Christmas List, 1981

Christmas List 1981

Side one of Timothy Smith‘s mom-transcribed list. I think he pretty much nails it. The Fisher-Price Sea Shark and Land Speed Racer are classic Adventure People sets.

I assume that “Hoth military vehicles – on[e] that looks like it flys” is the Snowspeeder.

I wonder if he got his machine gun.

Christmas Morning, 1962: Marx’s Operation Moon Base

Christmas Moon Base 1962

Christmas Moon Base 1962-3

Christmas Moon Base 1962-2

Found photos of a very influential Marx set I talked about in a different Christmas morning shot. There were space exploration-themed playsets before Operation Moon Base, but this is the one that stuck. Molds from Moon Base would be re-used in different Marx sets (including 1979’s Galaxy Command) for nearly 20 years.

The playset format perfected by Marx dominated until Kenner met Star Wars.

A Holiday Shopping Guide: `The Best Video Games of 1981′

TV Guide 1981-1

TV Guide 1981-2

TV Guide 1981-3

Last year I posted TV Guide’s “Best Video Games of 1982,” by Len Albin. Thanks to Tom at Garage Sale Finds, we now have the 1981 edition by the same author. Lots of handhelds listed here, including Galaxian 2, a great game from Entex that allows one person or head-to-head play, with one of the players controlling the dive-bombing aliens.

Also check out the hilarious 1974 Avon Catalog Tom found, from which you can order a Thirteen Original Colonies Pillow ($8.99), or Loop-A-Moose Game and Soap ($2.99).

Christmas Morning, 1982: G.I. Joe and Tron

Christmas 1982-1

Christmas 1982-2

Compulsive Collector (see lots more Christmas toy cheer at the link) patrols the living room on his G.I. Joe Laser Defense Patrol Power Cycle. Coleco released a number of Joe trikes and ride-on vehicles starting in 1982, some of which you can see here.

There’s an empty Tron Light Cycle box on the ground to his right. The Light Cycle (orange) is on his left. In the second photo, he’s holding the Tron action figure and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Read-Along record. You can also see The Pac-Man Album (1980), a two-sided picture disc, playing on a Smurfs record player.

As toy and game vintages go, 1982 was extraordinary.

A Cabbage Patch Christmas (Parker Brothers Music, 1984)

CP Christmas 1984

Cabbage Patch Kid #1: That was great, Colonel Casey, can we do it again?

Cabbage Patch Kid #2: Yeah, take us on another ride!

Cabbage Patch Kid #3: Yeah!

Colonel Casey: Sure, we’ll do it again.

So creepy. Yeah, I listened to most of it. So what?

There was also a TV movie called The Cabbage Patch Kids First Christmas that premiered in December of ’84. Lucky for all of us, it’s not available on the internets.

Christmas Morning, 1983: Cabbage Patch Kids, Return of the Jedi, and Inter-Changeables

Christmas 1983

The happy kid has diverse tastes, and a sleeping bag (Cabbage Patch Kids for summer, Return of the Jedi for winter?) for every occasion. I think she’s wearing a Care Bears sweater.

Between ROTJ and the Garfield trash can is the Centipede (1983) board game. In a fascinating, sometimes clever, yet ultimately desperate attempt to compete with the new gaming paradigm, Milton Bradley released a number of board games based on popular (and not so popular) video games well into the ’90s, including Berserk and Zaxxon.

I don’t know what the C.A.R.P. box is. There’s a bird feeder kit in the trash can.

UPDATE: Thank you, Bradley Conrad, who figured out that C.A.R.P. is a Biotron clone (Cosmic Android Robot Probe) from the Inter-Changeables line. The Inter-Changeables were post-Mego and not technically Micronauts, although many of the molds are identical. Innerspace Online has the line being released around 1985, but I’m almost positive the photo above is from 1983. (Box images below are via Hake’s.) The title of this post has been updated to reflect Bradley’s great find.



(First image via eBay)

Christmas Commercials, 1978: Ronco’s Record Vacuum and Mr. Microphone

I got you some commercials for Christmas. Unwrap and enjoy.

(Ronco is still around.)

Christmas Morning, 1977: Batman’s Wayne Foundation, Star Hawk, and Super Joe Rocket Command Center

Christmas 1977

Dusty Abell—holy shirtless wonder, Batman!—sent in this beauty last week. He says:

Best guess would be December 25, 1977. Star Wars [toys] had yet to hit, otherwise I’m sure we’d be seeing the Falcon and Star Wars figures in the shot! Ideal’s Star Team came out immediately following the release of Star Wars and filled the gap until those toys hit the following year.

Toys seen include Mego’s Batman’s Wayne Foundation, The Amazing Spider-Car, Batcopter, and Batman and Spidey figures; Ideal’s Star Hawk and Zem 21 (from the S.T.A.R. Team line); Hasbro’s Super Joe Commander and the Super Joe Rocket Command Center (see both here); and the Tomland Star Raiders figure Yog (between Batman and Spidey).

Try not to be too envious of Dusty’s righteous haul, people. He grew up to be a talented artist who focuses on geek pop culture of the ’70s and ’80s—so he’s giving back to the community! See a couple of my favorite works below (click to enlarge), and then check out lots more at his DeviantArt gallery.

Dusty Abell-1

Dusty Abell-2

Christmas Morning, 1980: Star Wars, Star Snoopy, and Mr. Mouth

Chrismas 1980

That’s Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer Playset under the Land of the Jawas Playset. Among the figures you can see the Hoth Stormtrooper, my third favorite ESB figure after the AT-AT Driver and Hoth Han. Hoth Luke is also there.

Two items I’d forgotten about are Star Snoopy Colorforms (1979) and Tomy’s Mr. Mouth (1976).

SS 1979

SS 1979-2

SS 1979-3

Mr. Mouth 1976

There were a couple of different versions of Mr. Mouth, one featuring a green frog as the centerpiece, the other featuring a dopey yellow guy. The dopey yellow guy is the one I remember, but I could only find a commercial for the frog version. The yellow figure was later repurposed as a Pac-Man bank, seen below via the 1982 Tomy catalog. I got Pocket Pac-Man as a stocking stuffer in ’81 or ’82, but I never did get Mr. Mouth.

I also had the Fisher-Price Play Family Fun Jet, seen at the far left of the original photo.

Tomy 1982-4

(Christmas morning photo via the Rebel Scum forums)

Horrific Spider-Man Poster, 1973

Spidey 1973

I interrupt my holiday programming to bring you the worst Spider-Man poster anybody has ever seen. It was given away during an early stamp book promotion—a year before the Value Stamps were introduced in 1974. Extremely rare, according to seller Marvel Museum, and also extremely hideous.



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