Back in 2011, I launched the Collect ‘em All Tumblr feed. The general idea was to collect a truckload of inspirational imagery from my childhood all in one convenient place. That way, I could sneak a peek at them anytime, anywhere.
Collect ‘em All got off to a decent start, but after a few weeks, I stopped updating it. The time I was spending locating images to resize or scan was too cumbersome, I just didn’t have the time for it. What I didn’t realize, until only recently, was that hadn’t been taking advantage of Tumblr’s sharing capabilities…at all. What a dummy.
I finally began following other blogs with similar interests, like James White’s UziCopter. Now, I no longer have to do all the heavy lifting myself. I can easily collect images from other Tumblr blogs, while adding my own whenever I have the time to do so. Perfect.
I’ve been rolling along at a furious pace ever since, creating an ever-expanding internet mood board for myself.
If you dig wicked 80′s style imagery as much as I do, give it a look see right here. Rock on.
Let’s get back to a little Lobby Card business, shall we? This time I’m coming at you with another heavy dose of good ‘ol Disney nostalgia. One of my personal favorites, Fantasia.
In a push to reclaim some mojo for a languishing Mickey Mouse, Disney animators were slaving away on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was originally destined to be another one of their Silly Symphonies series of shorts, but when production costs ran too high, they packaged it with seven other shorts and released it as their third animated feature film.
Due in part to World War II and the high cost of making it, Fantasia failed to make a profit with its first run. Of course, Disney has released Fantasia in theaters several times in the decades since its first run, and has made a hefty profit in the long haul.
This particular set of lobby cards is from the 1982 re-release. Coincidentally, that was also the year that Don Bluth (who had left Disney with several of its top animators) unleashed The Secret of Nimh. Now, even though I really dig Fantasia, I’ll put my money on Bluth’s pinnacle effort every single time. Hands down.
Even though I’m a child of the 1980′s, my furious appreciation for my grandparents era runs deep. The subtle power of mid-century design was fueled by fundamental design principles and deliberate restraint. Inherent limitations in print technology helped steer creatives and executives away from senseless excess, which today, runs amok throughout all forms of media; kicking good taste right in the teeth.
These mid-century Christmas ads are perfect examples of the print design that was kicking around newsstands when my grandparents were in their holiday-gift-giving prime.
Emphasis on simple storytelling. Painted imagery. Hand lettered type. Craftmanship. In the modern era of computer design, tutorials, and the constant pursuit of shortcuts, it’s hard to accurately imagine just how much elbow grease went into creating each and every ad you see here.
But, I’m gonna try anyway.
As far as I can recall, my toy collecting problem started way back with Matchbox cars. I had a whole fleet of late 70′s and early 80′s vehicles that I’d roll out into sandboxes all over the neighborhood. Sure they didn’t transform or shoot missiles, but the miniature detail in these little vehicles was cool as all get-out. Still find a few survivors lurking around in the bottom of my storage boxes from time to time. Die-cast metal, it doesn’t get much tougher than that.
This catalogue predates my miniature car glory days, but that just makes it even more bad ass. The fact that every last image inside this booklet was hand-painted is a testament to a time when craftmanship and care were integral parts of a project’s DNA. These things weren’t just churned out on a computer, there was an entire process behind its creation involving many people. I love imagining all the men and women who got their hands dirty making these things.
You can see larger sized scans and the rest of pages from the catalogue over here.
A couple years back I shared a slew of Transformers Box Art images from the 1980′s. It’s easily one of the most viewed posts on my blog to this day. I recently noticed that I had an entire folder chock-full of images that didn’t make that original cut, so I thought I’d add a little ‘Part II’ to this Transformers art tribute. Enjoy responsibly.
You can scope the entire series of box art over at Botch the Crab.