Tag Archives: 1970s toys

BIG TRAK

BIG TRAK (US) or Bigtrak (Europe) was a computerised toy vehicle created by Milton Bradley in 1979. This six-wheeled tank-like monster came with attractive decals, a front-mounted blue photon beam headlamp, and an integrated programmable keypad that remembered up to 16 commands which it then executed in sequence.

ZEROIDS – workers of the future

“From the planet Zero come the incredible workers of the future – grabbing, pinching, clawing, carrying, attracting, throwing, pushing, pulling and hauling. From turret to track they are realistically simulated in awesome detail.”

I love how in 1972 the Ideal toy company was using the word “awesome” to describe one of its products – awesome being a word heavily in use today to describe… well… awesome things. Things like toy robots. Things like Zeroids!

Zeroids was a line of battery-operated motorised robots able to propel themselves across surfaces. They appeared on toy shelves in 1967 and underwent a rebrand in the late 70s and more recently in 2016 by the Toyfinity company. The original robot characters in the line are Zobor the Bronze Transporter, Zintar the Silver Explorer, and Zerak the Blue Destroyer.

UK. Ideal catalogue page. 1972.

Revell: toy-making since 1945

The Revell and Monogram brands were born back in 1945, both on different paths: Revell started out with plastic toys (one of their first was a Toy Washing Machine), while Monogram was making model kits (originally from balsa wood). Over the years that followed Revell and Monogram – once fierce competitors – joined together as one company and to date continue to enjoy that partnership.

Adapted from the official site: revell.com

Check out TVTA’s entry on Monogram too! Monogram


US. Weird War Tals. 1974.

US. Weird War Tals. 1974.


US. Justice League America. 1984.


US. Superman 296. 1976.

US. Superman 296. 1976


UK. Victor. 1973.

UK. Victor. 1973.


France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.


France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.


US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

Planes, trains and automobiles

Ding, ding. Tickets please. A selection of vehicular retro toy ads is today’s destination. Buckle up, enjoy the ride, and thank you for travelling with TVTA.


UK. Mighty World of Marvel. 1976.


UK. Mighty World of Marvel. 1977.


Denmark. 1985. Image courtesy of Jaltesorensen


France. Pif Gadget. 1983.


UK. HORNBY BOOK OF TRAINS auction lot. 1925-1940.


UK. Hamleys catalogue. 1983.


France. Pif Gadget. 1979.


US. The Unexpected. 1972.


US. Time. 1980.


France. Pif Gadget. 1981.


UK. Hamleys Catalogue. 1983.


UK. Hamleys Catalogue. 1983.


Denmark. 1976. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.


France. Pif Gadget. 1983.


Denmark. 1976. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.


Denmark. 1976. Image supplied by Jaltesorensen.


France. Trampline Catalogue. 1980.


UK. Hamleys Catalogue. 1983.


UK. Hamleys Catalogue. 1983.


Greece. Mister P catalogue.

Shaker Maker

Shaker Maker is a toy for creating your own figures. The steps are simple and quick:  mix their special Magic Mix powder with ordinary water into the provided Shaker, then pour into the two-piece moulds. Your character can be removed after about five minutes and will have already started to set. Once fully hardened after a few days, the character can be painted.

The original toy was licensed by the Ideal company. The earliest advertising I’ve found so far is 1972. As well as Ideal’s People, Animals, and Birds, other sets included Disney, Batman, Superheroes, Buck Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and the Flintstones.

UK. Ideal Toy Catalogue. 1972.


UK. Ideal Toy Catalogue. 1972.


Shaker Magique – France.

France. PIf Gadget. 1979.


 

MOUSETRAP… turn the crank and snap the plank

Mousetrap is a board game from the Ideal toy company that was produced in 1963. It’s gameplay can be perhaps best summed up by one if its advertisement jingles from the 1990s:

“Just turn the crank, and snap the plank, and boot the marble right down the chute, now watch it roll and hit the pole, and knock the ball in the rub-a-dub tub, which hits the man into the pan. The trap is set, here comes the net! Mouse trap, I guarantee, it’s the craziest trap you’ll ever see.”

The pic below shows a 1972 Ideal catalogue page.

UK. Ideal Catalogue page. 1972.


1980 advert showing the French version of the game known as Traque-Souris.

Pif 608 1980 Mouse Trap Traque Souris Idealwm

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.