Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Superman III Movie Sweepstakes, 1983.

One more bit of Superman business, and I'm not sure what's sadder, Superman 64 or this. So, remember that Warner Bros. and DC Comics are basically the same company, and have been since, say, '67 or so. (Conversely, keeping up with the Joneses, Marvel Comics is now part of Disney. The era of the entertainment Keiretsu is truly upon us!) Well, for a while in the early '80s, Atari was part of that corporate family also, hence eg. the 82-86 comic series Atari Force from whence I derive this blog's header artwork. (This continues apace, incidentally; for instance, that same Warner Bros. recently acquired Midway Games, making it owner of, among other things, the Mortal Kombat franchise.)
Enter the Superman III Movie Sweepstakes
and you may win an Atari 5200 Supersystem!
DC Comics and Warner Bros. are giving you a chance to win lots of great prizes! Superman III stars Christopher Reeve and Richard Pryor and, co-stars Jackie Cooper, Marf McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughan, and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane(tm). The star of the Superman III Movie Sweepstakes could be you! No purchase necessary.
First prize. Atari 5200 Supersystem from Atari! It comes with computer and a surprise videogame cartridge unit and two hand controls, and can be hooked up with any television set to provide hours of enjoyment! Value $309.90.
50 Second Prizes! The Great Superman Comic Book Collection, time honored classics featuring the Man of Steel. Value $10.
100 Third prizes! Superman III soundtrack. A 12" 331/3 vinyl disk with all the great sounds of the movie hit of the summer! Value $9.98!
100 Fourth prizes! One jar of SUPERMAN Peanut Butter! Its strength is its great taste. Value $2.19.
1000 Fifth prizes! One year subscription to Superman! Twelve titanic months of adventure with the Last Son of Krypton(tm)! Value $7.20.
Plus: the first 2,500 entrants will receive a free copy of the official Superman III movie poster!
Here's how to enter! ...
So what we have is tentacles 1, 2 and 3 of the same octopus trying to use each other to build up an aura of ineffable coolness. You could win Our Game System by participating in our contest promoting Our Movie, based on Our Comic Book, which we are using to promote both Our Movie and Our Game System IN Our Comic Book. Or as some wag on e2 put it once, "someday you will drive your Sony to the Sony to pick up some more Sony." Do you really need to know / will you care just who all the actors in the movie are in order to enter the sweepstakes in hopes of winning your white elephant, the Atari 5200 (with surprise videogame cartridge -- even the game in the ad is a surprise, revealing only its unsurprising manufacturer)?

I love how despite Warner Bros. being a massive entertainment corporation, they can only spare one of the $309 video game units as a prize for their sweepstakes -- surely the page of advertising was worth at least that much (in lost revenue). But that's okay, since they have other great prizes... like... a jar of peanut butter. I didn't remember that particular product from my youth, but I was a less cynical lad and probably would have clamoured for my mother to buy it. "But mom, it's super-peanutty!"

Wikipedia claims that A video game for Superman III was planned for the Atari 5200 but was never released, giving these sweepstakes a marginally less tenuous (well, for vapourware) connection beyond shared ownership.

Not much else to say but noting signs of the times; movie soundtrack on vinyl, low cost of a year's subscription to the comic, etc. I do dig the hand-drawn rendition of the game console; don't use crisp blueprints, computer-generated imagery or indeed, a photograph (though that peanut butter looks pretty fumetti-ish... and of course, a drawing of a record isn't so much a flight of fancy as a rendition of several circles) -- keep it real by keeping a penciller employed! Gotta say, though, that looks like an awkward place for the controllers to come out for 2-player games. What are those ports on the front for if not controllers?