The Olds Connection’s Camcorder Offer…Dude!

That’s right, the “Olds Connection” wants to give you a camcorder so you can be on TV!

We Can All Be On TV!

In the summer of 1991, Oldsmobile (excuse me, the Olds Connection!) aimed to make stars out of its car buyers. So they offered a $1100 camcorder with the purchase of a 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight. In August 1991, the promo was so successful, they extended the offer through the end of the month.

The aim of the promo? Being in a commercial, of course!

Regular People Buying Oldsmobiles!

The commercial featured regular people…

Wearing awesome early 1990s Mom Pants…

Liking traction control (optional feature, folks!)

The trunk space, DUDE!

Let’s see that again…via GIPHY MAGIC!

MAGIC…Dude!

And Now That You Know Who Likes the Olds Connection’s Offer…

Why not click play and see these people in action?

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

So…Why This Promo?

The 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight, Oldsmobile’s full-size premium sedan, was redesigned for its 1992 model. Hence, people talking about what they loved most about the redesign. The promo occurred during the summer of 1991 (this commercial aired during that summer’s telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards), and ran through August 31, 1991.

It’s safe to say people really like their Oldsmobile Eighty Eight, and Oldsmobile kept the model going until 1999. Sadly, Oldsmobile was not much longer for the world, as the close of the decade brought about the final years for the General Motors brand.

We’ll always have Mom Pants, Old Guy Who Likes Traction Control, and…the trunk space, dude!

But if you really wanted an Oldsmobile or a camcorder…I’d love to know if anyone went for this deal. There is nothing on the interwebs about it, but surely someone has a story out there…

New Jersey’s Own: The Short Life of Kid’s World

Kid’s World. It has a nice generic ring to it, doesn’t it?

All Those Amusement Parks…

I thought I’d heard of all the known amusement parks in the Delaware Valley and Jersey shore regions. I even worked for one (Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven, NJ).

However, when you grow up hearing about/watching a steady stream of commercials for Six Flags Great Adventure, Dorney Park, Hershey Park, Sesame Place, and the infamous Action (Traction) Park, it is easy to miss the smaller amusement parks.

Uploaded by WeirdNJTV

Admit it, we watched these commercials just to see if someone ate it or broke their neck in the background. Half the fun of Action Park wasn’t actually going, but also learning about their spectacularly infamous history.

There are amusement parks (some local to my area), that I have never heard of, but no longer exist. For instance, a “castle” haunted house in one of the shore communities off Atlantic City, a whole Dinosaur-themed pier in the famous Wildwoods (that didn’t last long), and a park in Long Branch that I only heard of when I spotted two commercials on an old tape.

Previously, On Allison’s Written Words…

Last week, I spotted a commercial for an amusement park in Long Branch, NJ called Kid’s World. Aside from the obvious belief that the name was a tad generic, I’d never heard of this place.

Naturally, it became Throwback Thursday on my blog!

Lo and behold, I was looking through the tape for my Flashback Friday commercial (it wound up being about Slip n’ Slide), and I found I missed out on a second commercial for the same amusement park.

This park, my friends, is Kid’s World, and it was a victim of circumstance.

Kid’s World

In 1985, Pat Cicalese and his business partner, Carmen Ricci, re-themed the pier, pool, waterslide, and Bumper Boats on the Ocean Avenue Long Branch Pier. They purchased the pier six years earlier (and leased it the year prior to that), and called it Kid’s World.

Their inspiration came from Langhorne, PA’s more famous amusement park, Sesame Place.

Kid’s World: It’s a Do-Be!

See what I did there!

Oh, wait, a bee.

Kid’s World was a child/family-friendly amusement park that not only had a rides, but a Romper Room-themed area. Sesame Place had Big Bird and all his friends, and Kid’s World…had Mr. Do-Be. Who may or may not have stolen souls.

It was Mr. Do-Be’s MO for getting you to come there!

It also had all this!

And also in live action!

But seriously, this was the best part!

“Honey, get the kids in the car!  They have SHADOW PUPPETS!!!!”

While Kid’s World had water slides and kid-friendly stuff, it also had a Haunted Mansion right there for the adults. Not exactly their target audience, don’t ya think?

Uploaded by clarkkent1367

Also not wanted? Doobies that aren’t Do-Be’s! (How could I make that plural?)

Unfortunately, fate had other plans for Kid’s World, and didn’t involve Shadow Puppets or Mr. Do-Be.

The Fire…And The End

On the afternoon of June 8, 1987, a fire broke out at the McDonald’s on the pier, sparing only the water attractions across the street. Couple that with slowing business, and Kid’s World closed for good at the end of the season.

Both videos uploaded by Ted M

The story only gets more depressing, as Cicalese’s plans to rebuild the pier were dashed by insurance that didn’t cover the cost, and Long Branch Township’s unwillingness to fund a rebuilding, resulting in Kid’s World’s abandonment until the pier and water park were demolished in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

But From Those Ashes And Abandonment…

For that depressing story, there actually is a happy one!

Pier Village (opened in 2005) was built on the former site of Kid’s World, and is a mixed-use community of 100,000 square feet of 536 rental residences, retail space, a grassy area for events, shops, restaurants, a salon, and a gym.

Incredible!

The Commercial!

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share one more VERY important thing!

The commercial for the other  Kid’s world commercial I found on my tape…taped from WNYW in June 1987!

Wow, back when Monmouth County had “201” numbers.

And there you have it, one of those lesser-known amusement parks (because of its lack of longevity), and the mixed-use community that succeeded its charred remains.

Not every sad defunct amusement park has a sad ending, folks.

Sip Ups

Do you remember Sip Ups?

As a kid, anything with sugar in it was alright with me. So I took to juice boxes and Capri Suns like a fish to water. Just hand me a tiny straw and container with some sweet fluid in it and I would attack it with gusto. This meant that when given the opportunity, I would pick up the newest flavors when they hit stores. Usually that was followed with discussions with my friends about which was our favorites. This was not the case with Sip Ups.

Sip Ups were flavored milk drink boxes. They made a splash with a wonderful commercial, but lasted barely a year. I got to try their Chocolate and Strawberry flavor and thought they were pretty good. Telling this to my friends, they all asked their parents for them. When they got their own Sip Ups, they did not have the same positive experience. They hated them. In my town, I was the only one who seemed to enjoy them. Not sure why that was. Perhaps my palate, is just not discerning enough?

ReadI Love Capri Sun!

I must have drank a few dozen Sip Ups during their run. We especially loaded up on them when they were being discontinued. Not making the association between the low price and their failure, I would look for them for months after it was obvious that they were gone to everyone else. Now as I mentioned, I had the chocolate and strawberry Sip Ups, but I could have sworn they also had vanilla and blueberry. This is probably some sort of phantom memory caused by some other product mix-ups, because I cannot find any proof of those flavors online.

Unlike other retro products, I doubt we will ever see Sip Ups again. Even though that is the case, we do have an amazing commercial with a catchy jingle, to keep their memory alive. It is basically just a group of kids musically yelling, “Where doing Sip Ups,” over and over again, but it works.

This earworm has been stuck in my head since the mid-eighties and every time I hit play it comes roaring back. While you might be transfixed by the music, also pay attention to the choreography. The best part is this kid in the front in the purple jacket. I feel like this is take 100 for the day and he is so over being in this commercial.

Sip Ups Kids

Sip Ups Kids

Enjoy this classic ad for Sip Ups

MTV Hawaiian Holiday with Devo

Remember the MTV Hawaiian Holiday with Devo?

When you think of Hawaii, what do you think of? Sandy beaches? Beautiful sunsets? Groundbreaking rock bands from Akron, OH? Not many people will think that last one, but thanks to a contest that MTV ran back in 1982, Devo and Hawaii are never far apart in mind. The MTV Hawaiian Holiday With Devo ran for a few months and was featured both in print and on MTV itself.

The winner would get 5 sunny day and 4 thrilling nights in Honolulu with the band. In addition they included a cool Walkman, DEVO albums, outfits, spending money and much more. Sadly it was a contest reserved for the 18 year and older crowd, so young spuds need not apply. As a guest of Devo, you would also get to go backstage at their concert. Which took place on February 22, 1982 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena in Honolulu, HI. Sadly no footage of that concert is online.

MTV seemed to be on a real contest kick back in 1982. My sister was always talking about the House Party contests that she wanted to win. I think that one took place right after the Devo contest. It was a real fun time to be watching MTV, I can only imagine how crazy it was working there.

This classic 1982 MTV promo for the MTV Hawaiian Holiday With Devo features Devo. Plus music video clips from Beautiful World, Whip It and Satisfaction. In the image above you can see JJ Jackson and Martha Quinn digging into the crate full of contest entries for a winner. I loved this version of MTV. Not only did they do fun contests, but they were also comically broad in their approach to things.

The winner of the contest was Dolli Markovich. Dolli, coincidentally hailed from the same town as Devo, Akron, OH. Looking online, I cannot find a Dolli Markovich. If you are out there Dolli, I would love to hear from you and know what winning this contest was like.

Watch the MTV Hawaiian Holiday with Devo promo

MCI Mail

MCI Mail wanted to be the nation’s new postal system

MCI Mail was a commercial email and messaging. It was operated by MCI Communications from 1983 to 2003. Started on September 23, 1983, it was ahead of its time. Naturally being one of the first commercial email services in the United States, it was met with confusion by many. The commercials they released for MCI Mail didn’t really answer what they were all about.

Commercial for MCI Mail from 1983

Even though it was confusing to the non-technical person, it was a clever ad. A father and son, with comically over-sized should-pads visit a museum in the future. There they see a letter from 1983. The son has never seen one before and even mispronounces the word. Then he asked what did it “let” people do. Hilarious!

The evolution of MCI Mail seems pretty logical and tried to piggyback on the technological expectations of the times. First you used it just like a closed email system. Access to the initial MCI Mail service was provided using up to a 5600 baud modem. Which you connected to a standard telephone land line. Then you would dial-in on the toll-free access number at (800)444-Mail.

Read A $339 PCMCIA Modem is a Lot Like an Oreo?

Later it would be expanded to allow you to communicate with non-MCI customers. While at the same time, you could use a hybrid service which sent electronic mails to distant areas. There they would be printed out and could be delivered in under 4 hours.

In 1994 MCI stopped supporting the product, but remarkably the service persisted for almost another decade. By 2003, e-mail and other forms of electronic communications were ubiquitous. MCI Mail just couldn’t compete. So at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30, 2003 it was officially decommissioned.

Want a more detailed breakdown of MCI Mail? This Promo video describes the MCI electronic mail process. It outlines the benefits and includes an overview of the prices associated with the service. It is a real gem.

Promotional Piece About MCI Mail