Friday, May 23, 2014

Top Ten Fisher Price Adventure People Sets

The Fisher Price Adventure people were truly the game changers when it came to action figures in the 1970s. Their infectiously fun combination of vehicle and figure were an instant hit with kids when they hit shelves in 1975. Parents liked their non violent play structure and the fact that they appeared to be indestructible.

What's more important was the Adventure people didn't go unnoticed by other toy manufacturers and by the end of the Polyester decade we were literally awash in 3 3/4" goodness.

Here are the top ten Fisher Price Adventure People Sets:

10) Dare Devil Skydiver
This set was minimalist but it actually worked and unlike poop-a-troopers wouldn't completely crap out after an hour of play. I got mine stuck in many a tree but I still have him to this day. Good Times.

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ED said...

Great list, I really liked the helicopter because you could turn the blades with a trigger on the tail instead of spinning with your hand. I will have to disagree about the TV van, this was my favorite. The camera actually had a mirror built in you could see a reflection like a "real" camera. The most fun of course was using the sets together, i.e. filming the skydiver jumping from the helicopter while filming by the tv crew.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to argue in favor of a much higher rating for both the astro knight and the sky-diver. Unlike all the other sets listed, both of these actually "worked" as true vehicles. The astro-knight's glider went on to inspire two or three similar figure-gliders during the 1980s GI Joe 3,3/4" toy line.

The skydiver was and remains unequaled. It's a masterpiece of aereodynamic engineering and quality toy design. Set-up is quick, the pieces incredibly durable, and it's virtually impossible to tangle up the chute lines. The rubbery-vinyl harness is easy to put on and take off a figure yet incredibly secure. Best of all, it's fully compatible with other 3,3/4" figures. By contrast, even though the "Joes" have tried several parachutist designs over the years, none work so well as the original FP Adventure People sky-diver's rig.

The point you raised about the better sound effects on the FP Alpha Probe highlight perhaps the only true "failing" the Adventure People had, at least from an 80's perspective. The sets were up-beat and lacking a military theme. This left "Adventure People" seeming weak and ineffectual compared to the far more brutal entertainment franchises of the late 70s and throughout the 80s. The bright, friendly colors of FP simply couldn't compete with the grit, grime, and gunfire in Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, GI Joe, or Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

These days, that non-violence is actually a selling point for parents who want their children to enjoy adventure-play that doesn't involve shooting someone, hackng them up with a laser sword, or disembowelling them with a saw-backed survival knife.


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