Honda Joins Masters of Advertising Universe With Nostalgic ’80s Toy Ads


Mike Krumrei is an accomplished writer, former journalist and participation trophy recipient. Despite not driving a vehicle for several years, his theoretical knowledge of the practice allows for a more fluid discussion of the finer points of almost any vehicle including cup holders and vanity mirrors. During his brief driving career, the first car he was in that started on fire was a 1990 Ford Taurus.

If there is anything that advertisers have a knack for, it’s using our own childhood memories against us to get us to buy just about anything. The latest company to capitalize on the idea of using ‘80s nostalgia for cracking open wallets is Honda for their annual Honda Days sale using one of the most notorious villains of our youth, Skeletor.

Stop-motion photography aside, there is really isn’t a much better line of toys to represent Millennial childhoods like Skeletor and his arch nemesis He-Man, cleverly trying to sneak up on the popular toy mastermind on Battle Cat; only to be briefly spotted by the 2015 Honda CR-V sporting a standard rearview camera. The number of these battles that must have taken place in back seats of vehicles of all brands and types is simply staggering.

Honda wasn’t done peddling its wares to us using with Skeletor. There are also ads for the rest of the Honda sale lineup featuring a JEM/G.I. Joe mashup that is nearly dripping with sexual innuendo as well as far more innocent fare featuring Strawberry Shortcake, Little People (whatever the hell those are) and Gumby and Pokey. There really isn’t enough claymation used anymore. There was also a Stretch Armstrong offering, but that was a little before our time. It was popular in the 70s and the myth was that the toy was made of plutonium. This is obviously false, but in the pre-internet world, kids traded on rumors.

This is a pretty interesting representation of 80s-90s toys. You’d think Chevy would have been all over this considering they sold their corporate soul to be the featured vehicles in the Transformers movies. However, the automaker that will hit the biggest home run will be the one that gets Bill Murray to don his Peter Venkman jump suit to sell me a car.

What line of toys from your youth would get you most excited to buy a vehicle?



JEM/G.I. Joe:


Stretch Armstrong:




Strawberry Shortcake:


Little People:



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