Saturday, January 27, 2007

Familiar Places McDonald's by Playskool

While I was writing my last post about Shogun Warriors, I remembered that I had pictures of me and my brother from the 70's holding our new warriors. I searched my old childhood photos and could not find them. Instead I found this picture from Christmas 1974 of me opening up my new Playskool Familiar Places McDonalds play set.


It is a pretty special picture to me because my wonderful late Great-Grandma and Great Aunt are behind me. I loved that McDonald's Playset. Do you remember it? Playskool had three or four sets that they called "Familiar Places". I wanted the Holiday Inn Familiar Places set but never got it. I have heard that there was a Texaco Station Familiar Places set but I've never seen it. Playskool made other sets for their square "Play Friends" (that came to be known as "Blockheads"), but they weren't called "Familiar Places". I had a great National Park set that had a bunch of animals. I also had a Fire Rescue Tower and I think I remember them making a horse or pony stable set. Of course Playskool was competing heavily with the popular Fisher-Price little people of which there were many sets. I have a lot of them to show you in future posts!

This post however, is supposed to be about the Playskool McDonald's, so here goes.


This was a great set with a large plastic building that looked just like the McDonald's buildings did at the time. It had a plastic mat with the parking lot and was marked where you were to place the building, sidewalk & sign piece and the playground. Many McDonald's Restaurants of the '70s had normal playgrounds like parks did, so of course this set had a working merry-go-round!

My favorite parts were inside the building. The dining room had a couple of tables and the kitchen area was great! It had the drink machine and burgers on one side, the fries and shake machine on the other, a cash register that went "ding" when you pressed it and a working tray return in the back.



On one side of the outside of the building was the restrooms and on the other side was the tray return that led inside to the kitchen.


If you remember, the Playskool Play Friends suffered from the same ailment that the Fisher-Price little people did; NO HANDS! The best thing about the Playskool people being square was that they could still "hold" things! In the McDonald's set, they could hold the trays under their chins. In the National Park and camping sets, they could hold a backpack on. Look at the picture at the top of this post to see a man from the park set with the backpack.

All sets also came with cars that 4 people could ride in. When these pictures were taken, the cars were still at my Mom's in the toy box that the grandkids play with. There are still many of our old vintage toys in that toy box. Some are probably valuable, but that's okay. Toys should be played with. Besides, its because of my mom saving them that I am able to take pictures of all of these great Toys 2 Remember!

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Shogun Warriors-"Invincible Guardians of World Freedom!"

I have had some email commenting on the Mazinga Shogun Warrior that is prominent in my Toys 2 Remember banner and picture on the previous post. Wow, remember how cool they were? We had many of the smaller diecast metal figures, but the best by far were the 24" Jumbo Machinders. The way they fired rockets, shooting stars, missles or even their fists was pretty cool in the eyes of a 10 year old boy! Luckily for us the time was before the "projectile ban" on toys. There is a lot written about the Mattel Shogun Warriors if you want to know more details. One good site about Shogun Warriors (amoung other toys) is WildToys.

Shogun Warriors were from Japan and were the predecessors to the Transformers, Power Rangers and many anime TV shows. In this post, I mainly want to show you some pictures of the Shogun Warriors that my brother and I enjoyed as kids. We had the first five that were released: Mazinga, Raydeen, Dragun, Godzilla and Gaiking. First up is the Mazinga pictured in my banner:



Our favorite thing about Mazinga was his accessories: His rockets, swords and his "spaceship brain"!

Raydeen shot little yellow airplane shaped missles from his chest and his left fist!



The way Dragun looked probably mad him my favorite. He shot, or rather "flipped" battle axes from one hand and shot stars from a contraption strapped to his other hand.



Godzilla is probably the most sought after now, but he was the first one I parted with because I never thought he fit in with the others. I was never impressed with his "fire breathing" which actually looked like he was sticking out his tounge. And I never saw a Godzilla movie where he fired his fist, but the Shogun Warrior Godzilla's fired fast and furious!

Last but not least is Gaiking. A sort of funny looking warrior, but what he was lacking in looks he made up for in fighting ability! He shot his fist as well as Mazinga-like rockets from his chest.



So the only Jumbo Shoguns not pictured here were Daimos, Goldorak and Rodan. All three look odd to me since I do not have any memories of seeing them and/or playing with them. As for the others, I saw them a lot! How can you not when they are each two-foot tall! Wow, There's just nothin' like 'em!!!

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots - Dodge and Gameboy?

Call me crazy but isn't Rock'em Sock'em Robots showing up everywhere? I'm getting sick of it! Don't get me wrong, I love Rock'em Sock'em Robots! Its just that to me, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots is a game from the 1960's and 1970's by Marx. It has to have this label on it:

Rock'em Sock'em Robots is not a game by Mattel from 1996! Its not a video game either. And its not giant robots taking on a Dodge Ram truck... and losing! The Blue Bomber would never lose to a truck!

Okay, Okay, now that I'm done with my rant, I guess I admit that it is cool that the old toy is getting some fame. The new commercial for Dodge is pretty cool. If you haven't seen it yet than you obviously don't watch NFL football. It is on at least twice a quarter! You can see it here on YouTube:
Rock'em Sock'em Robots Dodge Commercial


The video game I'm talking about is a GameBoy Advance game. I haven't played it, but I think it gets a little carried away. In addition to the famous "Red Rocker" and "Blue Bomber", the game features the "Black Bruiser", "Brown Bully", "Orange Oppressor", "Yellow Yahoo", "Silver Stretcher", "Purple Pyro", "Green Grappler" and the "Pink Pummeller". Oh please - no.
You can check it out on Game Spy.

Of course our great Marx game has been showing up a lot over the years in popular culture. They played it in a episode of "Friends", I'm told it has appeared on "The Simpsons" and "Futurama". The robots were bit characters in "Toy Story 2" and the game was in the background on a shelf in Mr. Incredible's office in "The Incredibles". Scott Calvin also gave it as a gift to one of the teachers in "Santa Clause 2". I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I know about.

One more place that the robots will appear is in my new Toys2Remember.Com website logo. I am still learning how to author websites, so it is not yet live but this is the first version:


It is indeed the Marx version, I assure you. In a future post, I will talk about the other toys in my montage. Today is reserved only for our treasured friend Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. So one last Rock'em Sock'em thing to leave you with that I'm sure will "Knock Your Block Off", is this original Marx commercial from the 1960s that I found when looking for the Dodge commercial. It sure makes me remember when. How about you?
Rock'em Sock'em Robots 1960's Commercial

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fisher-Price Adventure People

Fisher-Price has always had great toys. Unlike Marx, Fisher Price has stayed in business and has continued to be very popular. Even still, I think the toys they made back in the 70's were better than the ones they make now. Everyone loved the old pull toys and the Fisher Price Little People or as we always called them, "round people". A lesser-known series from Fisher Price is the Adventure People, or Adventure Series.


There were many different sets of Adventure People. They were made for older kids than the little people. I did exactly what Fisher-Price wanted me to do. I went straight from loving FP Little People to loving FP Adventure People. According to ThisOldToy.com, The Adventure Series began in 1975 with four sets. They were: #303 The Emergency Rescue Truck, #304 The Wild Animal Safari, #305 The Air-Sea Rescue Copter, #306 The Daredevil Sport Plane. I had all of these sets and many others (shown above). The first one I got was the safari set, which was and still is my favorite!

They look pretty good for being over 30 years old don't they? These toys have really been played with too. They logged many hours, inside and outside. When I grew up I let my little brother and sister-in law play with them, and then my own kids played with them too - very durable toys! The saying "They don't make 'em like they used to" is definitely true with these adventure people.

I have much more that I could write about, but in case you are already bored with this post, I will save the rest for later. I do want to show you my 2nd and 3rd favorite sets though. They were the 5th and 8th sets made (both in 1976), #307 The Wilderness Patrol and #310 The Sea Explorer.



There were many other sets made. You can see them all detailed at ThisOldToy.com.

Do you remember The FP Adventure People? What was your favorite? Even if you didn't have any of the sets, chances are good that you had the Daredevil Skydiver. Remember the man in the white suite wearing a vinyl parachute with rubber harnesses. What fun it was throwing him high in the air and watching him drift down, down, down... right into a tree or on the roof!

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Remember Pistol Polo by Marx?

Towards the end of its toymaking tenure, the Louis Marx & Company began creating wonderful games with moving parts. Everyone remembers Rock'em Sock'em Robots, but do you remember Pistol Polo?

It was a great shooting game that even moms liked because the BBs didn't get all over the house! It was two guns attached to this clear plastic case the the BB's shot into. You would fire at a yellow ping pong ball and try to keep it on the other player's side.

There was a timer that activated a yellow stop sign to pop up. If the ball was on the other person's side when the stop sign appeared, you won! The concept was exactly like G'nip G'nop. Does anyone remember that game? We had it too, but I don't have any pictures of it. I want to do some research on it. If you know where there is a good write-up or pictures of G'nip G'nop, please let me know. Today's feature however is PistolPolo by Marx!

Check out the above pictures and see if you remember!

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Great Toys from Louis Marx & Co.!

Louis Marx & Co. Has been long forgotten by the average person. Most people do remember some of the individual toys that Marx made, like the original Big Wheel and Rock'em Sock'em Robots, but not the company.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive history of the Marx company and its toys. Marx began in the 1920's and ended in 1978. Some of the toys that were handed down to me from my dad were Marx. Early on Marx mostly made tin toys and trains. Their logo had a railroad crossing sign as the X in Marx, so I guess in the beginning they specialized in model trains. Then in the 50's, 60's and 70's the were famous for their Johnny West and Best of the West action figures. I have a bunch of my Johnny West, Sheriff Garrett and Sam Cobra that I need to take pictures of for a future post. As for now, if you want to see some Best of The West toys, visit the Vintage Toy Room site.

One of my favorite toys as a kid was the Marx Dinosaur Mountain that is pictured at the left. I have better pictures of it that I will eventually highlight on my Toys2Remember website (When & if I ever get that built). This was the largest dinosaur set they released. I think it was one of the later sets, but it is pretty hard to find. The plastic mountains come apart in 4 pieces and there is a plastic "wood" bridge and vinyl mat to set it all on. Of course there are also a bunch of dinosaurs, cavemen and trees. I even used to play "Land of the Lost" with this by putting some of my other figures in this set to fight with the dinosaurs. What fun!

The pictures below are couple of the older O scale railroad pieces. We used to have a train, but I'm not sure what happened to it. It's too bad that Marx quit making toys because in my opinion, everything they had was great. Stay tuned for a post on Best of the West and one about some of the unusual games by Marx.

Have you seen any Marx exhibits at museums? My Stormcloud horse for my Chief Cherokee is in a traveling exhibit that began at the Indianapolis Children's Museum! There are also some museums dedicated exclusively to Marx. A good one with an online presence is the Marx Museum of Glendale West Virginia. Did you have any Marx toys? If so, what was your favorite? Do you still have it? If not, I bet you wish you did.

Marx definitely made some great Toys 2 Remember!

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Monday, January 8, 2007

Are you a Trekkie or a Star Wars Geek?

Are you a Trekkie or a Star Wars Geek? When it came to toys, I was a bit of both. Truth be known, I was much more of a Star Wars geek. My older brother was more of a Star Trek fan. I actually liked Star Wars toys better than any other. That is why I had to follow up yesterday's Star Trek post with this one. Star Trek and Star Wars does have a healthy rivalry going you know?

Kenner Star Wars figures! It brings back such great memories. Notice that we usually drop the word "action" and just call them figures? Kenner took off where Mego and G.I. Joe began to decline. The Star Wars figures were the first to make the smaller size figures popular. This made the playset possibilities so much better! It was hard for a Six Million Dollar Man figure or G.I. Joe to have a good playset because it had to be so very big! Mego and Big Jim got a little smaller, but the airplane or Rescue Rig for Big Jim was enormous! (Sorry, I'll stick to today's topic, - Big Jim will be a future post) With the 4" size, Star Wars figures could have great playsets and spaceships like the Death Star Space Station, Snow Walker, millennium Falcon, X-Wing and Tie Fighters and the Land Speeder. I had almost every playset from Star Wars (now called A New Hope) and Empire Strikes back. Kenner kept making great figures for Return of the Jedi, but I became more interested in sports and girls at that time.

The other reason the small size was better was because it made the cost more affordable! I would do just about anything to get the $2.09 it took to buy a new figure at Gold Circle. Once I even walked our country road for what seemed like miles, searching for glass returnable pop bottles that people had thrown out of their car. I only needed 21 bottles to make enough money. I returned home with an armload of bottles! I think I only had about 8, but my mom rewarded me for my effort and gave me the rest of the money. It was off to Gold Circle in search of that elusive Yoda figure! You remember the one? He was tiny, with the orange snake around his neck. That was the hardest one for me to find. The great thing about collecting the figures was that if I couldn't find a figure that I didn't already have, I could always buy another Stormtrooper or Jawa. I always wanted to have as many stormtroopers as are on the millennium falcon box. I think I ended up with about 7 or 8 of them.

My favorite figures were always the aliens like Greedo, Hammerhead and SnaggleTooth. Of Course the bounty hunters were great too, with Boba Fett leading the way. I got my Boba Fett through that mail-in offer. Look at the picture on the right of the bounty hunters. I tried to match the bounty hunter photos from the trading cards. The trading cards were cool too! It was always a struggle deciding to buy a pack of cards or save the money toward another figure. Of course thank goodness for Grandma and Grandpa or I would not have had the playsets and ships.

I also really liked everything that Kenner made from Hoth, the snow planet. They made the Snowtrooper figures and several playsets, along with the Snowspeeder and AT-AT Snow Walker. I had a cardboard Snow Walker, but the big plastic one was the only playset that I never got. It was over $30 which was way too much for a toy according to my parents. My Grandma would have paid for it, but it was the principal of the thing. I don't remember the exact cost, but it sure looked cool! Did any of you have it, or remember how much it cost back in 1980? Please leave a comment about it or any of your favorite Star Wars toy memories.

Sorry for rambling here. My other posts won't be so long. If you made it all the way down here, you must have been a Star Wars fan too. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Remember Star Trek Mego!

Remember the fun we had with Star Trek?

My brother and I used to play Star Trek. We had plastic phasers, comunicators and tricorders. Most of the time my brother got to be Captain Kirk. I was usually Spock. We had fun with those play phasers but the aliens and villians we faced always had to be imaginary - Until Mego came out with the Star Trek action figures! Mego was already great at making super heroes, but now they had star trek! My brother got the U.S.S. Enterprise playset and the whole crew(except Lt. Uhura) ! We also had The Klingon, Neptunion, Cheron and Gorn for them to fight. Mego never made Sulu or Chekov or any generic crew members. We used our many Action Jackson figures as the extra crew that could be killed. The other aliens that Mego made were The Keeper, Romulan, Talos, Andorian and Mugato. I learned that from the Star Trek portion of the Mego Museum website. If you are a Mego fan, I'm sure you've seen the Mego Museum. If not, you need to check it out. They have many details and pictures for all of the Mego lines. It is undoubtedly the most comprehensive website about Mego.

Mego made action figures for at least 10 years, but these 8" Star Trek figures were only manufactured between 1974 and 1976. After that they made the smaller "Star Trek The Motion Picture" figures that were about 4" tall. I had some of these that were mixed in with my Star Wars figures, but they were not as fun as the 8" toys. They also didn't have any playsets that I can recall. The Enterprise playset for the 8" figures was awsome! It had the bridge and a working transporter. You put the figure in, spun it real fast and when it stopped, - he was gone! Of course you could get him back by opening the "secret" door behind the transporter. It worked similar to how Batman's "to the batcave" batpole worked. The Batcave was also awsome, but that is material for another post.

This toy blog is new for me. It is simply for me to recall all of the great toys I had as a kid, and show some pictures. Future posts may cover Star Wars toys, Space 1999, Battlestar Gallactica, Major Matt Mason and other space toys, Micronauts, Robots, Six Million Dollar Man, Shogun Warriors, Big Jim, G.I. Joe, Fisher Price toys, Adventure People, Weebles, Playskool square people, classic games like Rock'em Sock'em Robots and Shoot out in Space, vintage board games, Slot cars, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, Race Track sets and Lionel Train sets, Best of the West and other Marx toys, Atari games, handheld electronic games like Mattel Football and many more toys that I can't think of right now.

Since this is new for me, I'm not sure what toy to highlight next. I'm not even sure if I have any readers yet. If you are reading this and are the least bit interested, PLEASE leave a comment and tell me what you would like to see next. Did anything on the above list interest you? What did you like from the 60's 70's or 80's that isn't on the above list? I want this blog to be fun.

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If you have read anything in this post that interests you or helped you bring back memories, I would love to hear from you. Please comment or send me an email.

I have many other toys that I can write about and show pictures of. Please comment or email if you have a favorite toy form the 60's, 70's, or 80's that you would like me to post about. If your favorite toy is before the 60's or after the 80's, I will still give it a shot. I have many of my Dad's old toys, and I know about the more recent ones too.

This blog is for you. It's for everyone. Together, lets talk about the Toys 2 Remember! Thanks!!

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Remember When??

Remember when toys were amongst the most important things in your life? Toys were especially important to you if you were a child before cable television and video games. For me growing up in the 1970's, my free time was spent with Star Wars figures, Six Million Dollar Man toys, Mego super heroes, Fisher Price little people and adventure people, Rock-em Sock-em Robots and much much more! Oh the fun I had with those classic 1970's toys! The purpose of this blog is to document the good ol' days of vintage toys. Together we will recall the Toys 2 Remember!

Happy New Year!!!