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 and Stephen Cezar Video captures courtesy of Eric S., JohnnyL80, Phasicblu and Stephen Cezar
Background: The men named in the company are Joseph Ruby, Jr. and Kenneth Spears who started this company in 1977. However, they did not use a logo until September 1978 when it was sold to Filmways that same year. Taft Broadcasting Co. in 1981 acquired Ruby-Spears and become a sister company to Hanna-Barbera and closed in 1992. It formed a short-lived partnership with Ashi Productions in 1994, closing again in 1996. Today, majority of Ruby-Spears' library is owned by Time Warner, except Rambo: The Force of Freedom is owned by StudioCanal (with Lionsgate handling home video rights), It's Punky Brewster is owned by NBCUniversal, LLC (with Shout! Factory handling DVD rights), and Alvin & The Chipmunks is released by Paramount Home Entertainment through ownership of Bagdasarian Productions.
1st Logo (September 9, 1978-December 27, 1980, 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", 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/Cheesy Factor: The sliding up of the R_S name.
Music/Sounds: None; just the end of the show's end theme (ala the H-B "Rainbow" ID), usually seguing into the Filmways Television "Trail" logo theme.
Availability: Rare. Was seen on S1 of Thundarr The Barbarian and Fangface on Boomerang until it was taken off the schedule. Can be seen on the said shows' DVDs. The version without the company name appears on the 1980 3-part ABC Weekend Special Scruffy.
Scare Factor: Low to medium, due to the ugly (and somewhat scary) font of the logo. Medium for the red version.
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 follow to the 1984 WBTV logo. There is also a still variation. On some programs 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. On some shows, it used the closing theme of the show.
Availability: Uncommon. It was seen on S2 of Thundarr The Barbarian, Centurions, and Dink the Little Dinosaur when it was shown on Boomerang. Currently seen on the said shows DVD releases. It was also seen years ago on the defunct BKN's reruns of the Rambo cartoon that followed by the 1986 Carolco Television logo. It also appeared on the '80s 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 S2 Thundarr The Barbarian episode "Last Train to Doomsday", and the Ruby-Spears' Superman series uses the 1988 variant. Don't expect to see this on DVD prints of the Q*bert and syndication prints of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. from Saturday Supercade, because this logo will be plastered by the 1982 MCA TV logo. Can Be Seen on Than Lan Oscars.
Scare Factor: It depends on the variant used. Low to medium, due to the dark background and the dramatic-sounding synthesizer music. Minimal to low with the closing theme of the show. None to minimal for the still variant. None for the in-credit notice.
3rd Logo (September 11, 1994-December 10, 1996)
Nickname: "RS Moon", "Crecent 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: Extinct. It only appeared on two shows, Skysurfer Strike Force, and Mega Man, which are both long gone. Those two aired on the now-defunct BKN syndicated block, so you know that they've faded into obscurity.
Scare Factor: Minimal.