There’s been a lot of Alf material on The Retro Network lately. On a recent episode of Wax Pack Flashback Jason opened a set of Alf trading cards and over on RD’s Retro Detention Alf stops by and RD tries to capitalize on his merchandise. So I thought I’d jump on the Alf band wagon and feature ads from the Alf comic book.
I loved Alf when it was on TV. I think it was the overly sarcastic humor that drew me in. When they started releasing Alf comics in 1988 I was quick to buy them. The comic ran from March 1988 through February 1992. A total of 50 issues, 3 Annuals and a few holiday specials.
We are going to look at the ads from issue 8, published in October 1988. The issue contains two stories, The Boy Next Door and Mind Your Own Business. The first story is a fun ‘What-if’ scenario. It asks the question what would life be like if Alf crashed into the neighbors house, The Ochmoneks instead of the Tanner house.
In Mind Your Own Business Alf explains to Brian the hardships of starting his own business. To illustrate his point Alf tells the story of his mother opening a restaurant on Melmac.
Both stories are good and contain the same humor as the television show. But you didn’t come here for the story, you came for the ads!
Right out of the gate, on the inside cover is a great color ad for Fruity Pebbles. Barney is dressed up as a rock star trying to steal Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. It almost works! I never had Fruity Pebbles as a kid, sugary cereals were yet another thing not allowed in the house. (I could write an entire series on stuff banned from my house as a kid!) We had Shredded Wheat and regular Cheerios. I would’ve loved a tasty bowl of Fruity Pebbles while watching Saturday Morning cartoons.
A free M&M’s painters cap! All you need is 10 proofs-of-purchase of from M&M’s packages. You can also get the shirt for $7.95 plus 2 proofs-of-purchase. If the cap had those sweet tails, like the one Rusty wore in European Vacation it would be a “must have.” M&M’s aren’t my favorite candy. I wouldn’t have bought the 10 packs to get the free cap. I wonder how many of these they gave away? The offer ended in 1989, so you’ll have to get your cap somewhere else.
An ad for the all new Berry Blue Kool-Aid! A wacky blend of berry and lemon flavors. I couldn’t drink Kool-Aid as a kid, I was allergic to the artificial colors or something. Anytime I drank it I’d break out in hives…not fun. So while my friends sucked down gallons of Kool-Aid, I’d have water. Which in hindsight was probably a good thing, but back then it sucked.
This is the first ad I recall for Barbie in a comic, she wouldn’t get her own comic series until 1991. Marvel may have been testing the waters with the Barbie Magazine. I’d like to see the fashion and beauty tips they offer, next…
Here’s one a little more to my liking, Duck Tales Magazine. I never subscribe to these magazines, but I did look for them at the store. They weren’t your normal ‘comic’ so I’d thumb through them without ever buying one.
This one isn’t really an ad but an interesting bio. It features Rick Parker, the Letterer for the issue. It always amazes me how many people work on a comic. This issue of Alf has four artist, the writer, the penciler, the inker and the letterer. Rick Parker worked on numerous Marvel titles including Hulk, Iron-Man and The Thing he also lists butterfly collecting as a hobby.
I like the checklist for other comics I may be missing. The only other comic on the list I collected was Fraggle Rock.
The inside back cover is a full page ad for Candilicious. Jason and Mickey discussed this candy recently on TRN Podcast #56. I don’t recall every trying this candy. It looks like one of those soft candies with the juice that squirts out when you bite it. Or maybe you just swallow it whole like the snake. It’s a good ad, lots of color and draws you in.
This is the one you’ve been waiting for! A full page ad for G.I. Joe! The character of note is The Fridge, a specialty character based on a real life person. William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry was a Defensive Tackle for the Chicago Bears. He was on the famous 1985 Bears team that won Super Bowl XX in January 1986. They were a powerhouse that year, led by Coach Iron Mike Ditka, QB Jim McMahon and Hall of Fame Running Back Walter ‘Sweetness’ Payton. The Bears only lost 1 game that season. If you were alive in 1985/86 you were singing “The Super Bowl Shuffle” I know I was!
Hasbro gave ‘The Fridge’ his own G.I. Joe figure in early 1987. It was available by mail order only until 1989. His action figure specialty was Physical Training Instructor and came with a Football Flail weapon. While ‘The Fridge’ never made it into the Football Hall of Fame he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
I had the Cobra H.I.S.S vehicle but nothing else in this ad. I wanted them all…and still do.