Archive for January, 2009

Action Man, Masters of the Universe and Hot Wheels 1982

Action Man, Masters of the Universe and Hot Wheels 1982
The next page from the 1982 Waltons Wishbook sees some of the final incarnations of Toltoys Action Man. This late version figure came with eagle eyes and the ability to pose in a sniper position, popular with all budding assassins. That chopper was bloody expensive at $39.99, especially when compared with the Castle Greyskull below at the same price.
The appearance of Masters of the Universe (MOTU) heralded the dawn of a new era in action figure scale, the 5 inch, later to become the standard. I heard somewhere that MOTU was a direct result of the Reagan administration’s overturning of a law that prevented children’s cartoons from being essentially extended toy advertisements. I can imagine that being correct as the toy companies quickly churned out MOTU, Transformers, Thundercats and a bunch more to cash in while the political breeze blew their way.
More 80’s TV classics the Duke’s of Hazzard and CHiPs were represented in toy form too, I believe that Duke’s Barn Buster set is pretty sought after today.
Finally we have Mattel’s 1982 Hot Wheels offerings, including the short lived Scorchers (Pull backs, as opposed to the ‘frictionless’ other cars lol ) and the Redline-era concept ‘Loop and Chute’ set. The Service Centre was another winner for Mattel, that mold was re-liveried time and again and gave great service to the company, bad pun intended.

Right down near the bottom left is a sad remnant of the once great Corgi diecast model company, who admittedly have done well just to make it to 1982 after jumping the shark sometime around 1974.

More pages coming soon…


Waltons Free Spirit BMX

Treasures from the Waltons Wishbook

Not to be confused with the American Waltons of Walmart fame, Waltons Department store in Australia was a retail institution during the 70’s and early 80’s, especially at Christmas time.  Over many years they offered a Christmas “Wishbook”, an idea most likely borrowed from Sears in the USA, with whom they had a pre-existing relationship. has managed to obtain a handful of these catalogues and will be presenting highlights from them over the next few months.
Kicking us off above is the cover of the 1982 Wishbook, which was included as an insert in the September 19th, 1982 edition of Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
That’s a lot of vintage toys. I can see Toltoys Action Man, Care Bears and Star Wars amongst the loot, so you’ll get a fair Idea of what might be coming in the next few posts.
For our first page, how about some vintage Aussie BMX goodness, a selection of Walton’s own “Free Spirit” range of BMX bikes. Many a young Aussie kid had there first BMX spills on one of these, I never knew where they were from before seeing them again in this catalogue.
Whether you hit the dirt on the Free-Spirit Junior, Deluxe or Maxi you were out amongst it, almost as cool as those lucky little buggers on their Redline, Mongoose or PK Ripper. Admittedly they probably never had to deal with a mean kid who told them that their bike’s name sounded like an incontinence pad.
If you’d like to check out more Aussie BMX culture than you can poke a stick at, head over to The Australia thread in the International section is up to 18,000 posts, I kid you not.
More treasures soon…


01 2009