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Game-Show Glitz

November 12, 1987

You wake up early to watch "The $25,000 Pyramid" and everything's excellent for the rest of the morning. "Card Sharks." "The Price is Right." "Super Password." Just excellent.

But, by noon, you're in trouble because all they show are soap operas and old movies and the "Newlywed Game" doesn't start until 3. The evening is worse. Catch a little "Jeopardy!" at 7:30, then some "High Rollers." Wait for "Truth or Consequences" at 11:30.

There just aren't enough game shows.

So you get yourself a Gus Glitz. He's 13 inches of animation dressed in a shiny plastic tux. He flashes an obnoxious smile, talks too loud and shifts his eyes nervously from side to side.

"Correct-a-mundo! Fantastico!" he yells at you if you answer correctly. If not, he'll scream: "No-no-no-no-no. Dig a hole and crawl in!"

This little guy's a battery-operated nightmare. He's what game shows are all about.

"The satirical approach is really just humor," said Saul Jodel, executive vice president at Lewis Galoob Toys, which makes Gus Glitz. "He's got those big ivories and that pompadour, and, if you've seen Wink Martindale or any of those guys, you may see a resemblance."

"Mr. Game Show," as Gus is called, comes with fake money, a podium and flashing scoreboard for four different game shows. There's a trivia game just like "Trivial Pursuit." There's a famous-phrases game like "Wheel of Fortune" except it doesn't have a plastic Vanna. It's still pretty good, though.

Gus is just hitting the toy stores right now, so you can sneak into Toys 'R' Us or someplace like that and pretend you're buying it for your nephew.

Gus will run you some big cash--about $100. And the money you win isn't even real. Gus'll give you a hard time about that.

"If there's anything I can't stand," he says, "it's a phony."

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