Ruby-Spears Productions

From Audio Visual Identity Database

Credits
Logo descriptions by
Jason Jones and James Fabiano


Logo captures by
Eric S., Shadeed A. Kelly, V of Doom, Dean Stewart Rumsey, snelfu, and TheEriccorpinc


Editions by
V of Doom, Stephen Cezar and BaldiBasicsFan


Video captures courtesy of
Eric S., JohnnyL80, Phasicblu and Stephen Cezar

Background

Ruby-Spears Productions was an American animation studio founded by Scooby-Doo creators and former Hanna-Barbera employees Joseph Ruby, Jr. and Kenneth Spears in 1977 as a subsidiary of Filmways. However, they did not use a logo until September 1978 when the first show from the studio, Fangface, premiered. In 1981, Taft Broadcasting Co. acquired Ruby-Spears, which became a sister company to Hanna-Barbera and broke in 1992. It formed a short-lived partnership with Ashi Productions in 1994, but the studio shut-down two years later. Today, a majority of Ruby-Spears' library is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, except Rambo: The Force of Freedom which is owned by StudioCanal (with Lionsgate handling home video rights), It's Punky Brewster which is owned by NBCUniversal Media, LLC (with Shout! Factory handling DVD rights), and Alvin and the Chipmunks which is released by Paramount Global's Paramount Home Entertainment through ownership of Bagdasarian Productions.

1st Logo (September 9, 1978-1981)

Nicknames: "RS", "Rising RS"

Logo: Over a sky blue background, we see the words "A RUBY-SPEARS PRODUCTION". There are 4 orange lines that emerge from left and right of the screen. The initials, a robust "RS" (set in the Mecanorma Jackson typeface), slide upward from the stacked lines. Then it reads "A COMPANY OF", cutting to the next logo, that of Filmways, their former owner.

Variants:

  • On some TV specials, the lower text "A RUBY-SPEARS PRODUCTION" doesn't appear.
  • There is another variant with a red background replacing the original blue.
  • Some newer prints may freeze the logo right before "A COMPANY OF", in order for removal of the Filmways logo.
  • On The Horse That Played Centerfield and The Trouble with Miss Switch, there is an in-credit notice that generally reads "Produced by Ruby-Spears Productions, Inc., a company of Filmways, for American Broadcasting Companies, Inc."

FX/SFX: The lines emerging, and the sliding up of the "RS".

Music/Sounds: The end of the show's closing theme, usually segueing into the Filmways Television "Trail" logo theme.

Availability: Rare.

  • Was seen on the first season of Thundarr The Barbarian and Fangface on Boomerang until these shows were taken off the schedule.
  • Can be seen on said shows' DVDs; however, the Warner Archive release of the former has the 1994 Hanna-Barbera "Action All Stars" logo plastered over this logo instead.
  • The version without the company name appears on the 1980 3-part ABC Weekend Special Scruffy.

Editor's Note: Not a very popular logo due to the ugly font, but otherwise harmless.

2nd Logo (September 12, 1981-December 4, 1993)

Nicknames: "RS II", "Golden RS"

Logo: Two gold bars fly from the left and right of the black screen, join together, zoom back, and reveal a stylized "RS" that shines gold and white at different times (at one point it shines so brightly that it even obscures the company name). When the logo stops, the words "RUBY-SPEARS ENTERPRISES" appears under in an italic, futuristic, blocky font.

Variants:

  • 1981-1982: The logo, itself appearing in a more lighter gold color than the later variations, fades-out to make room for the company text reading "A DIVISION OF THE TAFT ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY".
  • 1982-1988: The latter text is seen below the logo, after the logo flashes. Also, the logo itself has less of a shining effect than of that in the 1981 version.
  • 1988: As part of the elimination of Taft bylines, the "shining" part of the 1981 variation would sometimes be played in slow motion over the regular-speed music to keep the second screen from appearing. This was seen on reprints of Thundarr the Barbarian.
  • 1988-1992: The 1982 version is now bylineless.
  • On Police Academy: The Animated Series, this logo appears without the Taft byline, and "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appears under the name. This would be followed by the 1984 WBTV logo.
  • There is also a still variation used on season 1 of It's Punky Brewster and Piggsburg Pigs.
  • On some programmes like Miss Switch to the Rescue, and Bad Cat, there is an in-credit notice that generally reads "Produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises, Inc., a division of the Taft Entertainment Company."
  • A short variant exists that starts in the middle of the logo shining and the name below it simply reads "RUBY-SPEARS". This was seen on the CBS Schoolbreak Special "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book".

FX/SFX: The bars joining, and the zoom-out.

Music/Sounds: A "whoosh" accompanied by a dramatic synthesized sound effect that has a kind of "shining" effect.

Music/Sounds Variant: On some shows, it used the closing theme of the show.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • It was seen on the second season of Thundarr The Barbarian, Centurions, and Dink the Little Dinosaur when these shows were shown on Boomerang.
  • Currently seen on said shows' DVD releases.
  • This was kept intact on It's Punky Brewster on the DVD prints.
  • It was also seen years ago on BKN's reruns of Rambo: The Force of Freedom, followed by the 1986 Carolco Television logo; this was also retained on DVD.
  • It also appeared on the 1980s Alvin and the Chipmunks when it was last seen on Cartoon Network around 2002 (it also appeared on the 1988 episodes produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson for Ruby-Spears).
  • The Thundarr The Barbarian episode "Last Train to Doomsday", and the Ruby-Spears' Superman series both use the 1988 variant.
  • Don't expect to see this on DVD prints of Q*bert and syndication prints of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. from Saturday Supercade, because this logo will be plastered by the 1980 MCA TV logo.

Editor's Note: It's a favorite of logo enthusiasts and those who grew up with children's programming in the '80s and '90s.

3rd Logo (September 11, 1994-December 10, 1996)

Ruby spears logo3.jpg

Nicknames: "RS Moon", "Crescent Moon"

Logo: Over an eclipse, we see a big flash of light, revealing the company name "RUBY-SPEARS PRODUCTIONS" opposite another company by the name of "ASHI PRODUCTION CO., LTD.". Both of these names are set in the Revue typeface.

FX/SFX: The flashing light.

Music/Sounds: A generic fanfare, accompanied by a weird almost-"whoosh" sound. The fanfare is very likely a piece of library music.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • It only appeared on Skysurfer Strike Force and Mega Man, which are both long gone.
  • Those two shows aired on the now-defunct Bohbot Kids Network syndicated block.
  • This is retained on Mega Man's DVD releases by ADV Films in 2003 and by Discotek Media in 2014.

Editor's Note: It's adequate, but it doesn't leave much of an impression, unlike the previous logo.

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