Burger Chef and Jeff - Drinking Glass

Retro Records: Burger Chef and Jeff Meet Cackleburger

Burger Chef and Jeff, does that name ring a bell? For those of us that grew up in the 70s of course it brings to mind the Funmeal. A boxed kids meal that provided puzzles and stories. Focusing on the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff of course. The Funmeal also generally contained a toy or small collectible as well.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Funmeal Theatre

These were the mascots of the Burger Chef chain of fast food restaurants. Obviously. It bears pointing out that in addition to beating McDonald’s to the idea of the Happy Meal. Burger Chef was also quick to land the licensing for a little 1977 movie called Star Wars!
Burger Chef and Jeff - Star Wars

I will get to the subject of our Retro Records for this week in just a second. However I felt I should share a little more information about Burger Chef first. The restaurant got it’s start back in 1957, opening in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Fast Food

Thanks in no small part to focusing on smaller cities, for example my neck of the woods, they quickly expanded their reach. Furthermore in 1968 the chain was scooped up by General Mills which of course faciliated the expansion. By 1972 in fact they had 1,200 restaurants across the United States. It is important to realize that in that same year McDonald’s only had 400 more locations at the time.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it wasn’t a small operation. Now Burger Chef and Jeff were more than mascots, at least that was the case for me. I have mentioned before that growing up my Father and I didn’t have much. So generally once a month when I was taken to Burger Chef it was certainly a treat. One of those reasons I said they were more than mascots to myself is thanks in part to the TV commercials.

[Via] Eye 8h NBC

Burger Chef and Jeff - Mascots
I believe I have stated on more than one occasion that I was in fact a monster kid growing up. The kooky characters that Burger Chef and Jeff came into contact with like Wolfburger as well as Count Fangburger, the talking ape Burgerilla, and Cackleburger the Witch! I feel confident in saying these characters were certainly right up my alley!

You might want to listen to my first introduction to The Wolf Man in episode 53 of the Saturday Frights Podcast

Which indeed means I was very excited when Burger Chef was offering on of their 33 1/3 records. For this installment of Retro Records we are sharing Cackleburger Casts A Spell. I have hard a rather hard time tracking down the exact date but a few sources online point to 1976. You might also notice that the spelling on the record is different than the spelling for the character.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Cackelburger

Also of interest is that Burger Chef is voiced by the late and great Paul Winchell. Whose voice I think you might recognize from the massive animated series he was affiliated with. Paul provided the voice of Gargamel in the Smurfs, was Fleegle Beagle in The Banana Splits, as well as Dick Dastardly for many of the Hanna-Barbera shows.

So please join us on Retro Records as we listen to the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff!

[Via] James Will

Burger Chef King Kong Glasses

Burger Chef King Kong Glasses

King Kong is one of my favorite adventure stories. I love the original movie and Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. I like the 1976 remake with Jeff Bridges but the one thing that bugs me about it is the removal of the fantasy elements. Other than King Kong and a giant snake there is nothing fantasy related about it. However, the retro coolness of some of the merchandising for the 1976 film is great, like these glasses offered by Burger Chef King Kong Glasses.

To this day it still baffles me that glasses like this aren’t still a fast food staple. When they do release them, they are usually pale shadows of these colorful gems. With the new Star Trek films, we had the promise of some new glasses, but even those did not live up to glassware we got in up through the 1980s.

The Burger Chef King Kong Glasses are sought after by collectors, but are not uncommon. If you are at a flea market or store selling retro stuff, you can expect to find them in decent shape between $10 and $25 per glass. Although, I have seen them go for as low as $5 in slightly lesser condition.

Watch the Burger Chef King Kong Glasses Commercial

1978 Burger Chef Star Wars Fun Meals

In 1978, Burger Chef was right with the nations zeitgeist, selling their burgers and fries with a side-order of Star Wars. They were among the first companies to do so and ran a commercials advertising the facts.

We were not frequenters of Burger Chef (they were hard to come by in our neck of the woods), but I swear I had one of these posters on my wall as a kid. Perhaps one of my parents picked it up for their Star Wars crazed kid.

My favorite is this one because of the kid with the Sand Speeder at the start. He is either lost in dream of far off Tantooine or more likely is really really bored. How dare you kid! Show some respect!

Whatever Happened To Pudding Pops?

Friends, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of reading Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont’s humorous look back at “The Lost Toys, Tastes & Trends of the ’70s & ’80s”. Their book is out now from Perigee Books so you should have no problem picking it up at major bookstores. You should make a point to do so, because if you are visiting this site you are absolutely the perfect demographic for this.

The book is alphabetical and while Gael and Brian may not spend more than just a paragraph on a toy, TV Show, restaurant, etc. they do supply a very humorous look at it all. Subject matter from Ants in the Pants to Zoom get covered in this 230 page tome of the past. I was laughing out loud more than once and they’ve done something kind of neat with supplying an X-Tinction Rating, then a Replaced By Rating, and finally a Fun Fact for each entry. I was impressed by not only some of the great memories they brought up but for giving me the heads up on some of the things that I missed. Like the Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces “Toy” or as Gael and Brian rightfully call it, “Part Billy Barty, part Lon Chaney Jr., and all creepy, Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces, has to be one of the single most terrifying toys ever created.”.

Another great example is that for the longest time I’ve been trying to remember the name of a line of Hamburger chains, one that was in my neck of the woods back in my youth and thanks to this book, on page 24…the mystery was solved. Burger Chef! Which by the way had the Fun Meal…which was later “adopted” by another Burger Empire.

So if you want to spend a day curled up in your favorite reading spot and have an immensely wonderful and humorous stroll down memory lane, you owe it to yourself to pick up Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?, because as you can see in the photo below, Gael and Brian are one of us!