My new favorite time waster

by alphamonkey on December 22, 2004 · 12 comments

in Diversions,Games

Oh, hell ya! It’s a Flash based Rubik’s Cube! Sweet creamy monkey jesus….I’m so happy. Enjoy!Of course, playing this little gem has gotten me all nostalgic for the carefree days of my youth….ah, solving my Rubik’s Cube, pitting G.I. Joe vs. Star Wars only to watch the winners be decimated by the rampage hordes of He-Man’s gigantor gang.  And then there were the cartoons!  Pandamonium! Meatball & Spaghetti! And of course, Rubik the Amazing Cube.  Does anyone else remember this little partial birth abortion of a cartoon? It came on after the Pac-Man cartoon and was part of the Menudo cartoon show starring, you guessed it, Menudo.

Boy, was that a marketing ploy of the damned. Actually, I suppose I must give them credit for doing a latino themed hour of cartoons and skits a couple of decades before the wave really hit.  Rubik’s human pal was a kid named Carlos, and just about every character was Latino.  The premise was that Carlos found Rubik and once solved, it became a sentient being of unimaginable power, which was used to fight crime and solve mysteries of course. Unfortunately, that Joycean-esque premise was not enough to save this horrid little waste of korean animation sweatshop trash.  Thankfully, The Monchichis were part of this same little double-feature of joy. Oh, wait.  That sucked too.

In fact, a goodly number of the cartoons of my youth sucked.  That was mostly due to the fact that 90% of the cartoons were product tie-ins.  There was a whole slew of video game cartoons like Pole Position, Donkey Kong, the aforementioned Pac-Man, and Space Ace/Dragon’s Lair (Damn, Daphne was HOT).  Then of course there were the more nuanced (okay, shitty) shows like Mr. T and the T-Force, Shirt Tales, Kidd Video and so on…but there were standouts. Winners like Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (which I watched solely for the X-Men cameos), Superfriends, Dungeons and Dragons, and last but not least, the Smurfs.

What’s your favorite cartoon memory maker?

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  • fealty2dahriyah

    u forgot qbert, thundar, jabber jaw… and about a zillion others. what about laff a limpics… I used to love that one.

    my favorite cartoon memory is just knowing that every saturday I could watch cartoons from 6am to 2pm. you’re lucky to get an hour straight now days. and no hilliary duff’s show that has animated parts does not count.

    and not to rain on your parade, but ever cartoon ever made had a product tie in. the real bad ones, were like he man and strawberry shortcake who introduced new character/toys every episode.

    what about sealab 2021? harvy birdman? dare I say aqua teen hunger force..

  • .alphamonkey.

    I didn’t forget anything, I just listed the ones I have distinct memories of. I could have thrown out Gilligan’s Planet, Galaxy High, and a whole host of others, but I didn’t watch those.

    Not every cartoon was a 30 minute ad for toys and junk. Johnny Quest (still the best theme song of all time) didn’t have any toys when it came out, nor did it when I was watching it as a kid.  Speed Racer didn’t have any toys you could buy in the US, nor did Gigantor.  I don’t think I ever saw a Hong Kong Phooey figure of any kind, nor did I ever see anything other than lunchboxes for those fucked up Marty Kroft shows.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    they may not have had toys but they had merchandise. comic books, clothes, posters, plush dolls. maybe a fancy decoder ring. lunch boxes were key back then. while this may not pertain to every single cartoon, I’d bet it ranks 90%+.

    it was the first segment of kids “shows” that spurred purchase behavior. these things display products like game shows. but then again this goes back to before tv, and the basis of modern advertising.

  • .alphamonkey.

    There is a difference between a cartoon designed to sell toys and a cartoon that has show-themed merchandise, you know. Bugs Bunny wasn’t created to sell merchandise, that was just a extension of the character’s popularity.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    keep telling yourself that. no company creates things to sell goods, they do it out of love, especially the entertainment business. take a trip down memory lane and you might find out that your favorite shows had the greatest product promotions.

    the simple fact is cartoons are too expensive to create.

    you are correct bugs was no originally created to sell merchandise, but that is what has kept him around.

    holy cow… my brain just remembered Rambo the cartoon… oh wow… I need to get Boomerang again.

    in all honesty it’s like a sad metaphor for our lives.

    we all start doing things we love and would do it for free, and slowly we shift into that selfwhoring to pay for rent, food, booze, bandwidth….

  • .alphamonkey.

    I’ve never argued that the entertainment industry is there for any other purpose than to make money. I’m not an idiot, you know. But there is a WORLD of difference between what you’re talking about and what I’m talking about. I hate to break this to you, but there are people who do what they do as a labor of love. Sure, someone eventually profits from it, but that doesn’t mean that it was created just to sell a fucking trinket.

    And what’s this “we” shit? Speak for yourself. I gave up a couple years of my life and no small amount of cash for one of the things I love. Ask any musician why they’re out on the road barely making enough for gas money and cigarettes, sleeping on pool tables and living hand to mouth when they know damn good and well that the odds of hitting it big are exactly slim to none. Yeah, it’s for the money.

    More currently, it’s not like this gig is paying any of our bills. We do this for FREE. All day and everyday. But you think we will ultimately whore ourselves out, huh?  Are you just sticking around to watch the fall?

  • fealty2dahriyah

    touchy arnt we.

    while you may not make a profit here, you do sell advertising space. since most people cannot be self supporting, there is nothing wrong w/ this practice. the problem is where this can lead. it compromises the origination and it’s developement.

    I support the love for free concept. while having been published a few times, I have yet to cover a cent of any kind… let alone profit. i have to work an office job to pay my bills… hence my whoring. much possibly like your work(art… whatever) has changed slightly maybe to accommodate a different group/style that is more acceptable. a more socially acceptable function.

    accept it or not… all entertainment for any mass audience is kept around for profit generation. and as much as i’d love to remove the artists from this equation, they are a part of it. without them who would draw the attention.

    ok read my words carefully I never said something was created to sell trinkets… i say it was kept around and promoted for that. and if it wasn;t for that, you would have never seen it at all. everything, especially on tv, has been tested, analysed and tweeked. if it was a fairly safe gamble it would have been scrapped. this is how the 2 go hand in hand.

    I like what you do here. but I’d be willing to bet, that if someone offered you some bukucash things would change mighty quick. that is the evil nature of money, not of art. one lets your survive and one makes life worth surviving. exploiting our talents is what they teach us.

    and no I’m not sticking around to watch it fall… I’m here for the ride

    basically our argument here is indy vs mainstream. and there are pro and cons to both.

  • .alphamonkey.

    We sell ad space? Holy crap! Since when? And who the hell is in charge of it!? Hate to break it to you yet again, but we don’t sell a gawdamn thing on this site. To date not a single penny has been made by any of us with regards to this work.

    I call bullshit on your ‘indy vs. mainstream’ line. That’s not what this is about at all. I took issue with you swabbing your extra large sellout/whore brush all over the place. Making a profit does not immediately mean that the work isn’t as good as it would be were it for free. Sometimes, it means the work is BETTER. (Ie, higher production values, better-supported staff, the right tools, etc.)

    And yes, I am touchy on this subject, because it matters to me. So I don’t see any reason to let you spew your cynicism all over my work.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    I never once referenced your work, so that is your deal.

    and you are right there is no ad space… my brain was telling me there was a banner. good for you, I appreciate that. you broke son of a bitch… keep it up and be like armstrong in the radio race. I’m sorry… my bad.

    cynicism, reality, it’s just a paradigm. sorry if I ruined xmas this year… i mean kwanza… or whatever

    just be thankful bigbusines is who could pay your bills and not the church. but all art is techically sponsored, so be thankfull that your audience(who are sponsors) haven’t demanded changes. but we are a fickle group who require new things frequently.

    I love art, music, cartoons, and creativity in general. but them being used by whatever is a fact. I may not like it, but I accept and understand it. if it’s on tv or the radio it has be prostilized at least some.

    to be honest most stuff that stays indy, deserves too. but just having cutting edge tools and workers does not make your product any better. having obstacles like poverty or poor working conditions is super influential stuff that is inspiring. the artist is in love w/ the blank page not the quality of paper.

    sorry if I add color to my vocab w/ fun words like whoring.

  • Shadow Stalker

    I think that’s some bullshit that poverty is the primordial ooze of artistic achievement.  I think you’re taking capitalism as a given in these discussions, in which, yes, everyone has to find a way to pay their bills regardless of genius.

    I understand your argument that we all have to do something to make money, even if it isn’t what we love, or it compromises our integrity, but that’s kind of irrelevant to the post.  Also, there is a big difference between a cartoon that is designed solely as an infomercial, like He-Man or Pokemon, and a cartoon that was designed to entertain, like Bugs Bunny or the old Silly Symphonies.

    Just putting in my two-cents, flame on.

  • Thundarr

    On shows with toys:

    Good: Transformers, Voltron (the one with the Lions not the cars and planes and shit), Smurfs

    Bad: Laser Tag (ohhhh awful), Captain Planet, Captain Power, Rubik, and last and least, Carebears

    Other greats without market systems behind them: Scooby Doo, Underdog, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Inch High Private Eye, Jabberjaw, and Danger Mouse.

  • fealty2dahriyah

    my argument got skewed. and my simple point is that most cartoons were geared around products(their own products). then we got distracted w/ our own artistic insecurities. then I got really off the path of thinning of the soul. and damnit I love cartoons. in fact I love adult swim… god bless you… I love transbuddha.

    damn you xmas making me a wreck… red wine will purge you

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