Batman Forever Corn Pops (Kellogg's)


Batman Forever Corn Pops

People like to look back on Batman Forever, and think how badly it flopped. However, the reality of this is that their perspective may simply be skewed by the damage that Batman & Robin did. The truth of the matter about the film is that it took in three hundred thirty-six million dollars at the box office on a one hundred million dollar budget. No, it wasn't the Tim Burton sequel that fans may have wanted, but the campy look and feel was the return to the lighthearted Batman franchise that Warner Bros., McDonald's, and parent activist groups were looking for.

Many know the story already. How when Tim Burton sat down to discuss his third installment that Warner Bros. did everything they could to talk him out of it. He was a smart director, and he saw the writing on the wall in that meeting. He knew very well what they were trying to make clear. The studio didn't want him to do another Batman movie. Warner Bros. had received major backlash from McDonald's resulting from outraged parents who panned the family friendly restaurant for promoting a kids based Happy Meal on a film they deemed too dark, violent and scary for children. That film, of course, was Burton's 1992 Batman Returns.

Though it wasn't immediate, with the exit of Tim Burton, Warner Bros. also lost their star, Michael Keaton. However, this didn't sway them. Batman forever had the likes of Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris O'Donnell, and up and comer comedic genius, Jim Carrey. All engines were full speed ahead. Under the guise of Joel Schumacher, Warner Bros. presented a family friendly Batman film that left critics raving, and families happy. For all intents and purposes, the film was successful. So successful that Batman & Robin was rushed into production.

It was with the fourth installment flopping that in retrospect people started to look back on the third film through hazy glasses. What was once deemed a great movie that Jim Carrey stole the show from, was now seen as a blemish. The beginning of the end. That movie where Joel Schumacher ruined the Batman franchise by taking the reigns from Tim Burton. Since then, it honestly hasn't gotten a fair shake among critics. People want to hate it because it's not Tim Burton and Michael Keaton. Yet at the time, the box office shows they loved it.

With its success not only came more Happy Meal toys, but also a tie in promotion with cereal giants, Kellogg's, who offered a black, all cotton adjustable baseball cap featuring the film's question mark logo in green and blue. Sadly, this was no different than the very same cap that was already available in most clothing and retail shops. Because I wasn't, and still am not, a baseball hat wearer, I don't know if the $4.99 price for the cap through Kellogg's was a deal or not.

Though the baseball cap would remain available throughout the promotion, Kellogg's would follow this release of Corn Pops with all new boxes which featured the two heroes, Batman and Robin, as well as the two villains, Two-Face and Riddler. In overseas markets, they also offered a "special edition" double size box, which featured the film's iteration of the Batmobile on the box. This particular package also included a promotion for film related tattoos. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my hands on the foreign box, but here are samples of the four character boxes.

Despite which box you purchased, they all had the same backing on the box for the hat promotion. If you flip the box on its side, you can also read short blurbs about each character, as well as the actor's name who plays them.

And to wrap this post up, here is an image of the actual hat.

It's a shame that time hasn't been more friendly to the film. People's opinions changed fast when Batman & Robin crashed and burned so hard. We are after all talking about a film so bad that both Schumacher and Clooney have apologized for making it. But in retrospect, that doesn't make Forever a bad film by default. No, much like Superman III, it's a decent sequel, it's just not the sequel we expected based on the groundwork of the first two films. I think we can all agree that the fourth installment for Batman (and Superman for that matter) was disastrous.

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Retro Spins: Duran Duran - Big Thing

My first Duran Duran Retro Spin was all the way back at the beginning of their career with the 1981 self titled album. For my follow up experience with them, I thought I'd go all the way to the end of the decade with their last entry in the 80's, Big Thing (1988).

By 1986, the lineup of Duran Duran had dwindled down from the original Fab Five to the trio of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and John Taylor. Despite the group still producing a fair amount of hits, the lack of members Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor was noticeable to many fans. The music was just...different. Synthpop had taken over, and it really wasn't for the better.

Despite this, Big Thing does manage to have two tracks on it which I would say are "required listening" for a greatest hits compilation. Those songs are, I Don't Want Your Love, and All She Wants Is.

Other than that, there's very little to get excited about. It's not a bad album, it just doesn't have the life in it that prior Duran Duran albums had. It's as if the band itself is bored with their own material.

Big Thing isn't a "bad" album. Far from it. It's just disappointing. I honestly expected more from a group that's sold millions of albums across the world. For such a high profile status in the music industry, Duran Duran's albums shouldn't just be "okay". Am I wrong in feeling this way?

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The Official Nintendo Player's Guide


The Official Nintendo Player's Guide

Back in 1987, Nintendo was the console of choice over the Sega Master System. By the end of that same year, Nintendo had released, directly or via third-party, close to one hundred titles. But with so many choices, there were bound to be some duds mixed in with the gems. So how does one know what exactly they should purchase?

Not to worry. Nintendo had you covered with The Official Nintendo Player's Guide.

Featuring over one hundred fifty pages, this tome was chock full of tiles, showcasing tips, tricks and a general guide of available titles, this book was a prolific part of any gamer's collection. It was such a large part of the world of Nintendo, that it even became a pack in with consoles, taking the place of the originally included Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt cartridge for a time.

Today, I thought I would do something a bit unusual, and include a look at the 1987 guide in its entirety. Each slide is showcased in a 24 X 36 size, allowing for you to zoom in and take in each and every screenshot, and blurb of text. Enjoy!

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