Monday, March 31, 2008

Bionic Ink

bionic man tatoo

I recently met a fellow named Shannon through facebook and he shared his amazing 70's toylove body art with me. Above is his tribute to the Kenner Bionic Man doll.

green machine tatoo

The Marx Green Machine was the stuff of legend where I grew up, every kid wanted one.

smash up derby tatoo

It all ends with this brilliant tribute to Kenner's Smash Up Derby. My thanks to Shannon for sharing these, tattoo's and 70's toys make sense considering Dr. Steel was the first action figure with one.

bricks internet picks

The Aquaman Shrine is blogging about Our Ways Studios Superhero Stand Ups today, for those not familiar with Our Ways studios you can also check out this entry.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Colouring Book Theatre : Giant Apes

giant apes Colouring Book Three guesses as to what inspired this book. I'll give you a hint, it was a movie starring Jeff Bridges and King Kong.

This is by Treasure Books and has art by Dell Comics alumni Tony Tallarico (when have you ever seen credit in a colouring book?)

This is another from my childhood, I guess never threw much away. When these came out they were in a huge cardboard display featuring this striking cover artwork, I can't remember the other Giant Apes product but it was of a similiar ilk.

At $.69 this book is about twice the size of any other book I've reviewed here before and brother, there is some padding!

giant apes colouring book

The story begins with two nameless children getting a package containing cameras and plane tickets from their Uncle Ted (who is kind of enough to give his name), they are invited to go on safari. We watch the kids get on the plane, get picked up, go to bed, wake up and then take pictures of ant eaters until an earth quake and volcano eruption reveal a village that Uncle Ted must save.

giant apes

The Villagers are terrified of the giant apes in the jungle and refuse to leave, even though it means certain death from the uncoming lava. Uncle Ted tries to convince them the legend is false but when a woman becomes trapped, a giant ape pops up and saves her! Even though it's a colouring book Tallarico's apes have a wonderful "Man in suit' quality about them.

The apes then save the village by blocking the volcanoe and go back into the jungle, a series of picture taking happens (you get two such montages). There is even a page of the apes sleeping. Here are the villagers, who appear to be of African/Hawaiian ancestry.

planet of the apes colouring book

After many brave rescues by the apes including one where they catch a plane in their hands, it's time for the no name children to go home. The gentle apes wave goodbye, making me wonder why the villagers were ever afraid of them? One has to give this book credit for depicting them as somewhat gentle.

Upon returning home and telling their surprisingly mundane story to their parents, our young heroes get their picture taken by a monkey! Now that is an ending worthy of O Henry.

Got a colouring book you'd like to guest review? Drop me a line!

Previous Colouring Book Theatre Entries can be found here.

Coming Next Week: Star Trek

brick's internet picks

Speaking of Apes: If you're into all things simian, you should check out Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive. He has tons of cool ape items for download like power records, comics and of course, Colouring books!
That's our "Brick's Pick" for the day, more 70's internet love to surely follow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chewbacca Mall Appearance

Darth Vader appearance

Chris sent in the wicked shot of him and Chewbacca at the Albany Mall in GA. in the summer of 1980, cool Honda shirt Chris.

Wanna See More? Check out our Mall Appearance Gallery and the Marvel Comics: Live and In Person Gallery.

Got a mall appearance photo from the 70's/80's to Share? Drop me a line!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mattel's Heroes in Action

mattel heroes in action

After the Vietnam war, toy soldiers sure weren't such a hot item. G.I. Joe retired to beome an adventurer and the only soldier type toys were usually knock offs, many major companies shyed away from anything too military.

Mattel's Heroes in Action were an interesting throwback to the 60's, a 3 3/4" action figure line that was part toy soldier and all man! These muscular, aggressive looking brutes even made a "rat-a-tat-tat" sound to simulate machine gun fire. In 1976, Mattel added a new line, the S.W.A.T Team, sadly the trend never caught on and Heroes in Action were retired this year. I've heard the line enjoyed more popularity in Europe, where war toys were still in fashion.

Other Links of Interest:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fisher Price Adventure People Store Displays

fisher price adventure people

I'm currently working on the 1978 Fisher Price Catalog, it's large so it's taking a some time. One of the things I love about any old toy catalog are the occasional shot of a store display, they're usually pretty biased to one thing but they give a little look of what was. I thought I'd share these today and give a taste of what's to come.

Above is a display of individual Adventure Team figures, I don't think I ever got individual figures as a kid but I remember flicking through this rack to see all of the characters.

fisher price adventure people An entire display of Daredevil Sky Divers, a skydiver that really worked. I got one for Easter 1979, and bought one for my son last year.

fisher price adventure people The aisle of adventure, I don't think I ever saw a store this well stocked with Adventure People, I think I'd remember that.
More Fisher Price:


Update: Another article I wrote for Topless Robot is up today, it's called the Top Ten Most Needless Action Figures and it's a little bit of nonsense about generic add on action figures, hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ladies Sci Fi Wear Department

fembot jumpsuit

What selection, you can either don the Fembot jumpsuit or look like one of Captain Kirk's weekly love interest. Go for the Fembot ladies, Kirk will just use you....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Never Been Slimed

Mattel Slime

I'm currently working on the 1977 Mattel Catalog and came across the introduction blurb for Slime, which surprised me at how small the picture was. Slime was a pretty big deal, everyone I knew was aware of it and wanted it.

My parents relented on the purchase of said Slime, they most likely saw it as a waste of money that would end up on the rainbow coloured berber in my room or attached to the fuzzy wall paper that my mother was so fond of (most of the walls in my house had a beard like G.I. Joe)

Eventually I did obtain some knock off Slime out a Miracle Mart vending machine much to my parents chagrin, I think it ended up staining the inner pocket of my Leaf's Jacket.....

More Slime: 1980 Mattel Catalog

Monday, March 24, 2008

Said the Spider to the Fly

it puts the lotion in the basket

The unrestrained look of glee in this gentleman's face gives me the willies. Accepting a drink from this guy will lead to you waking up in a rumpus room full of taxidermy and a shrine to Penny Marshall, beware!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Colouring Book Theatre: Will Eisner's The Spirit

speed buggyColouring Book I got an early Easter present yesterday as Rob Kelly, creator of (and more blogs than humanly possible) offered to do a guest review. Me not doing any work is the best gift of all, take it away Rob!

Will Eisner never did anything the same as anyone else.

When I learned of the existence of an actual Spirit coloring book, published in 1974, (in research for my site, I was pretty surprised. After all, anyone old enough in the seventies to remember the Spirit probably was a tad past coloring book age, so I wondered who this book was aimed at. But who am I to question Will Eisner's business sense?

The book itself is treasury comic-sized, 10x14", and instead of a sequential story, it consists of fifteen classic Spirit splash pages, complete historical and story information for each of them.

Some of the splashes chosen for the book are unusual selections for a coloring book, like this one:

spirit colouring book

While others are a little more poster-ish and feature nice big figures to color:.

spirit colouring book

spirit colouring book

And some look like they'd be a huge coloring project to undertake:

spirit colouring book'd have to buy a second box of crayons before you could finish that one!

After an ad for other "Gleeful Guides by Will Eisner"(?) like Occult Cookery(??), Communicating with Plants, and Living with Astrology, the back cover features a nice big friendly shot of Denny Colt:

spirit colouring book

I'm not sure where these were sold--there's no price or UPC code, so I doubt they ever made it to any department or toy stores. They were at least sold via Warren Publication's Captain Company, who ran a small ad for it in their magazines at the time:

spirit colouring book

Will Eisner never believed comic books, as a medium, were meant to be just junk entertainment. And that belief found its way into every Spirit project, even a coloring book. You could give this book to a kid and it would challenge them, just like his work always did.

...I wonder if this will ever show up in DC's Spirit Archives series?

Got a colouring book you'd like to guest review? Drop me a line!

Check out the Rob Kelly Family of Blogs with his gateway blog The Aquaman Shrine.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Mall Appearances: Planet of the Apes meets Star Wars!

Planet of the apes store appearance for mego

A Mego fan sent in this rare shot of a Planet of the Apes store appearance in the mid seventies, note the Mego Apes Play sets and the Addar model kits in the foreground.

Darth Vader appearance

Erik sent in this great early 80's Vader appearance, I love that Iron On Empire shirt! Only as a kid was it cool to wear the shirt of the band you're going to see..

Wanna See More? Check out our Mall Appearance Gallery.

Got One to Share? Drop me a line!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Space Theme Retro Playground Equipment Part 2

space theme playground equipment

Our last piece on retro playground equipment was a big hit so I unearthered a few more robots, rocket ships and flying saucers made of "pipe n' concrete" for your enjoyment. Check out Retro Space Playgrounds Part 2.

space theme playground equipment

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Sonic Fazer

sonic fazer by Kusan

Kusan's Sonic Fazer is one of those toys that made no bones about it's inspiration. As the caped Han Solo look alike on the box would attest to, this is made with George Lucas in mind.

Kusan however made up for a lack of licensing by adding a lot of cool innovative features to the Sonic Fazer and advertising the living crap out of it. I seem to remember the commercial playing at least twice during "Battle of the Planets" which made me instantly want it, funny how that works...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Super Sheets

superfriends sheets

Sesame Street or the Superfriends? No contest for me as I had that Superfriends pillow case (and still do), I honestly remember those smiling heroes making me happy when that would show up in it's regular rotation amidst snoopy and the fonz.

You see these sets a great deal at Toy Shows (although I think it might be a Canada only thing) and now have the whole deal for my son's room now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Man Mates Strike Again!

Man Mates

In terms of fashion mockery, there is no bigger or more fun target than Man Mates. In case this is your first exposure, Man Mates are a brand of leisure wear that seemed silly and dated when they were new. Loud outrageous colours, wide lapels and many, many Ascots.

It's the stuff Mr.Furhley would later make famous and not that much later. No matter how much of this stuff I show, I just keep finding more. Rest assured, that the lady in the photo above is not laughing with these two lady killers.

More Man Mates:

Revenge of the Man Mates Planet of the Man Mates

Son the Man Mates Dawn of the Man Mates

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Coloring Book Theatre: Speed Buggy

speed buggyColouring Book Today's colouring book is Hanna Barbera's Speed Buggy, another winner from Saalfield, who actually make some decent books from what I've seen.

This is actually mine from back in the day, Speed Buggy for a time was my favourite cartoon, even though I haven't watched it since the mid seventies, so I'm not sure I still feel the same.

What I think is coolest about it this is the original Woolco price tag, I even knew where I got it and what my mom paid.

I still like old toys with original price tags although I can see why it bothers some.

speed buggy colouring book

It's a pretty standard story, Mark, Tinker and Debbie (I had to look those names up) are getting Speed Buggy ready for a big event. You'd think a talking and thinking car would be enough but no, we have him perform stunts.

speed buggy

Two evil scientists, who look like they stepped out of the first season of Superfriends want Speed's brains to be put into their robot.

speed buggy

This has no real signifigance other than this is the first recorded misspelling of my name to "Brain", most likely done by my sister. This incident now occurs about once a week involving everything from restaurant clerks to my own mother, I barely notice it now.

speed buggy colouring book

Anyway, the usual hijinx occur, robots chases good guys, good guys over come and villains die in a horrible bloody pile.

speed buggy

Another totally personal moment (hey, it is my blog) my rendition of the Speed Buggy crew, sadly I still draw people like this today.

Got a colouring book you'd like to guest review? Drop me a line!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Top Selling Toys for 1974

top selling toys for 1974

I love little things like this article about the hottest selling toys of 1974. As you can see Evel Knievel is getting killed by play-doh and Barbie! #8 is still my favourite, oh Crazy Foam, how I miss thee....

Friday, March 14, 2008

The 1980 Remco Catalog

1980 was a growing year for this offshoot of Azrak Hamway as they expanded their line of Super Hero action figures, reintroduced the Universal Monsters to 80's kids, while continuing to offer old favorites like Batman utility belts and KISS makeup. Check out the 1980 Remco Catalog here.

Remco Dracula Action Figure


Other Remco Catalog links:

1976 Remco Catalog

1979 Remco Catalog

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fall Into the Pit

conversation pit I kind of miss the whole "Conversation Pit" movement in the 70's, probably because I just realized that we had this set as a kid and now I want it back.

conversation pit Here it is. the living room I grew up in. Add a man asleep still in a suit, still cradling his first, unfinished Rum n' Coke and two kids sitting three inches from a tv so as not to wake him (at least not at 6am) and it's memory lane, baby.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You're a pistol, you're really funny. You're really funny.

Now go home and get your frickin' shinebox.

Scene from Mrs. Stolk's Senior Kindergarton class's production of Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas", which has been entertaining speechless audiences for the last two weeks at St. John's elementary school.

You know, it could happen, remember Bugsy Malone?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coming this Fall to ABC!

He's a street wise rookie cop while he's a retired private eye, it's action and laughter with Ten Speed and Metamucil, coming Fridays at nine on ABC!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shogun Warrior Memories

shogun warriors and godzilla

Although I never had them as a kid, the Shogun Warriors played a big part in my current dementia. My neighbor and then best pal Willie had Mazinga and I played with it every time I visited. Flash forward to 1983 when Willie was having a yard sale, I cruised by on my bmx and bought Mazinga for $2.

We were both 13 years of age so there was an awkward silence. This was basically the starting point for a career of scowering garage sales, flea markets and eventually ebay.

If you're reading this Willie, I still have your Mazinga! Although my daughter has him now and his current where abouts are unknown.....


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