[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

In 1984, the official network feed from ABC started at 8:00 with the all-new Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, a show that forever changed how Saturday Morning Cartoons worked.

Geez, how do I write this out in a bite-size blog post???

Backwards, I guess?

You may have noticed that the 1983 ABC line-up didn't have a Super Friends cartoon. This was because all the OLD episodes were finally available for 5-days-a-week syndication. The folks at ABC didn't like that, feeling that new episodes would be competing with syndicated re-runs on other channels and/or at least providing free network advertising for the syndicated episodes, pulled the plug. The general attitude of ABC was that they wanted something completely new that was noticeably different from the syndicated Super Friends, while also remaining the same.

Meanwhile, the Super Friends comic book was selling great by churning out stories that were more in line with what was actually being published in current DC comics rather than stories geared towards the cartoon viewers.

Also, comics legend Jack Kirby was now a freelance artist looking to do more non-comics work in animation which could then lead to character ownership and a piece of the merchandising action, churning out untold amounts of concept drawings for the folks at Ruby-Spears.

And last but not least, the MEGO company no longer had the rights to make DC comics action figures - the rights were snapped-up by Kenner Toys and the industries first "Multi-Marketing Blitz" began (more on that later).

All these things fell in to place *perfectly*. Hannah-Barbera hired writers from the Super Friends comics to write episodes of a new cartoon, and Jack Kirby characters and designs were used for the new Kenner "Super Powers" line of toys.

The "Super Friends" comic book was cancelled, replaced by a series of "Mini Series" comics under the "Super Powers" title.

And the new cartoon, which had been pitched and developed under the two separate titles of "The Super Powers Show" and "Super Friends: Legends", debuted as "Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show" (love that compromise).

Multi-Market Media Blitz had been done before, but in a much different way; characters such as Strawberry Shortcake and The Shirt Tales had started their lives as greeting card characters and moved on to toys and cartoons, sure... but this? This was a special oroborus of creativity. A cartoon that inspired a comic book that inspired a toy line that inspired a comic book that inspired a cartoon - WOW!

Later in the 80's you would see this type of stuff happen a lot with properties such as Transformers, GI Joe and Masters Of The Universe... but this cartoon is where it all started :)

This incarnation of The Super Friends introduced Darkseid, Apokalypse and Firestorm to the mix, as well as featuring Adam West as the voice of Batman for the first time in Super Friends history :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Last week you all voted the first season of The Daffy Duck Show as the best thing in the NBC Saturday Morning Line-Up over a pretty impressive list of contenders such as The Flintstones, Godzilla and even BATMAN!

Today is an ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN to determine which cartoon of 1980 wa the BEST. To make things even more difficult and/or fair, I've also included the runner-up from each network so the votes can be more evenly spread. And please remember... this is for *SCIENCE*!
[Poll #1920224]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

At 11:00 on ABC in 1981, you would get to see a little how called "Super Friends" for the very first time.

Not "The Super Friends" as it had been when it debuted in 1973.

Not "The ALL NEW Super Friends hour which debuted in 1977.

Not "The Challenge Of The Super Friends" of 1978.

Not "The World's Greatest Super Friends" of the 1979/1980 season (which we have already covered in this community)

No... this is SUPER FRIENDS. So what's different about this series, other than the snappy new title sequence? The short answer is Length and El Dorado.

Up till this series, all the incarnations of the Super Friends had comprised of half-hour adventures, but the only new content for THIS serie were seven-minute shorts. Each episode of Super Friends would feature a rerun from one of the previous six years and three new shorts. These new adventures featured appearances by the 5 "Big Guns" (Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin) plus The Wonder Twins (Zan, Jayna and their space-monkey Gleek) and the occasional "Guest Star" roll by other heroes of th established DC Universe (Flash, Green Lantern, etc). Also heavily featured were past episodes that included "Ethnic" character such as Apache Chief, Black Vulcan and Super Samurai. The only NEW character introduced this year was the Hanna-Barbera-created hero El Dorado, who was added to the show to provide further cultural diversity. This would prove to be one of the longer-lived incarnations of the series (three years).

(Also aired at 8:00 in 1982 and 1983)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(Cross posted from Tumblr)

WORLDS GREATEST SUPER FRIENDS (1973 - 1986) Over on your local ABC affiliate starting at 8am on Saturday morning in 1980, you would have seen the fourth series of the long-running “Super Friends” cartoon titled “Worlds Greatest Super Friends”. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America (JLA) and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. THIS was the year that they debuted THE WONDER TWINS!!! Zan, Jayna and their blue Monkey Gleek :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

The Legendary Super Powers show was the first BIG CHANGE that The Super Friends had seen since the introduction fo The Wonder Twins back in 1977. Two great big changes, in fact; first of all, the introduction of new team member FIRESTORM (aka "The Guy In The Creamsicle-Colored Band Uniform With His Head On Fire"), the other being the introduction of a main Super Villain (DARKSIED). An epic change in direction and tone for what would become the shows penultimate season.

Leave your own personal memories or reflections regarding this version of The Super Friends in the comments below, and if you haven't already taken the time to do so, be sure to go and vote for this cartoon in our Best of 1985 Poll!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

This is the opening from the Super Friends as it appeared on Saturday mornings in 1980. The thing I find really interesting about this particular opening is that if I remember correctly, this was the first year they didn't even MENTION characters like Wendy & Marvin or The Wonder Twins, which had been the big selling point through the 1970's. Weird, huh? Please note that there will also be fan pages for the other 1980's versions of The Super Friends such as "Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show" and "The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians". You may remember them from the various i970's incarnations such as "Challenge Of The Super Friends" and "The Worlds Greatest Super Friends", but since this community is all about the 80's Saturday Morning Experience we'll just be focusing on the incarnations from the 1980's (which had all the 1970's episodes recycled in to them anywho).

Comment here with your favorite Super Friends memories, and then if it's your favorite don't forget to go vote for it in our Best of 1980 Poll!


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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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