I've been posting some of my more rare, unique and interesting Tiny Toons/Animaniacs memorabilia over on Twitter
and I thought it would be fun to share one of my cooler items here as well.
This is a Tiny Toon Adventures Pre-Release Press Kit that was mailed out to television stations, marketing people and merchandise producers back in 1989 and early 1990:
It comes in a nice TTA folder and is filled with all sorts of fun and even archaic items! Let's take a look.
When you open it up, the left side features a plastic organizer with twenty slides for an old-school slide projector. The right side contains a number of images including concept art, character pictures, headshots of the producers and cast as well as many pages of character bios and cast lists.
The slides are really cool and, of course, very retro! They include a bunch of preview art as well as single images for a number of the characters. Sadly, there's very little Fifi La Fume content in the pack. The only reference to her is this slide which features a pretty common bit of promo art that's shown up on posters and packaging.
More interesting are these two slides featuring art that I've never seen previously. Similar to the above, it shows various cast members interacting in amusing ways. I believe the Elmyra hugging Max bit has shown up in marketing materials before, but the rest is really unique! Also note that Furball has dark blue hands rather than the usual light blue matching his feet.
I wonder if part of the reason these didn't show up so much is because the portrayals of the characters here are slightly "off" the norm. Dizzy was made into more of an antagonist character (which certainly softened over time) rather than "just one of the gang" in these images. Buster is shown to be a bit more lazy, rather than the energetic rabbit of action. Babs is playing on a tire swing and seems younger and more playful rather than an over-the-top shit disturber!
Likewise Furball is reaching for pink ice cream rather than a pink bird. Hamton is gleefully eating a handful of sticky, goopy second-hand ice cream when his show portrayal is much more fastidious and a neat-freak. Again, Dizzy seems to be more of a friend than an antagonist.
The other side of the folder contains all the printed material, starting with headshots for Babs, Buster, Plucky as well as some group images and the show's logo. It also has photos of Steven Spielberg and producer Tom Ruegger looking very...denim!
After that there's a lot of text material detailing the plot of the show, a guide to the various slides and bios for the main characters. These bios are a lot of fun, including weird, random info that never made it into the show! For instance, did you know Babs actually owned a mobile phone...in 1990!?! Clearly Max wasn't the only multi-millionaire in town! Plucky maintains a C- average in school and seems to have serious, untreated anxiety and paranoid disorders. FUN!
Also, weirdly, Babs is noted to be the Co-Host while Buster is just the Host.
Max has a bit of a depressing bio, describing him as just wanting friends and using his villainy and greed as a coping mechanism for insecurity. This is deep stuff!
All told, this is a wonderful, nostalgic piece that I'm very proud to own! It also give a lot of insight into how a children's cartoon was marketed to the people who run the stations, sell the toys, etc. In this day of viral buzz, social network bombardment and instantaneous word-of-mouth (or at least word-of-Twitter) you don't image a lot of station managers sitting in a boardroom looking at a slideshow of cartoon rabbits and passing around one color copy of Steven Spielberg's professional bio. But it was a different time and it's really fun getting a glimpse of it!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this stuff! If you like, I'll continue posting my collections here as well as Twitter. It's certainly nice having more room to talk about the pieces and explain them a bit. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is doing great!