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Child's play
September 29, 2012 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Hey Metafilter, you like John Carpenter's The Thing? Now, see the toys from the merchandising tie-in! (SLYT, NSFW, possible spoilers)
posted by zippy (34 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh, I think the ad about $10 crack might have been even funnier.
posted by Malor at 5:26 PM on September 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Don't forget the classic Star Wars toys: posted by Potsy at 5:33 PM on September 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


Potsy - I like this one.
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mom would only let me have the less violent "Porky's" playset. Little did she know.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:39 PM on September 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


You have buried the lede: a half-hour cartoon in which Alf, Garfield, the Chipmunks, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, and the Ninja Turtles rescue a young boy from the clutches of crack cocaine, all courtesy of Barbara Bush.
posted by Nomyte at 5:40 PM on September 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm having a hard time with the concept that all the products linked in this thread so far are real things that were actually marketed for children, and not just elaborate hoaxes.
posted by figurant at 5:54 PM on September 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm having a hard time with the concept that all the products linked in this thread so far are real things that were actually marketed for children, and not just elaborate hoaxes.

You won't know for sure until the last one of you freezes to death.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:57 PM on September 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


Aw, MacReady and his grapnel gun. He loved that thing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:13 PM on September 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Real Alien Ooze!"

Oh, man. Takes me back to my Evil Horde Slime Pit. I was so hugely psyched to get that for Christmas. Then I used it. Fuck you, Mattel. They should have called it the Big Expensive Thing You Leave To Crustify After Using Up All The Slime In One Go And Totally Ruining Your Friend's Action Figure And Your Friendship With Him And Also Now Your Parents Don't Buy You Toys Anymore Because "You Never Use The One We Bought You For Christmas" playset.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:25 PM on September 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't know if I even believe this ad is real. It doesn't seem real. But then, I guess things didn't really seem very real in my childhood, either, so in a way it has the ring of truth.
posted by koeselitz at 7:27 PM on September 29, 2012


One reason to believe this is utterly fake:

As Nomyte points out, this seems to lead into Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue, which is indeed a weird and real thing. But, as the Wikipedia page notes, Cartoon All-Stars aired on television in 1990. The Thing came out eight years earlier, in 1982.

So unless they suddenly decided to re-start the ad campaign eight years later, there's no possibility that these two things actually aired coevally.

It is possible, of course, that somebody spliced them together years later; but I don't know why they would. Before the internet era, people didn't tend to isolate commercials like this for the hell of it; and after the internet era, people didn't generally "accidentally" leave artifacts like that at the end of the video.

So, yeah, I'm going to call bullshit. I tried to find some other mention of The Thing merchandising, but the only other site I've found on that seems more than a little dubious (a LaToya Jackson tie-in? Seriously?) Wikipedia does not mention any contemporary merchandising at all, for what it's worth.
posted by koeselitz at 7:38 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Yeah, watching it again, there's absolutely no way this is real. They stuck the most gory and insane visuals in the film right there in the commercial – nobody would've done that in the early 1980s. And the voiceover "kids" talking are... well, distinctly un-1980s. The whole thing doesn't feel right at all. This is totally not real. It'd be very interesting to see something proving me wrong, though.)
posted by koeselitz at 7:41 PM on September 29, 2012


It's also amazing that they managed to pull such perfectly clear (though terribly lit) high-definition footage from a thirty-year-old VHS tape.
posted by koeselitz at 7:47 PM on September 29, 2012


Well, one clue is there is a dust/dirt overlay during the final static shot, but not anywhere else during the ad. That's a film reel artifact, not a video cassette artifact.
posted by Nomyte at 7:52 PM on September 29, 2012


For comparison, some actual Hasbro commercials from 1982:

GI Joe
Snoopy Splash-n-Play

I'm noticing Hasbro seems to have typically used a splash animation at the end of its commercials as a brand identifier.
posted by koeselitz at 8:04 PM on September 29, 2012


Um, duh. It's pretty freaking obviously not real. Is parody. Is joke.

Hint: No way in hell would the most graphically violent shots from the most graphically violent movie be shown during Saturday morning cartoons.

If you think this is a "hoax," koeselitz, well, god bless you.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:06 PM on September 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


Sorry. I need to get out more. Sigh.
posted by koeselitz at 8:08 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


(That said, this is a pretty neat amalgam of the style, to be completely honest.)
posted by koeselitz at 8:10 PM on September 29, 2012


The artist who made this video creates cool customized action figures. You can check out his gallery here and here.
posted by prinado at 8:27 PM on September 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey koeselitz, I need to hook you up with this guy who contacted me recently. Seems that he's a prince who needs help collecting the tidy sum of $700,000US from a bank account in London, but the problem is he's stuck in Nigeria. Think you can help him out with a couple of thousand for the banker's fees??
posted by item at 8:33 PM on September 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't trust item, he's The Thing!
posted by zippy at 10:38 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next I want to see an ad for a big, clunky 1982 chess computer. MacReady can pour his drink into it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:56 PM on September 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


People thought this was real?

Now, the Alien toys... for kids... they were real.
posted by Mezentian at 11:22 PM on September 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want a Thing chess set... and when you promote a pawn it would all mutate and that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:08 AM on September 30, 2012


Why on earth would you make an animated special about crack cocaine? People thought that six year olds would be saving up their allowance for some rock?
posted by angrycat at 3:19 AM on September 30, 2012


Why on earth would you make an animated special about crack cocaine? People thought that six year olds would be saving up their allowance for some rock?

I recall there being all manner of scare stories about dealers selling crack to grade-schoolers. Seriously.

There was/is also the message that gets pushed to kids along the lines of "If you see this in your home, call Officer Friendly immediately." Basically, a "turn your parents in" message.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why on earth would you make an animated special about crack cocaine?

Do you not remember the 1980s?

Why on earth would you make an ... episode of Diff'rent Strokes about a kiddiefiddler?
Why on earth would you make ... a very special episode of Punky Brewster in which Punky watches in horror, at school, as the space shuttle explodes.
posted by Mezentian at 7:29 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why on earth would you make an ... episode of Diff'rent Strokes about a kiddiefiddler?
Why on earth would you make ... a very special episode of Punky Brewster in which Punky watches in horror, at school, as the space shuttle explodes.


The crucial difference there is that child sexual abuse and kids watching the Challenger explode were and (in the first case) are still things that have happened to kids. In fact, a lot of kids were watching the Challenger launch because of Christa McAuliffe. Crack in grade schools... not so much.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:10 AM on September 30, 2012


Crack in grade schools... not so much.

DRUGS in schools. It was a magical white powder, not specifically coke.
And coke was everywhere in Hollywood at the time.
I can't speak for American kids at the time, but there was nothing about All-Stars that shocks me.
posted by Mezentian at 8:42 AM on September 30, 2012


Why on earth would you make an animated special about crack cocaine? People thought that six year olds would be saving up their allowance for some rock?

Having been that age in the Nancy Reagan "just say no" years, I can say with confidence that the associated ads are pretty much the only reason I ever thought drugs were cool.

Makes sense. After all, they had all that Contra crack to move.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 AM on September 30, 2012


Yeah this is fake but it's a very well-done fake, and very faithful to the spirit of the thing. Up to the way that whenever a movie isn't designed to have action figures made from it but does anyway, one of them always always always has a grappling hook, despite grappling hooks appearing nowhere in the movie.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:25 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love fakes like this, but it makes me so unreasonably annoyed when they ruin a really good looking video with awful voice overs. Couldn't they at least have gotten some real kids?
posted by orme at 10:40 AM on September 30, 2012


Couldn't they at least have gotten some real kids?

So many of them had gone off in pairs - the buddy system, they called it - but inevitably, whether from inexperience or naïveté or simple exhaustion, each had eventually failed to keep an eye on their partner.

In the end, only Childs and Macready were left in a standoff.

One pressed 'record' and the other spoke. Eyes on each other the whole time.
posted by zippy at 11:38 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thread not complete without a link to the Oozinator
posted by doogyrev at 5:00 PM on October 1, 2012


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