Friday, April 5, 2019

Herbie (The Love Bug) Rides Again - 45th Anniversary

Forty-five years ago (in the Summer of 1974), my grandmother took me to see Walt Disney's, Herbie Rides Again. The film was a sequel to The Love Bug, which had been released in 1968.

That same summer, Gold Key Comics' "Walt Disney Showcase" featured a comic book adaptation of the movie.

Sorry, you only get a sampling of the inside, because there are too many pages to scan and the comic book is in "delicate" condition, just from age. However, we will take a look at a few of the ads from inside.

Does anyone remember Disneykins? Many of the "Gold Key" comic books from around this time, contained this advertisement. Disneykin figures were also sold at Disneyland and through mail-in offers from Royal Gelatin.

A few years ago, the blog, "Filmic Light - Snow White Archive," published a great post about Royal Gelatin's Disneykin promotion. That post can be seen here: Disneykin offer from Royal Gelatin.

My brother and I had quite a few of the Disneykin figures when we were kids, and I still have about half a dozen of them. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate them in time for this post. However, a few years ago, my aunt found this "Grumpy" Disneykin at an antique show and she picked it up for me (because I have the coolest aunt in the world!) I placed the penny next to him, to give an idea of just how small these figures are.

Comic books often carried this type of ad for "practical jokes" and other gimmicky items. I'm surprised that "X-ray Glasses" weren't offered here.

While I never had any of the specific gags offered in the ad, I did have a few others that were purchased at a local "Joke and Magic" shop. Here are two of the practical jokes that I still have today.

First, is this package of "snapping" gum. The fake stick of gum inside, had a very small mouse trap-type of mechanism attached to it. When the gum was pulled out of the package, the trap would come down on the person's finger. It was a million laughs, I tell ya!

This box contained a sample-sized glass bottle of what was called "Morning Breeze" perfume. The gimmick was that it smelled like rotten eggs. You could put just one drop anywhere and it would really stink up the place! It was supposed to be even more effective in a small enclosed space, like an elevator. I was never brave enough to use this in a public place, so basically I just handed the bottle to people and said, "Here, smell this perfume!" It was strong enough that the odor would linger in your nose for a while. Again, it was a million laughs. Honest!

These characters kind of remind me of the characters from the "Archie" comics.

The back cover of the comic book, had an advertisement for some blacklight posters, peace sign jewelry, and embroidered patches that "really tell your friends where you're at!" Like groovy, man!

I had only one iron-on patch when I was a kid. My mom put it on a pair of my Sears "Toughskins" jeans and when I outgrew them, I took the patch off and saved it. Here is that patch.

During my childhood, our neighborhood "Lucky's" supermarket had an entire aisle with just toys. After the release of Herbie Rides Again, they carried this stylized "Li'l Herbie" model, made by Revell.

In addition to saving the box all these years, I also saved the assembly instructions:

And I still have the assembled model, but it has seen better days.

The rear bumper fell off, and it is also missing the front turn indicator lights, side-view mirror, front-to-back striping, and number "53" decals.

In 2004, (thirty years after Herbie Rides Again and thirty-six years after the original The Love Bug film), Hallmark made a Christmas ornament, honoring the "Amazing No. 53":

We will end this post today, with nine Herbie Rides Again "lobby cards." Back in the day, these cards were displayed in theaters, to promote current and soon-to-be-released films.

Helen Hayes starred in the film.......

....along with Ken Berry and Stefanie Powers.

In one scene, Herbie is chased in the ocean by a shark. (This was one full year prior to the release of the blockbuster film, Jaws.)

In another scene, Herbie drives through the Garden Court Restaurant of San Francisco's historic Palace Hotel (built in 1909).

After being stolen and locked in a warehouse, Herbie's friends show up to rescue him.

Herbie can jump really high!

Keenan Wynn played the film's villain, Alonzo Hawk.

And they all lived happily ever after!

Happy 45th anniversary, to Herbie Rides Again!

***POST UPDATE*** I've decided to go ahead and scan every page of the comic book, so here it is in it's entirety!