Tuesday, 12 August 2014


As I mentioned in my last blog post we're now halfway through the 68 regular issues of Oink! and, to celebrate the fact something has finally kept my attention span tuned in for any length of time, I thought it might be a nice idea to have a look back at some of the real advertisements which featured in the comic.

Be warned, if you read comics back in the mid-to-late 80s you're about to feel very, very old.  In fact, whether you read them or not you're about to feel your age with some of these!

Before I let you peruse over them just keep in mind these are all from issues of a comic which was published between 1986 and 1988.  This means all of these are between 26 and 28 years old!!  Just take that in for a second and prepare yourself.  Ok, you ready?  Probably best you sit down first, just incase.

We'll start off with some food-based ones.  Remember when these were brand new?:

Or how about when they tried to market bread to kiddies?  (To be fair the 90s were even worse with their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles loaf):

The next ad was of a type which would be the first casualty of the overbearing Health and Safety brigade - the 'collect x amount of stuff to claim a cheap gift' kind of promotions fizzy drinks companies always used to run.  Remember these ring pulls?  Yup, after years and years of using them without incident they'd be ruled too dangerous in later years:

There's also nothing quite like plastering a ridiculous face on something to try to make it appeal to children as a last resort:

Maybe changing the taste would've been more successful.  Never had the stuff.  Well, first hand anyway.  I did kiss a girl many, many years later who'd just eaten a spoonful.  Needless to say that put a stop to any and all future meetings!

The 80s were a great time for technology.  For the first time electronic entertainment had come to the fore and we were lapping up home computer games, tabletop electronic gaming (oh yes, tabletop, not handheld!) and VCRs, which were brand new and I can still remember the guy coming to install it.  Installation was necessary back then for a video recorder.  I sat there as a little 7 year old and took it all in while it went straight over the heads of my parents.

I can also remember our first microwave, my sister's combined miniature TV/cassette player/radio and my own portable cassette players which ran on Duracell batteries.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one who'd listen to their favourite songs getting slower and slower until it stopped before finally buying new batteries.  Or rewinding the tape by putting a pencil in one spoke and spinning it to save on power.

Ah yes, the memories.  Speaking of the very latest in musical technology, surely nothing screams 80s more than this invention:

Staying with technology, in this day of watches mainly being replaced by phones and these devices doing basically everything imaginable, looking back brings to mind the cliche "in simpler times".  But really, they were and we were so much more easily wow'ed:

Entertainment now.  For all you comics fans out there, at the time of writing this post issue #1893 of 2000AD had just gone on sale according to their website.  Well in an issue of Oink! - the comic I read and enjoy now as if it was yesterday it was on sale - I discovered something which brought it back home with a bang how long ago this really was:


But for those of you browsing this who may not be into comics that much, how about a couple of new releases at the cinema?  That's right, the cinema.  Not Saturday afternoon on Watch or Dave.  These next couple of adverts were for brand new, never-before-seen movies!:

To finish off I've scanned one side of a leaflet which fell out of one of the Oink!s I was reading.  There was a particular hobby which seemed to be forced upon us all the time through leaflets and adverts in our comics back then and, I'll admit, I even dabbled myself.

Oh, "dabbled".  What exciting hobby could this be?  It was one of those 'in' things back in the 1980s for children and many of us were drawn in by leaflets such as this, only to ultimately give up a few months later and never finish our collections.

Now before the leaflet itself, take a look at this young girl who features in it:

How excited is she??  Something that could make her so deliriously happy and which sucked us all in to have a "dabble", in an age of brand new technology breakthroughs - surely it must all mean she's just got her hands on the very latest in space-age tech?  The starry landscape in the background surely suggests it, doesn't it?

Not quite:



Malcolm Kirk said...

I'm sure I remember something about those Flavour 'n' Shake crisps which doesn't appear to be mentioned anywhere else on the internet, (although there is something about their availability possibly being restricted to the midlands, but that's clearly rubbish 'cos I could get them up here in Scotland and they wouldn't have put adverts in comics if they were restricted to one area).

If I recall correctly, there were some minor safety concerns about them because kids were saving up loads of sachets of flavourings from the various packets and shaking them all into one bag to get 'Fish and Chips and Salt and Vinegar and Worcester Sauce and Tomato Ketchup and Smoky Bacon and Cheese and Onion' flavour, thus producing unsafe levels of yummy artificial chemicals.

I always thought they'd stopped selling them for that reason.

Phil Boyce said...

Oh yes, we used to do that all the time. Then, no matter how much you shook them most of the flavouring was still stuck at the bottom of the bag and lifted out with your fingers at the end anyway. I don't believe they were restricted, we got them fine over here in Northern Ireland, even in my little town by the sea.

I think only the salted ones remain to this day, maybe that's why. Or maybe it was simply because the rest of the flavours were horrible.