Friday, January 15, 2010

Acid Flashback Friday: Jr. Jays Magazine


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It's Friday, which means it's time to take another trip down memory lane with Acid Flashback Friday. This week, we take a look at one of the most celebrated publications in Canadian history, the Jr. Jays Magazine.


I can't recall exactly where my copy of this magazine came from, but I'm pretty sure some OPP officers handed them out at our public school. The Jr. Jays Magazine first came out in spring of 1993 at the peak of Blue Jays fandom, so every kid wanted to get their hands on one of these.

The Jr. Jays Magazine followed the adventures of Dr. Jay and his questionable relationships with young characters like Flash, Lambert, Cathy, Ashmede, Ashley, Ronnie, Ben and Crunchie the dog. From what I recall, the comic strip was basically a glorified anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-smoking therefore anti-fun PSA which told kids about the values of staying in school and working hard to achieve their dreams.

Over the years, Jr. Jays magazine evolved into what would be known as simply "The Magazine". While no longer focused solely on the Blue Jays, the Jays comic strip continued to run in The Magazine but was eventually phased out after 2000. Actual members of the Toronto Blue Jays occasionally made cameos in the comic strip, with an animated Roberto Alomar as seen below.


Images courtesy of Torontoist 
Unfortunately, copies of the Jr. Jays magazine are hard to find these days. Apparently there are plans in the works to put the entire series on the internet eventually, but for the time being there is just one copy of the first issue available on eBay.

If someone wants to take one for the team, I'm sure we'd all be more than happy to pitch in and circulate the copy so that everyone gets a chance to relive the memories. In the meantime, check out this video from the very short-lived Jr. Jays TV Magazine on YTV.



16 comments:

  1. I might be just remembering this wrong, but wasn't there a comicbook where spiderman teamed up with jays to promote bike safety back in the early 90's?

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  2. Colt, I think you're right - check out this link. If you scroll down, there is a Spiderman comic that was featured in the Jr. Jays magazine.

    The Torontoist

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  3. Oh man, I used to love getting this magazine. I was the first kid on my block to get his hands on one and I thought that I was super cool for it.

    I'm loving 'Acid Flashback Fridays', by the way.

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  4. Can you believe these things are collector's items now? If I knew that, I would have kept mine in my parent's attic instead of tossing them in the garbage sometime around the mid 90's.

    Glad you are enjoy Acid Flashback Friday's! If you have any suggestions for future AFF's, just fire me an email. Thanks!

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  5. I had one of these too....

    I still think it may be kicking around in a box or my old desk back in Halifax somewhere in my parents basement...

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  6. Good times. I guess the Jays aren't marketing themselves to the youth of today. Or are they?

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  7. I was completely unaware of any of this, but sounds like a great marketing tool.

    Of course back when I was in grade 3 (in 1983)I used to get bashed for wearing a Leafs Jersey to school, kids would taunt me about my choice in supporting such a crappy team. Of course all of those same kids are rabid Leaf fans now.

    Anyway my point is that I have a feeling that todays grade 3 student would get treated the same way if they brought a Jr. Jays magazine to school.

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  8. Johnny G, if you can find that old copy, at least you know you can sell it on eBay for at least $25 dollars or more, because there are suckers out there like me who pay for that kind of nostalgic Jays merch.

    Mattt, I think the only program the Jays have right now directed towards youth is the "Junior Jays". To me, it seemed like the Jr. Jays magazine was directed towards teens, whereas Junior Jays are focused on toddlers and kids under 10.

    Peter, it's funny you mention that story about getting teased for wearing a Leafs jersey in public school because I have a similar story.

    I have no idea why, but when I was about 10, my parents decided to buy me a Toronto Maple Leafs jacket. I refused to wear it, but had no other choice - so I went to school in fear every day that the kids would tease me for supporting such a crappy team.

    And you're right - I bet it's probably not very "cool" for kids to wear Blue Jays gear to school these days. But it's more than acceptable to wear a Yankees or a BoSox cap, I bet.

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  9. "Anyway my point is that I have a feeling that todays grade 3 student would get treated the same way if they brought a Jr. Jays magazine to school."

    "Jr. Jays!? Is he, like, a UFC fighter or something?"

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  10. Jays are terrible at marketing themselves period. Remember when you used to be able to find jays merch anywhere? Those time are gone

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  11. Colt, I guess the Blue Jays have allocated that money elsewhere.

    If they were smart, management would put much more money into marketing the team to kids because that's how I got hooked when I was younger. Often those fans will follow the team throughout their entire lives, just like us!

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  12. I think marketing to kids is only half the problem. They seem to have a difficult time marketing to adults too.
    Leafs merch is available year round. The only time jays merch is available is during the season and pretty much the only place to get it is either at the jays store or the dome.

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  13. Colt, there's no question that Jays merchandise is very difficult to find outside of Toronto. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into a major sports chain only to find no Blue Jays gear, or very very little to choose from. Most of the time, I get my stuff from the Jays Shop because I know I'll actually find more than two versions of hats there.

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  14. I might be just remembering this wrong, but wasn't there a comicbook where spiderman teamed up with jays to promote bike safety back in the early 90's?

    It was actually the expos, part of a 6 part series sponsored by the cops.

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  15. Anon, I think there was a Jr. Jays comic where Spiderman dropped in on the Skydome or something to that effect. I'll have to look into it.

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  16. I've got 10 copies up for grabs on ebay: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/250947521273

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