Claster Television Incorporated
Founded as "Romper Room, Inc." by Bert and Nancy Claster in 1953, Claster Television was a television distributor. 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.
1st Logo (1975-1981)
Note: The left video is the "ROMPER ROOM" variant, except with more things at the beginning (e.g, some lines forming the letters, A, B, and C) before the logo plays normal.
Logo: In an orange box with red borders with a white line in between is a jack-in-the-box (a la the Harveytoons logos, but named "Happy Jack") with a similarly-colored clown suit and a red derby. The clown bends towards the front of the box, reading "ROMPER ROOM" to place the words "A BERT CLASTER PRODUCTION" in the same font. The clown bends once more to reveal a sign saying "featuring Sally Rogers (the host of Romper Room), then bounces as the logo fades out.
Variant: There is a still version.
- Happy Jack was used as the logo for the Romper Room preschool toy line (best-remembered products: Mr. Potato Head and Weebles) in the '60s and '70s.
- The animation of Happy Jack is the same as used in the intro, but with "A BERT CLASTER PRODUCTION" replacing "ROMPER ROOM."
- The "A Bert Claster Television Production" (note the wording) ID was present on the various local editions as well (Claster licensed the format to 250+ stations over the years on top of producing and distributing the national show).
Technique: Traditional animation.
Music/Sounds: The opening/ending theme of Romper Room (a synthesized version of "Pop Goes The Weasel", sounding almost like video game music).
Availability: Extinct. Only seen on Romper Room and Friends, which is long gone from TV. Would be intact if the show reran on TV again.
2nd Logo (September 16, 1985-March 7, 1999)
Logo: We start with a shot of this stylized text on a navy blue background:
The Claster logo is in red with the text in a stylized, bold-italic font, with the letter t having its crossbar extended over the other letters, except for the first two. To the left of the word is a red parallelogram with the extremely-thin 8-pointed star inside. A white star then moves from right-to-left, over the letters in Claster, until it reaches the parallelogram symbol and stays in place to spin there.
- An early in-credit variant with the Claster logo was used until 1987, and it was referred to as "TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS", with the texts "Distributed By" above and "A Division of Hasbro, Inc." below. This one was seen on some shows like G.I. Joe and Transformers.
- Locally produced versions of Romper Room tend to have unique variations of the logo. For instance, the KTVU version had the logo's animation superimposed over the end credit's background (which stays onscreen for 30 seconds).
- The main animated Claster logo debuted in 1987, and initially had the byline "A Subsidiary of Hasbro Inc." underneath (often with a copyright for Hasbro underneath) and the star spinning really fast. In 1991, the logo was updated with no bylines, and the following year, the "Claster" logo and text appearing more shiny and metallic, and the star animation a bit slower and more refined.
- Many early variations had the entire logo flipping into view before the animation plays.
- On James Bond Jr., the star spins already in the parallelogram.
- Another variant which features a black background can be seen on a few episodes of the aforementioned cartoon.
Technique: Early computer animation.
Music/Sounds: Three different themes were used:
- 1987-1989: Two synth notes, then an odd, rapid synth tune that sounds similar to cliché cartoon outer-space music.
- 1987-1999: An 8-note synthesized fanfare ending with an ascending flourish.
- 1996-1998: A dreamy electric piano bridge with a synth orchestral backing. It sounds like an enhanced version of the 2nd theme.
All the jingles made for this logo were composed by David Sheridan Spangler.
- The earlier in-credit variants used only the closing theme of the show.
- Another version cut off the logo before the second 1987 theme's flourish. This was seen on James Bond, Jr..
- On All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series and The Lionhearts, the second 1987 theme is in mono soundprint.
- The second music variant is intact on Hulu viewings and DVD releases of All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series.
- It should be intact on other Claster shows if they ever pop up on TV or DVD, such as Beast Wars: Transformers, G.I. Joe (1989), and Conan the Adventurer.
- The second music variant also appears on Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Warriors, C.O.P.S., Littlest Pet Shop (the 1995 version), the 1996 Richie Rich series, The Baby Huey Show, The Pink Panther (1993 series), and G.I. Joe Extreme. It was strangely heard on Shout Factory DVDs of Beast Wars: Transformers for a strange reason.
- The third music variant appears on the first season of Beast Wars: Transformers (original arirings on the "Power Block", in first-run syndication), Mummies Alive! and later episodes of The Lionhearts.
- The in-credit versions can be seen on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and The Transformers.
- The first music variant is extinct and appeared on syndie prints of The New Archies and early episodes of C.O.P.S..
Legacy: This logo is known for its rather strange, albeit unique design. One of the more memorable logos in the '80s and '90s, thanks to how prominent this logo was on television.