Tuesday, June 4, 2013

League of Extraordinary Bloggers: Bring It Back!!!

It's League of Extraordinary Bloggers time once again! What is our topic this week? 


So I got thinking about the topic, and of course a lot of different properties came to mind when trying to come up with an idea. In thinking about it, I realized that I've been looking for a reason to showcase one of my collections for quite a while now... so two birds with one stone!!! 

Here's the property I would LOOOOOVE for them to bring back:

For those of you not in the know, the California Raisins came onto the scene in 1986. Inspired by the song "Heard it Through the Grapevine" an Ad exec came up with the concept of singing dancing raisins. The original ads were animated by Wil Vinton, the famous claymation animator behind the Domino Pizza Noid.  

The Raisins had a series of really popular commercials, featuring the raisins as different celebrities singing various different versions of "Through the Grapevine" and a couple of other Motown hits as well:

Here's the original ad:

Ray Charles gets in on the action:

Then M-M-M-Michael Jackson!!!

And here's the Raisin's singing "My Girl" to the Sun-Maid.

The original run on the California Raisins saw, in addition to the handful of commercials, a Christmas Special (which featured one Raisins short and then a slew of other Wil Vinton clay-mated classics):

And a faux-biopic TV special called "Meet the Raisins" where curiously the Raisins were pigeon-holed down to four characters we had NEVER seen before EVER (And I have STILL never seen it... and I'm not sure I want to...)

Who the f--k are these guys?
I would LOVE to see the California Raisins make a comeback!!! I want the songs! I want the clay-mation! I want new raisin-ized celebrities! I'd just love to see new characters in general created! There's an artist over on deviantart who does his own near-authentic looking raisin sculptures: ParanoidObseshun... and it makes me genuinely mourn for the raisins:

Original sculpture of "Punk Rock Raisin" by ParanoidObseshun on DeviantArt

The Planter's Peanuts People have sort of tapped this vein with their AWESOME new Mr. Peanut Campaign that LOOKS like it could have walked right out of the same universe as the Raisins (I talked ALLLL about that during my Christmas countdown last December):


But I want Raisins Dammit! 

But -sigh- it is alas, probably never going to happen. 

Apparently, the original ad campaign didn't do a whole lot for the actual sales of Raisins... but that didn't concern me one bit when I was about 9 years old in the SLIGHTEST. I was drinking the Kool-Aid folks. I was a part of the total Raisin CULT. I had the bed-sheets. I had the cassettes. I had the wind-up toys. I had the beach towel. I had the stuffed raisins with the weird rubber faces and dangly arms. 

But MOST of all... I had the figures. I collected these like they were crack cocaine. 

The bassist and drummer from the Ray Charles spot, 
along with the Original Raisin from the first-ever spot: Tux.

Jimi from the Ray Charles spot, Michael Raisin, and Red from Meet the Raisins 
(really looks like Ray Charles though...)

The saxaphone section.

The ladies from the Ray Charles spot.

The cool marching guys.

Here's a bunch of raisins in the sun!

And a whole bunch of Hardees premiums. 
These guys are all about 2/3 the size of the other raisins.
(The middle sax-player up above is really one of these guys too... 
but on display he's just the short guy)

I also have this guy, and another Christmas themed raisin hanging on my tree,
which I mentioned in my "Homemade Ornaments" post last December.

So that's my Property I'd love to see make a HUGE come-back!!! I know it's a slim chance... but I'd love someone to update them and really make an effort to do them some real justice. Let's not make them horrifying people. Because that could happen:

This... is face paint.

 Let's see what the other Leaguers are chomping at the bit to see make it back:

- Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool wants to see Star Trek Academy Comeback!!! 

- 3B's Toy Hive believes that wrestling and ice cream were two great tastes that tasted great together!!!

- Pop pop! It's Trash Culture talks about a director pretty near and dear to my heart...

- Pop Rewind wants Jem to Eat Your Neighbors... or something...

- AEIOU and Sometime Why has a genuinely AWESOME idea to bring back Land of the Lost.

- Meanwhile over at the Cavalcade of Awesome Pax wants to shell out about Six Million dollars on his bring-back.

- The Batcave Toy Room probably has my favorite idea this week... it is BRILLIANT and would cost me soooo much money.

- And our fearless League Leader over at Cool and Collected has some really fantastic ideas to bring back a property in a totally cool and new way.

That's it for tonight folks! I'll be back soon with more 


  1. My buddy has some of those little figures still at his house. I didn't get a chance to look at them when I was there last time.

    1. There are a handful of characters that are super rare and are worth some pretty major moolah. Check 'em out! See what he's got!

  2. I still have my set of Hardees raisins. I used to love those commercials as a kid. My kids are now fascinated by them.

    1. My daughter actually rekindled my interest in a Raisins collection when she found a set of the original 4 large-sized Raisins at a penny-sale a couple of Christmases ago. From there I started tracking down all the raisins I used to own when I was young.

  3. Great choice. I LOVED the Raisins as a kid. I remember one Christmas getting a California Raisins t-shirt and rushing to put it on before opening any of my other gifts. They were like y favorite thing back then. I had all the Hardees guys and actually went to Hardees to get them, lol.

    I was also convinced that they had written the song.

    1. Oh I was completely convinced that it was an original California Raisins tune. I remember my mother getting VERY frustrated when I wouldn't believe her that it was really Marvin Gaye. I used to find all of my figures at specialty shops, like gift stores and stuff. I remember most of th eones I had actually started as key-chains that I just pulled the chain out of (they were all the same toys). Applause made some COIN off of those toys.

  4. OMG! I loved the California Raisins! Your collection is crazy! That last picture freaked me out once I realized what I was looking at. I thought it was on a wall or paper or something. But yes, I would love for these to come back. I had some of the mini figures when I was little, but I have no idea where they are now. Makes me super sad. I will find them one day!

  5. I own that California Punk Rocker Raisin. It was sculpted for me. I have it in a display case in my room. I love it.


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