Back to the Future II holds some very vivid memories for me. I can certainly recall the excitement at my High School from my fellow students as the November 22 release date crept closer – although that also had a bit to do with the Thanksgiving vacation too.
Of course it didn’t help that Back to the Future II was heavily involved with all manner of cross promotional advertising and merchandising like with Pizza Hut. You know, the Solar Shades inspired by the movie?
Some of the Pizza Hut ads for Back to the Future 2 didn’t even make those Solar Shades the main focus…I still want a pair of them though. Even back in 1989 I smiled at that girl’s comment about the two guys looking 80s – I think I knew somehow that fashion would never get better than that for me.
What do I remember most about Back to the Future 2?
There are a couple of things that stood out as my Father and I were watching it on opening weekend:
Whoa! Jennifer from the first film has been replaced by Adventure In Babysitting’s Elisabeth Shue!
Things got quite a bit darker in Back to the Future Part II!
Our fellow audience members seemed none too pleased that the conclusion to the Back to the Future saga would be finished in a third film and set in the old west.
When I say they were not pleased I mean many, many of them were booing as they walked out of the auditorium. For quite a while, at school especially it seemed like I was the lone defender of Back to the Future II but eventually it seemed like people’s attitude towards the film changed.
Didn’t you mention something about a Back to the Future II battery-powered car?
Yep. I was and still am a huge fan of the movie. Having said that – somehow the knowledge that Action Products released as a 1989 Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive – a battery-powered DeLorean escaped my attention.
Not that I was of the age category that could have driven it without breaking it. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t have picked up that radio controlled car though!
I am absolutely astonished they added a Mr. Fusion!
These images by the way come courtesy of a 2010 post from io9 who seem to have obtained them from the always awesome Branded in the 80s site.
So I logged onto my You Tube Channel, and was greeted by notifications. Now, for me, on a normal day, notifications on my You Tube Channel are usually someone +1’d a comment I made, a comment someone else made on a video I commented on, a comment someone else made within a conversation I also made a comment for, and in more rare cases, someone subscribed to me. I’m well aware that critics are around, especially among nitpickers on You Tube, so I’m always prepared for that. And spam comments. I’m always on the lookout for that. I remember having to put something about spammers on my old You Tube Channel.
But today, it was a comment, and an interesting one. It was from someone who also owed a 1990 print of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, and how he had a different type of edit that ended the Pizza Hut commercial on his video. This type of error is always intriguing, and he said he thinks it was a mistake made on the production end when the VHS was made. I guess no two copies are alike, wouldn’t you say?
When I was in my basement a two weeks ago, doing the laundry (I promise, that’s really what I was doing), one of the other tapes I grabbed from the shelf was my 1989 print of The Land Before Time. Not one of those sequels, but the original film. This was another one of those “Mommy and Daddy Take the Kids to the Movies” things, except instead of turtles with mad ninja fighting skills, it was about little dinosaurs trying to reunite with their families in the face of tragedy. Ever want to upset my entire family into silence? Watch Littlefoot’s mom die. Boom. Quiet.
That actually happened – we were watching the movie for the second time (when we got it as a birthday present for our seventh birthday in 1989), and the death of Littlefoot’s mother put the hush-hush over our living room.
And if this was a spoiler to you…where have you been since 1988? We ’80s babies all know this was that other tragic animated death, the other being the death of Optimus Prime.
Wait…you didn’t know that either? Where have you been since 1986?!
I’m not sure what it is with Don Bluth movies, but apparently he likes children (even the anthropomorphic animal kind) to suffer some kind of harsh tragedy – remember how Fivel got separated from his family in An American Tale? How about all the tragedy that happened in The Secret of NIMH? The only thing that wasn’t tragic about that film was the fact that it was so well-done, and beautifully animated despite the story and dark nature of the film. Littlefoot’s mother dying wasn’t the first tragedy to befall a Don Bluth-animated anthropomorphic animal child.
This is slowly turning into a mucho depressing piece. And we’re also getting sidetracked – let’s get to the real reason you are here, which is not to read about all the times we were emotionally scarred by Don Bluth movies and Optimus Prime dying.
Let’s shift away from all of this, and look at something we all seem to love around here – old VHS tapes!
Yes, this is much better!
The video itself is one of the original prints, and much like my copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Pizza Hut ran a promotional campaign around the movie. Now, unlike that video, the Pizza Hut commercial on this one actually has tie-ins from this movie in the commercial.
That commercial was featured over on my blog as Throwback Thursday’s commercial pick for last week, and involves a birthday party and the practicing of good etiquette. But since this is Pizza Hut, we only have to proclaim that we used good manners, ‘cuz we’re gonna party!
And don’t forget, “Share, share, use your silverware!”
Trust me, you read my articles for the educational value they provide!
The video reminds us to stay tuned after the feature for more previews. Which is proof that MCA Home Video was the Marvel of its time!
Then we see this…
For a Universal-based home video label, the logo is pretty low budget…but starry! Which makes it somewhat pretty.
And if you followed the instructions and watched after the film, you were reminded of what we paid for a VHS tape back in 1989:
I never complain about the cost of boxed sets on Blu-Ray when I know what my parents paid for me to have movies in the late 1980s-early 1990s.
So, it’s a video you want to see, is it?
Then press play, and relive 1980s home video glory!
Don’t ever complain about how much anything costs again – you saw
Allison’s videocassette collection isn’t a thing of beauty, but it sure is nostalgic. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can also find more like this on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
This was one of the best shelves I saw at the flea market last weekend.
That’s the Shoney’s Bear on the left. He’s plastic, hollow, and not that desirable. He was $6.
On the right is of course Grimace, Ronald McDonald’s oldest, purplest friend. This Grimace was a ceramic bank, priced at $25. I am not sure if this was actually a licensed item or not, but I really wanted him regardless.
The fellow in the middle is the old Pizza Hut mascot. I have not seen one of these in many years. At $35 this little guy was a bit steep for me (especially considering it didn’t come with a pizza), but was probably priced appropriately.
During business hours I am sure these three competitors would never be allowed to fraternize with one another, but after the doors have closed I am glad to see the three are allowed to share a shelf (and perhaps food-related stories) with one another.
“Putt Putt to the Pizza Hut” was the first national television commercial for Pizza Hut in 1965. It features a 1965 Mustang JR gas powered promotional car Made by the Powercar Comany of Mystic CT. These were made with the cooperation of the Ford Motor Company for use in dealer promotions and other uses. Mustang JRs were made in 1965, 1966 and 1967 and changed each year to match the full size cars.