Tag Archives: retro toy adverts

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. 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. 

US. FAO Schwarz catalogue 1980/1981

Toy soldiers, model kits, baseball, and a cool E.T. watch

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.


US. Creepy Things. 1975.

US. Creepy Things. 1975.


US. Ghostly Haunts. 1976.

US. Ghostly Haunts. 1976.


US. Doctor Who. 1981.

US. Doctor Who. 1981.


UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.


US. Star Wars. 1979.

US. Star Wars. 1979.


Toy Soldiers, RPGs, Tron, Petra Dolls and Delta Flyer

From the US, UK and France, six paperworks made in the eighties.


US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981.

US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981.


US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981.

US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981.


UK. Eagle. 1984.

UK. Eagle. 1984.


UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.


France. Pif Gadget. 1988.

France. Pif Gadget. 1988.


France. Pif Gadget. 1988.

France. Pif Gadget. 1988.


 

New ads: X-Men, SGT Rock, Kenner, Bburago, Ponte Car, Bill and Ted, PS2 and Victor

It’s a mixed bunch of ads today from the 1970s to the 1990s spanning the US, UK, Brazil and Italy.


US. Dark Hawk. 1991.

US. Dark Hawk. 1991.


US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.


TTP Turbo Tower of Power. 1974. US.


Italy. Topolino. 1979.

Italy. Topolino. 1979.


Brazil. Peninha. 1987.

Brazil. Peninha. 1987.


US. Dark Hawk. 1991.

US. Dark Hawk. 1991.


US. Crimson Dawn. 1997.

US. Crimson Dawn. 1997.


UK. Victor. 1975.

UK. Victor. 1975.


 

Wonderful Waterfuls Water Games

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.

jeux-d-o-pg-521-1979-post

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

Shoot… 1970s football goal-scoring action with added facial hair!

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.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

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!

A flock (hair) of seagulls (Cantona).

A flock (hair) of seagulls (Cantona).

 

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.

 

Cardboard cutout goalie ready to move left or right in dramatic penelty-saving cup action!

Cardboard cutout goalie ready to move left or right in dramatic penalty-saving cup action!

Shoot box detail.

Shoot box detail.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

Badaboum! The balancing game

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.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget. 1979.

Badaboum. 1979 Miro-Meccano catalogue page.

Badaboum. 1979 Miro-Meccano catalogue page.

Toy Soldiers

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.


US. Ghostly Haunts. 1974.

US. Ghostly Haunts. 1974. Lucky Products ad.

US. Weird War Tales. 1978. This variant of the Lucky Products ad appeared four years later and shows a price increase as well as change of address.

US. Weird War Tales. 1978. This variant of the Lucky Products ad appeared four years later and shows a price increase as well as change of address.


US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981.

US. Marvel Doctor Who. 1981. Fast-forward three years and this variant shows another price increase, some minor changes to the order details, and “imaginary war scene shown” added below the illustration.

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.

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

US. Weird War Tales. 1976.

US. Weird War Tales. 1976.

US. Star Wars 28. 1979.

US. Star Wars 28. 1979.

Toy Soldiers Fighting Ships. 1981. US.

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

US. Weird War Tales. 1975.

US. Creepy Things. 1975.

US. The New Mutants. 1985.

US. The New Mutants. 1985.