There is no better time capsule into 1970s pop culture than a rack toy catalog especially if it's one by Fleetwood toys.
'79 is a great example as the company had some fantastic choices, from the TV cop antics of Vega$, Chips and Starsky and Hutch, to the less popular How the West was won. Marvel superheroes both A and B list were present and we had Buck Rogers and Salvage 1 present to please the Sci Fi Kids.
1979 Fleetwood Toys Catalog
Pod Stallions Episode 7: Battle Beyond the Star Wars
In this the seventh installment episode of Pod Stallions J and B talk about all those "other" SF movies of the disco era from the feety pajamas of Star Fleet to Gil Gerard's unforgiving spandex to Vic Morrow's weird robot love, no cubit is left unturned.
As usual, there are some detours along the road in the form of discussion of British comics, Wilfred Hyde White and why threes never work.. Like PodStallions on Facebook where we post materials relating to each show and you know, interact and stuff..
Star Raiders Archive now glows in the dark
Time for another update to the Tomland (a UK Company who was in the Marx family of companies) Star Raiders gallery, these wonky eight inch Mego like figures largely inspired by Star Wars were sold in two formats, regular and glow in the dark. I'm happy that we have some new shots of series two, it's all at the
Tomland Star Raiders Gallery
Pod Stallions Episode 6: Rack Toys
In this the sixth installment episode of Pod Stallions Jason and Brian talk about Rack Toys, those cheap, crazed playthings that are often the subject matter here. No topic is unturned Parachuting Spocks, Spider-Man Hand guns and Schneider from One Day at Time? We need to stick to our outline. Like PodStallions on Facebook where we post materials relating to each show and you know, interact and stuff..
In Toyfair, nobody can show you the monster
In 1979, Kenner toys gave out this promotional catalog to prospective industry buyers to promote what they hoped would be their next big science fiction property "Alien"
While the film itself was a hit and still considered a classic, Kenner would soon realize that the world wasn't ready for toys based on R rated sci fi horor films. (that would change).
What follows is a little piece of 70s toy history.
The 1978 Kenner Alien preview catalog.
Adventure in your pocket
The Adventure people was North America's first fully realized 3 3/4" action figure line and it's influence truly changed play for us 70s kids. Their clever combination of compelling adventure and well made sets made them a hit with kids since their inception in 1975. By 1980, the line was starting to look to the stars in order to compete with lines such as Kenner's Star Wars (ironically one of the toy lines that copied the Adventure People) and their response was the very well remembered Alpha Probe among other toys.
The 1980 Fisher Price Adventure People Catalog.
Pod Stallions Episode 5: Where are you coming from Spider-Man?
In this the fifth episode of Pod Stallions Jason and Brian discuss 70s Superheroe TV movies and specials including classics like Exo-Man, Legends of the Superheroes, Electric Company and what Spider-Man has in common with Rocket Robin Hood. Like PodStallions on Facebook where we post materials relating to each show and you know, interact and stuff..
Ideal does the robot
Robo Force was a nicely designed series of Robot Action Figures that seemed to be largely influenced by Star Wars.
The line, despite an animated special was not a commercial success, this may have been due to Hasbro's Transformers launching the same year, really making Maxx Steele and his "Daleky" crew looking a bit old fashioned. The line endure cult popularity to this day and it's one of the last Ideal action figure lines to be released.
1984 Ideal Roboforce Catalog
Pod Stallions Episode 4: Spies Like Us
In this the fourth episode of Pod Stallions Jason and Brian talk all about how spy movies affected their childhood (and adult lives) Jason loves his Bond, Brian likes his spies "spoofier" (it's a word!) and drunker. As with all PodStallions, the whole thing keeps deriding into toy talk. Like PodStallions on Facebook where we post materials relating to each show and you know, interact and stuff..
Batman goes pants shopping
really can't begin to describe today's update and do it justice. In a nut shell, Batman puts a small boy at risk and also buys him a new wardrobe that only 1974 could provide. You'll swear I made this up.
Batman and the Orange Hand is likely the worst Batman comic you've ever read.
Kenner gets Glamourous!
Glamour Gals was an interesting attempt by Kenner in the early 1980s to capture the girls market. Instead of doing the standard 1/6th fashion doll made so popular by Mattel's Barbie, Kenner decided to do what they at the time were doing best, action figures.
The 4" size of the figures allowed Kenner to expand the Glamor Gal's environment more than a traditional doll line could adding many play sets and environments in a cost effective manner. The 1980 Kenner Glamour Gals Catalog.
Pod Stallions Episode 3: Growing Up Star Wars (vol 1)
In this the third episode of Pod Stallions Jason and Brian try to describe their world before and after the juggernaut that is Star Wars hits it. We couldn't cram the experience into one hour so expect parts 2 and 3 later in the year.
GI Joe gets Bionic, I mean Atomic
1975 was a good year for GI Joe, the adventure team brand a staggering catalog of older offerings and some cool new ones including the Sea Wolf sub, even a new member in the form of Cyborg Mike Power. The 1975 Hasbro GI Joe Adventure Team Catalog
The best of 70s fashion part 2
Time to take a look back at some of the greatest fashion nightmares we've showcased in the last five years. The Best of Fashion Mockery Part 2 is a bell bottomed, plaid, synthetic fabric jumpsuited joy of a time.
Kenner Butch and Sundance : The Action Figure Years
In 1979, Kenner tried to make kids like cowboys again by licensing this prequel to the Redford/Newman classic. The movie is forgotten today but the toys shouldn't be because they're really great.The 1979 Kenner Butch and Sundance Catalog
Pod Stallions Episode Two:Toy Shop Days
Brian and Jason go back to the pre-internet days of toy collecting and talk about Toy shop ads, toy shows, big phone bills and the horrors of the phone auction. Listen live at the Pod Stallions page or enjoy us at itunes.
No Ookla for us
This list of cancelled action figure lines that includes V, Man from Atlantis, Thundarr and Logan's Run is enough to turn any happy childhood a little more melancholy. Check out The Top Ten cancelled toys of the 70s/80s and feel sad.
Puzzles in a can
APC and their caned puzzles bring back memories for a reason as this 1974 catalog shows they had all the cool licenses like Batman, Universal Monsters and the Lone Ranger. 1974 APC Puzzle Catalog
Two men, a microphone and piles of useless knowledge
Welcome to Pod Stallions, here myself and co-host Jason Lenzi take a topic and talk about it from our childhood perspective, first up Doctor Who and it's also probably the longest episode we'll ever tape. If you listen, drop me a line and let me know what you think either via email or our Facebook page.
I'm very happy to announce that my first book "Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings" is now available for sale at our online store and at Amazon. Rack Toys is 144 pages, full color and $19.95. Order with us and we'll thrown in 3 exclusive post cards. Rack Toy is a love letter to fun toys that broke super easy
and any child of the 60s, 70s or 80s will be able to find something they used to have.
Like Rack Toys: Cheap,Crazed Playthings on Facebook .
Mattel sold the popular Shogun Warriors brand around the world and in Italy in 1979, it was simply known as "Shogun".
The popular line even had the forsight to introduce cartoon characters popular in Italy at the time..
Enjoy the Mattel Italy Shogun Catalog.
Plaidstallions Vintage Toy Store Photos volume twelve is different from previous entries in that it features images from a photo album of a former Mattel employee, who seemed to in charge of taking shots of retail displays and while Mattel stuff is in the foreground, there sure is a lot of neat stuff going on in the background as well like Barbie, Battlestar Galactica, Hotwheels, Weebles and Sesame Street items.
Vintage Toy Store Photos Part Twelve.
Original Hip Hop
Sun Products doesn't exactly ring a lot of bells for for many but I think everybody remembers the Hoppity Hop. Originally devised in Italy in the late 1960s (where it was known as the "Space Hopper"), Sun dubbed it the Hoppity Hop when it was introduced in 1971 to North Americans and the name really stuck.
Sun Products 1980 Hoppity Hop Catalog.
Rack Toys : The Book
I've progressed far enough now that I'm ready to launch a seperate web page for my upcoming book tentatively titled "Rack Toys:Cheap, Crazed Playthings". On the new page you will find: A basic outline of it's content, Teases as to it's look and design and lastly, details on how you can get involved!
Rack Toys: Cheap,Crazed Playthings. The first book from Plaidstallions.com
Night Fight by Light
After folding the G.I. Joe Adventure Team in 1976, Hasbro sought to give their rugged man of action a massive overhaul. Thus SuperJoe was born, bearing little resemblence to the soldier of the past, Joe had lost four inches of height and the G.I prefix. Superjoe was now set in the far off future and (I'm guessing here) on another planet. The Superjoe dolls were all electronic and the 1978 campaign was "They fight by night with light" meaning the figures were working penlights.
1977 Super Joe Catalog
Glow in the Dark Discoveries
Ok, it's December and not exactly the best time to launch a monster toy gallery. That is unless the mere discovery is a Christmas present to 70s kids. For years, the mythical second series of Tomland Famous Monsters of Legend figures has been a tough thing to see. Now for the first time you can check out the entire set in the new
Tomland Famous Monsters of Legend Archive
Toy Sale (Expires 30 years ago)
Seeing that it's close to Christmas, let's take a trip back 30 years and see what toys were on special with the 1981 Child World Flyer, celebrating the best playthings that 1981 had to offer.
Star Wars, Barbie, Mego Superheroes, Jordache dolls, it's all on sale in the 1981 Childworld Catalog
What better time to talk about the merchandising goliath that the Muppet Show was in the late 1970s, and who could be better to bring that to you than the good people at Fisher Price? Nobody.
Come travel back to a time when Ms Piggy was new with the
1978 Muppet Show Catalog
Electronic games have come an incredible way since 1978 but it's hard not to fondly remember the simple pleasure of these awesome hand helds by Mattel. Without the sophistication available today, these games were not only fun to play but affordable as well.
1978 was a year of modest but popular offerings including a game I would consider the best hand held game of all time:
Mattel 1978 Electronics Catalog
Marx was always known for their playsets and action figures but in 1976 they were poised to be one of the early entries into the world of 3 3/4" action figures with a series of generic environments.
Sadly it looks like buyers were indifferent to the concept, so we never got a 3 3/4" Johnny West figure to my knowledge.
1976 Marx Play set Catalog
Time to drool again
It's time once again to be whisked back to a simpler time, one that was dominated by "Mom and Pop" toy chains and the wonderful, almost chaotic way toys were distributed. Vintage Toy Store Shots Eleven is different from previous entries in that it features only images from 1979, where we are DEEP into a over proliferation of space toys lead predictably by Kenner Star Wars. Enjoy
Vintage Toy Store Pictures Part 11
I wanna be Ookla the Mok
I originally thought this wonderful Canadian Halloween Costume Catalog from a company called Norben contained items from Collegeville but I've since realized it's mostly Ben Cooper stuff. Regardless what a fun catalog with Monsters, Star Trek, Thundarr the Barbarian, obscurities like Mighty Man and Yuck along with the usual, wonderful guesome goodies.
1981 Ben Cooper Catalog
Imperial has spooky fun!
When discussing Rack Toys, Imperial Toy has to come up, they were and still are kings of the industry. One of their formulas for success was to not invest heavily in licenses but create their own brands. It really did work as many of us had happy childhoods playing with Poopatroopers, Kooky Spooks and assorted Imperial animals such as ConVisit the 1976 Imperial Toys Catalog
Star Raiders Archive Launches
Time for another Action Figure archive at Plaid Stallions. Tomland (a UK Company who was in the Marx family of companies) marketed these fun and strange 8 inch mego-like action figures under a variety of names but the best known is "Star Raiders" which were obviously meant to cash in on the renewed interest in Sci Fi thanks entirely to "Star Wars" coming on scene. The Star Raiders are a wonderful mix of creativity and ballsy moves, both add to their charm. Visit the
Tomland Star Raiders Gallery
State of the art for 78..
In 1978, Milton Bradley who had already been known for board games for well over 100 years, brought the world some inventive and memorable electronic offerings in the form of Simon and Star Bird.
While primitive by today's standards in the late 70s, these were high tech and hours of fun.
Bring your batteries and visit the 1978 MB electronics Catalog.
Cuddle with Spock..
Knickerbocker was always known for plush novelties but in the late 70s, they decided to enlist some super powered talent, in the form of the hottest TV and movie superstars.
Knickerbocker chose some of the more popular TV and movie characters to captilize on for some interesting plush and construction sets.
Snuggle up with the the 1979 Knickerbocker Superheroes Catalog.
The Shadow knows....Licensing.
one of the bigger mysteries I've enjoyed is the interesting amount of merchandise that appeared in the 1970s devoted to the character "The Shadow" whose heyday seemed to be at least 30 years prior to my birth. Fortunately my pal Matt decided to shed some light (get it?) and share his awesome collection.
Don't miss the Shadow Merchandise Gallery.
One of the biggest spashes in the toy industry is when game (and nerf) giant Parker Brothers decided to make an action figure.
Not just any action figure but an electronic space hero with bells and whistles not seen before. Rom was truly a toy ahead of his time and while he didn't prove to be the smash that Parker Brothers hoped, thanks to a relationship with Marvel comics, he became a much beloved comic book character.
1978 ROM Spaceknight Press Kit.
I for one, welcome our new simian overlords..
To cap off all the fun we've had with Ape Week on the blog, there was nothing more fitting to celebrate the release of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" than this cool promotional newspaper from the far off future of 1990 that promotes the Classic film "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" Grab your blazer and turtleneck and Go Ape!.
Sentinel of Licensing
With the movie coming out, I thought it would be fun to do a retrospective of all the cool merchandise Captain America got in the 1970s, which was a pile. Thanks to uber fan Tim, I've got toys from all the greats including Mego, AHI, Fleetwood, Hasbro, and more unique, oddball items than you can throw a shield at!
Captain America 1070s merchandise gallery..
Beware the Green Ghost!
Transogram isn't really a company I know much about, mostly because to my knowledge they never made action figures. However in 1975, they sure made a lot of things kids liked such as Doctor kits, target sets and Drum kits. Licenses include Planet of the Apes and a whole bunch of oddball M*A*S*H items I doubt were made.
1975 Transogram Catalog.
The Return of Pulsar
1978 saw the return of Mattel's "Ultimate Man of Adventure", this time he had a new foe in the form of Hypnos, the alien who hates pants. Sadly, this was the last year as the nation's interest in all thing bionic was declining and Pulsar did not return in 1979.
1978 Mattel Pulsar Catalog.
Johnny was serious about Toys
Located in Kentucky, Johnny's Toys was one of those independant Toy retailers you sorely miss in this day and age. The store was very customer friendly, sending children birthday cards that contained a key that could unlock a free gift on their next visit. In addition, they printed these fun catalogs that showcased some of the merchandise available in the store.
1977 Johnny's Toys Catalog.
Mazes and Monsters
In 1982, LJN toys beat out rival toymake Mego for the rights to produce toys based on the popular TSR role play game "Dungeons and Dragons" and a great underrated series of toys was born. The LJN D&D line was sort of a grown up version of Masters of the Universe with it's Elves, Wizards and Orcs populating a somewhat dark middle earth environment. Sadly, the line didn;'t fare well, most likely due to then strong opposition to the game itself and it's themes.
it's all in the 1983 LJN Dungeons and Dragons Catalog..
You know I've had a lot of fun at the expense at Kenner's "Milky the marvelous milking Cow" toy with easy comments like "they must have been drunk that day" surfacing. However a deeper look into the Kenner 1978 catalog provides the insight that Milky was not the result of a vodka soaked luncheon but actually a premeditated series of preschool toys based on animals. 1978 Kenner Milky Catalog.
Brick Mantooth: The Action Figure Update
I was a weency bit ambitious when I announced the original October 2010 delivery date for the Mantooth doll but rest assured, all hope is not lost. The fist of the 70s will be available for purchase this July, please check our blog/facebook/twitter for more updates, trust me you'll hear about it.
Toy Stores Episode X: A New Hope
To celebrate the fifth anniversay of PlaidStallions (Seriously!) I can think of no better feature than a tenth dip into the well of Vintage Toy Stores including Atari Games, Star Wars, Micronauts, 2XL, the muppet and an appearance by Wonder Woman, yowza!
Have a blast with Vintage Toy Store Pictures Part Ten!.
Would America Care for a Jelly Baby?
In 1978, Time Life had the daunting task ofmarketing the amazing adventures of Britain's greatest hero Doctor Who to an unsuspecting America.
To do so they created sales materials to promote the series, this wonderful piece does it's hardest to explain the show and it's strengths but in my humble opinion, they never quite nail it's appeal.
it's all in the 1978 Doctor Who Brochure..
Shogun Warriors Rule!
Today's Friday feature puts us in 1978 and the Mattel Shogun Warriors line is in full swing with new additions such as the king of all monsters Godzilla! Which in terms of additions to teams, is pretty spectacular. It's a Jumbo Machinder good time with the
1978 Mattel Shogun Warriors Catalog.
Fall Guy Mania
Fleetwood Toys was a Rack Toy manufacturer famous for nabbing the hottest licenses from TV and pop culture.
For their 1982 catalog, CHiPS was the big in demand item for them as well as a new series "The Fall Guy", many of the older staples such as Marvel Comic heroes, The Lone Ranger and cartoon favourites were also in abundance:
it's all in the 1982 Fleetwood Toys Catalog..
Rocketing to Stardom
1974 saw the launch of one of the decade's most popular playthings when Ideal toys married a wonderful concept to the likeness of Daredevil stuntman (and sworn enemy of communism) Robert "Evel" Knievel and toy history was born. Seriously, if you didn't have this toy, you secretly yearned for it.
Pine away at the
1974 Ideal Toys Evel Knievel Catalog..
Tree Tots Expand Empire!
One of the things I get a lot of Email about here is the Kenner Tree Tots line, "your friends from the magic forest" is a fondly remembered pre school series that captured kids imaginations in the late 1970s. 1978 saw the concept expand from the forest to the sea and the desert.
1978 Kenner Tree Tots Catalog..
Dan Magnum PI?
LJN toys had a long tradition of picking up cool cop shows like SWAT and The Rookies and that tradition carried on in the 1983 catalog where they hoped to continue for toy maker Mego (who ahd just filed for bankruptcy) left off by continuing the CHiPs line and cashing in on the popularity of Magnum PI, a show they didn't do any research on.
Crash into the
1983 LJN TV Superstars Catalog..
Big Jim goes all Pirate on us
Mattel's Big Jim line may have been gone from US toystores in 1977 but he had a long and prosperous life in Europe up until the mid 1980s thanks to some very creative moves. .
Big Jim was no longer just a sportsman/spy in this new world but a character free of the constraints of time, he was a spy, an explorer, a pirate, a cowboy what ever you wanted him to be.
1978 European Big Jim Catalog
An end to the Osmonds
1978 saw Mattel expand their Donny and Marie offerings to include younger brother Jimmy and a newly proposed playset. However, this year would see the end of their smiling reign on televsion and thus it was the swan song for their popular toyline. Grab a Hawaiian Punch and enjoy the 1978 Mattel Donny and Marie Catalog.
Forever shall you wobble
1979 saw Hasbro's Weebles still going strong with new play sets and concepts including licensed weebles like Mickey Mouse characters and the Flinstones family. Also it appears their undead drive around in funky vans, is that important? it's all in the 1979 Hasbro Weebles Catalog..
Car Accidents can be fun
Kenner's SSP or "Smash Up Derby" line is one of the 70s more memorable toy concepts, 1978 saw new vans being introduced (I miss van culture) and of course, the Star Wars characters make an appearance and it almost seems logical..
Crash into the
1978 kenner SSP Toy Catalog..
Even More Monsters
Massive updates to the site this week with a complete overhaul of everything that is 8" and undead. First we've got the newly revised galleries for The Lincoln International Monster figures which includes some of my own personal reasons for my obsession with them. Secondly, the The AHI Super Monsters section is all new with expanded galleries, never before seen photos and information. Have a ghoulish time Monster kids!
With Valentines day around the corner it's the perfect time to revisit yet another crusty old Lingerie catalog packed with both exceptional timeless beauty and things that haven't aged terribly well. Vintage Lingerie catalog Part 3 may have you feeling a tingle in your special area or your stomach, depending on how you roll.
What sets them apart is the breadth of licensed items they produced, take 1977 for instance where we got a variety of products ranging from James Bond to Holly Hobbie, from the Fonz's fifties antics to the far out future of Space:1999.
1977 Vanity Fair.
More than Frisbees
I'm yearning for Summer, so let's take a trip to the 1979 Wham-O catalog to see the best in outdoor fun. Included with the typical frisbees and hula hoops are kooky fun toys like magic sand and air blasters, it's all brightly coloured good clean fun that makes you crave the sun. 1979 Wham-O Catalog..
Time to explore the first year of one of the 70s hottest toy licenses, Col. Steve Austin AKA the Six Million Dollar man was merely four pages of the 1975 Kenner Toy catalog but it bionically lept off from there..Check out the 1975 Bionic Man Catalog...
State of the Art
Venity Fair was one of the leading makers of electronics for children, which by 1977 standards meant they sold radios, walkie talkies and other items that look like stone tools to today's generation..
The 2010 PlaidStallions Retro Awards
It's our second annual love letter to the many products and publications that invoked so much retro fun that they made me squeal like I was a little girl again, it's the the second annual Retro Awards and if you buy any of this stuff through our Amazon links, I get a shiny nickel and everything.
More Vintage Toy Store Goodness
A holiday treat from PS to you, another trip back in time to toystores long gone, this segment features the dawn of Star Wars, Nerf, Corgi Diecast, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla and a look at the beloved Heroes World Stores Vintage Toy Stores Part Nine makes me happy. Be sure to check out parts one through eight while you are there!
1977 Western Auto Toy Circular
Christmas is that magical time when stores that don't normally carry toys start selling them in a big way. In my neck of the woods it was Canadian Tire but for many of you in the states Western Auto was the unlikely source of fun.
The 1977 Western Auto Toy Catalog has a lot of old friends like Steve and Jamie, Stretch Armstrong and Charlie's Angels..
Team America, Heck Yeah!
By the late 1970s, Ideal Toys had a bit of a problem on their hands. Even though Evel Knievel had fallen out of favour with the public, their stunt cycle toy was still a viable product. So in 1980 Ideal relaunched the toy as Team America and a memorable (albeit brief) comic book series followed.
Exit Sportsman, Enter Spy
By 1975, Mattel's Big Jim line was beginning to run out of steam and ideas, so while Mattel still offered many of Jim's previous hits, their toyfair catalog also gave you a taste of Jim's new job managing a group of reformed ex-cons as the leader of an elite goverment squad known the P.A.C.K. The 1975 Mattel Big Jim Catalog is full of surprises.
Major Matt's Orbit Decays
Though one of the hottest toys of the late 1960s, Major Matt found himself clinging for life after the moon landing proved to be alien free. By 1971 the good Major was on his last legs however his offering was still a lot of fun to look at. The 1971 Mattel Major Matt Mason Catalog was the last appearance to date of this cool toy line.
Going over to the UK with today's catalog, a fun look at the UK version of Ideal who not only carried toys from their namesake but some of the hottest stuff from Mego and Remco as well. Including the Remco Universal Monster dolls which is why I'm featuring it in October Enjoy all the late seventies toy glory here.
They Were Toys
Taking a trip to well before my time with this fun flyer from Toys R Us. 1969 was 41 years ago but I bet you recognize many of the names and faces like Barbie and G.I. Joe who are still available at Toys R Us 41 years after this was published. The 1969 Toys R Us Circular.
There is no better way to celebrate Halloween than with a catalog by the king of costumes, Ben Cooper. 1973 saw the usual Jigglers, Rubber masks and in the licensed costume department, the wonderful Filmation Groovy Goolies lead the pack. The 1973 Ben Cooper Catalog is better than candy.Well, certain kinds of candy.
Time to take a trip to 1987 and check out legendary Halloween merchandiser Imagineering as they offer not only their usual assortment of goodies like scar stuff and vampire blood but an entire line of items centering around the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. See all the spooky goodness here
Florida based Funstuf made some of the more unique toys of the 70s, their main product were these fun figures called "aniforms" that took the shape hot licenses like the Incredible Hulk, The Thing and the Universal Monsters. You'll go nuts for the 1980 Funstuf Catalog
Be an OSI Agent
Back in 1975 Kenner set up this cool "Bionic Man Fan Club" where kids could send away for a kit that included an ID card, stickers even an autographed photo of Col. Steve Austin. It took me 35 years to fill out the form but I finally joined check out all the cool goodies here.
Starr was Mattel's late 70s attempt to launch a teen version of Barbie and was a popular line for about three years which is an eternity for a toy line. Nowadays it's a fun window into the dying days of disco fashion. Take a fun roller boogie down to the 1981 Mattel Starr Catalog..
We want your Vintage Christmas Photos
Our upcoming book "Christmas in the 1970s" needs photo submissions and we're having a contest, send us your fun Christmas memory and you could win fabulous prizes! Did you throw up on Santa? Break your Stretch Monster? We want to hear about it, read the blog for More Details!
Twiki is in the House
Another trip into the world of HG Toys, as the seventies ended HG had a number of hot licenses including headliner Buck Rogers, Vega$, Godzilla and even Fantasy Island! Lots of cool puzzles, play sets and role playing items you will want. Check out the 1980 HG Toys Catalog
Police Woman was a ground breaking television series and it should come as no surprise that Horsman's action figures based on the show were the same. They're part fashion doll, part ass kicking adventure, it's a real trip to look at the 1974 Horsman Police Woman Catalog..
Saturday Morning Adventures
Time to visit a simplier time when there were three networks and the only way to find out what was new on Saturday mornings was to check comic books. Visit . Visit the Saturday Morning Gallery and see some old friends like Archie, Shazam and Spider Woman.
LJN spells fun
LJN was a great year for LJN with hot licenses like Emergency! and The Rookies, not to mention fun knock offs in the form of Petite and Mr Action. I bet you had some of these toys as a kid, take it in for yourself at 1975 LJN toys catalog..
More Retro Playgrounds
Continuing yet another look at Playground equipment of days gone by with this our fifth installment of retro playgrounds. This time we don't focus on a theme, just some of the whacked out things designed by people who enjoyed the 60's a bit too much. You really have to check out Retro Playgrounds Gallery Part Five
Devils of the Sea
In 1971, Mattel launched a follow up line to their succesful "Major Matt Mason" line of figures, this time it was the scuba based "Sea Devils" a cool and often overlooked line of toys. For more info check out the 1971 Mattel Sea Devils Catalog..
Another trip to the wonderful world of licensed Rack Toys, this time it's none other than the undisputed king of all things under a buck, Azrak Hamway International. 1977 sees more Batman, Star Trek and even Lost in Space and M*A*S*H goodies, it's all in the 1977 AHI Catalog.
Italy's Greatest Super Team
I know what you're going to say "Who the hell are Bil, Don, Jac and why should I care?" Well, first off, you've got some attitude and secondly, they're a fun bunch of G.I. Joe esque action figures from Italy that really deserve some attention. The Adventures of Bil, Don Jac Catalog..
They Belong in a Museum
It didn't go as far as Star Wars but Kenner put in a nice effort in 1982 with their "Adventures of Indiana Jones" toy line. Lots of cool figures and well done playsets in this bunch, perusing the pages of the catalog will have you visiting Ebay, just a warning. 1982 Kenner Indiana Jones Catalog.
The UK's Man of Action
For those not in the know, Action Man is the UK version of G.I. Joe and in 1979, while we got absolutely nothing, Action Man was having adventures in every aspect of time and space. Click on the stunning 1979 Palitoy Action Man Catalog for a bonus gallery of boxed items!
War Being Fought, Don't Tell Anybody
In 1984, Mattel introduced the Mattel Secret Wars line, a sometimes curious set of action figures based on the classic Marvel comics characters. The line was one of the first I can remember adults collecting and still remains a toy collector favourite, check out the 1984 Mattel Secret Wars Catalog.
Hey! Hey! Hey!
With summer here, it's fun to take a look at the various nice weather toys available from HG Toys which included fin licenses like Fat Albert and the Superfriends, producing some of the most logical super hero toys ever, seriously somebody should remake those! 1974 HG Toys Summer Catalog.
I was shocked and humbled to learn recently that there was a world before I was born and they had some pretty cool toys, who knew? Come visit with Major Matt Mason, TOGL Men, Barbie and of course the unstoppable Hot Wheels line with the 1969 Mattel Fun Book.
More Vintage Toy Store Photos
More Vintage Toy store photographs! Chapter Eight includes aisles of Star Wars, Micronauts, Action Man, Matt Mason and More. Plus another look at some wonderful (and sadly long gone) independant toy retailers who truly tried to do something magical, enjoy the funky time trip of Chapter Eight of Vintage Toy Stores and be sure check out parts 1 through 6 if you haven't already, maybe your childhood haunt is in there.
Another long overdue gallery for PlaidStallions is the Matchbox Fighting Furies, we've got the 1974 Matchbox catalog and some pictures from my pal Bill's collection of this incredibly well done Pirate Toy Line. Visit the Matchbox Fighting Furies Archive or walk the plastic plank.
This Just In: G.I. Joe Toys are Awesome!
Newsletters are a dying artform what with the interweb and these kids with their cel phone, oy! Let's take a look back to 1974 when G.I. Joe fans could join the G.I. Joe fanclub and get the super fun Adventure Team newsletter, click here Read All About it..
Most kids probably didn't ask for Mulitple toys by name but judging by their dazzling array of low cost items like Army men, punching bags and pistols. Combine those with hot licenses like Kung Fu and Planet of the Apes and many of us likely had some in store tantrums about this stuff, I know I did. See all the fun at 1976 Multiple Toys Catalog.
Kenner had a big hit on their hands in 1979 when they combined mermaids with little girl's incessant need to comb hair. Sea Wees were a staple of the late seventies until the mid 1980s and in this catalog, they introduced babie Sea Wees, which seems pretty logical. Swim on over to the 1980 Kenner SeaWees Catalog.
Super fun for under a buck
Corgi cars were some of the best out there by 1979, mostly because they had so many cool license. It didn't matter that Spider-Man or Shazam didn't need a set of wheels, you wanted them anyway. See all the fun at 1979 Corgi Jr Catalog.
The Visitors are our friends..
Time to trek back to 1985 and see the illfated LJN line of action figures based on then (and I guess now) TV series "V". Knowing I was deprived of Marc Singer action figure is a serious bummer, see all the mouse gobbling goodness at the LJN V Catalog.
G.I. Joe's least talked about era
Another new Toy archive today, this one devoted to the Hasbro Super Joe toy line, those two weird years in the late 1070s when G.I. Joe was shrunk down to 8 inches and blasted off into outer space to fight Terrons. Lots of fun stuff like foreign releases, packaged figure shots, concept art and more. Visit the Hasbro Super Joe Gallery.
Shindana Toys rose out of the 1960s with the mission to promote Black Culture and history, by 1976 they were creating a large line up of ethnically accurate toys that we would take for granted today. Check out the awesome 1976 Shindana Toys Catalog.
Mr Spock on Lay Away
Another great old vintage Toy Store Newspaper Circular featured today, this time it's for Child World the beloved "Toy Super Market" of yesteryear. This example from November of 1975 features such familiar faces as Mr. Spock, Dr. Zaius and of course, Evel Knievel Read it here.
The Dress Alike Love Spectacular
In the spirit of Valentine's Day and more importantly, Fashion Mockery, we present to you a retrospective (meaning "clip show") of one of the 1970s most baffling trends, wearing matching outfits with your partner. I ask uou Do you love your partner this much?
Conquest of Mars
A new action figure gallery today, this one deals with the short lived action figure line based on the Martian Chronicles TV mini series, Rack Toys manufacturer Larami were the licensors for this one but they didn't spend a lot of time developing it as you'll see in the Martian Chronicles Action Figure Gallery .
More AHI Monsters
We've completely revised the AHI Monsters Gallery including new variations of the 8" figures, more packaging shots, more wind up monsters and even new Jigglers. If you're a fan of either rack toys or classic monsters check it out at the AHI Super Monsters Gallery here.
Star Wars UK Style!
Happy to announce this new catalog and toy gallery, this time dealing with how Star Wars was marketed in the UK, the 1979 Palitoy catalog shows some UK exclusives and a few rare prototype items, on top of that we have my pal Bill's carded Palitoy collection to oggle, it's win/win!. Check out the cool new Palitoy 1979 Star Wars Gallery .
Big Wheel Is Big Deal
Few things personify life in the 1970s more than the Marx Big Wheel, a truly great reinvention of the Tricycle, this plastic primary coloured bit of fantastic was parked in more garages in my neighbourhood than Volare station wagons. Check out the entire 1975 Marx Big Wheel Catalog here.
It Never Stops Hurting Department.
The Last Starfighter is one of those undeservedly forgotten SF films from the mid 1980s and what's even more bothersome is that Galoob planned to release a whole whack of action figures based on the film but sadly never did. Yet we got Love Boat action figures, how is that fair? You can check out the inherant coolness of the Galoob Last Starfighter Toyline here.
Illogical But Fun Anyway.
Happy to unveil this cool gallery dedicated to some of the rarest Star Trek toys on earth! Many of these unique (and sometime downright weird) items were sold briefly while the show was still on the air and many are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Check out the cool new Classic Star Trek Toy Gallery..
Hot off the heels of their succesful Lone Ranger line, Gabriel hit out of the park with these great toys based on the Filmation Zorro Cartoon series in 1982. Check out this fun little line at the Gabriel Zorro Action Figure Gallery.
Hulk Save at K Mart
Time for another fun vintage Toy Newspaper circular, this time from KMart, the savings place and it features fun stuff like Mego Superheroes, Tonka Trucks and Star Wars Play Doh, start your wishlist with the 1978 KMart Toy Flier!.
Blast Balls with Gordy
Another voyage into the strange and charming world of cheap-o rack toys, this time it's 1980 and we're looking at Henry Gordy co, a purveyor of Battle of the Planets and Superhero merchandise like Hulk Putty and the lamentably named Superman Ball Blasters, it's all in the 1980 Henry Gordy Catalog..
Dare to Visit the Monster Gallery
The Good folks from Creepsylvania.com were kind enough to send me scans from this awesome early Seventies Monster Coloring Book, the art is good you wouldn't put crayons to it. Are you brave enough to visit The Monster Gallery by yourself?.
We Are Not Alone
In 1978, Rack Toy Manufacturer Imperial Toys snapped up the licensing rights to Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and it was the selling point of their 1978 Catalog. However, Imperial also made a lot fun toys in the "Rubber Snakes and Monsters" vein that seem to be the real stars. Check out The 1978 Imperial Toys Catalog .
Release the Kraken...to Retail.
In 1981, Mattel toys licensed what would be cinema magician Ray Harryhausen's last movie, Clash of the Titans. It turned out to be only midly successful and Mattel cancelled such cool things as the Playset we have featured. You can see it all for yourself in the 1981 Mattel Clash of the Titans Catalog..
Mattel Toy Fair Showroom in 1975
One heck of a neat-o update if you're a toy geek (and why would you visit this site if you weren't?), thanks to a good friend I've obtained shots of the 1975 Mattel Barbie and Big Jim Toy Fair Show Rooms. Probably the first time they've been since 1975, it's all here, the planes, the dune buggys, the campers, Big Josh and Ken, see it all right here!.
Monster Crime Fighters
The 1976 Saturday morning series "The Monster Squad" combined the classic movie Monsters with the antics of the live action "Batman" series of the 60s and I admit, I was hooked. While only lasting one season, a surprising amount of merchandise was planned and/or released, check out the Monster Squad Merchandise Gallery for some spooky fun!
The 1983 Remco Catalog really showed the early 80s interest in sword and socery properties, including comic characters such as Crystar and Warlord. The universal monster toys are still hanging in there, including a new line called "Monsters At Home", visit the the 1983 Remco Catalog.
More Toy Store Shots
More Vintage Toy store photographs! Chapter Seven includes shots of boxed Shogun Warriors, Big Jim displays, whole endcaps of Aurora Monster Models, a frightening appearance by Raggedy Anne and some classic Dinky toys. Be sure to vist Chapter Seven on Vintage Toy Stores and be sure check out parts 1 through 6 if you haven't already, maybe your childhood haunt is in there.
The Hottest Trick or Treat in the World!
Our final Halloween costume Catalog this season is again from Collegeville, the year is 1979 and KISS is the biggest thing ever, if you're a sci fi kid there's Battlestar Galactica and for the fantsy nerds there is Lord of the Rings. It's fun and trippy and weird how so little has changed, check out the 1979 Collegeville Costume Catalog.
Laverne and Shirley meet the Incredible Melting Man
The second in our trifecta of Costume Catalogs this October, the 1978 Collegeville catalog is a fun mix of popular tv and movie characters along with cheezy Star Wars rip offs. It's a great mix of cool and lame, lots of fun to be found in the 1978 Collegeville Costume Catalog.
As October 09 begins, so does our month long celebration of Halloween here and on the blog, Today's Friday feature is a look in Halloween Costumes from 1973, lots of cool licensed pieces like the Shado pilot from UFO and Japanese Hero Ultra-Man along with tons of kooky unlicensed goodness, check out the 1973 Collegeville Costume Catalog.
I Bent My Wookie
While they weren't any Star Wars toys available for Christmas 1977, Kenner toys made the market was completely saturated when "The Empire Strikes Back" launched in 1980. Sweet Merciful Crap they made a lot of cool toys! Check out The 1980 Kenner Empire Strikes Back Toy Catalog .
When G.I. Joe got Sexy
Another visit to Germany with a look at their version of G.I. Joe called "Action Team" and in 1975 instead of adding characters like Atomic Man to the frey, the Germans added guh-guh-girls to the mix instead, as well as cool costumes for Joe like Native Americans. Check it all out at The 1975 G.I. Joe Action Team Catalog .
Back to School
Nothing says "Back to School" more than a shiny new lunch box, so let's go back to 1980 and figure out what to get? The cute robots from "The Black Hole"? The Universal Monsters? Holly Hobbie? How About the Hulk or Superman? It's all in The 1980 Aladin Lunchbox Catalog .
More Cheap, Crazy fun from AHI
In 1981, Azrak Hamway was still cranking out the cool and sometimes crazy rack toys that made them a 70s institution. This year say the introduction of some dubious items such as "Superhero Mystery Pipes" but also saw the return of the Universal Monsters to their offerings, sadly this is one of the companies last catalogs, check out the always fun The 1981 Azrak Hamway Toy Catalog .
Nerf Man : Hero or Menace?
NERF stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam and it's also one of those "Evergreen" toys that seems to always be around. 1976 was a good year for NERF, we've go planes, cars and missiles as well as NERF's own Superhero in NERF MAN! This catalog is kind of special to me as it belonged to my dad and you can see some of his pricing notes on some of the pages. Check out the The 1976 NERF Catalog .
South of the Border Toy Land
In the 1970s, Mexican law made the import of Hong Kong made toys impossible, so everything had to be manufactured internally. This resulted in some wonderful variations of US toy lines such as G.I. Joe, Six Million Dollar Man and the Mego Superheroes. Check out the The 1977 Lili Ledy Toy Catalog . Mucha diversión!
G.I. Joe gets tough (and short)
1982, saw the return of the original "action Figure" G.I. Joe after a four year absence, no stranger to innovation, Joe would change the way toys were marketed and become one of the strongest toy lines of the 1980s. Try turning on a TV this week without seeing that name, Check out the The 1982 GI joe Real American Hero Catalog . It's 100% Marlon Wayans free.
Why does Mickey Mouse need a Utility belt?
1977 saw toymaker Remco charge forward with toys based on Walt Disney characters, McDonald's,Space:1999 and most importantly Superheroes which would be their stock and trade for the next few years. Check out the The 1977 Remco Catalog for Batcopters, Ray Guns and Utility belts galore.
1977 saw UK Toymaker Denys Fisher take a popular Japanese Toy Line and create their own back story and packaging. The result was Cyborg and it's pure toy magic, check out the The 1977 Denys Fisher Cyborg Catalog and help save the world from the evil Muton!
I wuv you Doctor Zaius!
In 1974, Well-Made Toys like many other companies jumped on the Planet of the Apes Bandwagon and tried to cash in on "Simian Fever" by releasing piles of plush novelties that resembled Doctor Zaius and Galen (this was TV based stuff) check out the. The 1974 Well made Planet of the Apes Catalog
The Most Logical Playthings
With the new movie getting everyone amped up about pointy ears again, it seemed apt to release a list of what I consider the best Star Trek toys of time, the ones made in the 1970s. Lots of fun imaginitive and wonderfully "Low Tech" stuff in this list, see if you agree with The top ten coolest 70s Star Trek Toys. If you don't please refrain from drop kicking me, I don't care for that.
70s Toy Explosion DVD Volume 2
Thanks to some luck and the help of a good pal, I've got another DVD of cool toy commercials. This time it's all about 1979, which includes Hot Wheels, Elastic Superheroes, Barbie, Battlestar Galactica, Shogun Warriors, Batman, Star Wars and Godzilla just to name a few. I'm selling them in my online store, mostly so I can break even and do this all over again. Check out the PlaidStallions Online Store.
Super Rack Toys
Fleetwood was one of the neater players in the rack toys game, they made some rather logical stuff based on hot tv properties like CHiPs, BJ and the Bear and Buck Rogers. Their standout stuff however was all the cool stuff they made for the Marvel comics superheroes. Check out the 1980 Fleetwood Catalog here.
When daredevils were our role models
One of our bigger fascinations as children of the seventies seems to be the daredevil stuntman, thanks likely to Evel Knievel's meteoric rise in the early 70s. Toy lines like Kenner's Turbo Tower of Power became extremely popular as a result, it's a wonder any of us survived all those bike jumps. Check out the The 1974 Kenner Turbo Tower of Power Catalog .
Bake with a Light Bulb
Kenner had a real evergreen property with their line of easy bake ovens, which encouraged children to bake treats by a small light bulb, I'm not sure how it worked but brother did it work. This look into 1974 sees a logical alliance with Betty Crocker and the birth of "Kiddie Fondue" which sounds kind of dark to be honest. The 1974 Kenner Easy Bake Oven Catalog
Marx Goes On Safari
In 1975, Marx toys introduced children to the world of Buck Hunter and SGt. Kogo with Safari Adventure, a well made series of 8" action figures who often confuse collectors today. Check out all the cool goodies Marx made for Buck and his crew with the the 1975 Marx Safari Adventure Catalog
Defense Against Knock Offs
In 1975, Hasbro decided to strike back at all the G.I. Joe imitators and create their own pretender to the throne. Thus the Defender was born, a blow molded "mannequin" (their terms not mine) whose accessories were primarily made up of overstocker Joe items but he did get a cool tank, take that Joe. Visit the 1975 Hasbro Defenders Catalog and you may discover a long forgotten friend.
Planet of the Apes Day!
We've added so many new weird Planet of the Apes Rack Toys to the site, I declare it "Ape Day"! Unfortunately it's not a civic holiday, so you can't skip work. Check out the amazing weird goodies added to the Larami Page and of course, the The Azrak Hamway Planet of the Apes Gallery. lots of goofy Ape toy insanity on both pages...
Despite the real guy threatening to retire twice, Ideal's Evel Knievel toy line was still an amazing powerhouse in 1976, with new additions such as a rocket cycle and the "Escape from Skull Canyon" playset, where Evel has to deal with Big Foot! If you were to squeeze that toy, you would get a glass of pure 70s juice. We hope you'll dig the 1976 Ideal Evel Knievel Toys Catalog as much as we do!
The Bio-Sonic Man?
Despite adding some cool characters like Big Foot and the Venus Space Probe, 1978 would prove to be the last year for Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man. Kanner still threw some new surprises out there for us before they decided to devote all resources to Star Wars. Check out the the 1978 Kenner Six Million Dollar Man Toy Catalog.
Children's Palace in 1974
Children's Palace is a well known Toy chain to anyone who grew up on the East Coast.This 1974 Toy circular shows a retailer in it's prime, many fully colour pages showing all the hot toys of the day. Familiar brands like Barbie, G.I. Joe and Big Jim along with TV greats Batman, Spiderman, Sesame Street, the Planet of the Apes and Rodney Allen Rippey Click here to visit the 1974 Children's Palace Toy Circular
Even More Vintage Toy Store Pictures!
Another fabulous trip in the wayback machine to see those long lost toy stores of our youth in what is our SIXTH edition of this fun feature (for previous editions Visit Here) This time around we visit stores like Intellitoys, Casselmans and Lionel Playworld around Halloween and check out a group of early eighties electronic games stores (for plenty of Atari action), it's all in Vintage Toy Store Gallery Part 6
Show somebody one of the Zee Toys Metal Men figures and chances are you'll get the response "I had those, what are they called?" this well designed toy line didn't have much advertising so it's no surprise the name was forgotten. The 1979 catalog shows the offerings for that year and as an added bonus we have images from what is likely one of the best collections in the world. Please to visit The 1979 Metal Men Catalog.
The Man Called Lobo
I probably would never have posted the 1981 Daisy cap guns catalog (mostly because I know nothing about cap guns) if it were not for the fact that Daisy may have been the only toy company in the world to produce toys based on the "Misadventures of Sherrif Lobo" a spin off of "BJ and the Bear" that I was really fond of. Daisy thought the Sherrif was "in tune with today's youngsters" Check out the The 1981 Daisy Toys Catalog.
Inflatable Summer Fun
It's almost summer break (hey, a guy can dream) and that means time for inflatable pools and other outdoor fun from the good people at Ideal Toys. You'll recognize familiar faces such as Batman and the Barba Pappa family along with the hottest moms 1979 had to offer. Please to be enjoying The 1979 Ideal Summer Toys Catalog.
Big Jim is alive and well in Europe
While Mattel's Big Jim faded away in North America in 1976, that's only the first half of the story. The line thrived in Europe and even expanded into other areas US kids never saw, check out the 1977 Congost Big Jim Catalog for some familiar faces and a few surprises.
Still working on the upcoming photo essay book, Christmas in the 70s and we've created a Flickr Group for you to share your favourite kodak moments. So please come aboard and join us in your favourite moment when there was gold shag under the tree.
While most companies were superhero and talking monkey obsessed in the 1970s, LJN was busy making action figures of various heroes from TV shows like "Emergency" and "The Rookies", resulting in well made and memorable toys. Check out the LJN TV SuperStars Catalog here.
Duncan Yo-Yo's for 1981
I think everybody had a yo-yo at some point in their life. This 1981 Catalog from Duncan shows that the company had other lines like toy trucks and licensed items like Batmobiles and Superhero Yo-Yo's. check out the 1981 Duncan Catalog here.
Energized Spider-Man can barely move
1978 marks the year toy maker Remco launched energized Spider-Man as well as a slew of other superheroic goodies like utility belts and I dream of Jeannie dolls, check out the 1978 Remco Catalog here.
Super School Supplies
It may seem a bit odd to feature a catalog of school supplies but not when you see what Mead had going on in 1976. This was the year they launched their awesome line of Marvel Comics items which every 6 year old boy coveted, who wouldn't want to go to school with Captain America? check out the 1976 Mead Catalog here.
Weebles Wobble, You know the rest
Hasbro had one of the bigger pre school toy successes with the roly poly adventures of the Weebles. If you grew up in the 1970s there is no way you haven't heard of them, their memorable commercials made every kid under five want them. check out the 1975 Weebles Catalog here.
Sneaking into the 80s for a minute
OK, so it's not the seventies but I still considered myself a kid in 1983 so there. Today's update is a look at a toy catalog produced by the now defunct Simpsons chain, including G.I. Joe RAH, Masters of the Universe, Smurfs, Crystar all laid out in a wonderfully eye catching manner rarely seen today. Check out all the toys here.
Who was that masked man?
I am extremely happy to anounce a new toy gallery at Plaidstallions, dedicated to what is definitely one of the finest and somewhat under rated action figure lines of the 1970s, Gabriel's Lone Ranger.
Thanks entirely to the generosity and support from collectors Bill Frost and Rob Chatlin, we now have on display what might be the most comprehensive and staggering archive of the Lone Ranger Toy Line ever compiled.
Get in the Shape the Mantooth Way
With the dawn of a new year, many of us will make that empty promise to ourselves to get back into shape. With Brick Mantooth's Guide to 70s Fitness we see all the gadgets that promised a maximum weight loss for a minimal effort, sadly very little has changed in 30 years....
i love Fisher Price
Nothing says Christmas to me like Fisher Price, it was a given item under the tree each year. I started with the little people and graduated to the adventure people, it's in my blood. Chances are you had some of the toys featured here as well. 1977 Fisher Price Toy Catalog..
Zayre: Trust Us for Toys
What can I say, vintage toy newspaper circulars are my weakness and this 1975 Zayre piece is a good reason why. It's chock full of what was under the tree back in the day including Mego Star Trek,Fisher Price Sesame Street and a lot more. Check out the 1975 Zayre Toy Flyer..
The Best Plastic Nightmares
It's been a while since I did a list (for this site anyway) so I've put together a top ten in the spirit of the season, Come read what I think are the Top Ten Coolest Monster Toys of the 1970's., lots of familiar undead faces in there from Stretch Monster to Gre-Gory.
X Marks the Stretch
I can only go so long without talking about Stretch Armstrong, this time we check out the 1980 catalog where he's joined by a new alien villian, Stretch X Ray. Check out the 1980 Kenner Stretch Armstrong Catalog.
M is for Martian
Time for another delve into the world of licensed rack toys, this time we look at Larami, who made weird toys like Batman Roller Skates, Star Trek putty and the awesome Martian Chronicles figures. 1980 Larami Toys Catalog.
Remember all those cool cheap magic tricks you'd see in comics and at joke shops? Chances are they were by a company called Franco, check out the Franco Magic Catalog. for a little magical memory lane action.
A Real Man's Man
In 1972, hot off the anti-war toy sentiment of the late 60's, Mattel created the muscle bound "Big Jim", a gentle giant of a man who engaged in hunting, fishing, camping and of course, Kung Fu. His safe but masculine antics captivated a generation (including yours truly), check out the 1972 Mattel Big Jim Catalog. and be sure to visit the other Big Jim galleries as well.
Before they became a juggernaut of licensed toys, Kenner toys would try their hand at unique action figure concepts that were home grown. Enter, Duke the dog, the only German Shephard in the world his own secret headquarters. check out the Kenner Duke Catalog.
A Double Shot of Halloween Costumes
A two fisted end to the whirlwind month that is October 2008, first we have the cool and weird selection from the 1983 Collegeville Halloween Catalog. because every boy wanted to be Scott Baio. Also, we've created a gallery devoted to the many, many wonderful Vintage Halloween Shots I received. I never thought I'd say this but I'm all Halloween'd out!
Three and Three Quarter Inches of Terror!
Going with a personal favorite today, 1981 saw toy maker Remco put aside superheroes and move into cosmetics and Universal Monsters. The big push this year were the highly addictive mini monster action figures. As a bonus, there is also a toy gallery featuring packaging for all the Monster figures, check out the 1981 Remco Catalog.
Smocks and Masks
With this being a countdown to Halloween, it's important not to forget the all important Halloween Costume. One of the bigger players in the 1970s was Collegeville who in 1974 had everything from cool licenses like G.I. Joe and H.R. Pufnstuff to bizarro knockoffs like "The Spider" and "The Bat", both of which I went as for Halloween as a kid. Please furiously enjoy the 1974 Collegeville Halloween Costumes Catalog.
Silent But Deadly
Before VCRs we had silent 8mm loops containing scenes from our favourite movies and we liked it! Especially considering how many of the titles contained the Universal Monsters. Check out the 1973 Castle Home Movies Catalog here, another thing I'll be scowering Ebay for....
We kick off our Halloween features with a look at the 1973 Rapco Crafts catalog. Rapco had the good sense to license an entire line of Universal Monster crafts such as candles, busts and bisques. They also utilized my top four favourite monsters, I hate when I'm motivated to spend money. check out the 1975 Rapco Catalog here
It's October and that means one thing, Halloween! Every day this month, I'll be adding cool Halloween related items to the Plaidstallions Blog The month will be filled with classic monster toys, costumes and memories. Expect a very phoned in November....
Super Choo Choo!
From the file marked "Odd Moments of Superhero licensing" these train cars made by Tyco in 1977 were a strange marriage of comics and the railyard. Check out the Tyco Superhero Boxcars Catalog
C is for Child Guidance
What better way to conclude Sesame Street Week than by taking a look at some of the offerings Child Guidance had for us in 1978. From cool games and novelties to standbys such as Finger Puppets, Child Guidance was giving Big Bird some serious respect Check out The 1978 Child Guidance Sesame Street Catalog
Puffy Sticker Madness
Puffy Stickers took us by storm in the early eighties and Imperial Toys was leading that charge with their line of "Puffy Stickatoons" which included characters such as Buck Rogers, Web Woman, The Freedom Force, 1941 and bootleg Star Wars and Superhero characters. Check out The 1980 Imperial Puffy Sticker Catalog
Ideal Star Team Comic
We have yet another fine example of comic book marketing this week, with the Ideal Toys/ Marvel Comics conglomeration of Star Team. In 1978, Marvel comics created a back story for these thrown together toys meant to catch some Star Wars sales heat. For an obscure toyline it has some big names attached like Dave Cockrum and Archie Goodwin! Check out Ideal Toys Star Team Comic
Team Up with Little Big Man
In 1974, Palitoy took the popular Spanish toy "MadelMan" and redubbed him "Little Big Man" for the UK market, this pint sized hero (LBM was 6 inches tall) made up for stature with a tremendous variety of outfits and accessories. Check out the 1975 Palitoy Bradgate Little Big Man Catalog
More Retro Playgrounds
Continuing yet another look at Playground equipment of days gone by with this new gallery. This time we don't focus on a theme, just some of the whacked out things designed by people who enjoyed the 60's a bit too much. You really have to check out Retro Playgrounds Gallery
1979 Azrak Hamway Catalog
Another delve into the world of rack toys today with the 1979 Azrak Hamway Catalog featuring some of the hottest licenses of the time, which means more Hulk stuff than you shake a stick at. Seriously. they've got him in bikes, boats and helicopters, which is weird, he's no Batman. Check out the 1979 Azrak Hamway International Catalog Here.
1977 JC Penney Toy Flyer
A sweet look at the popular toys of 1977 with this rare newspaper circular catalog promoting the then proud toy section at JC Penney. It's a shame that department stores barely carry toys like they once did, Check out the 1977 JC Penney Toy Catalog Here.
Taking a look at the cool talking toys produced by Palitoy Bradgate this week. Long before voice chips became common, these kind of toys were pretty speical. In the UK Palitoy released a number of toys based on shows like Doctor Who and Batman, Check out the 1977 Palitoy Talking Toys Catalog.
The Not Quite as Dark, Dark Knight
Jumping on the "Bat Bandwagon" this weekend with a new list. Batman has been a merchandising phenom for over 40 years now and not surprisingly, we've decided to focus on the Coolest Batman Toys of the 1970's. All your favourites including Mego, Remco and Corgi...
Zee Toys Metal Men were in many of our toyboxes growing up but few us remembered who or what they were. These well made diecast figures had no back story, so they were pure imagination baby! Be sure to check out the 1978 Zee Toys Metal Man Catalog
The Lincoln Monsters can often be dismissed as "Mego Knockoffs" which is true but they are also a charming line to collect.I;m fond of them mainly because my dad sold them back in the day! Check out the new Lincoln Monsters Gallery
Go West Little Man
Marx's Johnny West was one of the few hold over action figure lines from the 1960's still on the shelf in the mid seventies, although he was starting to look strange next to all the Superheroes, Aliens and Talking Apes. Check out the 1975 Marx Johnny West Catalog Pardner!
Tiny Atomic Batteries to Power!
Superheroes and TV Superstars vehicles are the main focus with these pages from the 1978 Corgi Catalog which features, Supermobiles, Ford Torino's and of course every vehicle you could stick a Batman symbol on. Read all about it here
This week's update is none other than the Marvel Comics/Ideal Toys co-production of "Evel Knievel in The Perilous Traps of Mr. Danger", a giveaway comic from the mid seventies that manges to sneak in every bit of Knievel merchandise into it's 20 pages.
Bionic People of 1977!
1977 was the biggest year ever in terms of Kenner toys and the Two Bionic Television series "The Six Million Dollar Man" and sister series "The Bionic Woman" with a ton of fabulous releases for both. Check out the 1977 Six Million Dollar Man Catalog.
Made From The Strangest Stuff on Earth!
Manglors were an interesting concept from Ideal toys, they were monster action figures that encouraged children to tear them apart. The cool packaging was done by the same artist who did many album covers for KISS and ManoWar. Please to be visiting the 1984 IDEAL MANGLORS CATALOG. Jeez, two weeks of Monster toys, I'd better lighten up.
In 1980, Kenner tried to repackage their wonderfully made but commercially unsuccessful line of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid figures and playsets as the "Real West" by expanding the figure line to include more legendary (public domain) characters. Sadly it was not to be and what would have been a cool line to collect never materialized. Check out what Kenner had in store with the Kenner Real West Collection
Pulsar and the Shogun Warriors visit Moonbase Alpha
Put together a gallery of all the boys action figure lines Mattel had for 1977, this included the debut of Pulsar, The Shogun Warriors, Welcome Back Kotter and the second offering of Space:1999 which had some new offerings. As a bonus, there are shots of never before seen Space:1999 action figure prototypes. Check out the 1977 Mattel Catalog here
Playtime in the UK!
Most North Americans have probably never heard of UK based Berwick toys before but that should change because they created a lot of fun and inspired licensed items for the English market.
Berwick's main items seem to be role play such as their line of play suits and games, while all the American standards are there such as Mr Spock and the Hulk, UK specific characters such as Captain Britain and Doctor Who are present as well.
In the mid 70's Toy maker Remco switched hands to Azrak Hamway and in doing so they became a licensing powerhouse. Remco created cool toys action figures like the McDonald's crew and unreal playsets like Earth Quake Tower. Check out the awesome 1976 Remco Catalog.
OK, so I'm ten months early for Halloween but it's OK because the 1980 Ben Cooper Catalog is just that good. So many memorable characters and items from the 70's, this is our largest catalog to date. From Darth Vader to Frankenstein to long forgotten characters like Web Woman and V.I.N.Cent from the Black Hole, this is one cool flashback.
Spaced out Playgrounds
Our final catalog of the year is kind of fitting as it's a retro look into the future. This is the first in our series of retro playground equipment, when galvanised pipe and concrete could be made to form rockets, giants bugs or tee pees. Click here to check out Space Themed Play Grounds
More Vintage Toy Stores
With the holiday season almost here it seemed like an appropriate time to once again look at the toy departments of long ago, Vintage Toy Stores Part Fouroffers more shots of forgotten retailers and their shelves packed with memories. Look for appearances by Mego Superheroes, the Shogun Warriors, AMT model kits, Fisher Price Little People and much, much more.....
This great little catalog was most likely given out in newspapers in Canada pre Christmas 1976 and it highlights some of the cooler Mattel toys of that era. I know one of these exists for 1977 as well and I'd love to find it.
Made For Adventure
One of the most influential Action figure lines of the 1970's, the Fisher Price Adventure people were North America's first 3 3/4" line of action figures and vehicles. These durable toys had a great deal of play value and lasted for nearly a decade, here we have a glimpse at the 1983 Fisher Price Adventure People Catalog, where the adventure has a great deal more of a sci fi slant.
Rest in Peace Evel
Only a few hours after we posted up the 1975 Ideal Evel Knievel Catalog , the news came out that he had passed away. What better tribute to an icon of our childhood than the memorable toys inspired by his name. Rest in peace Evel Knievel, we will never see your like again.
Spring Supplement Catalogs usually include things that didn't make it into the February Toyfair catalogs in a bid to make it out in time for the Christmas season. The 1978 Kenner Catalog is a prime example featuring some classic goodies and a few that just didn't make it under anybody's tree that year. Fembots, Play Doh, Darth Vader and the Man From Atlantis make appearances in this great catalog.
By the late 1970's, Remco was making a heroic amount of comic book merchandising including logical items like the CSF BatCopter and head scratching stuff like the Hulk Helicopter. Check out the 1979 Remco Catalog
Kenner's Steve and Bob Scout line was an answer to other "Razor and razor blades" adventure lines like Big Jim and G.I. Joe but with a sharp focus on being wholesome. Steve and Bob were 9" Mego like figures that had well made outfits and accessories.
The Best of Bad Fashion
Who doesn't love a clip show? After more than a year and a half of blogging about polyester, it seemed fitting to put together a "Greatest Hits" package of some of the bigger fashion atrocities of the 1970's. Thanks, of course to the good catalogs from Aldens, JC Penney, Simpson's, Sears and Wards. The Best of Fashion Mockery is a cautionary tale you'll likely want to keep small children and sensitive people away from.