Launched by Ideal in 1969 as the toy that is “safe for little hands”, Power Mite gave kids the chance to create their own workshops with sets of miniature power tools. The die cast metal and plastic made tools were plugged into battery-operated ‘electrical’ terminals, and were powerful enough to work through soft materials like balsa wood and styrofoam blocks, which Ideal supplied as ‘building materials’ with the range.
The following Ideal catalogue pages from 1972 are clearly pitched at boys, with descriptions such as: “Bring a man-sized thrill to a kid-sized worker”, and “Boys can play ‘craftsman’ with tools that look exactly like Dad’s”.
"The teeth of the sea against the fingers of the hand"
We were looking for something a bit special to mark the 400th advert published here on TVTA, so the office staff and Wooof wasted no time in searching our extensive archives (suitcases, empty cereal boxes, back of the sofa, pressed between pages of random 1980s annuals)… when suddenly Wooof came across this …
Version N°1. Pif Gadget. 1981. France.
This is the French version of the Game of Jaws game originally released by Ideal in 1975 and known in France as Les Dents de La Mer (the teeth of the sea).
Here is a variation of the same advert:
Version N°2. Pif Gadget. 1981. France.
Based on the Spielberg blockbuster Jaws this was a game for between 2 and 4 players and required each player to take turns fishing out items from the mouth of the shark with a hook – before the jaws snapped shut! The items ranged from nautical things like anchors and fish bones to more grisly bits and pieces like human bones and a severed hand!
I’d love to have a go at this game. I imagine it to be similar to other nerve-jangling classics like Buckaroo and Operation.