Archive for the ‘Catalogues’Category

MEGO Toltoys Action Jackson Accessories Flyer

Recently dug up this cool double sided Toltoys promotional flyer featuring three 1970’s MEGO Action Jackson accessories.

All three items are scarce today, particularly when boxed. The Action Jackson Formula Racer had an Aussie cousin, a yet to be formally documented promotional release in BP livery, if you have one I’m buying!

The Action Jackson Campmobile is a great VW Combi playset, Toltoys changed the “Discover America” sticker on the door to “Discover Australia” for the local release, but only managed to scratch out the “America” for the promo flyer shown above.

The Toltoys “Discover Australia” door sticker.

The reverse of the flyer shows the large Action Jackson “Jungle House”. This great playset is better known by its later release as the MEGO Planet of the Apes Treehouse.

For all things MEGO be sure to visit the MEGO MUSEUM

12

07 2011

The First LEGO Store: Birkenhead Point Sydney LEGO Centre

PLEASE NOTE: This store closed down 20 years ago! There are currently no official Lego Stores in Australia.

Since Australia began its love affair with LEGO in 1962 we have been collectively obsessed with the stuff. It should come as no surprise then that the world’s first dedicated LEGO store was opened not in Denmark, but in Sydney. Opening around 1984 and closing in the early 90’s (Please drop me a line if you know the exact dates), the Birkenhead Point LEGO Centre was for its short life the first and only LEGO dedicated store experience in the world.

 

Featuring iconic Australian models such as the FJ Holden above, and offering keyrings and minifigures such as these, the Birkenhead Point LEGO Centre looked to be a magical place. Many of you obvioulsy agree, there is even a Bring Back the Birkenhead Point Lego Centre page on facebook!

 

Check out this 1987 TV Spot for the centre that some kind soul loaded on to YouTube:

LEGO Centre Birkenhead Point TV Spot

Special thanks to Paul Naylor for the scans of the brochure and sticker for this post.

30

05 2011

Toltoys in the 1975 Toyworld Catalogue

And finally we have the Toltoys pages from the Toyworld 1975 Christmas Sale catalogue!

The 6 Million Dollar Man heralded the arrival of Kenner as a licensing force in toys, cemented a couple of years later by their securing of the Star Wars license. Toltoys would come to profit greatly by this relationship, coming under Kenner owners General Mills group of companies themselves around this time. The Bug Catcher is the only toy still produced today under the Toltoys brand, essentially unchanged from this 1975 model. Colourful Child Guidance branded toys were a multitude of plastic toy designs for younger kids, and included the wonderful railway system that everyone had, but whose name was remembered by no-one!

The Toltoys Jenny doll was based on the Kenner Dusty doll, and featured a Qantas hostess outfit, with other outfits sold separately. (Of course!) Jenny was modelled on real hostess Jenny Tregaskis, and the 1974 launch was held on a 747 Jumbo above Sydney Harbour during Toy Fair, with a video featuring Bert Newton as the pilot introducing Jenny the hostess and Jenny the doll to a captive audience of toy buyers. The launch was a huge success, as was the doll, outselling even Barbie in Australia that year.

The Puffing Billy train set is a new one to me, based as it though on one of Melbourne’s most famous tourist attractions, Puffing Billy. Toltoys produced most of the Play Doh sets of this era in their own livery (including the individual cans) I have a Fuzzy Pumper Barber set somewhere that I’ll add to this post when located. The less said about the dishwasher set the better I think!

Wrapping up the catalogue is great page of Tonka toys, my brother still has his “Mighty Dump”, trying but failing to destroy it over a childhood of sandpits and school yards. They really were “Tonka Tough”!

04

11 2010

More from the Toyworld 1975 Catalogue

A few more pages from the 1975 Toyworld Christmas catalogue…

 

Croner Toys had an eclectic mix of international brands including the popular Janex talking alarm clocks, I’m still looking for a mint boxed Batman version! The Holly Hobbie sewing machines seemed to grace every girl’s dresser for a time, including my sister’s. I can’t recall seeing the Sesame Street radios, but that Bugs Bunny camera is very familiar. Digging the LEGO knock-off Pedlo bricks, rubbish name though.

 

Intertoy landed some of the biggest names in international toys, including Hornby trains, Sindy dolls, Scalextric slot cars and the highly detailed Lone Ranger line of action figures by Gabriel. Combex kept mums and kids happy with a great line of inexpensive plastic toys.

 

No prizes for guessing the stand-out item on this page, the legendary Corgi Batmobile is one of the most successful and iconic toys of all time. Interesting to note that the loose triple pack illustrated above still includes the earlier issue tin-fin Batboat. The Rustler Ace 100-shot cap rifle would have been a lot of fun, 1975 seems quite late for a western style toy rifle but I’m sure I would have been happy holding up the local stage-coach with it! I also note that the Electrolux Battery Operated Toy Vacuum cleaner is “for girls” aged 3-8. It has “real suction” too, a refreshingly honest statement for a toy that really did suck.

31

10 2010

1975 Toyworld Catalogue

I remember Toyworld stores of the 70’s as the quintessential local toy destination, a medium sized store on the local strip, jam packed with toys of all descriptions.  They had the latest TV backed hits, along with the wonderful cheapie rack-toys for the after-school run.

This great catalogue showcases the range available for Christmas 1975, including the Toltoys distributed Six Million Dollar Man, a pointer to the licensed film and TV toy tsunami on the horizon.

 

Tonka, Kenbrite’s AFX, Mattel Baby-That-A-Way and Toltoy’s version of Kenner’s wonderful Super Sonic Power “Smash-Up Derby”, one of the best toys of all time in my opinion.

 

The Kenbrite page featuring some of the great brands distributed in Australia by Kenbrite including Cox gas planes, TYCO electric trains and the awesome MEGO Muhammad Ali boxing ring and figures set.

 

31

10 2010

Bat Vehicles in the 1977 Waltons Wish Book

Bat Vehicles in the 1977 Waltons Wish Book

Some Bat-goodness from the cover of the ’77 Waltons Wish Book. It mentions that the Bat Cycle was a Cyclops (Australia) exclusive for Waltons, there are some passionate Cyclops collectors out there that might be have an example in their collection, I’d love a pic if you’d care to share.
I can recall seeing the pedal car, in fact I vaguely remember my younger brother sitting in one. What a beauty! The pedal car brigade are some of the most serious collectors out there, someone must have preserved one of these, send a pic if you have.
The costume is ultra-goofy but probably sold like hot donuts at the footy, but the Mr Tenuous Link award today goes to the Mic and Amp, for young Batman / Batgirl to “Hail their friends”. You can still tell today who got one of these in ’77, you pass them everyday in the city as you walk by discount jewellery stores…
Will

13

02 2010

Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

Cheap and Cheerful – Imperial Toy 1973 Catalogue

No 70’s childhood is complete without at least one Imperial Toy memory, I bet you all have one, you just may not know it…

Remember those little plastic parachute guys that you hurled skyward or chucked off the Grade 5 balcony, and then stood entranced as his little chute magically popped open and floated the crazy commando safely back to Earth? PoopaTroopers they were, just one of Imperial’s little plastic delights. Imperial made many of those wonderful pocket-money plastic and rubber novelty toys that clogged pharmacies and supermarket checkouts from Melbourne to Montreal. “Rack Toys” as they are officially known were often great little earners for the shop keeper and excellent sanity-preservers for Mum.

I couldn’t begin to calculate how many Teeny Bouncers disappeared in my schoolyard back then, I wonder where they all went?

In one of the greatest moments of serendipity the toy world has ever known, Imperial where able to pull of a visual slight of hand with the naming of their Hong Kong Gorilla (below), clearly aping the original Kong but wrapping themselves in the legitimacy of the manufacturing state of origin of their rubber gorilla! What a triumph! Beers all round on that day I’m sure.

The visual merchandising of Imperial was a lesson in how it’s done. From full colour printed counter display boxes to self-supporting Toy Fun Centers like the example below, the products popped from the displays like a comic-book novelty page come to life. Kids could not resist nagging Mum for one on every visit to the shop.

In Australia Imperial Toy debuted in Safeway Supermarkets with bubbles and blister-carded novelties, thanks to the work of John Hunter of Len Hunter Toys, who secured the Imperial agency on a trip to the New York Toy Fair in the early 1970’s.
Good one John, the kids of the 70’s owe you a 21 Party Popper salute.
Will
PS – Check out my mate Brian’s Imperial Toy page on his uber-blog Plaid Stallions

1967 Lincoln International Toy Catalogue

Treasures from the 1967 Lincoln International Toy Catalogue

The New Zealand toy company Lincoln International were responsible for some of the coolest licensed (and unlicensed) toys of the 60’s and 70’s. Best known for their 1966 licensed Batman range of ray guns, water pistols, friction toys and battery operated plastic vehicles, or perhaps for their goofy but highly desirable 1970’s range of Mego-Like 8″ Monster action figures, Lincoln went in hard with Gerry Anderson licences in 1967.

Captain Scarlet promised great things for those toy companies hoping to match the success of Dinky and their Thunderbird die-cast vehicles, unfortunately whilst popular the Captain never had the impact of his Anderson stable-mates.
Lincoln released three friction vehicles for Scarlet; The Angel Interceptor, Spectrum Patrol Car and Maximum Security Vehicle. Each was blister carded to a colourful but fairly flimsy card along with a plastic Spectrum Badge. The vehicles were packed flat on the cards, and the blisters were attached to the cards with staples. They are a tough find today loose or carded, I’ve never seen an Angel Interceptor in person but thanks to the diligent work of the Australian Powerhouse Museum there is at least one example stored away in perpetuity.

Much more common to find today are examples of Lincoln’s Thunderbirds motorized kits. These must have been big sellers since they turn up quite regularly on eBay and at auction houses such as Vectis. The vehicles are OK, but it is the box art that steals the show on these, nicely rendered images with the designated number on the right front of the box.

There would be many Anderson Thunderbird collectors out there who would dream of finding a full counter display pack like the one above, to my knowledge though none have ever surfaced.
Cheers!
Will
PS – This catalogue is actually undated, I have surmised the 1967 date from the the lack of Batman items combined with the inclusion of Capt Scarlet and the Thunderbird kits, so it could be 1968. I’d love to hear about any other Lincoln material that may be out there, I’ll post some of the toys mentioned above in a future post here at Toltoys.com

Safeway catalogue from Christmas 1978

Superman at Safeway
The Aussie Safeway catalogue from Christmas 1978 (I think!) features all the usual specials one would expect from a large grocery store; nappies, bananas and …

…the Man of Steel and his big green mate The Hulk.  Yes sitting there among the no-name brand trikes, bikes and ray-guns were the beautifully crafted 12-inch MEGO World’s Greatest Super Heroes.

Interestingly the Superman is the harder to find “Comic Head” version, previously thought to have only seen release in Canada, the UK, France and Italy according to the authoritative Mego Museum.  Hulk appears to be a regular US version. Dig that lab coat!

No telling if there were other Heroes available on the Safeway shelves “ready to continue the fight against the baddies” back then, but we can only hope so.

Did you buy your super heroes in Australia at Safeway?
Tell me about it – will(at)toltoys(dot)com

Cheers!
Will

10

04 2009

Star Wars in the 1982 Waltons Wishbook

More Star Wars from the 1982 Waltons Wishbook

$60 was a lot for a toy in 1982, hell it’s a lot for a toy today. Just as well then that you received one of the all-time great play-sets for your cash back in ’82, the Kenner Millennium Falcon.
Walton’s caption writers went off the deep end in this one, declaring the Falcon to be ‘faithful’, as opposed to all those other lousy cheating spacecraft one presumes. Dig the “Simulate Space Chess” – is the simulate really necessary? I mean even slow Darren from down the road gets that we’re not actually playing real space chess here.
The keen-eyed among you will have already noticed the uber-cool Empire Strikes Back Electric Toothbrush labeled as a Star Wars one, a tough item to locate for collectors today. They were one of the earliest Star Wars toys so it’s good to see them still around in 1982.

The last little reveals of this particular page are the fantastic AT-AT, still sold in the modern Hasbro line today, and the short lived but much admired Micro Collection, represented here by the Bespin environments. Comparing the prices of the Micro stuff with the creature / figure combos to their right gives some insight I think into why the line did not last. What would you have preferred as a kid? Micro Rob don’t answer that 🙂

Finally we have the whole page on show, and what a treasure trove it has proved to be, solving the mysteries of the not one but three Toltoys Special Offer items, and throwing in rare ads for 3-Packs and ESB Toothbrushes just for fun.
I’ll be continuing the Wishbook posts soon, but stay tuned for some other vintage toy coolness this week.
Cheers!
Will

21

03 2009