If you are ever in a beach town, one place you should always stop is the local pharmacy. Better yet, if they have one, a Five and Ten store. They are filled with wondrous beach related items, which are sometime available outside of that world, but usually not in such numbers. Recently I was lucky enough to visit a small town and spied a Five and Ten and was not disappointed with what I found. Innumerable cheap plastic toys and games, plus a kite section as dense as a breakfast cereal aisle. While looking a these kites, I started to fixate on the kite packaging art.
A lot of this work reminds me of the packaging on fireworks. Which is another type of packaging that I have always adored. Something I also tend to look for or associate with beach towns. Or as we say in New Jersey, Shore Towns.
It is colorful and creative, so I thought I would snap a few photos and share it here on the site. A lot of these are not technically retro, but I don’t think that kite packaging art changes all that often. If you bought kites as a kid, I think you might be have seen a few of these Gayla and Krazy Kite packages before.
Colorful Kite Packaging Art
Krazy Kite Butterfly
Krazy Kite Delta Wing
Gayla Osprey Kite
Gayla Flower Kite
Gayla Dragon Kite
Gayla Psycedelic Kite
Gayla Fire Kite
Tie Dye Fire Kite
Krazy Kat Wacky Bat
Beautiful stuff right? Besides the apparent timelessness of the style, what really pleases me about this art, is that it is just being made at all. Somewhere a company exists that needs to sell colorful kites. They have artists, who they pay money to create delightfully colorful kites and then perhaps another person who is designing the label to help sell that kite. Each of these kites is nearly identical in style, so the only selling point is the design.
If I met one of these designers, I would have so many questions. How often do they release a new kite? What is the design process like? Do they try to fight the trends? If you work at Gayla, or Krazy, can you go in and pitch a new kite concept? What do those presentations look like?
Growing up in the New York area, I was exposed to all sorts of local advertising that will occasionally pop back into my brain. Recently I saw an ad for a local Renaissance Faire and it immediately got me thinking of this commercial for the New York Renaissance Faire/Festival. They would start airing these towards the end of summer and I would immediately begin bugging my family to take me to take me so that I could “spend a day with their knight”. Sadly we never went.
To this day I feel that I missed out on a grand opportunity for fun by never getting to go. It was the type of entertainment that would be in perfect alignment with my interest in history and especially fantasy roleplaying games.
I guess it is never too late to make something like this happen. Perhaps it is time for me to finally start working on that harlequin or rat catcher costume. So that next summer, under the blazing heat of the late august sun, I can be magically transported back in time by way of Sterling Forest.
This classic mid-eighties ad for “Seaman’s” does not mess around with flashy gimmicks. No, this is all business. I wonder if the star of the commercial read through the script and thought, “Wow, this is all me. For 30 seconds the entire NY/NJ/CT tri-state area will be hanging on my every word!”
He delivers the good and staring right into the camera and into our homes he breaks down how stupid we would all have to be to not take advantages of “Seaman’s” low low prices and easy credit. Just goes to show there are no boring parts, just boring actors. So when you have to explain department store credit, you own it and the world will stand up and take notices (30 years later).
Well, I finally got the ol’ scanner working again and I have decided to jump into my many boxes of ephemera. My first handful that I scooped out are largely related to Northern New Jersey, but I think that many of you will get a kick out of the material even if you do not recognize the material from first hand experience.
This is an envelope that is from 1965, which you can see from the postmark (5 cents…what a bargain). It is for a bank that still exists today, “Hudson City Savings Bank”. While the bank might still be around, I am pretty sure they do not have envelopes this cool anymore. I especially like the pattern on the inside of the envelope. It is all very classy.
Pantagis Famous Renascence seems to still be going strong in beautiful Scotch Plains, but I doubt their advertising today is nowhere near as good as it was in the mid eighties when they ran this commercial. Featuring delicious looking food, theatrical Greek specialties, creepy clowns and a monkey on a pulley, this ad explicitly demonstrates that Pantagis Famous Renascence has everything and more!
Sadly I never got to go here during that magical decades, but this commercial more than makes up whatever sumptuous feasts I missed out on.