Claster Television Inc.
By Eric Hartman, James Fabiano And Sean Beard
Background: Claster Television was
founded as Romper Room, Inc. by Bert and Nancy Claster in 1953.
It was sold to Hasbro in 1969 (who renamed the company for its founders). It still exists as a full-blown unit of Hasbro today.
Bert Claster Productions
Logo: In an orange box with red borders is a jack-in-the-box (named "Happy Jack") with a similarly-colored clown suit and a red derby. He bounces around, then bends towards the front of the box to place, in Romper
Room font, the words "A Bert Claster Production."
Background/Romper Room Notes:
FX/Cheesy Factor: Very simple,
Music: The end theme to Romper Room ("Pop Goes The Weasel")
Availibility: All 185 episodes of Romper Room and Friends do exist as well as a scattered number of episodes of the pre-1980 syndicated RR in Claster's library. TVparty.com once said that tapes of Romper Room were erased for next day's episode. This applies to the local editions of the show.
Scare Factor: High, the drawing of the clown was quite creepy looking (especially for one that is named Happy Jack!!!!). The presence of a synthesized version of "Pop Goes The Weasel" may not help matters.
Claster Television Inc.
Nicknames: "The Spinner",
Logo: We start with a shot of this stylized text on a blue background:
Distributed By (small, in white)
(the Claster logo) Claster
TELEVISION INCORPORATED (in white)
The Claster logo is in red with the text in a strange, bold, italic font. There is a small line going above "laster" to represent an extended "t." To the left of "Claster" is a red parallelogram with 3 small, transparent lines inside. Now, to the animation. A white star moves in a horizontal direction from right-to-left and spins over all the letters in "Claster" until it reaches the parellogram symbol and stays in place to spin there.
There is also a well-known in-credit variation of this logo seen around the mid-80s. It was seen on "GI Joe" and "Transformers." It's appearance is the same as the above, but in white and of course, no animation. "Distributed By" was above, and "A Division Of Hasbro Inc." appears below. There was also an earlier in-credit variant with just text, in this format:
A Division of Hasbro Industries
FX: The spinning star.
Cheesy Factor: The star looks a bit cheap, but if anything is cheesy, it would have to be the 1st music used. That music is quite bizzare and borders on evil. One of the most bizzare synth-creations since Embassy. Also, what is that parellogram supposed to represent?
Music: 2 different themes were used. The 1st was what was mentioned eariler in the Cheesy Factor. It was quite similar to the jingle used for Embassy; a synth fanfare, sounding like circus music. The 2nd jingle was quite tamer, using an electric piano bridge.
Availability: Rare, should be retained on the Hasbro toy line-related cartoons (such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, Jem, et al.) whenever reaired. Don't expect this on Muppet Babies, The Lionhearts, All Dogs Go To Heaven:The Series (they handled syndication for MGM Animation), Reboot (US rights licensed from Alliance Atlantis) or anything else Claster handled distribution for, though--in those cases it was a distribution logo only.
Scare Factor: Moderate for the 1st music, and low for the 2nd. The font wasn't the easiest to look at either.
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