Archive for the ‘80’s’Category

MYER LEGO National Building Competition 1984

The MYER LEGO National Building Competition 1984

By 1984 LEGO had already cemented it’s place in the psyche of kids all over the world with fantastic products, lead by the now-classic Space series.
The time was right for the company to move in for the kill by staging building competitions in major department stores. I remember well the excitement and hype surrounding  the MYER Melbourne competition, without the fun of actually having the opportunity to participate myself.

No such problems for regular contributor (and former child) Paul Naylor.
Paul’s construction abilities were on display for all to see in the Queensland state competition in 1984.

Paul wowed all and sundry with his very impressive spire work, just checkout the serious tower-envy from the kid on the right!

The envelope please…..
How hyper would you have been as a kid to see that turn up in your letter box?

Ahhhh! Close but no cigar. Still, who need’s Denmark when you can have Space LEGO?! And where are you Nigel Newton of Leongatha? Bring forth this Portable Cassette Player of which we have heard so much.
My email is on the top right of this blog 🙂
Thanks so much to Paul for these wonderful photos and scans.



05 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.


03 2009

Waltons Special Offer Star Wars

Two more Special Offer mysteries solved…
A couple of years ago on we presented a feature on all the known Star Wars Special Offer boxed toys that had surfaced in Australia during the 1978 – 85 period. In the post below we were able to confirm that the Attack Base was a Waltons Department Store special offer and also list the contents.
This week I’m happy to reveal the origins and contents of two more mysterious special offer items, the Empire Strikes Back Wampa and Tauntaun. There is only one known example of the Wampa box, and only a cut front of the Tauntaun box.

Neither were found with contents intact, leaving it open to speculation as to which figures were included.

Now thanks to the discovery of the 1982 Waltons Wish Book we can confirm that these two were also Waltons Special Offers, and narrow down the identity of the figures included.

This is the ad for both items, and while we can confirm the price and the three figures included, I’m not sure we can say which figures came with which! The photo suggests that Han Hoth came with the Wampa and the other two with the Tauntan, but it could just as easily have been the Snowtrooper with the Wampa (Bad guys together?) and the other two with Tauntaun.

Until we find a sealed example let the speculation continue!
More reveals coming soon…


02 2009

Toltoys Star Wars Special Offer Origins

Toltoys Star Wars Special Offer origins revealed!

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough (thanks to the eagle eyes of fellow Toltoys collector Dax) to pick up a very cool Imperial Attack Base featuring a huge “Special Offer” sticker across the front, indicating that four figures were included. As featured in a previous post on the origin of  this piece was at first a mystery, until a Queensland collector named Paul chipped in with his recollections of seeing it at the Waltons chain of stores.
His recollection was remarkably accurate, as thanks to the recently discovered 1982 Waltons Wishbook above we can confirm that the item was indeed a Walton’s Toltoys exclusive, and that the four figures included were Rebel Commander, Hoth Rebel Soldier and two regular Stormtroopers.
Another part of Paul’s recollection was proved correct with the catalogue appearance of the rare Star Wars Three-Packs, priced at $6.99. What’s very interesting is that the three-packs were being sold new at retail, still in Star Wars livery, just a year before the single cards changed to Jedi packaging. Were they overstock from overseas? It’s hard to believe that they weren’t a popular item wherever they were sold.
The final toy items featured today are Luke’s blaster , presumably in ESB packaging, and the hapless mini-rigs apparently used by the ‘Empire Spy Force’. Not quite the most bone-chilling secret police name I’ve ever heard. And at $2 more than a three-pack, what are you going to buy? Ahhh… yeah.

More Toltoys Star Wars mysteries will be revealed this week…


02 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

Indiana Jones Kelloggs Premiums

Indy Coco-Pops Premiums
Inside each box was a card premium which broke apart to reveal two picture cards from the movie, one photo and one sketch jigsaw piece.
The same design was used for the Kellogs Ewok Adventure cards which I’ll feature in a future post.


07 2008

Toltoys Kenner Cairo Swordsman

And here’s the Swordsman

A few weeks ago I posted three of the four Aussie Indiana Jones variant figures, and now thanks to regular contributor and Toltoys afficianado Brody Walker,  here is the last of the quartet; the Cairo Swordsman.


06 2008

Kenner Indiana Jones Figures

More Kenner Indy Goodness
Here we go with another four of the Indy Kenner line of figures from 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
First up is Indy’s digging buddy Sallah, played on screen by Middle Earth’s tallest Dwarf, John Rhys-Davies. This is the hardest to find of the the figures shown here, and tough to get with a nice clear bubble.

Next we have the German Mechanic as played by Pat Roach. Roach actually played a series of villains in the first three Indy movies. The tiny wrench accessory from this figures is easily lost.
French archeologist Rene Belloq is up next, the little paper map accessory that came with this figure is often missing from loose figures. Indy trivia lore states that actor Paul Freeman did in fact swallow the fly that crawled into his mouth during the scene where Indy threatens to blow up the Ark.
Lastly today is the Cairo Swordsman, along with the Toht figure the most common in the Indy Kenner line.

Aussie Indy Trivia Time
# 1 Indy’s bullwhip is made of Kangaroo hide.
#2 Indy’s hat was listed as an “Australian model” when purchased new in London by the costume department.
#3 The mountaineers challenging Marion to the drinking competition in her Nepalese bar are supposed to be Aussies.
Keen on more Indy toy info? Check out Raiders of the Lost Toys.


05 2008

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…


05 2008