Sunday, August 2, 2020

1990's Die-Cast Vehicle Food Product Promotions

In the 1990s there were a lot of mail-away promotions from food products. They typically involved collecting proofs of purchase and mailing them in with a check for a few dollars to cover shipping and handling. This is a look at a few of those, primarily Hot Wheels vehicles, though also one Matchbox truck and one Ertl bank. I don't have the food packages displaying the promotions but I do have one form for one of the items. Also, I did find a form (right) from a Kellogg's Raisin Bran box advertising McDonald's cars that I don't believe I ever ordered.

None of the items are opened and the video doesn't have anything extra. However, this blog post does have two vehicles not shown in the video.

Super Pretzel (Matchbox)
This is a white truck from Matchbox branded with the Super Pretzel logo.

Little Debbie Snacks (Hot Wheels)
The Mckee Little Debbie sets are from 1994 and 1996 respectively. In the second set the Jeep is branded with Sunbelt Snacks and Cereals rather than Little Debbie.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (Hot Wheels)
I believe this Hot Wheels car was offered as a possible prize from a selection of Macaroni & Cheese branded products. Customers could collect C. Rex points and redeem them for a variety of items. The milk cap easily pops out of the packaging as seen in the video.

Kellogg's (Hot Wheels)
The first item is a character car featuring Corn Flakes and the mascot Corny. This is arguably the most boring of the four cars since the others have more recognizable and fun characters. I don't know if this one was a mail-away promotion like the others or if the cars were placed inside boxes of cereal.

The next group are Ford Model "T"s or "A"s and were sold separately though four might have been part of a set. I cannot recall if Kellogg's simply opted to send a few in a single box or if it sold a four-car set. The photographs have the three Model T trucks together and the three Model A trucks together, however, the four that shipped together were the Model T versions plus the Raisin Bran car. One of the Eggo cars included a slip of paper explaining the Model T had to be replaced with a Model A so I wonder if all of these were originally intended to be Model T trucks. Also, the Frosted Mini Wheats car has a rear tire defect that causes it to not sit properly.

General Mills (Hot Wheels)
This is a nice set that includes one vehicle from each decade starting in the 1950s and ending in the 1990s: 1958 Corvette, 1967 Camaro, 1970 Dodge Daytona Charger, 1980 Stutz Blackhawk, and 1996 Mustang Convertible (not arranged in the package in decade order).

Lender's Bagels (Ertl)
This is less a toy and more of a display piece as it doubles as a coin bank.

Here are two more bonus promotions not included in the video as they do not fit the theme entirely. One is a Hot Wheels car from 1989 featuring Coronet which is a paper products company. The other is a food tie-in from General Mills but is from 2001 and was attached to the top of a cereal box.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Video Games & Computer Entertainment: Taking a Spin With Don Mattrick

This post features a couple scans from Video Games & Computer Entertainment's July 1989 issue. The magazine calls it an interview with Don Mattrick but it's more of a brief article about the original Test Drive game. Test Drive released in 1987 for home computers and the series is still around today as a new Test Drive Unlimited was recently announced that is in development at Kylotonn. Mattrick created the game with his company Distinctive Software that would later be acquired by Electronic Arts (EA) in 1991 and subsequently renamed EA Canada. While Mattrick worked at EA until 2007, he is probably best known for his time at Microsoft where he helped develop the Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360 and took a fair amount of blame for the poor reception of the Xbox One at the console's launch. He left Microsoft in 2013 and spent two years at Zynga after that.

Year 4: July Update

I only managed four posts in June and July has been busy so I might not be able to even match that. A large part of my time has been dedicated to the Video Games 2020 project that I keep thinking about quitting. I'm currently playing games released in June for that so I am still more than a month behind. Other than that I'm just busy with life, working, sorting stuff, listing items on eBay, and doing yard work at two properties.

LEGO unveiled a new Star Wars item coming September 1st but it is part of the LEGO Art line rather than the standard vehicles and play sets. On September 1st you'll be able to purchase a 3-in-1 Sith-themed art set for $119.99 that features Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Kylo Ren.

There has been quite a bit of video game news this month and one game that has peaked my interest has not been officially announced yet. It was in the first week of July that I received an email at work from a distributor listing a new G.I. Joe video game that is coming October 13th! It's titled Operation Blackout, will cost $39.99, and be released in stores for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. While it was the Australian game rating board that outed the title, I shared what I knew with G.I. Joe fansite HissTank and I believe that was the first place you could learn much of anything beyond the title. Gamefly later posted the same details with a placeholder genre and someone on Instagram recently acquired the box art from somewhere, most likely an obscure retailer. We don't know the developer but there is good reason to expect mediocrity due to the publisher being GameMill Entertainment. I'll hold out hope that it will be fun though and if you want to refresh your memory about previous G.I. Joe video games check out one of my earliest blog posts: G.I. Joe: The Video Games.

If you're a Karate Kid fan you might be more interested in the other GameMill game coming in October: Cobra Kai. It's the same price and on the same platforms as Operation Blackout but I don't know the genre of either game at this time. Intellivision Amico continues to promote its October release as well with a special presentation coming August 4th. Atari has been making news too with its VCS that releases in December. Both are expensive with the VCS costing from $249.99 to $399.99 depending on the model and if you want a bundle with controllers, while Amico is $249.99 which includes two controllers plus six games. Although not direct competitors to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the release timing certainly isn't great. Four new systems within a three month span is a lot even if they appeal to different audiences.

Intellivision Amico
Atari VCS 

Ubisoft and Microsoft both had presentations this month too. There isn't much worth noting from Ubisoft since it primarily showcased games we were already familiar with. Microsoft showed quite a few games over an hour, including more on Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, and Grounded. Plus many new games were announced, such as State of Decay 3, Forza Motorsport (no number in the title), Fable (again, the same name as the original), Everwild from Rare, and Avowed from Obsidian Entertainment. Brief trailers were shown for most games with little actually being said about them. Some of the third-party titles on display were S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, Tetris Effect: Connected, and Tell Me Why from Life Is Strange developer Dontnod.


Baseball season actually started two days ago and while I didn't have a post ready, I did post something back when the season was originally going to begin: Delay of Game. In the grand scheme of things sports aren't important right now and shouldn't be taking place. It's possible the 60-game season will fail to finish too but I'll it enjoy it while it lasts. Take care of yourselves.


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Gaming Ads: Game Magazines

This ads post is a bit different than most of the others in that it's not about the games but rather the magazines most of the game ads are from. Magazines were a significant part of gaming in the late '80s and early '90s because without the Internet this was the way to learn about a game outside of a brief television commercial or reading a game box while at the store. Not all of them are only about video games though, as some are computer/tech related too. I've got more than 200 ads of this type and just over half of those are from Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) as I opted to scan the contest pages it ran each month. If you've been reading the blog since it launched then you've probably noticed I read a lot of EGM and Video Games & Computer Entertainment, plus a fair amount of GamePro in the early '90s. I also have a handful of old issues of Game Player's, Game Informer, and Commodore Magazine. In the late '90s I primarily stuck with Next Generation and some magazines dedicated to specific consoles.

More ads can be found at Facebook: Game Magazines