Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This is one of the few examples of dressing alike where it hurts both parties equally. I love the tagline that states "Casual Styles too smart to just stay at home" Yes, indeed show the world your matching jumpsuits and space age flip flops.


If you're Canadian and grew up in the seventies, chances are Canadian content laws had you watch at least one episode of The Starlost before. the series was supposed to be Canada's answer to Star Trek but thanks to some US backing falling through, ended up looking like a poor cousin to Doctor Who.

Starlost follows the adventures of three young people who grew up on an Amish farm only to discover they are really on a floating space ark, whose crew has been wiped out by a "Radiation Virus" (science boo-boos like this caused creator Harlan Ellison to disown the whole show) and they must explore the other communities in the ark hoping to find someone that can steer tham away from a collision course with a sun.

All in all, the actual premise of the series is very good, it's also well acted, it's just the execution that suffers a little. The series is shot on video and much of the effects are chroma key based, the writers also seemed to have pacing problems, the exciting music breaks in at times seeming almost as if it's being ironic. With the Canadian series available, one wonders if CTV's "The Trouble with Tracy" (worst sitcom ever to many) may see DVD release.

Also available are the second season of Adam 12 and the complete series of George Peppard in Banacek.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Copter Envy

Although I never had Vertibird or any of the licensed Remco CSF Copters, I lived vicariously through the kids who did. Does anybody remember a version of this you could play in an arcade? It was in a big dome and you had to hunt a UFO, this was pre Space Invaders obviously. I sometimes worry that I imagined it...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plaidstallions 70's Halloween Countdown

For the month of October, I've accepted a challenge put out by Jon (from Random acts of Geekery) and other blogs and entered the Halloween Countdown. Which means, I'll be posting something Halloween related every day for the month of October. We'll be starting out a little slow, posting additions to my usual blogs such as cool costumes, retro flashbacks and the like but all new catalogs for the month of October will be Halloween or Monster related. During the last couple of weeks, it'll be all Halloween, all the time.

If you have a vintage Halloween pic, I still have lots of spaces, 31 at last check ;).

Look for lots of cool additions from Collegeville, Castle Films, Imagineering, Rapco, Azrak Hamway and Remco, it'll be spooooooky I promise you.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Christmas in the 70ʼs book project

Iʼm pleased to announce a new and fun project Iʼve become involved with that could really use input from any child/survivor of the seventies.

Christmas in the 70s book project
"Christmas in the '70s" is a planned photo-essay book about, yes,Christmas in the '70s, as told through the yellowed snapshots of Instamatics past. Christmas in the 70's will be a photo-essay book that aims to celebrate that very special time, great toys, questionable fashion and those very odd carpet-color choices. Your Co-authors are Joal Ryan (Former Child Star Central) and yours truly.

If you've got an old Christmas snapshot (circa the '70s) of your old self (circa the '70s), we'd love to see it. We'd love to hear aboutyour misty-water-colored memories, too.

Christmas in the 70s

Did your brother tear accidently tear open your stretch monster? Did you eat your sister's play-doh? (I did!) Did mom get you a Parker Stevenson doll when you really wanted Shaun Cassidy? We want to hear about it.

Check out the official blog and if you'd like to share a photo -- and a story -- of you in your Christmas-morn best (or worst), please email us at xmasinthe70s [at] yahoo.com.

Please donʼt contact me through here, Iʼm easily confused.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Great Hera! Look at those Box Cars!

The mid to late seventies saw what would become a regular event in our lifetime, an explosion on superhero merchandising. Some of it cool and logical like the Mego Superheros and some of it well, just plain strange. Take for example the 1977 Tyco Superhero boxcars, an odd marriage of Comic Books and the Rail Yard.

Tyco solely went with the DC characters for this venture and the used the seventies four pronged merchandising machine of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Shazam! Shazam faded from a lot of merchandise once his live action TV Series was cancelled. Poor Aquaman once again gets the shaft....

Also check out these links for more Super Heroic Merchandise from the same era!

Johnny West toysAzrak Hamway toys

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Memorable Birthday Cakes

There is no better day for me to pay tribute to my talented and festive mother and some of the cooler pop culture cakes she produced for me over the years. My mom made cakes for every occasion growing up, Halloween, St Patrick's Day, last day of school but birthdays, those were the coolest. Above is 1975's selection the previously shown, blue coconut Grover.

Here is 1978 and it's Captain America's shield, if you look closely you can see a Fisher Price Gonzo figure, I'm not sure why I wanted that but I did.
I am sure I had at least one Star Wars themed cake but I cannot find any evidence of it.
Finally, we has this G.I. Joe RAH cake from 1982, this may have been the exact moment I realized I was too old for action figures. I felt uncomfortable with this cake, even though it was really, really cool and i wish I still had those figures!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pick a Set From the Denim Patch

What was with the obsession with patches? I never really got that but I honestly remember thinking they looked cool.


Just in time for the election is this limited edition DVD of Politically themed School House Rock segements. Just hearing the words "Schoolhouse Rock" puts "conjunction junction" in my head for the rest of the day.

Anyway, while you do get classic stuff like "I'm just a bill" you are far better off picking up The 30th Anniversary Edition for like a buck more.

Other than that this week also sees a release of quintessential 70's gangster cinema with the Godfather Trilogy. If you haven't already picked these up, they may be of interest. How else would you be able to catch the 100 or so references to it a day on "Opie and Anthony"?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Playset Love

While the Marx Naverone set is cool and you can never go wrong with some plastic dinosaurs (especially in combination with the army men!) I think the big star for me here is the Martian landing playset.

Astronauts, vehicles and that Big wheel space station? That's all i need. I'm pretty sure you can still find these same astronauts in dollar stores.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Colouring Book Theatre: Big Jim

Biig Jim
Sharry brought me this welcome site this week, another wonderful piece of toy tie in merchandising from the era before toy based cartoons.

Big Jim was Mattel's response to parental outrage to war toys in the late sixties (which also made G.I. Joe an adventurer) here was a good natured sportsman who enjoyed things like camping, fishing and Kung Fu.

Big Jim was completely and totally safe and dammit, I loved him! Looking back, I don't really see the appeal but I can't deny that I was a fan.
As an adult, I collect the late series of Big Jim PACK characters, when Jim dumped Big Josh and Jeff in order to be a secret agent, you'll find that colouring book here. I have little nostalgia for "sports Jim" despite that happy 3 year old inside me.

Big Jim

The theme of this book centers around the Jungle Truck toy that had Jim rescue a lost baby rhino. I never had it but like all Big Jim pieces, I would circle them in the Eaton's catalog in hopes of receiving every Big Jim toy ever made at Christmas.

Big Jim

Seeing as this (exciting) panel focuses on Big Josh, let's address him shall we. First, it needs to be said that Josh is just a Big Jim with a beard. Are they brothers? It never gets addressed. Let's also say that the denim "short-shorts" and denim vest combination hasn't kept the mystique that it once did.

Big Jim

Here's talking Big Jim, it's amazing how far technology has come in my life time. Jim got severe back problems so he could say five things. These things are built to last however, I still have mine and he still speaks loud and clear.
Big Jim

Big Jeff sees something!

Big Jim

The lost baby rhino, I occasionally see this guy at flea markets, it's a nice figure.

Big Jim

Let's just assume that all went well with the Rhino and move on to this gripping scene. Josh and Jeff clean the swamp boat! You have to wonder if the people at Whitman were somewhat amused when including images such as this. That Swampboat was a big disappointment for me, I raced and put it in the pool, only to have it sink to the bottom!

Big Jim

Big Jim and Josh have one of those toy dogs that celebrities love to tote around, Mattel really missed the boat when it came to this merchandising bonanza.

Ahh, more innocent times......

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Even More Vintage Toy Store Pictures

I'm always happy when I have enough of these images to fill another page. In our sixth installment we visit several toy stores on Halloween (kind of fitting). See a store visit by a giant MonChichi in 1983 and check out the many images from the video game explosion of the early eighties chockfull of Atari and INtellivision consoles and enough electronic games that your head will explode.

gallery of 70s toy store pictures
When you're done strolling through the new update, please check out our five previous Toy Store Galleries for more strolls down memory lane. Everything from pictures of long gone department store fronts to toy aisles brimming with star wars, G.I. Joe, Tonka Trucks and Mego Superheroes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Underwear that's Fun to Wear

I wouldn't be a good seventies orientated blogger if I didn't address Underoos every so often. I think I saw my first commercial for these probably during the Superfriends and like a lot of kids, demanded them on the next shopping trip. Of course, they were no where to be found in my area. At least my kids have them now.
This ad features my favourite 70s Marvel Character Spider-Woman, I really wish Mego had made a figure of her....

Previous Underoo Blog Post

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


While I never had the figures (which are made by LJN and not Mego), I have fond memories of running around my neighbours backyard, M16 in hand, going "Duna-na-nuh-na-nuh-na-nuh-Duna-na-nuh-nuh" for what seemed like hours. Now I have the theme song stuck in my brain again, great.

Megolike.com: My Pal Lou has a great page based on the various action figures produced by LJN, including SWAT, The Rookies and Emergency! Well worth a look if you were a fan back in the day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back to Basics

They say fashion is cyclical, how come I still can't own a fine jacket such as these without it smelling like Value Village?

DVD Day: In terms of 70's stuff, there isn't a heck of a lot to mention this week but if you were a teen in the eighties then the High School Flashback Collection which consists of three of John Hughes classics Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and The Breakfast Club is up your alley. I am most fond of Weird Science and can still act it out from memory. I am available for birthday parties and barmitzvahs, thank you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shirt Interventions

"Jim, Moe and I would like to talk to you about the shirt, seriously, you look like a motel room bedspread"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saalfield's Colouring Books for 1975!

I'm working this weekend (Boooo!) so I can't do CBT, what I can do is show this cool article from the toy industry for Saalfield who had some killer licenses in 1975. I've already reviewed the Speed Buggy book here. For some reason, I'd love to get my hands on the Korg and Valley of the Dinosaurs books, I watched those shows pretty religiously back in the day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Carlin meets the Hulk

Carlin Trammel (of the great blog Nerd Lunch ) sent in this early 80's Hulk appearance in
Charleston, SC for the
Super Heroes Mall Appearance Gallery . He kind of looks scared....

Friday, September 12, 2008

1978 Child Guidance Sesame Street Catalog

Wrapping up Sesame Street week the only way I know how, with another catalog.

Child Guidance was one of the bigger producers of Sesame Street Merchandising in the 1970's, at this point they were a division of Gabriel (makers of the cool Lone Ranger line of toys) but eventually would become part of the Azrak Hamway Family of companies.

While the company made a variety of cool items based on the coolest fictional street in history but the thing we most remember is their puppets both full size and finger.

Check out a completely Elmo free universe with the 1978 Child Guidance Catalog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rainy Day on the Street

True Story, my mother bought me this rain coat, although it was blue. I was eight and the one time I wore it home I kept thinking "My mom is having problems with me getting older". I'm lucky none of my buddies who were busy with grown up things such as KISS records saw me.

This 1973 ad touting Sesame Street as a license to toy makers really amuses me. Ernie used to be cool but now he's just some sort of corporate shill, "If you'll just look at these Projections Bert...."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sesame Street Playsets

I'm sure most people recognize the Sesame Street Clubhouse from Fisher Price but I've never seen the cardboard playset before. It makes Sesame Street look more like Mayberry than the urban setting it was, what's with all the grass and trees?

talking count from sesame street

I still my own talking Ernie (he's not as minty as the one featured here) but I've never seen a talking count before, he must be tough as nails to find.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Plaid Sesame

A match made in heaven...

I am so digging that orange Ernie sweater, it never ends with Sesame Street clothing.

Today's sole DVD release that I feel like blabbing about is this Rodan/War of the Gargantuas double feature. Both of these movies were part of "Monster Week" growing up and are somewhat responsible for my slide into geekery.
Gargantuas was particularly memorable for me; it's actually a sequel to "Frankenstein Conquers the World" (which I just had to go buy) and stars Russ Tamblyn from Satan's Sadists (another favourite).

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sesame Street Week On PlaidStallions

I've been meaning to get to this for a long time now but the discovery of this photo of my fifth birthday cake (which was coconut died blue BTW) provided me some motivation. Like many of us, I was Sesame street obsessed as a kid, even my dog's name was Grover.

Christmas 1975 provided me with the one of the best playsets of all time, I not only still have it but I'm within five feet of it now.

Which leads us to today's cool Sesame Street entry, I saw this far too often but I'd wear this now....

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Colouring Book Theatre: Diff'rent Strokes

fantastic four
Leave it to Sharry to provide us with what is perhaps the most culturally signifigant colouring book ever produced.

Based on the landmark sitcom of whose quality has never been surpassed, Diff'rent Strokes follows the gripping adventures of Willis and Arnold Jackson and their adopted family, the blandest people alive, the Drummonds.

The art in this book is competant but like a lot of these things, it's pretty obvious the artist is just copying promotional stills and lazily drawing in the rest. Here is the jaw dropping Oeuvre that is "Detective Arnold".

diffrent strokes

This book loses immediate points for the exclusion of Pearl, the third and IMO greatest of Drummond housekeepers. Please don't even try to debate the superiority of Adelaide with me, I've entered into hundreds of flame wars on the many Diff'rent Strokes message boards.

diffrent strokes

I'm going to sidestep any commentary on Dana Plato falling down the stairs.

fantastic four

Kimbery goes to ice her butt while Arnold and Willis appear to be laughing at her. Which is what your brothers would do in, trust me I'm a little brother myself.

fantastic four

After Kimberly's diamond bracelet goes missing, Arnold goes into detective mode complete with Sherlock Holmes hat and a handy pipe he found under his brother's bed ! (geez, I'm sorry about that) It's interesting that Coleman himself would later get into law enforcement in real life.

Ok, mall security isn't law enforcement, nor should have i put that fact under the umbrella of "interesting".

fantastic four

The Drummond compound is clearly a death trap.

fantastic four

So the thief is a plant? I don't follow.

fantastic four

Hooray! Little rich girl gets her diamonds back, I was so worried. The bodies look really weird and out of proportion here, try not to stare at it too long.

Bless you for this, Sharry.

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