Most underappreciated toy of childhood

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by ultrakaiju, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    Okay, so we've covered the grails that most of us could never have outside of our dreams, but what about something, be it a single toy or a whole line, that you really loved as a kid, but maybe doesn't get the respect it deserves. Sure, we all love Star Wars, He-man, GI Joe, Mego, etc, but these are huge lines that still garner place on toy shelves. I am talking about something that, while perhaps fleeting, left an indelible mark on your childhood play. Here are some suggestions to get you started (I apologise that these are weighted towards the 80s but like the man said, I write what I know)

    - Action Force - Blackstar - M.A.S.K.
    - Spinjas - Rock Lords - Crystar
    - Visionaries - Battle Beasts - Playmobil
    - Construx - Starcom - Britains

    OKay, I could go on here forever so I will just stop myself; but you get the idea. For myself, it was Fisher-Price. They build these toys in the 70s like nothing else, they were made to last, and believe me they did. I put my toys through a lot as a kid (sandbox, bathtub, roof-launchings...) and these guys might get a little beat up, but they never gave in. Two things that come to mind are the Fisher Price adventure people and castle playset. These provided me uncountable hours of enjoyment, were great designed figures (I still insist that is Capt Nemo!) and the best part of all of it was that the size of the accessories and vehicles made them perfect to play with my Star Wars or Joes guys, only in a tougher EU theme.

    I wish I could impart on others how great these seemingly lame figures were. The sea explorer and submarine in particular was perfect, it floated, had a kickass octopus, and you could stuff guys in the 'trap' in the bow. And the sub had a trigger-action claw you could grab guys with! :D Here are just a few pics from this line:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Along with this for me came the FP castle. Forget the little people, this was the base for literally thousands of battles, sieges, rescue attempts, and all out free-for-alls in my play. The Empire and Joes alike spent many days crossing its ramparts. It had everything: turrets, a trapdoor to a dungeon, a moat w/ drawbridge, hidden passageway, a slide, cave, windows you could chuck guys out of, a springy flag, and, and.... I wish these pictures could do it justice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Just thinking about these toys again makes me happy. I can't wait to get home and raid my toy box! :mrgreen:
     
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  2. evom

    evom Mini Boss

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    ^^ construx ruled so hard, thanks for bringing those up.
     
  3. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    Stevekaiju, King of the Threadstarters...

    [​IMG]
    You just popped my brain again, Steve! I've thought of these toys so often over the years. This rescue-team set in particular was a strong favorite in the bathtub. I recall also having a more casual adventures set involving a deck boat, a hat wearing couple and a shark.

    I was the proud owner of the castle, too. Played with it long after it was 'age appropriate.'

    My heads too frizzled from the shock of seeing these things again to contemplate what to add to the list, but I'll surely type again once the swelling's gone down.
     
  4. Ghost&Flower

    Ghost&Flower Line of Credit

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    I loved my cowboys of moo mesa toys.
    And thoss muscular anthropomorphic shark guys. Don't remember the name..
    Oh, and stretch Armstrong.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. melek_taus

    melek_taus Mini Boss

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    First pic- Love the space suited guy on the right. I'd buy that.

    2nd pic- I remember playing with the black spaceship and astronaut in the upper left corner. One of my absolute favorite toys back then. Can't believe I had forgotten about that. I wonder where that ended up....
     
  6. EBIII

    EBIII Addicted

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    I'm a little younger than some of you but this was my toy growing up!i it reminds me of the first post a lot

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. chimmychazz

    chimmychazz Comment King

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    @Ghost&Flower - Street Sharks
    [​IMG]

    @EBIII - My brother used to have that castle, it was pretty sweet.
     
  8. Lalo

    Lalo Mini Boss

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    i had this spider toy that would open up and become a dungeon of some sort.
    and there would be super mini characters to play with.
    i have no idea what their names were.
    max something something?

    edit: found them! mighty max!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Daimyo

    Daimyo Side Dealer

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    [​IMG]

    I Got this guy with the dump trailer one Christmas and was obsessed with it for quite a while. You could program it to drive around, turn corners, back up and dump the payload. Once all the instructions were punched in you hit a button and off it went. I don't know much about its commercial success but I didn't know anyone else who had one.
     
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  10. Daimyo

    Daimyo Side Dealer

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    These are sweet! I had that Adventure People Submarine too, it really was fun. I also just though of those submarines that came in cereal boxes. How did they work? I think you adding a tablet or baking soda to the little compartment and it make it bubble or something as it sank slowly. My memory of them is foggy but I remember being so excited when I got them.
     
  11. Aldo

    Aldo Comment King

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    I used to love Army Ants. Definitely underrated. I think most kids didn't like them because they had no points of articulation

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MattyBoomBatty

    MattyBoomBatty Addicted

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    Starriors, Powerlords and silverhawks
    All awesome now in retrospect....especially the first two, I love Starriors.
     
  13. BloodDrinker6969

    BloodDrinker6969 Die-Cast

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    Food Fighters
    Barnyard Commandos
    Savage Mondo Blitzers
     
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  14. Onion

    Onion Toy Prince

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    Oh man the Fisher Price castle was ballin' out of control! Seeing the trap door and moat *instantly* brought back some pretty vivid memories of loading that thing up with Ewoks to defend against the Empire and their Ghostbuster allies. Don't get hung up on narrative; I had a lot of yard sale leftovers and had to make them work together.

    Anyways I'm gonna go with two pics: Starcom and Sectaurs. My cousins had quite a few of the Starcom sets and they were amazing. They all had springs, gears, magnets and tons of moveable parts on the vehicles. The figures all had tons accessories, movable visors, hoses that connected from rifles to backpacks and I think some even had magnets in the feet. From what I understand they were popular abroad but didn't really get the respect they deserved in the US.

    I also remember some child of one of my parents' coworkers having the Sectaurs villains very vividly. I always thought it was amazing that the toys were half puppet/half toy and it seems like they should have been popular enough to last more than one season.
     
  15. XVivaHateX

    XVivaHateX Addicted

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    YES!! I totally forgot about Starriors. This was one of my favorite playsets Such cool toy designs Great thread Steve.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. evom

    evom Mini Boss

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    This thread fuckin rules already, props to Steve for starting it.

    @Lalo, fuck yea mighty max was pretty awesome. I was too broke to have any but I played with a few at friends houses.
    pretty sure they were just a dude version of pollypockets but were pretty badass little sets.
     
  17. paulk

    paulk Addicted

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    Yeah, thanks Steve for this thread. I forgot about all of these, so it was cool for the memories to come flooding back. I had the FP Castle and LOVED it. So many hours of fun spent there. Also had the Adventure people set with the sub and octopus. I wanted some of the space guys but never had those. I remember really wanting that Big Trak as well. I never knew anyone who had one, so never saw it in person.

    Later on I really liked some of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons toys. I had all the action figures listed below as well as Warduke's horse and the Dragonne. I don't remember seeing that fortress of fangs, but I would have wanted it:
    [​IMG]

    The Dragonne was my favorite. Very cool design. Wish I still had it:
    [​IMG]

    and Warduke was by far the coolest figure. I loved his shield & his horsed rocked too, even though the saddle had fake rider's legs on the side and the figure's legs would actually go into the body of the horse:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    pics all from http://www.toyarchive.com

    They all were a bit crappily made with the wings falling off of Dragonne easily, and helmets not staying on the big figures, but I remember liking them alot.
     
  18. I Am The Fourth

    I Am The Fourth Post Pimp

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    Those look like toys Skinner would make! :lol:
     
  19. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    I've been half-remembering all the electronics-infused toys I coveted as a kid since I popped Rom: The Space Knight in a post over at the grail thread. The first one that re-nested in the grey was this long-necked space ship that had some sort of gyro-awareness so that the tone it would emit while you were pretending to be hurtling through space would raise and lower depending on the pitch you were handling the craft with - lowering tones if you were landing and higher if you were gaining altitude. The overall design of the thing had many lifts from recent SF epics, but incorporated all the stolen shorthand into a sleek, simple, and maybe even elegant whole. Seriously. Also, it had a laser sound button AND a detachable cockpit!
    I always associated this toy with ROM, on accounta the timeframe and the blips 'n bloops. It wasn't until I did my ROM research that I even considered that different folk had made both toys - The clunky knight was the one and only toy toy that Parker Brother, the board games peoples, ever made - but it wasn't until Daimyo posted the futuristic programmable dump truck yesterday that I found I HAD to figure out what exactly the space ship was.
    As much as I've wanted to just remember stuff about it, stuff like its NAME(!), I had to resort to slowly narrowing Google quearys.
    Turns out it was the Star Bird, manufactured by the same company that brought us the Big Trak - the good people at MB Electronics:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I quickly learned it was one in a small line of appealing ships and saw lovely pics of a forgotten star base they also offered up. Rather than recap the short write up I found I'll just direct you to it here.

    I never had one for my very own, but my cousins in Pittsburgh did, so I always knew it was just six short hours away.

    Another favorite from MB?
    [​IMG]
    Look it up!
     
  20. paulk

    paulk Addicted

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    Holy crap! I had that Star Bird ship! Man, I have forgotten so many toys from my childhood. Now I remember playing with that ship and running all around the house "firing" the lasers at everyone and everything. Maybe my Mom or Dad conveniently disposed of it when I was at school or something because I have no idea what happened to it. I've never seen the Command Center though or the other 2 ships. Cool stuff.

    I never knew anyone who had the Dark Tower game so I never played it as a kid, but I remember seeing the commercials and wanting it. My sister-in-law actually has her still in the box complete, so I finally played it a few years ago. It was fun as an adult, so I'm sure it was awesome as a kid.

    Thanks again to all of those with better memories than mine for posting all these great toys!
     
  21. BloodDrinker6969

    BloodDrinker6969 Die-Cast

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    Oh, also Super Naturals. Forever.
     
  22. Brad814

    Brad814 Toy Prince

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    Sadly all my childhood toys grew to be underappreciated. They all just ended up in peices in this giant junk box in the basement. Once I discovered Metallica, Megadeth, skateboards, comic books, and girls that box was carelessly thrown out. So sad. ::Start Sarah Mclachlan song now::
     
  23. MicromanZone

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    Anyone else remember the Matchbox line called Mobile Action Command (M.A.C.)? I had a few vehicles, but was always in awe of the mountain playset. They were kind of like low-rent generic action figures that cost a wee bit more than generic rack toys, but had uniqueness and details you just don’t see in generic toys. Also anyone else notice how many playsets in the 1970s were “rescue” based? Even in the Microman line there was the Rescue Command. Wonder what spurred that trend? Not too many people hot on marketing war toys in the post-Vietnam world?
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Onion

    Onion Toy Prince

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    Most underappreciated toy of childhood
    Oh wow, a buddy of mine had that toy and we never knew what series it came from. Mystery solved.
     
  25. Cubensis

    Cubensis Line of Credit

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    Holy shit, I completely forgot about these! Good call, man. These were awesome.
     

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