Archive for the ‘Weird Toys’Category

1979 Toltoys Fun Fountain

One of the most viewed posts here on Toltoys Kid is the entry featuring Willy Water Bug. I receive regular requests asking where they can be found today, unfortunatey I’m not much help, suggesting they start a ongoing search on ebay. It seems the kids of the 70’s want their kids today to enjoy the same summer fun we had, running on the lawn with water splashing everywhere and not a care in the world.

I feel I may be in for more requests with today’s post featuring a cousin of Willy, the Wham-O “Fun Fountain” clown sprinkler. The example below is again the Toltoys Australia branded version, I was lucky enough to find this guy in mint unused condition. When the hose is attached to the base and the water turned on, the hat rises above the head on a stream of water. Unlike Willy Water Bug I do remember this toy, in particular hitting the hat by swinging a cricket bat at it. Really loved the 70’s I did.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

22

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

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

Willy Water Bug

Willy Water Bug
If you look closely underneath the “1982” text on the Walton’s Wishbook cover below you’ll see a strange little yellow creature. He’s the one sitting innocuously next to the cool Tomy / Toltoys Air-Jammer motorcycle.

Who or what is this thing you ask? Meet Willy Water Bug, one of Wham-O’s contributions to the summer-toy craze of the 70’s. This was to be no Slip’n’Slide however, since the result of attaching the prescribed garden hose to the rear of Willy produced viciously whipping tentacles of terror reaching out for small bare legs in all directions. Fun for all the family!

I can’t say I recall Willy from my childhood, but finding the example above complete with Toltoys liveried box was manna from heaven for this blogger let me tell you. What was it with Wham-O? Not content to poison us with Super Elastic Bubble Plastic they went on to unleash this water-laden lacerator on frolicking children. Even the kid on the box is recoiling in fear.
Being a William in real life, I’m not a massive fan of the nickname “Willy” either, so lets’ just consign this one to the circular file shall we?

Cheers!

Will

05

04 2009

LJN Indiana Jones Blaster Balls

One green, one red. Indy might need to seek medical advice.

There wasn’t a lot of merchandise available for Temple of Doom, a small run of LJN action figures, some food tie-ins, soundtracks and such, but Lucasfilm were really scraping the bottom of the barrel with the licensed Blaster Balls shown above.
I have vague recollections of playing with this type of toy as a kid, you held one in one hand and threw the other at it creating a loud ‘crack’ as they hit.  A few hundred  ‘cracks’ later and you were left with two really bad marbles.
Kids today don’t get to play with explosives as much as they would like, so lets all enjoy a glimpse of a more innocent time, when the joy of handheld detonations could be had at your nearest toy store…
Will

23

05 2008