toy era head-fgtn-6

There are always some toys that were huge in their day, but over time have lost their relevance. They may have had a strong emotional attachment to us at one point, but as the shape of play change, these toys didn’t make the cut. Welcome the archipelago of forgotten toys.


Major Matt Mason - 1966

Major Matt Mason was an action figure created by Mattel. When introduced in 1966, the figures were initially based on design information found in Life Magazine, Air Force Magazine, Jane's, and other aviation- and space-interest periodicals. Later, the line attempted to transition into the realm of science fiction.


Marvel the Mustang - 1967

Apparently the idea of making a riding horse with spring action was not forgotten through the years and in 1967 in Glen Dale, MARVEL the GALLOPING MUSTANG was born. The pony was an instant success. The Louis Marx Company had another hit toy.


Super Jock - 1977

Super Jock was a notable toy made by Schaper Toys from the 1970s. It featured various action figures playing sports of the day including basketball, hockey, baseball, football, and soccer. Pressing down on the toy's head caused it to either kick/throw/hit a ball or puck.


Strange Change - 1968

The Strange Change Machine was a Mattel toy introduced in 1968, in which "shape memory" plastic figures of prehistoric animals & science fiction-like creatures could be reconstituted from compressed "time capsule" form, and re-compressed back into that form. The label on the box declares: "A Strange Change Toy featuring The Lost World," suggesting that perhaps this was the first of a proposed series. The "Lost World" was the only scenario produced with this toy before it was discontinued.


GI Nurse

Hasbro released the first G.I. Joe action figures in 1964 and young boys snatched 'em up by the thousands. G.I. Joe, the 11-inch every-soldier with 21 moving parts quickly became a fixture on backyard battlefields across the United States.

With its tremendous success, the toy line expanded every year. Then in 1967 Hasbro released the fabled G.I. Nurse Action Girl, a doll so rare that certain models mint-in-box can bring up to $6,000 in today's collectors' market. It met such poor reception it was only sold for one year.


Vac-u-form - 1961

The Vac-u-form, was a toy made by Mattel in the 1960s based on the industrial process of vacuum forming.

Various molds came with the kit. Several expansion kits were also available for molding various other shapes. In actual use, almost any small object that could withstand the temperature of the heated plastic sheet for a few seconds could be used as a mold. Plastic refill sheets came in a variety of colors.


ShakerMaker - 1970

Shaker Maker is a toy for making figures. Water and a powder must be mixed in a shaker and after turning the shaker the mixture flows into moulds inside the shaker. Because of fast polymerisation the consistency of the mixture becomes like pudding in seconds. After some days it hardens.

Shaker Maker was invented in the 1970s of the firm Ideal Toy Company. The toy was primarily sold in the US and some countries in Europe. In the 1990s and the 2000s there were two relaunches of Shaker Maker but these met with less success.


Captain Action - 1966

Captain Action may have just been a plastic man, but he had one incredible power — licensing. Ideal Toy Co.'s competitor to Hasbro's G.I. Joe, Captain Action could change outfits and become several different beloved comic heroes. He could slip into a Batman or Superman costume (each sold separately for $3.22), turn into Tonto or the Lone Ranger, venture out as Buck Rogers or Steve Canyon. There were even Green Hornet, Flash Gordon, and other get-ups.


Incredible Edibles - 1966

In 1968 Ideal unleashed the S.T.A.R. (Space Travel And Reconnaissance) Team toy line on children everywhere with an awesome line of Space Adventure Gear.  Coupled with Ideal's very popular Utility Belts these were classic and very popular toys that enabled young Astronauts to explore the stars and work with some pretty innovative accessories for the time.


S.T.A.R. Team - 1968

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Marx Electro Shot - 1967

Toy genius Louis Marx created the Electro Shot in 1967. It was an arcade-style shooting gallery that used 4 D batteries to power the gun and could fire 8 shots quickly.  The arcade game with a plastic cover for safety.


Action Jackson - 1971

Released in 1971, Action Jackson sold brilliantly but not for a long time. The first year resulted in 2.5 million Action Jackson figures being sold but the reorders didn't pile up as hoped losing out to G.I. Joe

While the Action Jackson was largely considered a failure, it's significance is that it led to the concept of using the basic body on any variety of characters. Most importantly, Mego's next 8" line the World's Greatest Superheroes.


Show 'n Tell

The Show 'N Tell was a combination record player, filmstrip viewer manufactured by General Electric from 1964 to the 1970s.

It resembled a television set, but had a record player on the top. Records and slides were sold in a combination called PictureSound programs. As the record played telling a story, the slide strip projected images on the screen and would automatically advance.


Easy-Show Projector - 1966

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Stretch Armstrong - 1976

Stretch Armstrong is a large, gel-filled action figure first introduced in 1976 by Kenner. In 2016, at the New York Toy Fair, Hasbro announced the return of the Stretch Armstrong toy in its original 1976 design.

Stretch Armstrong is made of latex rubber filled with gelled corn syrup, which allows it to retain shape for a short time before shrinking to its original shape.


Ricochet Racers - 1974

In 1974 Hasbro appeased both the weapon and car-loving kids of the world when they unleashed Ricochet Racers. The gun fired cars that could be raced against another or shot into plastic barrels. You really get the feel of a rifle with this toy - the cars are fitted with cartridges, a bolt-action lever loads them, and then that then a spring-loaded firing mechanism launches the cars.


Big Jim - 1972

Big Jim was a popular line of action figure toys produced from 1972 through 1986. Originally inspired by G.I. Joe, the Big Jim line was smaller in size (closer to 10 inches in height compared to Joe's 12) and each figure included a push button in the back that made the character execute a karate chop action. The action figure's arms were made of a soft plastic/vinyl material and contained a mechanism that simulated the bulge of a biceps when the elbow was bent.


Shogun Warriors - 1978

The Shogun Warriors were the main characters of a line of toys licensed by Mattel Inc. during the late 1970s. They were a series of imported Japanese toys based on anime and tokusatsu shows featuring giant robots. They were originally manufactured in three sizes: 24-inch plastic versions, 3.5-inch (89 mm) die-cast metal versions, and slightly taller but much more detailed 5-inch die-cast versions.


Little Kiddles - 1965

Mattel came up with these pioneering three-inch dolls in 1965, a forerunner to the tiny collections you see all over the place today. There were subsets of Storybook Kiddles, Skediddle Kiddles that could walk, and Kologne Kiddle. The oil crisis of the 1970s killed off these wee toys, as plastics became too cost-prohibitive to produce.


Play-Doh Funny Pumper - 1969

Play-Doh debuted its first playset, the Play-Doh Fun Factory, in 1960. But starting in the late 1960s it used the technology and popularity of it to expand the toyline. The Funny Pumper was introduced in 1967 and was a hit. Over the next 10 years, the pumper toyline would expand to include a "pumper" fire truck, hairy-scary monsters, and a beauty salon.