Tag: Toys

All Aboard the 1955 Honeymooners’ Special Jackie Gleason Bus

All Aboard the 1955 Honeymooners’ Special Jackie Gleason Bus

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
I've written before about the Great One, Jackie Gleason, on this site. Between his television, movie, and music careers, the man was a bona fide superstar during the 1950s and into the '60s. So I don't know why I was surprised to find out that his image was even used to sell toys. In this case, most appropriately, a bus. But not just any bus -- it's the 1955 Honeymooners' Special Jackie Gleason Bus, produced by a company called Wolverine. The Jackie Gleason Bus features Ralph Kramden from the Honeymooners, of course, but other Gleason characters as well. I can spot Joe the Bartender, Reginald Van Gleason III, and the Poor Soul. And awa-a-y we go! Notice that while the bus is tin the wheels are wooden. I also think the POW! license plate is a nice touch. For more auction...
Here’s a Pair of General Mills Cereal Products from the 1970s

Here’s a Pair of General Mills Cereal Products from the 1970s

Ephemera
There have been five monster-themed cereals from General Mills since 1971, four of which are represented in this box scan and giveaway toy ad. Here are some mid-to-late '70s boxes for Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Fruit Brute. And here's a neat toy giveaway advertisement for Monster Bike Spinners from the back of the boxes. It was nothing more than a piece of plastic with a propeller that snapped onto your bike's handlebars, really.
Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
I would so love to own one of these vintage tin beauties -- it's a battery-powered RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck from Cragstan. I've included multiple shots here because there's a lot of great detail here. Based on the NBC logo used, I'd date this at around the late 1950s. Here's a few pics with the original box. Love the vintage '50s color scheme. Great detail on the cameraman, and of course there's the classic RCA "His Master's Voice" logo on the side. On the right side we have the original peacock logo, circa late '50s. I wonder what's going on behind the blinds? For more auction finds, click here.
Meet the Mr. Potato Head Toy Family

Meet the Mr. Potato Head Toy Family

Featured Posts, Games & Toys
The icon that was to be known as Mr. Potato head was born in the early 1950s when Brooklyn-born inventor George Lerner came up with the idea of inserting small, pronged body and face parts into fruits and vegetables to create a "funny face man" toy. After Lerner sold his idea to Hasbro -- then known as Hassenfeld Bros. -- Mr. Potato Head was officially introduced on May 1, 1952. The original toy kit cost $0.98 and contained plastic hands, feet, ears, two mouths, two pairs of eyes, four noses, three hats, eyeglasses, a pipe, and eight felt pieces resembling facial hair. By the mid 1960s, stricter government safety regulations meant that the plastic accessories could no longer easily puncture real food, so Hasbro introduced the all-plastic Mr. Potato Head in 1964. They also introduced
Vintage Toys: 1970s Star Trek Inter-Space Communicator

Vintage Toys: 1970s Star Trek Inter-Space Communicator

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
The original Star Trek TV series ended in 1969, but its enduring popularity was evident not long after. Fan demand for new adventures led to the 1973-74 animated series, and it's from that period that this neat Star Trek toy comes from. It's an Inter-Space Communicator, released in 1974 by a British company called Lone Star. Hell, I'd like just the packaging, featuring a surprisingly decent illustration of Kirk and Spock. In case it wasn't immediately obvious, the communicators here worked with a string attached between them. To the future! Operating instructions and closeup shots are here. For more auction finds, click here.
Cross-Pollination: Top 5 Holy Grail Playset Toys of the 1980s (on Popdose)

Cross-Pollination: Top 5 Holy Grail Playset Toys of the 1980s (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
Surely the internet doesn't need another list of cool toys from the '80s does it? Well too bad, because you've got one now. For this post I looked at the big mamma-jamma playset toys that most of us who were kids in the 1980s could only dream of owning. Sure, I had some cool sets like the COBRA Terror Drome, but nothing like the stuff on this top 5 list. Some may take issue with my inclusion of two She-Ra sets at number five, but I simply didn't want to have blinders on and make this a list of toys for boys only. Because I'm all sensitive and progressive like that. I have to admit though, the TV ads for those She-Ra toys bear a striking resemblance to soap ads from the same period. Witness this spot for the Crystal Falls playset: Anyone who knows anything about '80s toys will...
Vintage Toys: James Bond 007 Thunderball Action Figure

Vintage Toys: James Bond 007 Thunderball Action Figure

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
Here's a dashing action figure likeness of Sean Connery as James Bond from the 1965 film Thunderball. The movie was released in 1965 so I'm assuming the action figure -- produced by Gilbert -- was as well. Dig that sweet SCUBA outfit, complete with fins, snorkel, and super-snug bathing trunks! The Thunderball line turned out to be almost the last hurrah for Gilbert (known officially as the A.C. Gilbert Company), which closed for good in 1967 after almost 60 years in business. Gilbert, incidentally, introduced the world-famous Erector Set in 1913. For more auction finds, click here.
Fisher-Price’s TV Commercials Make Me Miss Being Childless

Fisher-Price’s TV Commercials Make Me Miss Being Childless

Advertising
Being the parent of a toddler, I get to watch a wide range of children's TV. Some of it is actually pretty good, and some of it stinks. And then of course, there are the commercials. Tons and tons of commercials. For the most part I'm able to tune them out, or even have some fun with the ads. But not the latest batch of Fisher-Price spots. Let's see if you can guess why, with this example. Seems pretty harmless, right? The kid's cute, and who doesn't love toys? I mean, yeah, that song is a little annoying, what with the singer sounding like someone drugged her water before the recording session. But I guess she's not that obnoxious. Now try sitting through about 100 of these ads. That whiny, droning indie hipster "singing" transforms from slightly grating to completely rage-in...
Mr. Potato Head Was One Realistic Spud-Based Toy

Mr. Potato Head Was One Realistic Spud-Based Toy

Retrotisements
I've only ever known the smooth, fully plastic Mr. Potato Head toy, so it blows my mind a little bit to know that Hasbro originally produced what was quite literally just plastic body parts that you stuck on a real spud. Witness this ad from 1954: I mean, look at that thing. People bash the Pet Rock, but this thing is about half a step above that. Maybe if the Pet Rock had good accessories and you could stick it on a plastic body we'd remember it more fondly. Fun trivia: On April 30, 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy advertised on television. Here's a vintage example of an early ad.