Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sea Devils 71

Mattel Sea Devils

The Mattel Sea Devils made so few catalog appearances in their all too brief run in the early 1970s that it's important to point them out. I never had a Sea Devil growing up as I wasn't two by the time the line was cancelled, I would have been ALL OVER this line though.

My fascination with scuba diving was slightly obsessional during the early 1970s....

More Sea Devils:

big jim pack comic

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We are not alone

imperial toys close encounters bendy

These rubber bendy figures by Imperial are some of the few bits of merchandise that Close Encounters recieved and they certainly served a purpose to me as a kid.

Mostly because I was incredibly curious as to how the aliens looked in the film.

I'm not sure they were big sellers however, I seem to recall these hung on shelves at my local "Dominion Playworld" until it closed it's doors in 1983.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just made for boys

Right now, girls of all ages are running into the streets hugging and high fiving each other.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nerd Therapy Sessions: Aurora Barfealis

This tale takes me to 1976  and it’s a tale of Superheroes, long boring car rides and toy loss.
More after the jump, warning to the first three rows, you will get wet...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rack Toys: the book (the web page)

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 detailed explaination of what the book is about
  • A basic outline of it's content
  • Teases as to it's look and design
The one thing I'd like to stress here is while this site is firmly entranched in the 1970s, Rack Toys will cover a number of decades and genres. Oh, there will be some Hasselhoff in this puppy....

Oh and lastly (wait for it)... the page details ways you can get involved!

In an effort to make sure this book is absolutely, jam packed as possible with dime store goodness, I am calling on you, my loyal audience for the following items:

1) Photos of your rack toys, from the average to the bizarre. Don't for a second think "He won't want a photo of this tea set from "Small Wonder"!" because you're wrong, that would make my day.

2) Any scans of advertisement or catalogs from Rack Toy manufacturers from the last 40 years.

3) If you know any former employees of the many companies I have listed on the page (like AHI or Imperial) and get me in touch, I would be in your debt.

More book teases and information are on the new Rack Toys Book Page.

Rack Toys is set to be released September 2012, for the love of Mike, please tell your friends.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Raggedy Camping

It's a little known fact that raggedy Anne and Andy were avid outdoor enthuiasts, that is until a pack of wolves literally took the stuffing out of Andy...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Laverne and Shirley

Another winner from Harmony, a company that is rapidly becoming my favourite Rack Toy manufacturer of all time.

This little bit of Laverne and Shirley merchandise is actually not that bad, certainly not as mind boggling as the last item we showcased from Harmony.

This one is merely some lazy repackaging of "Pearl" (in case you thought that $0.79 got you real ones) rings that likely sold moderately well, seeing as the show was huge.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good grief...

If you told me that Charles M Shulz drove a gold plated rocket car to work everyday, I'd be inclined to believe you. Snoopy seemed to be to the 1970s that Garfield was to the 1980s.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nerd Therapy Session: The tale of the Ghostly Tiger

This week's NTS is our first guest submission, which is fantastic because I could use a breather from baring my nerdy soul. Thomas shares an awesome tale of Halloween humiliation, something near and dear to my heart.

Thomas is a Buffalo area kid, seeing as I grew up in Southern Ontario and force fed nothing but WKBW and Buffalo 29 TV as a kid, I feel like a kindred spirit.

If you have a Nerdy confession you'd like to share drop me a line.

The tale of ghost tigers is after the jump, enjoy.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mini Monsters Mystery Solved

Tomland Monsters

For years, these PVC figures I dubbed "The Mini Monsters" by Tomland, had been the source of intrigue to collectors. They'd ask questions like

What does the packaging look like?

How many in the series?

These would all be answered in one fell swoop when a salesman sample appeared on ebay, I was not the lucky winner but fortunately for us, I knew him and he's the sharing type. More after the jump.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

JAKKS Pacific's brings back the Big Wheel!

MALIBU, Calif., Feb. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kids Only!®, a division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK), has signed a license agreement with Alpha International, Inc., to manufacture, market and distribute The Original Big Wheel Ride-On toys.

Kids Only!(R), a division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAKK), will bring back the iconic Original Big Wheel Ride-On toys at major retailers nationwide this summer.

Kids Only's new line of Big Wheel® Ride-Ons is expected to include the 9" My First Big Wheel, the 11" Big Wheel Sidewalk Screamer and the 16" Big Wheel Spin Out Racer. Each boys and girls Big Wheel Ride-On will capture the iconic look and feel of The Original Big Wheel.

"With millions of Original Big Wheel toys sold over the past 40 years, the 'King of the Sidewalk' has been a favorite with families for generations. We are excited to build on this classic brand and introduce this iconic toy to a new generation of young children," said Ron Cohen, President of Kids Only. "We are also excited to announce that our Big Wheel toys will be manufactured in the U.S.A., which will create hundreds of new jobs and give each Big Wheel a 'Made in America' stamp of approval."

Kids Only's new line of Original Big Wheel Ride-Ons are expected to launch at all major retailers this fall.

About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products with a wide range of products that feature popular brands and children's toy licenses. JAKKS' diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, Halloween Costumes, Kids Furniture, Vehicles, Plush, Art Activity Kits, Seasonal Products, Infant/Pre-School, Construction Toys, Ride-On Vehicles, Wagons, Inflatable Environments and Tents, and Pet Toys sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Funnoodle®, JAKKS Pets™, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Kids Only!™, Tollytots®, Disguise® and Moose Mountain®. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Hello Kitty®, Graco®, Cabbage Patch Kids® and Pok√©mon®.

The Party Kings

the party kings
They are the masters of the other kind of "live streaming event"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Being bionic

denys fisher cyborg

Cowboy and army man are nice but being Steve Austin is the bomb. This set likely comes from Berwick, a UK company that specialised in role play items for kids and made fun stuff like a Tom Baker Doctor Who and Captain Britain costumes for kids.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Denys Fisher Cyborg

denys fisher cyborg

Not enough props can go out to what I think is the UK's better kept secrets, originally a Japanese line called "Henshin Cyborg", the clever monkeys at Denys Fisher took it, made it smaller and added a keen back story.

I didn't grow up in the UK, had no inkling it existed when I was 7 but when I look at this stuff I swear I feel nostalgia, it's that cool.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nerd Therapy Session: Full Frontal

Warning: this one may or may not contain nudity.It’s still the summer of 1977, I am six years old and having a pretty great time despite the “No TV” clause mandated by my parents.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trading Card #38: Venus Space Probe

Plaid Stallions Trading Card #38 is dedicated to the Venus Space Probe toy by Kenner.

As indicated by this piece last week, I have something of a history with this particular episode of the series and combine that with the fact that this toy makes me weak in knees when I see it and you have a no brainer.

As much as I like it, I doubt I will ever own one. It always goes for more than I am willing to pay and it's huge, space is a premium in my secret bunker...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Turtleneck and martini not included

Spy Kits

Spy kits like this (check out the international currency, that's attention to detail!) seem to be a forgotten art. As a kid, I had one that included a t pack of cigarettes that fired bullets, I don't even know where to begin on that one.

This one is pretty amazing with it's gun with silencer and real working camera,  you were Matt Helm Jr.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Shogun Warrior PJs

Shogun Warrior pajamas

OMG, these things are so super cool. I miss the days of toy lines with absolutely no back story.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Great flaming arrows!

I picked this set up during the summer and was surprised to discover it's not the legendary HG Toys Archery set but a knock off of some sort. which surprises me. I barely knew who GA was as a kid, so it amazes me that toy manufacturers did.

That one appearance on the Superfriends got him places, Mego not only made a figure but gave him some wheels too. The 70s were definitely good to Ollie.

Monday, February 06, 2012

New Site: Collecting

I'm elated to finally announce the launch of , a new website that describes itself as the following:

"’s mission is the celebration of candy packaging, candy marketing, and the people behind it all.

Visitors should expect the site to be composed of short daily blog entries, while regularly offering in-depth looks into specific brands and categories through longer features. Expect to see images of packaging and learn details of candy history you won’t find anywhere else.

When possible, also hopes to shine an entertaining and positive light on the unknown stories and colorful personalities behind some of candy’s well-known brands and forgotten favorites."

I'm excited about this site mostly because it made me realize a) how much candy factored into my childhood and b)how much i had forgotten. Be sure to check out the opening essay on Big League Chew.

The site's creator Jason Liebig would be better known to a lot of PS readers as one of the brains behind wishbookweb.comI'm looking forward to losing hours of productivity as get reaquainted with some old friends...

So welcome to teh interwebs collecting candy, we're better off for knowing you!

Frosty : 1976

I think professor Hinkle will let him keep the hat in this version.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Nerd Therapy Sessions: Peeping Toms

This one takes place in the summer of 1977, which I only remember as being a happy one. My universe at the time was a fairly quiet street in the suburbs of Toronto. It was a pretty unassuming day until my best friend Neil broke some pretty big news to me, tonight on Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin is fighting the Death Probe!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Mattel's The Archies

Click the link to see a larger picture

After Marx introduced a series of Archie Action figures in 1975, Mattel took a kick at it in 1978 with these been bag versions that used the same construction as their then popular 'Honey Hill Bunch" line of toys.

I have to say that the Mattel sculpts are much nicer than the Marx ones which looked a little creepy.

Betty, stalwart of the line was actually dropped in favour of Sabrina the teenaged witch who did have a popular series in the 70s.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Caftan Fever

This page should include the tagline "..but for the love of God, stay indoors. Seriously, if you show up to pick up your kid at School in this, you are their prom date"


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