Vintage Australian Christmas Commercials

1986 Tandy CommercialWith Christmas approaching once more, I always find myself reminiscing about old Christmas memories in the 1980s in Australia – hot summers, cool toys, and even cheesy TV commercials.

Here are a few more Australian Christmas commercials (some featuring toys) from the 1980s and early 90s…


Old TV commercials are surprisingly good at bringing back memories. Apparently, despite everyone complaining about the increasing commercialism of TV screens throughout recent decades, we really were paying attention most of the time.

So just for fun, I’ve tried to find some Australian Christmas commercials on Youtube that feature toys, or at least have an atmosphere that might take you back to Christmas time during the 80s and 90s. There aren’t a huge number of them, but here are the best ones anyway…

In about 1992/1993, the Grace Bros/Myer Department Store chain made particularly good use of Bing Crosby’s classic Christmas songs with a series of nice commercials that I definitely do remember. In 1992 they used “Silver Bells” as the theme, and they ran a similar campaign in 1993 with “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”. Remember this?

 
“Toys in every store”

I’m glad to say that in Australia, our Myer and David Jones department stores still have toy sections, like the old song says. I was surprised to learn during a visit to New York City a couple of years ago that the famous Macy’s department store goes to all the trouble of having an in-store Santa (and people literally queue for hours to see him), yet the store itself barely sells any toys anymore. So kids are queuing up in-store, by the thousands, to ask for products that can only be bought someplace else? Weird.

Anyway, back to the Aussie commercials…

I’ve already written about this one, but here’s Myer again, this time in 1986, in which you can see a few classic toys like the Jet Hopper and Teddy Ruxpin…

 
Here’s a K-Mart pre-Christmas commercial from 1990 in which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature prominently…

 
Back in 1984 the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), which sold its own range of products related to its TV and Radio programs, had this rather annoying commercial trying to convince everyone that hot Christmas toys like the phenomenal Tomy Omnibot R/C robot, toy guns or Barbie Dolls were no match for gifts like… children’s music on vinyl, a book called “Useful book”, or a T-Shirt?

 
Erm, no. But thanks again for showing us the Omnibot! Let’s buy that instead ;)

Tomy Omnibot

A big part of Australian Christmases in the 1980s for me, was visits to Westfield shopping centres, as Australia embraced the large shopping mall concept. Not much has changed to this day. Except that Westfields are even larger and more difficult to find a parking space at, during the Christmas rush. But back in the mid 1980s, they were truly “an air-conditioned breeze!”

 
Often found inside Westfield, was my favourite store of the 1980s – Tandy Electronics…

Here’s a Christmas commercial from 1986 in which they feature an R/C model of the America’s Cup winning yacht “Australia II” (which I’m fairly certain was made by Nikko), as well as an R/C Fire Fighting boat…(please excuse the Pope thing – the Tandy ad plays right after it)

 
And from the same year, this was their commercial for the Tandy Color Computer…

 
Here’s Tandy again in 1989, featuring kids visiting the “Tandy Man” (??), but unfortunately no toys in this one – just other popular gadgets of the day like phones and calculators…

 
Thankfully, I managed to find this ad from 1992 which focuses on nothing but Tandy’s range of Christmas toys for that year…

 
And last but not least, here’s rival electronics chain Dick Smith with a Christmas commercial from 1989. Watch and enjoy as the first gift idea Santa suggests is…a 4-way powerboard? LOL. They should have focused on the buggy you can see on the catalogue at the end!

 
Fun times in the 1980s :)

Merry Christmas for 2013, from R/C Toy Memories!

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