These four masks appeared on the back panels of Australian Kellogg’s Cornflakes 750g cereal boxes in 1980 to promote The Empire Strikes Back. The smaller 500g boxes featured make of Luke Skywalker, C3PO, Bossk and Boba Fett.
Toltoys Star Wars
Painting Design Book
This is the hard to find Toltoys Australia version of the Star Wars Painting Design Book, known as Kenner’s Dip Dots in the US. There is a New Zealand Toltoys logo box as well, but that one is nearly identical to the US Dip Dots version. Issued in 1978.
This is a great panel presented by three of the most knowledgeable and respected collectors of vintage Star Wars items from Australia, at Star Wars Celebration 2019, check it out:
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.
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 portrait…
And from a seperate auction, the wrapper (flattened)…
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)…
1970’s Toltoys Six Million Dollar Man Model Kits
Issued outside Australia by Fundimensions, these great unpainted snap-together kits featured Steve Austin wrestling an alligator in “Jaws of Doom” and lifting a gorilla in “Fight for Survival”, which I presume is named for the ape! The best feature of these for the unskilled modeller (such as myself) is that they required no glue, a fact trumpeted on the box art.
Check out this awesomely low-tech 1981 Aussie TV spot for Corgi’s Batmobile, Bond and Buck Rogers range. This voice-over guy must have made a fortune in the early 80’s, he seemed to read almost every ad.
My chances of finding a Detective Comics #27 at a garage sale in Melbourne just got slimmer.
From The Argus, Wednesday 14 September 1938…
TWO ‘COMICS’ BANNED
SYDNEY, Tuesday. – Magazine distributors were notified to-day that seven publications had been added to the banned list, including, for the first time, two classified in the trade as “comics.”
These comics are publications for boys, and sell at fourpence. They are entitled “Keen Detective Funnies” and “Detective Comics.” Both come from America, where the price is 10 cents. Copies inspected to-night contained principally a series of crime and adventure stories in picture form crudely printed in colours. Some of the titles of the stories were “Dictator of the Pope Dynasty,” “Too Many Crooks,” “Bayfront Cowboy.” “Captain Jim and the Chinese Pirates.”
The names of the other magazines banned were “Black Mask,” “Clues,” “Yellow Book,” “Top – Notch Detective,” and “Gang Detective Fiction.”
How lucky my grandparents were to live in a country protected from the social evils of these new-fangled American “Comics”!
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
Thanks to Toltoys Kid reader “robspromos” I’m delighted to present the complete set of shrinkie premiums from the 1979 Nabisco Weeties Australia cereal tie-in.
A small set of five that were issued in these boxes, and very tough to find. A bit of a strange mix of characters and ships, but kids weren’t complaining when V.I.N.CENT, Maximillian, Charles Pizer, The Cygnus or Palomino fell into their bowls! Well maybe a few complaints about Charles.
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:
Special thanks to Paul Naylor for the scans of the brochure and sticker for this post.