Archive for the ‘Rack Toys’Category

Doctor Down Under – Doctor Who Ice Cream & Showbag

Doctor Who has enjoyed a close relationship with Australia since the very beginning, with several key writers, a popular companion (Tegan) and even the composer of the famous theme music being Aussies. The show enjoyed a loyal following on the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) from 1964 until the end of the original series in 1989.

As a child of the 70′s my Doctor of choice is and always will be Tom Baker. He was beatified in 1981 by the Australian licensing gods with his own Streets ice cream, which as you know by now (if you’ve read my blog before anyway) is a sure sign that you have officially arrived Down Under. The TV ad for these ice creams has also turned up, with a grainy VHS copy uploaded to You Tube in 2011 by some kind soul.

Who box 2 2wtmk Doctor Down Under   Doctor Who Ice Cream & Showbag

The ice cream box and wrapper are extremely tough to find, I believe only one example of each has appeaered on Oz Ebay in 13 years. While I wasn’t able to win them I did manage to swipe the pics, they are poor quality but what can you do? If you were the lucky purchaser (or seller) of either of these items I’d like to both apologise for my use of your pics and plead for new ones!

Above is the landscape side of the box, here is the┬áportrait…

WHo box 183 Aronmc 3wtmk Doctor Down Under   Doctor Who Ice Cream & Showbag

And from a seperate auction, the wrapper (flattened)…

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Another exclusive-to-Australia piece of Whomabilia is the rare “Showbag”, a plastic bag of cheap toys and ephemera sold at local agricultural and royal society exhibitions throughout the country, notably the Royal Melbourne Show. I sold the example below on ebay many years ago, and it is now one of the very few items I regret parting with. Another couple have turned up over the years, I cant find any references to what was inside but if any of the Whomaniacs out there know drop me a line and I’ll update this post.

The Showbag (Yes I should have used any background other than white)…

171006 021wtmk Doctor Down Under   Doctor Who Ice Cream & Showbag

21

04 2012

Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

Cheap and Cheerful – Imperial Toy 1973 Catalogue

IMG0017wtmk 735120 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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…

IMG0018wtmk 753251 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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.

IMG0019wtmk 701319 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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

IMG0019 2wtmk 794827 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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.

IMG0020wtmk 748993 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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.

IMG0021wtmk 724552 Imperial Toy Catalogue for 1973

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