In 1997 a commercial was released that featured claymation style versions of Rocky Balboa and his trainer Mickey Goldmill. The popular commercial was created for Lipton as part of their Brisk Iced Tea ad campaign. A follow-up to their similar Frank Sinatra themed commercial, the Rocky ad was soon followed by numerous commercials featuring stylized iconic characters. Bruce Lee, Eminem, Babe Ruth, Danny Trejo as Machete, Bruce Willis and more popped up over the years. “That’s Brisk, baby!” is still one of the most recognizable tag lines from the 90’s. The commercial also marked one of the rare times Sylvester Stallone lent his voice to an ad campaign.
The Rocky series will always hold a special place in my heart, especially the original film. I not only live in Philly, but grew up in the same Kensington neighborhood that the original movie was filmed and largely took place in. In grade school, I was practically across the street from the row home that Rocky lived in, and would routinely walk by the Tusculum Street rowhome after school let out. Later, through High School and college my commute on the el took me past Mighty Mick’s Gym on a daily basis. I’d often see people recognize it for the first time as we passed by, and it would always bring a bit of a smile to my face. I was introduced to the film at a young age by my father, who loves the movie as well. As a kid, I simply loved that it was a film set where I lived, and had some great action at the end. As I grew older, I started to understand the the themes of the film more. It featured a lot of the same struggles I had watched my own family deal with in the early 80’s. It perfectly captured the every day struggle of living in the area at the time, busting your ass to barely make ends meet. It’s easy to see why Philly residents still latch onto the film to this day. Rocky wasn’t looking for fortune, and he wanted to shy away from the fame. He was just hoping somebody, anybody would think he’s worth a damn and give you a chance to prove yourself.
Back at Toy Fair 2017, fans were surprised to see the puppets from the commercial at NECA‘s booth. They had purchased the original puppets used in the commercial and had them turned into statue replicas, which are now available for fans to purchase. You can purchase Rocky by himself, or in a special set that includes Mickey as well. NECA provided us with the Rocky and Mickey Puppet Replica Maquette 2-Pack, and we have a review and high resolution photo gallery to check out.