I can tell you truthfully that in 1976 I was all about the remake of 1933’s King Kong. In fact I had seen the original film thanks to a local channel’s midnight movie. I was of course at the tender age of four blown away by Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects. It also made me a lifelong admirer of that craft and of primates.
I was fortunate enough to catch the Dino De Laurentiis produced film at the 62 Drive-In. Moreover the weeks before it was released, I can recall staring at the one-sheets. You know what I’m talking about. The legendary posters featuring artwork by John Berkey!
That is to say nothing of how excited about the movie I was after watching the trailer.
Having said that and I know I’ve stated this before on The Retroist. I really didn’t see much merchandising for King Kong. Besides some awesome drinking glasses and a few T-shirts. I do however have very fond memories of the board game by Ideal.
There was much more than that, just none of it making it to my neck of the woods. So please try to imagine my surprise when I stumbled on the fact that Colorforms made a King Kong play set. Not just your average Colorforms set would do for something as epic as this, right?
Image courtesy of Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery.
That is why they released it as the King Kong Panorama Play Set! A 32-inch play set…but that is not all. This also happened to feature a reversible second side – so that you could have adventures on Skull Island and change the fate of the misunderstood Kong atop the World Trade Center.
Image courtesy of Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery.
We have Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery to thank for these last two images. Make sure to hop on over and check out more King Kong goodness. For example a 1976 belt buckle featuring some of the Berkey artwork!
Now here is a link to ebay if you decide you can’t live without a Colorforms version of Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.
But I feel I better give you a slight warning. I have yet to find any for sale under the $160 mark…but on the other hand doesn’t Kong demand such a price?!
Ready for more 1976 King Kong awesomeness?
How about this 1976 interview between Dino De Laurentiis and Bill Boggs?
With all of the Colorforms love on the site recently, I figured I’d share my favorite set with all of you fiends, starring the one and only KISS…and a Dracula by way of Studio 54?!! Anyway, let’s take a look at what was inside the box!
Well, you get all the members of KISS of course, but for some reason they’ve included a guitar for the Catman Peter Criss to use instead of a drum set. Maybe this was to indicate he was singing Beth to soothe Disco Drac (more on him in a bit) into a stupor so the rest of Kiss could use their superpowers to vaporize and burn that (more than likely) cocaine fueled fiend into a small pile of ashes and polyester threads, because much as in their super over the top film Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, KISS have super powers in this set!
Now the villain, whom the enclosed booklet refers to as The Mad Rock Promoter, is a real mystery. As mentioned above, he bears a strong resemblance to Dracula, albeit a vampire lord decked out in platform boots and an open shirt. He also has a kinda/sorta pentagram on his chest, so obviously he’s made some arcane deal with the lords of darkness to get the acts he promotes some serious air play, but while his bands may be popular they are not KISS. How does he intend to destroy the only thing that stands between him and ultimate jukebox domination? Why by throwing multicolored records at KISS and shooting down their marquee with an energy cannon that is created from a giant guitar. I hope he realizes that he’s fighting a group of young men that can shoot laser beams out of their orifices and breathe hellfire (except for Peter whose powers consist of squatting and pointing), and in the case of at least two of them are more than likely outrageously intoxicated.
And there you have it! Who will win in this epic showdown, it is up to you to decide (but it’s KISS…KISS wins). I leave you with an in depth look at the set from YouTube user Tim Sanderson.
If you are a fan of Colorforms and Popeye or both, Hake’s has a wonderful lot of Popeye Colorforms for sale. These Colorforms are a great mix, comprised of items from the late 1950s, including this wonderfully displayable piece:
With the Muppets making their return to the big screen today across that nation, it seemed the perfect time to shine the spotlight on this Colorforms set from back in 1980 for the Muppet Show.
First of all I have to point out that the artwork for the set, both the box and interior art were done by none other than the legendary movie poster illustrator Drew Struzan!
It appears that you used the Colorforms to dress up Fozzie Bear, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy. Perhaps the guide with the set allowed you to put on various shows?
A very big thanks to the Muppet Wiki for the photos you see above and to the Muppets Studio channel over on YouTube for the World Premiere footage. So how many of you are planning on seeing the Muppets this week?