Monday, March 13, 2017

1977: A Madman Turns 40: 2017- Day 72

      Before the VCR became a necessity in every home. Before the computer or iPhone became the dominant source for watching TV shows and movies, if a kid wanted to watch their favorite shows anytime the wanted, they had to use the only thing at their disposal- the View-Master!
     Don't know what a View-Master is? 

     Essentially it was a personal slide projector. You would have these discs with images of your favorite subjects. You put the discs into the View-Master, held it up to the light and with the flipper, when you were ready, you went on to the next slide. It was great for minutes and minutes of fun- unless you had a big collection of slides, then you really could kill an hour or two.

     Before I go, let's look at some of the reels you could view in 1977:

ElectraWoman and DynaGirl:
     Sid and Marty Krofft were puppeteers who dominated kids TV in the 70s. ElectraWoman was their answer to Wonder Woman, the live-action DC heroine who was a pop culture hit on ABC. ElectraWoman was played by Deidre Hall, who would go on to fame on Days of Our Lives and a short-lived family drama called Our House. In this reel, Electrawoman battles some sort of Spider-Lady villain. 

 Land of the Lost:
         Another Krofft Brothers show. This is perhaps their most popular show. A dad and his two kids get sent to a land full of cavemen, dinosaurs, and aliens. Here, the lead characters seem to encounter a Yeti-like creature.

   Captain America:
           This reel is titled "Where Walks the Sleeper." It's based on the first few issues of Captain America's 1960s series. Here a Nazi robot called a Sleeper is activated by the Sentinel of Liberty's arch-enemy the Red Skull.

     The Harlem Globetrotters:

      Fresh off of an adventure with the Scooby-Doo gang and Gilligan's Island, this entertaining basketball troupe was everywhere. Back then, the Globetrotters were also a regular feature on ABC's Wide World of Sports. The Globetrotters were funny and quite thrilling. Somehow, they just don't seem to transfer well to still images.

For the Love of Benji

      For the Love of Benji was one of a series of TV specials and films starring the lovable scamp Benji. I wasn't a big fan of the Benji films, or any sort of live action films starring animals. Not because I didn't like Benji but more often than not the main character or another animal pal would get lost from their owners or die in the climatic ending OR both, and I'd cry and cry. 

       Lastly, View-Masters also has an educational slant to them. This set of slides showed real-life images of Tinseltown and often came with a small fact sheet to education viewers young and old. Not the most popular in the View-Master series, these things could be very valuable or a dime-a-dozen depending on the set.

      Well, that's my look at 1977 for today. Who knows where I'll go next. Until Tomorrow...

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