Macy’s #Thanksgiving Parade in the Pop Culture Archives: Part 1

November is upon us, friends, and with that, we move into not only a new theme, but the beginning of celebrating the holiday season at Allison’s Written Words.

Arguably, that probably began last week when I crammed as much Halloween as I could into six days, both here and on the blog’s Facebook page, but we are one step closer to Christmas this point.

So, new month…

New Theme!

If you visited the blog’s Facebook page last night, you ran into the teaser/ushering in of this month’s theme.

We’re spending November counting down to Thanksgiving, by showing our thanks to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades of the mid-1980s, where floats featuring beloved characters of our very nostalgic 1980s childhoods ruled the day.  Costumed performers lip-syncing to pre-recorded dialogue while climbing float-sized versions of popular locales in the cartoon world, singing, and bizarre stunts all make for some very memorable (in the funniest way possible) moments during the parade.

These articles aren’t going to be research-heavy, but rather, reflect on a very nostalgic time of our lives.  Which is a nice departure, because while research is fun, sometimes it is even more fun to kick back and relax!

So, four weeks, four different floats.  This is gonna be fun!

Before The Cinematic Universe…

First up, the life of an iconic comic book group and their motley crew of protagonists and antagonists, in the years before said iconic comic book group dipped their toes into more acceptable forms of “getting the word out about the very existence of their characters.”

The years (yes, more than one) are 1987 and 1989, the comic book group is Marvel Entertainment Group, and the characters are…some of the Avengers, some of the Defenders, Doctor Strange, Spider Man, and Melba Moore.

I’m seriously not making this up.

It Really Is As Bizarre As It Sounds…

…but seriously, stick around.  There’s Marvel characters!  There’s videos!  And Willard Scott!  And cameos by notable Marvel characters!

Did I mention that part?

I’m just trying not to dwell on the fact that Willard Scott introduces all of this.  Twice.

I should mention that the two nods to the Marvel Universe displayed here are from a time when Marvel wasn’t interested in adapting their characters for feature films…but were all to happy to whore them out for “action-packed” floats in a holiday parade.

Guess the money was right?

Never before have you seen such an interesting display of crossover, and even all four Avengers movies couldn’t quite reach this level.  Heck, I saw Marvel Universe Live, and this couldn’t even reach the crossover level these floats did.  The other level they couldn’t reach? Bizarre.

There’s a reason those movies were so hugely successful – they learned not to do what was done in the Thanksgiving Day Parades of the 1980s.

If you think those movies needed more Melba Moore singing the song from Iron Eagle, then, well…um…you know what?  I have nothing.  The movies never needed this.

Prepare yourself, we’re going in!


First up, 1987 and Captain America saving the day, making Thanksgiving safer to everyone!


No one noticed the use of “Back to the Future,” did they?


The scene is set for another adventure in the Marvel Universe, but wait, a damsel in distress.

Why, it’s singer Melba Moore!

And she’s waiting for someone who saves the day!

Upload via Rediscover the 80s

Allison’s Thoughts

Honestly, I don’t think either of these floats are the worst things to happen in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…but they’re pretty memorable for the wrong reasons.  I was 5 and 7 years old when these floats happened, and we weren’t into superheroes in our house.  Marvel Universe-themed floats would not have done much for us the way that He-Man, Rainbow Brite, even the Care Bears or any of the big 1980s licensed characters would have.

These days, it’s funny to see a time when Marvel wasn’t vying for our movie-going dollars, and really didn’t have any intention to.  I couldn’t blame them for this – I mean, have you seen the original Captain America movie?  They were probably terrified that everyone was Golan-Globus and would exploit their beloved comic book icons!

Screenshot (162)

Silver Surfer trying to remember his prompt to pose absolutely gets me.

Another reason to tell today’s kids why the 1980s were so magical and special, friends.

And Now, You!

Do you remember Marvel’s Thanksgiving Parade efforts in 1987 and 1989?  How about other Marvel contributions in the 80s and 90s?  Do they rival these two floats in terms of…cheesiness?  Sound off in the comments below, or be social on social media!

Next week, another themed float, and another reason there was nothing quite like licensed characters having floats in the 1980s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades!

Have a great day!



  1. The documentary about the movie is so much better than the actual movie, which is very difficult to even sit through. I highly recommend the documentary though, which makes it sound like they tried to make a good movie, but failed. The documentary is called “Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is only semi-related, but have you ever seen the “unreleased” Fanstastic Four from the 80’s? There’s also a documentary about it. The bad costumes and sets from these videos reminded me of it. Great article as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have yet to see that movie. I’ve seen reviewers cover it, and wow, it looks TERRIBLE! Yeah, this float does have that stink of the movie on it. It’s really not surprising that Marvel didn’t want to get into film back then, everyone was just tarnishing their image!

      Liked by 1 person

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