Latest ads – simple toys, simple times

Les Poupées de Lisette. France. 1960.

Congost toys. Spain. 1977.

Primo washing powder toys. France. 1960.

Things were simpler back then. A more innocent time?

TVTA takes a quick peek at some 1940s – 1980s print adverts from Spain, Denmark, France, the US, and the UK, featuring simple toys and ideas.

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My Dog Has Fleas! Ideal toy shop catalogue, 1980s, France

My Dog Has Fleas (Sacapuce) game from Ideal.

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Robo Machines (very mini) mini catalogue

Robo Machines was a transforming vehicle/robot toy line made by the Bandai company in the 1980s.

When I say that this Robo Machines catalogue I recently acquired is not much bigger than a postage stamp I’m not exaggerating! Here it is all in its tiny, little glory. Small is beautiful.

Robo Machines Command Centre Play Set. The top left picture of the transforming vehicle on four legs reminds me of  a very famous vehicle as employed by the Empire in certain Star Wars films!


Thank you for transforming with us 🙂 

Toy soldiers

Artwork detail. Airfix Catalogue 2008, UK.

Artwork detail. Airfix Catalogue 2008, UK.


TVTA is pleased to present a selection of international toy soldier print adverts, catalogue pages and photos from the brands Airfix, Atlantic, Starlux, Britains and others in the scales H0/00, 1/32, and 1/72.

Airfix Military Figures. 1983. France.

Airfix Military Figures. 1983. France.

Airfix Military Figures. 1983. France.

Airfix Military Figures. 1983. France.

Airfix Military. 1984. UK.

Atlantic soldiers. Italy. 1979.

Atlantic Toy Soldiers. 1981. France.

Atlantic Toy Soldiers. France. 1981.

Atlantic Far West. 1982. France.

Floraline pasta. Collect free soldiers and cowboy and Indians figures. 1979. France.

Cowboys and Indians. 1969. Denmark.

Wild West figures. Gerca. 1980s. Made in Macau. MIP. TVTA Collection.

Wild West figures. Gerca. 1980s. Made in Macau. Loose. TVTA Collection.

Britains Deetail soldiers. TVTA Collection.

H0/00 scale painted soldiers. TVTA Collection.

Various H0/00 scale soldiers. TVTA Collection.

BRITAINS SET N° 460, Scots Guards, circa 1933. No price listed. Christie’s Catalogue. 1988.

Footlocker Toy Soldiers. 1981. US.

Starlux Cavalry and Infantry. France. 

Thanks for looking 🙂

Latest ads – SSP, Solar Ball, Skittle Baseball, Sea-Monkeys and more!

Kenner SSP Racers. 1971. US.

Glow in the Dark Solar Ball. 1985. US.

Aurora Skittle Ball. Weird War Tales N°1. 1971.

Seamonkeys. 1977. US.

Space 1999 model kit by Centuri. 1976. US.

Doctor Who Records and Tapes. 1980. UK.

Sphere sci-fi books. 1989. UK.

Sizzlers Fat Track. 1971. US.

Aurora Powerslicks. 1971. US.

Fleer football cards. 1991. US.


Thanks for looking 🙂

It’s a doll’s world: clone wars, law suits, and inappropriate names.

Clone after clone after clone. Presenting: The Babs, Randy and Bill wardrobe booklet, 1960s, US.

Babs, Randy and Bill wardrobe booklet, 1960s. Fab-Lu Ltd.

Babs, Randy and Bill dolls were sold by the Fab-Lu Ltd company of New York in the early 1960s. The line was a cheap clone of the popular US Barbie doll brand, and the German Bild Lilli brand that predated both.

Babs’s wardrobe imitated many of Barbie’s costumes, as well as clothing from various Hong Kong cloned Lilli dolls. Babs also mimicked Barbie’s tag of “Teen-Age Fashion Model” by declaring herself as “Queen of Fashion”. Not that Barbie should complain too much, seeing as she herself was a clone of the German Bild Lilli – the original fashion doll.

Randy

Randy was a clone of Barbie’s younger sister, Skipper.

For the British market, Randy underwent a name change to ‘Mary Lou’ due to the English sexualisation of the word randy (meaning ‘to feel sexually aroused’). However, the problems didn’t end there for Randy/Mary Lou. The doll, as seen on her featured pages of the Fab-Lu booklet, was actually a Tammy doll as made by Ideal and ‘borrowed’ for the photoshoot to model Randy’s wardrobe. Fab-Lu tried to get around this by painting a beauty spot on the cheek of the Tammy doll in the hope no one would notice. It failed, and Fab-Lu was later taken to court and sued by Ideal.



Bill

Bill was a clone of Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken.

“Every inch a he-man. Powerful body. Powerful physique.” Check out Bill’s ‘sales pitch’ …

Bill – every inch a he-man?


The Clone War(drobe)s.

Below are the remaining scans of the Babs, Randy and Bill product booklet. It is the only known catalogue to exist for the line to date, and was included in packs of individual dolls and accessories.

Click images to enlarge.


Low, low prices!

Babs dolls and outfits were exceptionally cheap to buy compared to Barbie. Statements such as “fashions made to fit all leading fashion dolls”, and “Other male fashion dolls can and do wear Bill’s extensive wardrobe” were almost a call to arms to buy Babs outfits to put not just on Babs dolls, but on Barbie dolls too.


To find out more about the fascinating history of ‘clone dolls’ – from Lilli to Barbie to Babs and others – check out the excellent article Bild Lilli and the Queens from Outer Space

Until next time, thank you for cloning around with us 🙂

Tintin, toy cars, bionics & a Bat horn!

New additions fresh from the scanner! Enjoy 🙂

Tintin L’affaire Tournasol. Enamel advert. Date unknown.

Tintin Adventure Club. 1986. Sweden.

Tintin Adventure Club. 1986. Sweden.

Aurora AFX. 1973. US.

Matchbox Super 6. 1976. US.

Siku. 1986. Sweden.

Six Million Dollar Man. 1976. US.

Barbie Yellow Booklet. 1962. US.

Batman Bike Horn. 1977. US.

Captain America Turbo Motorcycle. 1985. Super-Jouet. France.

Télécran / Etch-a-Sketch. France.

Galaxy Rangers. 1988. UK.

Lego Space. 1979. Sweden.


Thanks for looking 🙂

The Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit

Probably my new favourite print advert!

As regular readers know I’m a bit of a fan of Halloween, and I was going to save this beauty for the Big Day… however, the advert is simply too cool not to share right now!

Enjoy 🙂

The Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit

Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture. 1976 print advert. US.

Endorsed by horror legend Vincent Price (I love the line: ‘Look for Vincent Price’s pretty face on the cover’), the Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture was a kit enablng you to decorate and bake apples in the form of nightmarish shrunken heads! Accessories included a baking capsule (The Shrinker) which you heated using a 40 watt common household light bulb , hair, beads, templates for carving facial features, cord, a paint brush, and a carving tool.

The artwork for my 1976 print advert was created by Mort Drucker, a long time contributor to Mad Magazine. The Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture was produced by Crafts By Whiting, a Milton Bradley Company.

Detail from 1976 Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture print advert.


TVTA bonus trivia!

As well as the Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit, Vincent Price was hired by Milton Bradley to appear in advertising campaigns for two of their other popular products: the games Hangman and Stay Alive.

That’s all for now, vintage mates. Thank you for shrinking fruit with us 🙂

Mutant Green Blob and the Green Machine

Today’s post title sounds like a cool name for some 70s experimental psychedelic rock band. No. The Mutant Green Blob is one of those gunge/slime toys that were all the rage in the 1980s and 90s, and The Green Machine is a pretty cool-looking three wheel low rider child’s bike from 1976. OK Mutant, show us what you can do!

Hale’s Mutant Green Blob gunge toy. 1988. UK.


It’s the hottest ride in town…

The Green Machine by Marx Toys. 1976. US.


Thanks for looking 🙂

TTP – Turbo Tower of Power

TTP (Turbo Tower of Power) was a toyline sold by the Kenner company during the 1970s. Sets consisted of motorbikes and cars that could be propelled along tracks by a pump-action launcher (the Tower) and made to perform stunts. Sets included the TTP Car Stunt Set, Cycle Action Set, Deluxe Thrill Set, and the Wild Riders Competition Set with motorcyle rider Flyin’ Freddie. Cars and cycles were also availble to purchase separately.

TTP Turbo Tower of Power. 1974. US.

TTP Turbo Tower of Power Wild Riders. 1976. US.

See also: Kenner’s SSP Super Sonic Power toyline

Thanks for looking 🙂