Friday, September 28, 2007

Look Who's Hiding in Cocoa Pebbles

On a recent grocery shopping trip, my four year old son selected Cocoa Pebbles as his cereal selection mostly because the front of the box had a picture of Fred Flintstone dressed up as a knight yielding a sword. (Hey, I've bought things for dumber reasons!) The box opens up like a book and has an elaborate game/contest where you have to figure out some puzzle on the box and then go online and enter in a code and get help to finish the game on the box. On one hand, it's always nice to have lots of stuff to read and look at on a cereal box, on the other hand this whole business with having to use the internet to enter codes and collect points to win prizes is stupid. What happened to the good ol' days where you just dug a toy out of your cereal? Now you've got to log in, jump through hoops, do research, adopt a puppy, and find a cure for AIDS before you can milk a prize out of these cereal companies! All that aside, the illustrations on the box of Cocoa Pepples features Fred, Barney and the gang in a medieval tale finding them all dressed as knights and princesses. What was really cool about the drawings is that some secondary characters from the Flintstones series ended up on the box as well:

This one is the coolest, Fred's mother-in-law Pearl Slaghoople as a witch. Perfect casting, as Fred and his dear ol' mother-in-law never got along too well.

Fred's boss Mr. Slate as some kind of guard.

And here's the Great Gazoo playing the role of the Sorcerer. He's even gone so far as the borrow Mickey Mouse's hat from Fantasia. It's nice they included some of these supporting players from the original series, but what's the deal with Fred being drawn a bit off-model in this last picture!?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Screen Capture Contest

Here's something a little different for ya that I've been wanting to do for a while....a contest! Below you will find five screen captures from five different movies that I love. All you have to do is send me an e-mail with your guesses for the five movies. All entries must be received by midnight EST September 30, 2007. The entry with the most correct answers will win a prize. In the event of a tie, a random drawling will be held to determine the winner.

This isn't easy, and there is no rhyme or reason as to the movies I picked, I just thought they'd make funny screen caps. Good Luck!





Enter even if you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about. E-mail me at: or leave a comment and it will be kept private.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Day Out With Thomas

Yesterday we went to A DAY OUT WITH THOMAS, a unique event where kids get to see Thomas the Tank Engine upclose and at work. Everyone even gets to take a ride on a train pulled by Thomas! It's a fun experience and a must for any family with a little Thomas fan. The special event is going on now through the weekend at the Strasburg Railroad in PA. The next two weekends Thomas will be at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in Cumberland, MD. He'll also be stopping by Strasburg again Nov. 30 to December 2. Here's the National Schedule for those of you in other parts of the country.

Take a look at some of the fun from yesterday at my Photo Album page.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ed's Bookshelf #5 The Love Bug

Here's the front and back covers for the original novelization of Disney's 1969 hit THE LOVE BUG. Notice anything different about Herbie between the two covers!? That's right...on the front cover of this widely distributed book the little VW Bug is missing his racing number 53 from his passenger side door. The cover picture is a still from the actual movie which also features the numberless Herbie. This same image from the film was also used on the original laserdisc release of the title. The Herbie car seen here was a stunt car built with a tilt for the shot they needed. I guess the crew was so wrapped up in pulling off the stunt that no one noticed Herbie needed a bit of a touch up from the makeup department.
By the way, the back cover won the Scholastic award for most use of parenthesis.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ed's Bookshelf #4 Felicity and Friends

Here's a weird one still sitting on my bookshelf, Felicity and Friends by Kristin Sparks. This is one of those cheap, quickly thrown together books to cash in on the sudden popularity of The WB teen drama Felicity. Felicity was about a young girl who secretly had a crush on a guy in high school and she ends up going to the same college as he does just for the chance to get to know him better. The show had me onboard from minute one as the title role of Felicity was played by Keri Russell.

I was first aware of Keri from her days on The Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club. I spent my hours of my teenaged years watching that show. From MMC, Keri appeared in the Disney flick HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID which remains one of my favorite films to this day. She bounced around from project to project, none of which ever captured much attention. That includes the sitcom DADDY'S GIRLS which she costared in along with Dudley Moore. (Wow)

Anywho... this book, and others like it, takes about a magazine article worth of information and manages to stretch it into 181 pages of actor bios, episode recaps, and quotes from such pillars of journalism as YM and Tiger Beat magazine. There's also Chapter 17 "Touring the Web with Felicity" which is all about different Felicity websites that you could visit.

Felicity's creator J. J. Abrams went on to create two more popular TV shows: Alias and Lost. He's also doing the new Star Trek movie.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Smurfs' Alive!

Here's a cool picture from an early 90's Kings Dominion brochure that I had to share with ya'll! How excited are those girls to be meeting THE Papa Smurf in the flesh?! This picture is also great for the background peak at the Hanna-Barbera Land sign. This giant rainbow stood over the entrance to the kiddie land section of the park. Once you passed beneath this huge rainbow the landscape was filled with giant colorful mushrooms and flowers. One of my favorite touches was a little audio-animatronic frog, chomping on a cigar and playing the piano, accompanied by a chorus of singing mushrooms! That was good times right there! Now, Kings Dominion's kids section is filled with two dimensional graphics of long forgotten Nickelodeon shows like Little Bill and CatDog. Long Live the Smurfs!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surf's Up @ The Boardwalk

We went to Hersheypark last weekend and checked out their latest attraction, a whole new section of the park called The Boardwalk. Hersheypark isn't really known for their impressive themeing but they went all out for this new one-of-a-kind waterbased area. The Boardwalk takes you to your favorite east coast beach resort where there's a boardwalk with food, games and shopping. There's a beach area, complete with a wavepool and there are plenty of water slides to keep the crowds busy. They did a really good job capturing not only the look and feel of a trip to the beach but even the smell. It really smelled like a salt-water breeze was in the air! I'm not much for waterparks, especially inside an already established theme park, but it's it's your cup of tea It's worth a visit next summer when the sun returns. One of the unique stands along the boardwalk was a photo op booth where you can have your picture taken in some wacky beach sets. Being the suckers we are, we plopped down $20 bucks for these cute pictures of our kids...

Catch A Wave - Elias' Hawaiian shirt really seals the deal here, plus he was cooperating! (Which is rare!)

Open Water 3 - How cute is Tanner up front there!?! Sadly, the boys were devoured by the sharks shortly after we snapped this picture.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Carowinds Entertainment 1988

Today for your odd viewing pleasure we have the entertainment schedule from Carowinds 1988. (For those of you that don't know, Carowinds in a sister park of Kings Dominion/Kings Island on the NC/SC border.) Live shows ain't quite the priority at theme parks today as they were 20 years ago. This lineup of shows is a great example of the different kinds of shows just about every park had. The show names and the songs would change every year, but the shows themselves were always the same!

First off you might notice IMPACT, a Cinema 180 film just like I wrote about last week. Suddenly you're in the middle of a fast-paced, mound-leaping motorcross race. That just about sums up how all the Cinema 180 films were. (How great would a DVD of these films be!??)

Every park had their one big theatre were they put on the BIG production, here it's called GOTTA DANCE. Probably a lot of glitter, short skirts and a prerecorded music track. Some of the performers in the big show would always also be found in smaller musical reviews around the park. BRAND NEW BEAT and COUNTRY ROADS I'm sure followed this formula: three guys and three gals (one of the guys would be slightly overweight OR one of the six performers would be could go either way), script about how much everybody loves that particular type of music, a salute to a particular singer or songwriter of the genre, duets galore, a finale where some big prop like a fake car would be brought out. They never sang a whole song in these shows, yet they would cover portions of about 35 songs in 20 minutes. The most overused theme for these shows was 60's beach music which would always involve an underdeveloped plot about a romance between two of the singers. (Yes, I saw alot of these shows in my youth!)

My favorite show would always be the character show, here YOGI'S GREAT ELECTION. The character show was made up of several costumed performers and one live human actor. The cartoon characters voices were prerecorded on tape and the live actor dropped in his or her lines live on stage. The live actor character's name would be gender neutral like Chris, Sammy, or C.J. so that it didn't matter if it was a guy or gal - Yogi Bear could still address them by name. Whoever was with me at the park always had to suffer through at least one of these shows with me. One summer during college I took a girl to Kings Dominion and made her attend a performance of THE BEDROCK SQUARES, she was so mad at me she wanted to leave the park after the show. Whatever least I got to see the Flintstones!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some Cereal Commercials

I was in the mood for another YouTube post today, so here's two great cereal commercials from Saturday morning cartoons circa 1983.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Flintstones Sell Insurance

Luckily I have a wife who takes care of things like the car insurance and that bill you have to pay every month to keep your house, but if I was running the ship I would so switch our insurance to Geico just because of this new commercial...

...and then I'd have to switch back again when I saw another one of those Caveman commercials.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Miss Cinema 180

One of my favorite amusement park attractions growing up was the Cinema 180, a movie projected onto a huge, round 180 degree screen. The image was so large and surrounding that it completely gave you the feeling of movement even though you weren't moving at all. In fact, these theatres never even had seats - everyone just sat on the floor. The theatres itself was actually a big dome tent-like structure that housed nothing more than a screen and a projector. But I used to love those things! The movies never had any point to them what-so-ever! They would be a collection of images such as driving real fast through traffic, flying in all sorts of airborne contraptions, and the very popular front seat of the roller coaster shot. All these movies had at least one trip on a roller coaster which the audiences loved, which looking back on it is kind of silly because these theatres were in amusement parks where an honest to goodness REAL roller coaster experience was just a few footsteps away. I remember one of the more creative Cinema 180 films features larger than life footage of a circus and another scene where a man opened a jar and tarantulas came crawling out toward the audience.
My most vivid memories of Cinema 180 come from (of course) Kings Dominion. Their theatre used to be slightly off International Street on the right hand side. It's not there anymore, however over at Hersheypark the Cinema 180 tent still stands but it's used as an arcade. I suspect most parks got rid of their theatre when the technologies of motion-simulators became popular at amusement parks. These rides offer a similar sensation except your seats actually move.
The image above is from a brochure for a long-gone Orlando, Florida attraction called Adventure Dome. This Cinema 180 theatre wasn't part of an amusement park, it just sat by itself on the side of the road and you paid for just the movie. It didn't last too long.

Monday, September 03, 2007

In Pac-Man We Trust

Recently I mentioned my trip to Six Flags Over Georgia in the great summer of 1984 and a little remembered attraction known as Pac-Man's Play Port. I still haven't been able to find out much information about the kids themed area of the park except that a few of the other Six Flags parks had a whole Kiddieland section devoted to Pac-Man. Anywho, my mom (who is always quick to get my crap out of her house by offering it to me as material for the blog) offered me these Pac-Man game tokens which she assumed were from Pac-Man Play Port. Alas, these tokens are from the 1982 World's Fair which was held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Pac-Man had a big presence at the `82 World's Fair and I remember it all quite fondly. There were several large gift shops throughout the fair selling all kinds of Pac-Man stuff. If I'm not mistaken, I got a Pac-Man elastic belt with a magnet buckle, it had Pac-Man chasing the ghosts, and dots and power pellets all around it. The Fair also boasted lots of arcades which were superhot at the time. These Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man tokens are just two of the seven that were produced for the fair. They are pretty cool. The image on the Pac-Man token is a popular graphic that was used on a number of items like lunch boxes and Frisbees.

And finally we leave you with this image from the 1982 World's Fair staring 9 year-old me along with my brother and a certain ghost chomping friend who mistook us for Inky and Blinky!

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