Billy Zabka is VERY Enthusiastic about Clean Tiles in this 1984 Commercial for Tilex

When not excellently portraying bad boys in eighties films, the great Billy Zabka, played a young baseball player with a profound interest in tile care in this retro commercial for Tilex. After watching it, I think you will find that while you remember Billy for the toughness he brought to all of his characters in his movie work, you will be forever haunted by his delivery of the line, “Soap scum? What’s soap scum?”


Before Full House Bob Saget and Dave Coulier did a commercial for Elias Brothers Restaurants

Before they became famous working together on the TV show “Full House”, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier starred in a commercial for the regional Big Boy Restaurant Franchisee, Elias Brothers. The ad is actually pretty clever. They do some classic shtick related to their guilt at returning to the endless all you can eat buffet finally culminating in dressing up as a horse to get some delicious garlic bread (naturally).

This commercial ran at about the same time Coulier was starring in the cult classic, “Out of Control”. I wonder if he filmed this before landing that role or if his appearance on that show helped him land this gem?


Caitlyn Jenner’s 1978 Wheaties Cereal Commercial

Someone the other day was talking about Caitlyn Jenner and mentioned that they thought, “she used to be an athlete or something”. I tried to explain that for a time, American was going through what could only be called Jenner-mania after Jenner won the Olympic Gold for the Decathlon in 1976. When they said that it didn’t seem like a big deal, I asked them to explain what a decathlon was, they could not. Jenner was so media-ready and probably media-savy that she was able to parlay a gold in an event that few care about into becoming a national celebrity.

One of the most important stops on that road to stardom, was the Wheaties box. Here you see that famous ad in all its seventies glory.


Alan Alda used an Atari Touch Tablet and you should have too

The Atari Touch Tablet has been featured here on the site before, but it was such a great bit of technology, it is worth bringing up again. Released in the early mid-eighties the tablet was way ahead of its time. In an age when many of us fiddled with computers, feeding in coordinate to draw shapes, the Touch Tablet gave users the ability to draw as if they had a digital piece of paper in front of them.

Designed by Atari’s Industrial Design group Tom Palecki, the tablet would inform computer input device design for years to come and much like the Atari Video Music might have been able to catch on if given more time or maybe just the right marketing. Now all we have left is decaying technology and a wonderful marketing campaign featuring Mr. Alan Alda.


Enjoy some One-Handed Video Game Fun with the Stickmaster

I encountered ads for the Stickmaster in my youth and while the price was reasonable enough, I could never gather up enough money to buy one. Instead I tried all sorts of things to emulate the Stickmaster idea. This included taping a joystick to the coffee table, a bar bell weight and just about anything else I thought my hold it in place. This use of the tape, which was cheap masking tape, infuriated my Mother. Not just because I used up all the tape and left tape residue all over the place, but because of my seemingly endless stupidity and trying it again and again even when all evidence pointed to the same results…failure. I have kept my eyes open at flea markets and garage sales ever since for Stickmaster, but I have never seen one in the wild.

Maybe everyone else thought that they could build one themselves and found the right thing to tape their joystick to…oh…or maybe they just used more tape. More tape! Of course, why didn’t I think of that.


Remember the Sears Electronic Showplace?

I do enjoy shopping online, but when I was a kid, stores like Sears and Kmart were my families one stop shop for everything. I especially love Sears, where while my Mother did her shopping I could hang out in the electronics sections and play with TV, stereos and other electronic components for hours. I was especially infatuated with very small and very large televisions and would spend and equal amount of time staring at each — Dreaming of a day when I would own these amazing bits of technology.

At the Sears at a mall we frequented, a Sears my Mom called “the nice Sears”, they had set up a couch in front of a wall of TVs and they would always have a popular movie playing on them. This was heaven! I think during one long day at the mall, I got through nearly two entire viewings of Raiders of the Lost Ark without leaving that couch.

I have seen a lot of stores offering daycare for kids, with fancy toys and ballpits. This seems like a waste of resources for these places. If you really want to take care of a lot of kids at once, just buy a few TVs and some comfortable sofas and let the electronic babysitter do all the work.


Love your Kids? Get a better toothpaste…

This ad from the mid-eighties is surprising in its direction, probably because all the toothpaste advertising I saw during that decade was aimed at kids. This one is directed at the parents and it really plucks at the heart-strings. Implying that if you do not use the cavity fighting power of Crest, you might not be a great parent. The shot is pretty standard, kid growing up stuff (learning to tie a tie). I wonder if they decided on this after deciding a grown adult standing behind a kid and brushing their teeth for them was just odd seeming.