Monthly Archives: October 2011

Baseball Cards..Long John Silver’s Style…

I grew up collecting baseball cards, just like about every other guy in the mid-80’s and early 90’s, and that was the hook Long John Silver’s used to get us to buy a Fish and More dinner. After all, back then baseball cards were like gold. And to be honest, they weren’t too bad as far as baseball cards go, they were officially licensed by both the Players Association and Major League Baseball, that meant none of those lame cards were the team logos are airbrushed off the jersey. Made by Starline in 1990, the cards were pretty popular and made a great addition to your collection. LJS even made a commecial to let us know how awesome these baseball cards were…

Yes, that was then Chicago Cub Mark Grace shilling the cards, I am guessing he got paid in hushpuppies. If you bought a one of the fish meals and a large Coke they gave you the cards for free. Their were eight sets of the cards available, with five cards per set. Apparently their was a mail in offer where you could get a poster of one of the featured players for four bucks but I have never met anyone who ever actually ever bought one. All in all, it is actually a pretty nice set of cards featuring the popular players of the day.

The bad thing about these baseball cards is that they are pretty common. While I didn’t eat at Long John Silver’s very often, my grandparents did – everyone’s grandparents did. And they brought you back the cards. I have at least four complete sets stashed away here at home and I haven’t bought a baseball card in the last twenty years. But still, it was really cool promotion. After all, LJS wasn’t trying to make it a valuable collection they just wanted to sell fish. And it worked. Nothing wrong with that.

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For That Special Child In Your Life….The Burger King Play Restaurant

I have always been kind of amazed by the amount of Fast Food related toys I see on the shelves at my local Wal-Mart but sometimes I am even more amazed at what was available back when I was a kid. Remco put out a McDonald’s action figure/doll thing back in the mid 70’s (and yes, we will be looking at that later) but I recently came across this awesome Burger King Play Restaurant. To be honest, I am not sure of what to make of it. I know that back in the 70’s these cardboard kid playhouses were a big deal. But a play Burger King? Complete with drive thru window? Wow!

mommy and daddy still love you..

It was featured in the Sears Wishbook (if you were a kid in the 70’s or 80’s you know what I am talking about, the Wishbook was the bomb!) along side girly playhouses and army forts. I’m not sure what parent saw this Burger King set and thought “You know, I think little Johnny would enjoy that” and really meant it. And, as a parent, I would be terrified if my child came to me and asked for this for Christmas. I doubt it sold well…how could it? What parent would tell the friends and family little Billy is in the backyard selling pretend hamburgers in his little cardboard shack? I am sure someone bought it, and if you did please email me immediatly.The set came with a paper hat, Burger King bags, an order pad and some other crap. Not too shabby for a toy that would make you the neighborhood outcast.

The McDonald’s Riverboat

I grew up in the 1980’s, living in Southern Illinois and we would visit St. Louis on a pretty regular basis, often to either take in Cardinals baseball game, visit the zoo or spend a day at Grant’s Farm. But I have to admit, one of my favorite attractions in that wonderful town was the McDonald’s Riverboat.  After all, I was probably eight years old, I was legally required to love McDonald’s and what eight year old kid could pass up a floating McDonald’s? I don’t know the numbers but I would bet it would be zero.

Though it is sad to admit, I am pretty sure I only had the chance to eat their twice, somewhere around 1983 or 1984. I do remember vividly dropping the Astronik from my Happy Meal into the Mississippi River below. I didn’t cry, I didn’t even get sad. It just seemed kind of cool. While it was the same food served at every other McDonald’s in United States,  it just seemed better eating it while sitting on the deck of a floating McDonald’s. After all, most fast food is pretty much the same – there are only so many things you can do with hamburger patties and ketchup, but you have to admit, McDonald’s really stepped it up by serving it on a damn riverboat.

The St. Louis McDonald’s Riverboat was a landmark but finally time caught up to it and the world no longer needed a floating McDonald’s. And a little other known fact – it really wasn’t a riverboat. It was just a barge that had a riverbaot shaped McDonald’s built on top of it. But For reasons I am not sure of, and probably wouldn’t agree with anyway, the powers that be decided it was time to shut the place down. I have no real idea of what happened to the place but chances are it was dismantled and sold for scrap. A sad ending for a place that made a lot of kids excited but a victory for parents who couldn’t stand the though of eating one more Big Mac. I miss the place but I still continue on…

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