Mighty Mo 1978

An advert for IDEALs Mighty Mo from 1978.

Ideal Toy Company was founded as Ideal Novelty and Toy Company in New York in 1907 by Morris and Rose Michtom after they had invented the Teddy bear in 1903. The company changed its name to Ideal Toy Company in 1938. In 1982, the company was sold to CBS Toy Company, which itself closed down. Certain brands and toys have been continued through other companies, most notably the Magic 8-ball and Rubik’s Cube.

TCR Driving Sets

TCR Driving Sets advert from the 80’s

Total Control Racing (TCR) was a toy brand from Ideal which debuted in the late 1970s, similar to slot car sets, with approximately HO scale cars (and smaller scale semi-trailer trucks) that operated on a slotless track.

The plastic track contained lanes of three metal tracks about 2 mm (0.08 inch) wide, which made contact with three brass pads on the underside of the cars, providing power. The plastic track had two such lanes, and cars could change lanes with the press of a button on the controller. TCR sets came with “jam cars”, a slow moving drone which both racers had to avoid crashing into. Like Matchbox’s Powertrack, some cars featured lights.

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1970s Six Million Dollar Man Toy

Six Million Dollar man commercial from the 70’s

The Six Million Dollar Man is an American television series about a fictional cyborg working for the OSI (which was usually said to refer to the Office of Scientific Intelligence, but sometimes was called the Office of Scientific Investigation as well as the Office of Strategic Intelligence). The show was based on the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin, and during pre-production, that was the proposed title of the series. It aired on the ABC network as a regular series from 1974 to 1978, after following three television movies aired in 1973. The title role of Steve Austin was played by Lee Majors, who subsequently became a pop culture icon of the 1970s. A spin-off of the show was produced called The Bionic Woman.

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Starbird MB Games

Starbird MB Games

1980 commercial for the Starbird by MB games.

Star Bird is a plastic-bodied, electronic handheld toy that was produced by MB Electronics from 1979.   The Star Bird manual describes it as “THE AMAZING SPACESHIP with realistic engine sounds and flashing laser blasts”.


The toy is only used in three configurations: the Star Bird which consists of all available pieces, the Star Bird Fighter which is mostly only the front hull, and the Star Bird Orbiter which is the main body without the front hull. When turned on the Star Bird mimics an engine sound. If the toy is pointed upwards the sound would automatically be altered to imply acceleration or taking-off, while a nose down orientation gives the sound of decelerating engines. A button activates the LEDs at the front of the toy, along with a blast noise, to simulate the firing of its lasers. A simple, detachable drone-like “Interceptor” is provided at the end of each wing. It also had a rotating laser turret which doubled as an escape-pod/orbiter-type ship. Follow-up toys to the Star Bird, called the Star Bird Space Avenger and the Star Bird Command Base, arrived on the market in 1979. This toy was developed by Bing McCoy who designed a number of successful toys in the late 70’s including Electronic Battleship and ROM the Spaceknight.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia