Tag Archives: vintage toys

Mebetoys die cast vehicles

It’s another new entry at TVTA as we present Mebetoys scans from a mid-1970s French catalogue and three Mebetoys pages from a 1973 French Solido catalogue. 

Mebetoys was owned by the famous Italian family the Besana brothers who produced and sold highly-detailed die cast cars throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1969 Mattel purchased the company freeing the Besana brothers to form the Martoys company which later became one of the biggest and highly respected die cast car makers of all time Bburago.

Information gathered from the excellent Gran Toros website. Click images to go bigger.


Mebetoys as seen in a Mattel French catalogue circa mid-1970s.

Front cover of Mebetoys catalogue. France.



Back cover of Mebetoys catalogue. France.


Mebetoys pages as seen in a 1973 Solido catalogue, France




Thanks for looking 🙂

Polly Pocket

It’s a new entry for TVTA as we present some 1995 Polly Pocket scans from French catalogue Ets De Neuter.

Polly Pocket is a line of toy dolls and accessories that became popular during the late 80s and early 90s. The original dolls came in pocket-size cases and were sold by Bluebird toys of the UK and Mattel. Polly Pocket has also appeared in feature films, video games and a web series. It continues to be sold to date.

Thanks for looking 🙂 

La Familia Feliz / The Sunshine Family

La Familia Feliz is a line of dolls and accessories sold by the Congost company of Spain. The line was created in the mid 1970s by Mattel and marketed in English as The Sunshine Family which Mattel eventually changed to The Sunshine Fun Family. Later the family of three was given a slight cosmetic makeover and the addition of a new baby, making them four, plus a Grandmother and Grandfather doll. Mattel also created an Afro-Caribbean family along with Afro-Caribbean grandparents.

Below are scans from a 1977 Spanish Congost catalogue.




Thanks for looking  🙂

More Fun From Kenner. 1997.

Cover of the 1997 More Fun From Kenner catalogue. US.

Under the ownership of Hasbro, Kenner’s twilight years as a toy company followed its long and distinguished tradition of producing heavyweight-name toys across the spectrum of TV, film and comics: Batman, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and others. TVTA is pleased to present a selection of scans from Kenner’s 1997 mini catalogue. Click images to go bigger.

Batman

Superman

The Lost World Jurassic Park

Steel

Star Wars

Transformers Beast Wars

Starting Line Up

Tonka

SSP Super Sonic Power

Magna Crew


Thanks for looking  🙂

Never Mind the Adverts Pt13 – 1979 Big Trak

Welcome to the latest Never Mind The Adverts Here Are The Toys!

Time to take a look at a toy that I always wanted as a kid but never had. Now, as an adult collector, I can finally say I have one! The original box is in a sorry state but the vehicle works perfectly (just needs a replacement bulb for the photon torpedo). After a good clean up and a trip to the shops to buy a monster load of batteries, I had the Big Trak following my commands along the kitchen floor like a good one. Oh, and the thing was so noisy it set off the neighbour’s dog upstairs barking.

Welcome to the world of the mighty electronic Big Trak!



BIG TRAK (US) or Bigtrak (Europe) was a computerised toy vehicle created by Milton Bradley in 1979. This six-wheeled tank-like space 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. UK. 1983.


Thanks for requiring batteries with us  🙂  Join us again soon for another edition of Never Mind The Adverts!

Vintage Wooden Toys and Puzzles

Traditional, sturdy and perfect for inquisitive hands and minds, wooden toys and puzzles have proved themselves to be an enduring early-years toy for generations of families. The push-along baby-walker loaded with bricks, the wooden train set, the shape-sorter, trikes and rocking horses, the Steinmeier post WWII material and jobs shortage-inspired wood puzzles with their grab handles – I’ll bet most of us had at least one of these as a child?

Below is a selection of catalogue scans for brands such as Steinmeier, Brio and Tiger Toys. Click images to go bigger. Thanks for looking.

Steinmeier wooden toys. Fair-Play. 1980. France.

Steinmeier wooden toys. 1980. Fair-Play. France.

Brio. Fair-Play. France. 1980.

Brio. Fair-Play. France. 1980.

Brio. Hamleys. 1983. UK.

Hamleys. France. 1983.

Hamleys. France. 1983.

Hamleys. France. 1983.

Hamleys. 1983. UK.

Writers of the world your carriage awaits

Petite – the written world at your small fingertips

1980. Fair-Play. France.

How many of us began our mechanical word journeys on a Petite typewriter? In the 80s I didn’t have a Petite, but I did inherit my auntie’s Scout typewriter that she used for college in the 60s – a small, compact, pastel blue thing of some elegance and which weighed a ton. I wonder how many times my fingers pushed those creamy white keys, how my ears attuned to the striking of hammers against the ribbon onto the page?

The Scout was dethroned by an early 90s electronic word processor, a Brother, which weighed two tons and took up all the space on my desk. It came with a screen about the size of a  letterbox on a front door and could save to floppy disks as well as print. Both the manual and electronic machines served me well as a young writer, popping out page after page of poems and stories (of which a certain few were published. And there is a charm now to that old-school way of submitting typed work by post with an SAE that you had to do back then – but that’s another story for another time). Back to the machines, and I still have pages that were churned out from them which have survived the years and all the moves. It’s funny looking over them again, not just the words I wrote but the typeface, the indents, the smudges and marks. The time-yellowed correction fluid blobs.

When the electronic Brother became redundant, with parts increasingly difficult to get hold of, it was replaced by my first laptop and MS Word package. It’s satisfying seeing words, sentences and paragraphs organise and compose themselves on a computer screen. The tools available make searching and editing simple and fast. With that said, you still can’t beat the elemental feel of a pen in your hand, its shaft working magic from the flicks and swirls of your wrist.

To the left of me right now are hillocks of paper marked by Bics and Papermates and HB pencils – precious notes. To the right is a coffee cup. And in the centre of these is the keyboard, and the screen that I stare into every day, the screen upon which those pen-made notes find their order and place.

I’ll let the artist Stella Marrs have the last word(s) at the end of this post. For now, please enjoy these images of what is possibly the equivalent of the writer’s first car, the Petite typewriter! Plus, a sewing machine, and an activity centre …

It’s all about creation, right?


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


1980. Fair-Play. France.


Hamleys. UK. 1983.


stellamarrs.com


Thanks for carbon copying with us 🙂

Junior Turntables and Audio Sytems, 1980

The 1980 Fair-Play distributor catalogue offered some sweet turntable and audio systems for kids. 

Random records spotted: Michael Jackson – ?? The Dickies – Knights in White Satin (white vinyl). Blondie – Dreaming. Third World – ??

Click images to go bigger. Thanks for looking  🙂


Images scanned by TVTA from the 1980 Fair-Play distributor catalogue, France.