Friday, 19 December 2014

Clichéd Cynicism

December's suddenly disappeared, whoops. Usually by now I've watched all the films (or as much as I can), gone through my first litre of eggnog and listened to Phil Spector's festive offerings at least a dozen times. Not sure what's happened this year though, bit of a bugger really. I LIKE this time of year, or I at least TRY to, but it seems to be getting more difficult each time.

Ah well. I made a tentative start yesterday by listening to Barenaked for the Holidays, went out for a festive get-together of sorts, and this evening I've watched the 1987 Spitting Image Christmas special and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It's a bit late to start any sort of seasonal marathon here (in the spirit of this one or this one), but there has to be an effort, at least.

How about some "highlights" from the Christmas 1987 Hamleys magazine?

Carry on, if you want, to revel in the true meaning of Christmas (as in, toys)...

It's more or less a glorified Argos catalogue (Hamleys being a posh toy shop in London - fun to visit but don't expect to be able to afford much in there) - what separates the two is the Hamleys book has a few extra bits in it - celebrity features, is what I'm talking about:

Along with some puzzles and a colouring-in page, with the aim of winning a Disney-based holiday:

Those are the colouring-in skills of myself, and possibly my brother too... Think we did well to keep hold of this thing for all these years?

Well, not quite. The double-page spread that would get MOST blog-type people excited is half-missing due to over-enthusiastic reading over the course of time. So this is all you're getting in the action figure sense:

Still got all the other pages, mind. Here's a selection of items you'd be hard-pressed to find in Toys R Us nowadays:

Uzis for everybody!

Meanwhile, there's your educational toys - always a guaranteed child-pleaser:

Noisy toys - get them for the offspring of relatives you don't like for miles of smiles all round:

"Creative" things - with LEGO offering a surprisingly small selection:

Here's a sad enough page - these things have been cluttering up jumble sales, car boot sales, tombola prize tables and landfills for a few decades now. They had to come from SOMEWHERE originally:

I'd give Welliphant a good home, mind.

Some videos and annuals:

There's also board games. Lots and lots and lots of board games (and some robots and Nintendo bits). Have fun by counting how many of these are still available today:

And this being more of a magazine/catalogue hybrid than anything else, here's some adverts for OTHER things:

How times change - in 1987 you could shop at Hamleys then go to Butlins for your holidays. Nowadays you go to Hamleys and spend £3000 on a giraffe

"It's even better than good!" - less punch-in-the-throat-worthy than "I'm lovin' it"

Oh shit! This is from 1987, Weetabix need to call their solicitor!

That's SLIGHTLY festive, right? I'll try and do one more December-ish thing here before "the big day", but in the likely event of that not happening, I'll say "Have a good one" to anyone that's reading now.

And we'll finish on a song:


  1. And just in case you don't get a chance to, I'll wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year today and take this opportunity to thank you for all the hard work you have put into entertaining me this year! Cheers, Ryan, have a good one!

    1. Cheers, John - all the same to you! Really appreciate the constant feedback/encouragement from your end, definitely yes. Think it warrants an emoticon :-D

  2. Surprisingly, Hamleys also sold the Dapol re-release of the small, friction-drive Daleks from the '60s, back around the late '80s, early '90s. It was hardly a 'posh' toy, and something I wouldn't have thought the shop would carry. Anyway, have a very Merry Christmas and a hilariously happy New Year, you young reprobate.

    1. Thanks, Kid - and very merry seasonal wishes to you too, you scally-wag from further north than I am.