Do You Remember Return Of The Jedi Presto Magix?

Friends, when Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was released to theaters on May 25th of 1983, there were already a couple of things rabid fans could buy. Off the top of my head I can remember that Kenner had released action figures for the then third and final film in the Star Wars trilogy. I am sure that many of you had similar experiences of standing in the toy aisle looking at the likes of figures such as Klaatu, Emperor’s Royal Guard, Gamorrean Guard, Admiral Ackbar, and Bib Fortuna… and just wondering who the heck these characters were. I naturally was ecstatic to see this new wave of Kenner action figures and after stretching my Father’s patience by studying each and every new character, I finally decided that my first purchase from the Return of the Jedi line would be Bib Fortuna. As this was long before the internet of course, I had no idea what role the Twi’lek (or even that was what his species was called at that point) would play in the film, although the photograph provided on the blister card led me to believe the character was definitely a villain.

“Wise choice, Vic.”

Another collectible that I recall included the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Official Collector’s Edition magazine, which included a breakdown of the story as well as an incredible amount of behind the scenes information. I obviously did not read the story portion of the magazine until after I had seen the film for myself, right after I begged my Father to take me back to the toy store so I could buy Admiral Ackbar.

“You should have chosen me first.”

After the film had been released you couldn’t swing a Kowakian monkey-lizard without hitting some type of merchandise for Return of the Jedi. Books, records, pencil toppers, activity books, stickers, and of course Presto Magix sets. The last one is something that I recall seeing in great quantities at the local K-Mart stores in my neck of the woods. They were incredibly affordable ways to spend a rainy afternoon, plus they managed to license everything from Dynomutt, Laff-a-Lympics, Masters of the Universe, The Dukes of Hazzard, Batman, Thor, and Star Wars of course.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY PhakeNam.

Generally for a couple of bucks you could create your own stories with some of your favorite TV, Film, and comic book characters. Although you had to be absolutely sure where you wanted to apply the rub-on transfer decal, because once they were on the background card you couldn’t remove them. There were box sets available too, these not only provided more decals to choose from but offered a much larger background card to apply them to.

For a breakdown on more Presto Magix sets and fun, why not take a couple of minutes and watch the esteemed Weird Paul‘s review?

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Weird Paul.

Jeannie – The 1973 I Dream Of Jeannie Animated Series

Jeannie - 1973 - I Dream of Jeannie

Friends, if you possibly had the time to listen to the New Scooby-Doo Movies episode last year – you might recall my mentioning the crossover between the animated version of I Dream of Jeannie and the gang of Mystery Inc. To be fair there isn’t a ton of connections between 1973’s Jeannie and the popular sitcom starring Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, and Bill Daily. It might be better to think of Jeannie as a reimagining of the live action series – although the Saturday Morning cartoon was co-produced by Screen Gems, who also produced I Dream of Jeannie on NBC from 1965 until 1970. Hanna-Barbera studios naturally was responsible for the animated series with both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera acting as Executive Producers – along with Iwao Takamoto (Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp) as a Producer and Charles August Nichols (The Jetsons, Jonny Quest) acting as Director for the 16 episodes that made up the series. There are two big differences between Jeannie and I Dream of Jeannie – one is the character of Jeannie is now a teenager to fit in with the rest of the teenage cast of characters. The second change is Jeannie is in charge of the education of a character named Babu, who is a genie in training and was voiced by Joe Besser (The Three Stooges).

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One of the fun facts about 1973’s Jeannie is it happens to mark the first voice acting gig that none other than Mark Hamill would get, something that he has made a fine career of 47 years later, right? In addition to Hamill providing the voice of Corey Anders, the teenage surfer who finds Jeannie, he also is the one singing in that opening. The animated series also boasted the talents of Bob Hastings – who had a successful career in film and television but also happened to be the voice for Commissioner Jim Gordon in Batman: The Animated Series and other DCU animated fare. It was the legendary Janet Waldo who provided the voice for Jeannie – you probably know her best as as Judy Jetson or perhaps Penelope Pitstop from The Wacky Races or any number of the other 142 acting credits she garnered in her long career.

The truth is that Jeannie didn’t do all that well I am sad to say – although Babu would go on to appear in the Laff-A-Lympics animated series as part of the Scooby Doobies. Naturally. Actually I’ve read online that Jeannie was initially intended to appear in that animated parody of the Battle of the Network Stars – although copyright issues put a stop to that.

Friends, in closing – just as I’m finishing this article… Facebook has been kind enough to share with me a post I made 9 years ago. Would you believe that it’s a panel from the Laff-A-Lympics comic book that was released by Marvel Comics – featuring the Scooby Doobies and Babu? That… is kind of weird, right?

Jinkies… Check Out The First Trailer For Scoob!

Scoob! - Warner Bros. Pictures - 2020

I am sure that many of you are just as fond of the characters and universe of Scooby-Doo as I am – it appears though Warner Bros. Pictures has dropped the trailer for 2020’s Scoob! After watching it a couple of times I feel that Scoob! is taking a page from the likes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and the recent Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? – where Scooby-Doo and the gang encounter other well known characters from the Hanna-Barbera universe. Judging from this first teaser trailer for Scoob! we will be getting an appearance from none other than Blue Falcon and I’m betting that means that Dynomutt the Dog Wonder won’t be too far behind. Judging from this first trailer for Scoob! it looks the film will act as an origin story – how Shaggy and Scooby-Doo first crossed paths as well as the first case for the Mystery Inc. gang – in addition to having a current day mystery to tackle. One that, if I am not mistaken, might actually feature Dick Dastardly as the main villain!

Video and Article Image Provided by Warner Bros, Pictures YouTube Channel.

If Scoob! is using Dick Dastardly, I can only hope that his snickering canine companion Muttley will be included in the film as well. For what it might be worth, I most assuredly was a fan of 1976’s Dynomutt, Dog Wonder as a kid, I never missed an episode on Saturday morning. My first introduction to Dastardly and Muttley however was… sort of… thanks to 1977’s Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. You see the latter was influenced by the popularity of ABC’s The Battle of the Network Stars and it still is quite an enjoyable show – but I’ve read that Joe Ruby and Ken Spears were unsure if they had the rights to Dastardly and Muttley. Which is why the Really Rottens team in Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics is captained by Mumbly, who had his own show in 1976, and the Dread Baron.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xRv_K4xPP4
Video Provided by Cartoons Intros YouTube Channel.

I should add that in his own animated series, Mumbly, was a Detective Lieutenant – not sure why he decided to become a bad guy for the Laff-A-Lympics. The upcoming Scoob! animated feature film is Directed by Tom Cervone who worked on 1996’s Space Jam and helmed 39 episodes of the Duck Dodgers television show – as well as the EXTREMELY awesome Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery from 2015. It appears that in Scoob! – Zac Efron will voice Fred Jones with Gina Rodriguez as Velma Dinkley. Will Forte has the honor of voicing Shaggy Rogers and Amanda Seyfried is Daphne Blake, with the voice of Scooby-Doo naturally being provided by the one and only Frank Welker!

Video Provided by PeopleTV‘s YouTube Channel.