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Saturday, 29 June 2013

AFICIONADO CLASSIC REVIEW: 'THE PALITOY ADVERT ARCHIVE' DVD




PALITOY ADVERT ARCHIVE-THE DVD


Reviewed by Ian Trussler


July 2007 saw Celebration Europe come to London and with it many great guests and exhibits.

Among the hustle and bustle of this fan gathering, sadly hidden away in a room upstairs, away from the main hall, was one of the best exhibits of the whole event, the Palitoy Archiveroom.

Palitoy were the UK company that had the license to distribute the Kenner Star Wars toys during the classic era of 1978 - Mid 80's. The exhibit had lovingly gathered together a collection of almost every Star Wars related Palitoy item, from the carded figures to the vehicles, spaceships and playsets. What made this even better was that the room was also plastered with blow ups of the unique print advertising used by Palitoy, often featuring superb artwork and comic strip style stories, helping to draw the young (and old) fans into the Lucas universe.

Since that exhibit, Dave Tree, the man behind it, together with a little help from partner Chloe and DVD technical support from Brian Cleckner, has been working on his next project thePalitoy Advert Archive DVD.

Dave has spent the last year painstakingly trawling through hundreds of hours of videotape footage, from numerous sources to compile a collection of television commercials and slideshows featuring print adverts, toy catalogues and the best of UK Star Wars related licensed material, plus a few "unofficial" bonuses.

At the recent JEDI CON event in Dusseldorf Germany, Dave cheekily blagged a slot on stage to give a short preview of the DVD, of which the response was overwhelmingly positive so, alongside STAR WARS AFICIONADO Editor Scott Weller, I tracked him down and obtained the full DVD.

What you get on the DVD is an awesome collection of vintage material, put together in an innovative way, nicely packaged in an attractive box featuring Palitoy’s striking Boba Fett logo, together with a superb 24 page colour booklet produced in the style of a Kenner Star Wars toy catalogue, like the ones that came packaged with the boxed toys.

On the DVD you get 15 UK TV commercials for Palitoy Star Wars products, ranging from the first ever UK spot for the much prized cardboard Death Star playset, through the Empireera, on to the Jedi phase (were they started to use actual film footage) and ending with those dreaded Ewoks.

The quality on the whole is excellent, considering this material has been sourced from thirty year old, mostly Betamax recordings (at that time, the picture quality of that format was far superior to VHS and has lasted the test of the ages well). You have to appreciate the time and effort it took to put this together.

Along with the Palitoy commercials, you get slide shows ofPalitoy print adverts, most of which are unique in style and content, slides of UK toy retailer material and other UK related products from this classic era, along with some DVD Easter Eggs.

The print ads are wonderful, when I was at school my brother and I, together with friends, always referred to Greedo as "Green Greedo". Decades later this always stuck in my mind but I couldn't remember why we did that. All was revealed when I found the comic ad for the second wave of Palitoy Star Wars figures in which our favourite Rodian was indeed given the moniker of Green Greedo.

The Easter Eggs vary in difficulty to find, from easy to frustrating, just remember to explore every possible area, but it adds to the fun and when you find them you won't be disappointed.

There are a few additional Star Wars TV commercials to find, one of which is the wonderful Signal toothpaste advert featuring a blonde Leia look-a-like being rescued by Luke Toothbrusher-you gotta see it to believe it. This alone bought the memories flooding back as I remember the advert from back in the day.

Other hidden gems are commercials for Star Wars yogurts and biscuits and the ATARI Jedi Arena video game.

Dave really has done a superb job here and I personally can't thank him enough, I love this sort of preservation work and people don't realize who much effort and money it takes to put something like this together. I highly recommend that if you get the chance you support Dave’s work and buy this DVD, one to help him cover the cost of production and two because you will not be disappointed.

Congratulations, Dave, on a job well done and let's hope that in a few years you will have unearthed some more televisual gems and you can release a Special Edition of the PalitoyAdvert Archive. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on the DVD, contact Dave Tree at his email: baronvontree@aol.com


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