Sunday, February 21, 2010

Plumber, Hedgehog Narrowly Escape Death in Bizarre Wildlife Incident

Atari was pretty hungry in 1995 as the company launched its new Jaguar videogame console with a two-page magazine ad spread:

There are two items worth noting here.

One, Tiny Toon Adventures is featured as one of the launch games; it was never released, establishing an unfortunate trend in Jaguar advertising right at the outset.  Only Cybermorph (the pack-in) and Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy were listed as available now, but Raiden and Checkered Flag were in fact coming soon and did make it to the shelves in short order.

Two, the leaping Jaguar image is portrayed as chewing up the competition, as represented by a couple of popular, trademarked and generally well-protected videogame characters owned by other companies.  And while the characters' ownership is duly noted in the legal fine print, one doubts any official permission was sought from or granted by Sega and Nintendo.  In fact, it appears that Atari simply lifted the artwork from other sources -- Sonic the Hedgehog looks like he did in the Archie-label comic books, and Mario is wearing a chef's hat a la Yoshi's Cookie.

Get Bit by Jaguar, the ad says, but the leaping jungle cat was rarely seen in Atari's post-launch ads, despite the ad copy's promise that the Jaguar would eat the competition alive.

Mario and Sonic were a lot tougher than they looked.

1 comment:

  1. I found this site a little while ago and have to say it's interesting. I'm not 40 yet(32) but it's nice to see some of the history and familiar things.

    Keep up the good work!