Moonraker - Kid Stuff - Book and Record

Retro Records: James Bond – Moonraker (1985)

Did you know that 1979’s Moonraker was made into a book and record? I certainly did not until I stumbled across an auction the other day. In the interest of full disclosure, it was the Projectionist who discovered it. He was kind enough to call me into the control room, down here in the Vault. The auction was for a complete set of 1985 Kid Stuff book and records featuring James Bond. Dr. No, A View to a Kill, The Spy Who Loved Me as well as Moonraker. Not just the book and record sets but the “deluxe talking storybook” with cassette tapes too.
Moonraker - Book and Records

I, of course, wish I could tell that we won the auction. The sad fact of the matter is that someone in Germany took the prize. Outbid us by a long shot. I suppose whomever got the set was a bigger James Bond fan than ourselves. Maybe it was Blofeld?
Moonraker - Blofeld

Anyway, I am quite willing to bet you are as surprised as I was. I mean, Kid Stuff tackled all manner of popular properties, back in the day. James Bond however is a far cry from the likes of Garfield, Transformers, and Knight Rider, right?
Moonraker - James Bond

What I would love to know is how they picked which films to adapt into “children’s stories”? Obviously A View to a Kill marked the swan song of Roger Moore as 007. In fact it was the seventh film with Moore portraying James Bond. Moonraker lends itself to an exciting tale, plus it too starred Moore. I think that Dr. No is the odd choice, breaking the trend of Moore films and of course tackling a Sean Connery version. Imagine what they would have done with 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service!

Obviously the folks at Kid Stuff have condensed much of Moonraker. They naturally had to since it had to tell a tale in a little over ten minutes. But I would point out that it’s pretty obvious it was still a little more violent than you might think.
Moonraker - Bond and Drax

Let us hop back to 1985 and sit back as we listen and read Moonraker on Retro Records!

[Via] RAD

Do you think the A View to a Kill book and record features the Duran Duran song?

[Via] Guillermo Alejandro Riera

Black Cauldron - Book and Record

Retro Records: The Black Cauldron (1985)

Fun fact, friends. 1985’s The Black Cauldron was actually intended to be released in 1984. In fact it was intended to be the big Holiday release for Walt Disney Pictures. The reason for the delay? It might have had something to do with the test screening of The Black Cauldron. The one that rumors claim sent smaller children running from the private theater in Burbank, California. That might of course be hard to believe at first, but I would ask you to certainly check out the teaser trailer, before making your decision!

[Via] Bslatky

For The Black Cauldron things looked pretty grim. It’s even been said that Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was the studio chairman, took the film and attempted to edit it himself. Against the wishes of producer Joe Hale (Robin Hood, The Black Hole) in fact. Supposedly it was the CEO of Disney at the time, Michael Eisner, that stopped that editing, but Katzenberg felt strongly that changes needed to be made. So not only did The Black Cauldron get pushed from it’s Holiday spot to July of 1985, but some of the more darker aspects were excised as well.

[Via] Sky TV

However, in the end much like 1979’s The Black Hole the film failed to reach its audience. Or at the very least the movie going public of the time weren’t ready to embrace the film. Furthermore it wasn’t even until August 4th, 1998 that The Black Cauldron was released for home media!
Black Cauldron - VHS Tape

That isn’t to say I knew anything about all of that behind the scenes drama in my youth. As a matter of fact the first time I even knew a movie was coming out was thanks to a collectible butter tub featuring scenes from the film. Of course there were puzzles, children’s books, as well as coloring books.
Black Cauldron - Coloring Book

Naturally there was also a wonderful book and record for The Black Cauldron.

So, go grab your favorite beverage and snack. Sit back and let us journey back to 1985 as we listen and read The Black Cauldron on Retro Records!

[Via] RAD

Black Cauldron - Poster

Stark Trek II - Book and Record

Retro Records: Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan

Audio, the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of Retro Records and this time we have Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan! In truth I had an interesting time trying to nail down when this was released. I have found sites that claimed it came out in 1985. Others purported however that is was 1984. Since of course I couldn’t see the inside of the book itself I had to keep looking. Finally I did indeed come across the correct information and Buena Vista’s adaptation of 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan looks like it was published in 1983.

I have mentioned in the past how much time I spent alone as a child. While there were neighborhood kids to play with when visiting my Grandparents. I mostly entertained myself when at home with my books and toys. Granted the Atari 2600 and a subscription to the Buena Vista book and record club went a long way to helping too.

With this adaptation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, you can safely assume they have streamlined the film a bit. Of course they have also toned down quite a bit of the death count from the movie. Which is totally understandable considering the age of their target audience. That doesn’t mean they don’t take the opportunity to show off a mortally wounded Khan!
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Khan

Honestly this 1983 adaptation does a fine job of presenting the overall story from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Although I am going to have to bring up that the impersonation of Admiral James T. Kirk…is odd to my ears.
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Page 1

This is the first Buena Vista book and record that I have noticed they colored out a background character’s face. Seriously, what is going on back there? Did Scotty accept an trainee from Ariannus – maybe another mutation?
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Scotty

Most importantly of all, Buena Vista managed to capture the excitement of the movie. Yet again while not showing us all of the poor crew members of the Enterprise that were hurt and killed during the epic space duel. You still however get that thrill as well as the tension of the film itself. Thanks to not just the narration but the chosen photos used throughout the book.
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Chekov

Grab your favorite snack and beverage. Relax and travel back to 1983 as we listen and read Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

[Via] Secret Cavern

Since we are on the topic of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. How can we pass up a moment to not listen to that epic theme from the late and great James Horner?

[Via] Jedi King 12

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

The Lurch

Retro Records: Ted Cassidy’s The Lurch (1965)

Normally on Retro Records we share one of the vintage Power Records or the like. Today however we are taking a look at the 1965 novelty record The Lurch. Which was of course a song based on Ted Cassidy’s character from The Addams Family television series.

[Via] Essential 3883

Read: For More Addams Family Fun – Check Out Their Stretching Room Portraits

The B side of The Lurch featured a song entitled Wesley. Both songs were performed by Cassidy on the 1965 musical variety show Hollywood a Go Go. I do apologize, while the video and audio quality is excellent. You will in addition have to contend with the “For Research Only” label.

Having said that I feel it is worth the ‘hassle’ for a chance to watch a vintage piece of television history.

[Via] Bill Aa

Ted Cassidy’s booming bass voice lends itself surprisingly well to that country tune. At least I thought so. The Lurch was written by Gary Paxton, the same man who produced both Alley Oop and The Monster Mash. With Wesley being written by Cliffie Stone and Scott Turner. Here is a fun fact for you – Stone who was an accomplished recording artist himself happened also to be the manager of Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Cassidy, while perhaps best remembered as Lurch also had a successful career playing the heavy in film and television. Such as Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Read: Did You Know The Six Million Dollar Man Was Based On A 1972 Novel?

In addition to the occasional novelty song, Cassidy was prolific in doing voice over work for both live action and animated series. Beginning with Hanna-Barbera he provided voices for Space Ghost, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and Godzilla to name a few. I knew him best however as both the villainous Black Manta and Braniac from the Challenge of the Superfriends!

[Via] Super Villain Television