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.
Five new retro ads: Task Force and Cannon Ball toy soldiers, Revell Snap-together models, Monogram model trucks, E.T. digital Zeon quartz watches and Pete Rose Batting Practice.
From the US, UK and France, six paperworks made in the eighties.
It’s a mixed bunch of ads today from the 1970s to the 1990s spanning the US, UK, Brazil and Italy.
In the 1970s Tomy manufactured a range of puzzle games contained within a plastic see-through tank filled with water. The object was to complete challenges against the physical behaviours of water. I remember the ones we had as being difficult to play but very satisfying once completed. Titles included Triangles, Ring Toss, Starball, Soccer, Basketball and even well-known games adapted especially such as Hungry Hippos and Pac-Man.
The 1979 French advert below shows four examples of the ‘Faszination’ range which were licensed by Tomy in many parts of Europe.
This football game released by the Meccano company during the late 1970s in France required you to take control of an Adidas-clad toy footballer who tried to scored goals against your opponent who operated a (less-than-impressive) goalkeeper.
Our goal-scoring hero – with his Errol Flynn / Clark Gable-esque pencil moustache – certainly makes for a stylish presence on the penalty spot. His flocked hair makes you think immediately of Action Man / G.I. Joe, as well as his football strip done out in full Adidas style. Alternative coloured jerseys were available made in the colours of French teams. There’s no way this goal scorer can fail to rock!
The same cannot be said for the poor goalkeeper who has to make do being a cardboard cutout. He does get a funky moustache though.
Badaboum was a family educational game requiring skill and balance. Released by the Capieta toy company in France, this 1979 advert offered the chance to win a day at the circus.
Toy Soldiers (or Army Men) typically measured around 5 cm (2 inches) in height and were usually moulded in green, brown or grey solid plastic. Popular figure sets were based on modern military soldiers and came in various combat and strategy poses along with vehicles and accessories (often of a smaller scale to the soldiers) which were sometimes bundled into sets. As well as the modern military sets, other sets available on the market were cowboys and Indians, medieval knights and space figures.
The footlocker versions as seen above were probably only available via mail order. At the cheap end of the spectrum these soldiers were often sold in stores in clear bags with an illustrated cardboard header. Companies such as Louis Marx, MPC and Airfix offered a more expensive range that covered many more armies from around the world.
Below are more ads from the same Lucky Products stable, plus some from other companies offering similar toy soldier sets.
The latest haul of vintage comics to arrive at TVTA towers consisited of no less than 54 issues of Pif Gadget all dating from the late 70s! That’s enough vintage comics to wallpaper the great wall of China ten times over and big enough to see from Mars!!
Wooof and I have already started the long task of scanning some of the great ads found so far. Featured in this post are just a few from the haul – including big brand names such as Matchbox, Corgi, Britains and Solido. Also included are two English language ads found in the archives featuring BMX team Columbia and a really cool Monogram RC! Enjoy.