Tag Archives: 1980s toys

Dino Riders

Dino-Riders was a VHS and TV series animated show that ran between 1987 and 1988 with an additional special feature in 1990. The storyline concentrated on the war between the time-travelling Valorian and Rulon factions, and their relationship with and employment of prehistoric dinosaurs as weapons/vehicles.

A toyline was created in the US by Tyco featuring both the humanoid and dinosaur characters. The dinosaurs were so highly regarded for their detailed sculpts and colour that the famous Smithsonian Institution approached Tyco to reproduce adapted versions for their “Dinosaur and other Prehistoric Reptile Collection”. The following two adverts are from France and Italy.

France. Cora catalogue. 1988.

Italy. 1990.


FAO Schwarz – The Unique Toy Store

FAO Schwarz was established in 1862 and was one of the oldest store toy stores in the world. With a spirit similar to that of the UK’s Hamleys FAO Schwarz (FAO = Frederick August Otto) offered children and parents a choice of high quality and long-lasting toys, games, hobbies, books and crafts. By 1980 the company had evolved from their flagship 5th Avenue, New York store to twenty-eight stores across the US.

Below are scans taken from the Fall-Winter 1980-81 catalogue.

FAO Schwarz website and history

Zoids – motorised monster machines by Tomy

The motorised monster machines Zoids. You only have to assemble them to discover a fantastic and surprising world created by Tomy. France. Tomy mini-catalogue. 1983.

Presenting another new toy entry at TVTA.

Zoids are fictional mechanical lifeforms formed around a techno-organic ‘core’ which serves as its heart and mind. The Core is considered to be ‘alive’, making the Zoid a living creature – often some kind of animal, dinosaur or fantastic beast. The Zoids franchise includes multiple model lines since 1982, five anime series, multiple video game series, and additional supporting material. Text adapted with thanks from Zoids Wiki

Below are the scans from a tiny French Tomy catalogue I picked up showing the 1983 model range.

Click to enhance images.

Who are the Zoids? On a planet far away, millions of light years, the fantastic monster Zoids revel in titanic combat. Zoids are powerful and mobile and equipped with a super motor.

Catalogue image from Super Jouet, France, 1985.

Zoids PifGadget 870_1985. Catalogue_Super Jouet post


Calling all Rubikubistes

Rubik’s Cube was a 1980s worldwide puzzle-game phenomenon. The advert below is a promotional offer from le Cercle Française du Cube to send off for Cube goodies which included a tee-shirt, book, badge, sticker, and another of Rubik’s mind-challenging puzzles – the Tower of Babel (Babylone Tower).

Rubik’s Cube Goodies. France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

And in other vintage French news … another 1980s toy phenomenon …

Les Patoufs – Cabbage Patch Kids

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

Barbie – Camping Van

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

Group Action Joe

Group Action Joe. France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

ET Vinyl Doll by Kamar

France. Pif Gadget. 1982.

Mon Petit Poney – My Little Pony

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

Figurine Panini Stickers – Candy Candy

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

TCR – Total Control Racing

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

Carrera Servo Racing

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

Atlantic Toy Soldiers

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

France. Pif Gadget. 1982.

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

Thanks for looking 🙂


MOTU 1983 View-Master Gift Set

The latest addition to TVTA’s toy room is this superb 1983 View-Master MOTU gift set.

I must have been about nine the first time I looked through a View-Master – Planet of the Apes and Disney images are what I remember seeing, all in wonderful 3-D colour. It was like staring through two keyholes that promised magical lands, heroes and creatures… a whole new dimension to the wide-open eyes of the nine-year old me. If kaleidoscopes were the Stickle Bricks of the optical toy world, then View-Master was the Lego 🙂

So, onto the MOTU gift set, and fabulous secret powers were revealed to TVTA when we attempted to photograph a few sample images of He-Man and his pals direct from the View-Master. No easy task. Here are our (2D) results …

Onto the box, which hasn’t fared too badly over the years, and some attractive artwork along with a very pleasing overall design …


Reverse – note the cut-out window through which light could enter, enabling you to view the images of a reel before purchasing the gift set.



And finally, a French ad featuring the gift set …

France. Pif Gadget. 1984.

Thank you for inserting “up for viewer” with us 🙂 Please check out our main View-Master page which has tons of stereoscopic delights for your eyes!

Die-cast elegance from Eligor

Presenting catalogue scans from the French model car manufacturer Eligor.

In the 1970s Eligor specialised in small 1:43 scale models of past and present vehicles found in Europe, Britain and America. The range was produced with the more adult collector in mind, and noteworthy is the dedication to working vehicles featuring the liveries of many well known brands.


Out demon, out!

In occult circles, the name Eligor belongs to a powerful demon, so why the company chose this as their name is anyone’s guess. The catalogue I acquired is elegantly presented with a gold and black cover depicting the Eligor ‘Pac-man’ style logo with an extended hand holding out a toy car.


The pages found inside are packed with beautiful drawings from the artists employed as product illustrators, with only a handful of vehicles represented by actual photos. The artists not only had to capture the look of the vehicle but had to replicate a multitude of brand logos.

Below are the page scans. How many company brands can you recognise?


Limos, taxis, fire engines, police cars, sports cars and more!

There is no date printed inside the catalogue. Based on online images I found of some of the featured models in their packaging, I estimate the catalogue was published in 1982.

sources and sites:



Thankyou for die-cast driving with us 🙂