Monday, February 16, 2015


I was watching some vintage toy commercials on Youtube a couple weeks ago (I know it's weird, but I do that on occasion) and came across a commercial that brought back a memory.  One I think I had hidden in the recesses of my mind, blocked even, so scarred was I by it.  In my memory, I'm 7 years old and I'm in the basement of a friend's house and he's shooting metal jar lids at me.  You know, those thin ones that come on olive and pickle jars.  He's shooting them from some evil instrument that seems designed for just such a purpose, so efficiently and accurately it lobs them.  One after another they come out like mini death frisbees, and when they connect, man they sting.  I beg him to stop, but he won't.  He keeps shooting them at me, laughing maniacally...OH GOD MAKE IT STOP!

Sorry.  Deep breaths.  I'm okay.  So back the commercial.  After watching this, I finally know what that lid-flinging hell-machine was.  And apparently, it was supposed to be used in fun, not in torture.

The very next weekend (I'm not kidding), I'm at an estate sale, rooting around in the basement, of course, and I find this.  The coincidences in my life are scary at times.

So, it was supposed to shoot these harmless plastic disks, not pickle lids.

You would never see this graphic on a toy box these days.  It would be plastered with warnings about never aiming at yourself, other people, animals, or plant life.  And look at the clothes on those kids.  Nobody dressed that cool in my neighborhood.

I think I'll start saving pickle lids and look up an old friend.  Oh yes, vengeance will be mine.


  1. man, how easy was it to be in advertising back then?

    "say, Stan, we need to come up with a commercial for this new toy. it needs some copy, but we could probably make a bit more if we can nix the need to have a copywriter on the payroll."

    "well, say no more, George, i got it: let's just do a quick 30-second spot where the voiceover says the product name half a dozen times while we show some kids playing around with it. done and done."

    "BRILLIANT, Stan! i love it. hey, you thirsty? let's go get a drink. it's gotta be close to lunchtime."

    1. That's called "Letting the product sell itself." Genius.

  2. Show your punk friend "a new way to play"!

  3. Just found mine a few weeks ago and its still mint. Think I might find it a new home with someone, rather than have it collecting dust in a box. It was the best fun ever as a kid, but i never thought about shooting jar lids out of it. LOL


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