This image was scanned from a slide that was found with a large group of Kenner internal slides. The image shows Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears Friend Bear posing with kids at the Cincinnati Zoo, probably around the mid 1980’s.
My guess is these are Kenner employees that drew the short straw, or this is part of some kind of internal Kenner rookie employee hazing. Either way, if you are out there Strawberry Shortcake lady, we would love to hear from you!
Plaidstallions.com has posted a similar picture of Batman, Robin, and Penguin at the Cincinnati Zoo. There’s a good chance these were from the same day.
Also, don’t forget about the awesome internal Brainiac costume we posted here!
How cool is this? If you’re a fan of Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters toy line from the 1980’s and the Rat Fink toy line from 1990, here is a mashup that will leave you begging for more. Artist Paul E. Francis has completed work on a three dimensional Rat Fink style sculpture of the famous ECTO-1 ghost-busting vehicle driven by Slimer.
Rat Fink was created by the legendary Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Kenner produced Rat Fink Rad Rods and Rat Fink Hydro Racers cars in 1990.
Let’s hope Paul can get enough interest to offer these to fans and collectors! Click here for an awesome step by step look at the molding process on the sculpture.
Thanks to Proton Charging for the heads up!
This is an amazing picture showing George Lucas, Gary Kurtz, and Bernard Loomis meeting to discuss the licensing agreement reached between them for rights to produce Star Wars toys, games, and other products. Bernard Loomis was president of Kenner Products from 1970-1978. Its great to see that from humble beginnings come galaxy sized results!
This is what the original announcement looked like in a trade magazine. Its kind of crazy to think in todays “connected” world with the marketing machine churning at full speed what news like this would look like today.
Thanks to PlaidStallions!
If you have any Star Wars toy collectors on your Facebook feed, then you already know what today is. It’s Force Friday, the official release day for the new Force Awakens Star Wars toys.
ABC News has a look back out the excitement surrounding the release of the toys for the original Star Wars movie, with news footage from November 30, 1978. There is some great behind the scenes footage of toys being assembled and packaged in the Kenner factory. Also an interview with Joe Mendelsohn, who took over as president of Kenner in 1978 when Bernie Loomis moved up to manage the General Mills Toy Group.
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Here’s a direct link to the video.
Careful with those boxes lady, collectors like our packaging in mint condition!
Bloomberg has posted an interview with Mark Boudreaux, the man who has been working on Star Wars toys for over 40 years. Mark started out creating toys at Kenner in Cincinnati as a student, and now still works for Hasbro.
Boudreaux has been behind the scenes all along, crafting Star Wars merchandise since he was a 21-year-old industrial design student at the University of Cincinnati. He landed a paid internship in January 1977 at nearby Kenner Products, which at the time was best known for making dolls based off The Six Million Dollar Man television show.
The article includes some great behind the scenes images, and a look into Hasbro’s current Star Wars design area. Check it out here!
Image property of Bloomberg Business.
The POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising Institute) was established in 1936 and is an international trade association for marketing in retail industry.
It serves as the premiere source of education, learning and future-oriented research in retail marketing. For over 50 years, it recognizes the most effective and innovative in store and at retail displays with gold, silver and bronze Outstanding Marketing Achievement awards (OMA). The OMA was given in four forms, a silver statuette (best of category), antique bronze statuette (best of class), gold statuette (best of industry) and a Cartier Baccarat Crystal Obelisk atop an ebony base (display of the year). The statuette features a stylized version of the cigar store indian, one of America’s earliest forms of p.o.p. advertising.
Kenner’s Star Wars line was one of the most successful toy lines in history. The line defined the 3 3/4-inch scale toy and set the standard for movie merchandising moving forward. How the toys looked in the stores was at least as important as how they worked at home. To that end, Kenner’s Star Wars displays were eye catching as well as functional. As it turns out, from the very beginning, they were also award winning within the toy industry.
In 1978, Kenner received the POPAI Outstanding Marketing Achievement Silver Award for their “temporary floor display of action figures”. This is the statuette that Kenner’s representative received for this honor. Temporary, in this case, simply means the product could be removed and the display was not a permanent fixture.
Thanks to the POPAI for providing additional information about this award to us, as well as scans from the original 1978 Award Program. Additional thanks to the owner for giving us the opportunity to share this with everyone and to The Star Wars Collectors Archive for color images of the ‘Star Wars Action Figure Floor Display’ that won this award.
This is quite possibly the greatest cosplay team in the history of ever! Oh that hair! Removable skin even?? It’s got it all. He even nailed the engine block and the classic Kenner pose.
Catalog image property of Plaidstallions.com. Go visit them now!
Updated July 26, 2015 with new Dewey Shumate cards, and variation Hasbro card with Tonka truck watermark.
Business cards are a great way to see how styles and logos changed over the years at Kenner. These are just a few of the different types of business cards that were used. If you have any different styles that you would like to share, just let me know!
Sycamore Street headquarters era, 1946-1976:
Vine Street headquarters era, 1976-1992:
Elsinore Place headquarters era, 1992-2000:
We have had many tidbits of information over the past few months regarding Kenner’s much loved MASK line. Hasbro applied for new trademarks regarding the line, and rumors ran rampant that Matt Trakker could possibly appear in the next GI Joe film.
TFW2005 was covering the Hasbro 2015 Q2 Conference Call, and the above slide was included in their presentation. When I saw this I couldn’t believe my eyes, one of my all time favorite lines is making a return! Keep in mind that this year also marks the 30th Anniversary of MASK.
I can barely contain my excitement, we’ll all be reporting to Boulder Hill before we know it!
Posted in News, Toys
Tagged Kenner, MASK
Here’s a fun little list that was found along with a bunch of other internal Kenner paperwork from the early 1990’s. Like in any office environment, the employees at Kenner enjoyed poking fun at the other departments they worked with. This page is an 8 1/2″ x 11″ photocopy. If anyone reading this remembers creating the list, we’d love to hear from you!