5 Lost Toys
Everyone thinks about their childhood every once in a while. It is only natural. And for many of us, like me, that childhood is defined by the toys we had as a child.
Now, granted, at 42 years old (rounding up to the nearest Douglas Adams inspired number), the toys today seem to blow out the toys of the past.
Well, not really. There are a few that I still remember from my youth
1) Stretch Armstrong
Stretch Armstrong was a simple concept. Take a skin colored piece of rubber roughly in the shape of a man, fill it with some sort of thick goo, and stick a head on it. Kids would stretch the arms and legs as far as they could and watch it shrink back into shape. And just like any true superhero, Stretch Armstrong had a villain, Stretch Monster (as seen in the commercial above). I had both. And, sadly, neither one managed to survive until today without rupturing and oozing thick sticky good all over the place (and yes, I know how bad that sounded).
2) Sucker Man
There really was not all that much to Sucker Man. He was a piece of flexible plastic in the shape of a monster that has suction cups all over his body. Sucker Man was one of those toys you could not break because of how it was made, and it was made to take a beating. You threw him against walls to watch him stick, and you through him… well against any surface that would allow it. Refrigerators were excellent for this. You could also stick him up on strange poses, I guess to scare people when they see him. He came in a number of different colors, including one glow in the dark version, which was the one that I had.
Obviously we were easily entertained in my day.
3) The Six Million Dollar Man
Throwing us right into all the adventure of Steve Austin, we had the Six Million Dollar Man action figure. I had both the original and the one with the special grip action. The figure itself was pretty cool. It had multiple points of articulation, along with a bionic arm that lifted whatever it held when you pushed the button on his back. That arm even had fake skin that you could roll up and see all the “bionics.” You could even look through his eye to simulate his special vision.
There were other figures in this line. Oscar Goldman came with a suitcase that would “explode” is you opened it wrong. And there was Maskatron, the evil robot with multiple faces and switchable special attack arms (one of which was a suction cup because those were big back then). There was also a Bigfoot figure that I never had a chance to get when I was a kid. Though, to be honest, the evil of Maskatron was enough.
4) Evel Knievel
It is only obvious that the world’s most famous stunt man would naturally has his own vehicle laden toy line. Granted, the figure was not all that much. It was a simple bendy figure that had hard plastic hands and feet and a face that looked a bit like the actual stuntman. But the figure really was not the showcase of the toy line, the vehicles were. Each motorcycle, stunt car, and jet cycle could be revved up and released to perform whatever stunts you wanted it to. I had a couple of them, the jet cycle with sparking action most memorable. The one problem I had, though, was I was never really all that great in releasing the bikes from the launcher.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a rerelease of the Evel Knievel stunt cycle that was being sold at Cracker Barrel of all places. I thought about getting it, but never did. This was shortly before the actual stunt man passed away. After that, I never did see it at Cracker Barrel ever again.
5) Adventure People
Adventure People are probably the early forerunners of today’s action figures. The Fisher Price line was quite extensive. The figures themselves never had their own names, which, as an imaginative kid, allowed for each character to be any number of people. And any number of people they could be. The line features helicopters, airplanes, skydivers, boats that floated with dolphins and sharks, motorcycles, even a television crew. Each box would show a brief set up for an adventure, then allow children to complete it any way they want, or just to ignore the box and do whatever they wanted. The line also featured a multiculture range of male and female figures, all ready for whatever adventure would come alone.
Posted on August 4, 2013, in Lists, Personal, Pop Culture, The Fives, Toys and tagged Adventure People, Evel Knievel, lists, personal, Pop Culture, Six Million Dollar Man, Stretch Armstrong, Sucker Man, the fives, toys. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.