much any toy property of the 80's...Centurions, Supernaturals, Boglins, Crash Test Dummies, Megaforce, Visionaries. Our problem was deciding what we were going to play with.

  4. As a "Samus's big space adventure" game. It's just way to linear to be a true "metroid" for me. And I've defended past linear efforts like 2 and fusion.
    But ah well. I too would like another game in this style, but maybe with more exploration based gameplay like in the old days.
    I collected all of my games at PIJ! Its really pretty for pre-order.


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