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. The US version was moulded in grey plastic while the European version was white. A companion unit was sold separately – the Big Trak Transporter – a trailer which could be attached to the rear that carried and dumped loads in response to Big Trak’s pre-programmed commands. Big Trak was relaunched in 2010 by Zeon Ltd who produced replicas of the original.
Hamleys toy shop based in Regent Street, London, England, was founded in 1760 by William Hamley. It is the biggest and oldest toy shop in the world, and prides itself on selling not only traditional toys but newer toys that enter the market. Hamleys Book of Toys, Sports and Games, Christmas 1983 states
“Whilst traditional toys and dolls are as popular as ever, a vast revolution has nevertheless taken place in toyland. Electronic games and home computers have captured the imagination of children and their parents throughout the world.”
The Hamleys book goes on to announce the creation of a vast 4,000 sq. ft electronic games complex called ‘A Step Ahead’ with trained technology advisors on hand to guide customers through what surely must have been described back then as ‘video game heaven’.
Hamleys also announce another new department ‘Small World’ featuring international dolls furniture and miniatures, as well as extra space given over for their ground floor Star Wars department.
The 123 page Hamleys Christmas book is wonderfully presented with photographs and descriptive text, giving us a sense of not just what the toys looked like back in 1983 but what they did too, Enjoy the scans!
Hamleys “A Step Ahead” Electronic Games Complex
That’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed the scans. Thanks for looking 🙂
Further reading: A history of Hamleys by Hamleys