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......

Colouring Book Theatre Archive

Colouring Book Theatre Archive

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John Rozum said...

When I see that image of talking Big Jim with that clunky pull string red backpack, all I can think is "Looks bad. Be careful," which is the phrase that mine said nine times out of ten string pulls. Initially it was disappointing, but then I discovered it could be hysterical by having his pals ask him random things and have him rerspond to all of them with "Looks bad. Be careful." Of course, eventually it just became annoying.

i don't even remember what the other phrases were, but I can hear that "Looks bad. Be careful," precisely still, 40 years later.

Keith said...

I never knew about Big Jim. He sounds cool though. He reminds me of a lot of guys I knew growing up. Not necessarily the Kung Fu part. I do have an uncle who was in the Navy back during WW2 and Korean War. He knows martial artists. Big Jim definitely represents guys like him.

Anonymous said...

I had one of those as a kid. The last phrase left on mine was "I'm going in for a look!" so that's all I remember. Just found two more on a forum:
which are:
"Send a rescue truck!"
"Stand by for instructions."
There must be a couple more at least.

Anonymous said...

talking big jim's sayings were:

call a rescue truck
looks bad be careful
I'm going in for a look
set up your equipment
report your position
stand by for instructions
situation under control
hurry I need help


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