1988 Manta Force by Bluebird

Manta Force was a toyline produced by Bluebird Plc in the 1980s. MANTA was an acronym for Multiple-Air-Naval-Terrain-Assault Force, which referred to both the “good guys” and their spacecraft, searching the galaxy for a “New Earth”. Their foe was called Viper Squad, who traveled in a spacecraft called Red Venom. The back-story involved the sending of a spaceship to find a “New Earth” for colonization by the World Government, given the overpopulated and polluted state of Planet Earth. The Viper Squad aimed to take over MANTA and colonize the New Earth themselves.


Scalextric 1980

Advert for Scalextric from 1980

Scalextric is a major international brand of slot car racing that first appeared in the late 1950s, and is currently owned by Hornby.

Ideal Games 1978

idealAdvert from 1978 with a host of Games from IDEAL Games including Doctor Doctor & Dont Upset Me!

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.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia


Evel Knievel Toys

Evel Knievel Toys

1977 Commercial for Evel Knievel toys.

Evel Knievel (October 17, 1938 – November 30, 2007), born Robert Craig Knievel, was an American motorcycle daredevil and entertainer famous in the United States and elsewhere between the late 1960s and early 1980s. Knievel’s nationally televised motorcycle jumps, including his 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls, Idaho, represent four of the twenty most-watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports events to date. His achievements and failures, including his record 37 broken bones, earned him several entries in the Guinness Book of World Records.

His son Robbie Knievel is also an accomplished motorcycle daredevil.

The merchandising of the Knievel image reached additional media. Ideal Toys released a bendable Knievel action figure in 1972; along with a host of accessories, there was also a female counterpart available—Derry Daring.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1981 Star Wars Empire Strikes Back

1980-the-empire-strikes-back-poster1Star Wars Empire Strikes Back ad from the 80’s

The Kenner toy company produced a line of Star Wars action figures based on prominent characters in the original Star Wars movie trilogy. Over 90 unique action figures were produced and sold from 1977 to 1985. Between 1977 and 1984, 300 million Star Wars action figures were sold; Kenner’s success motivated creators of other action-adventure movies to market their own action figure line.

These plastic action figures were usually smaller than four inches and typically moved at five points on their bodies, but there were many differences and unique qualities in the individual figures that departed from these norms. Kenner’s Star Wars action figures were produced along with vehicles and playsets based on the Star Wars movies. The action figures were typically sold in clear plastic packaging attached to product cards. The backs of the cards usually promoted (and sometimes enumerated) all available action figures, upcoming figures and related products. “12-back” cards promoted a line of 12 action figures, “20-back” cards promoted a line of 20 action figures, etc.

The toy line was reintroduced in 1995 and called ‘Power of the Force’ (called Power of the Force 2 in collecting circles to differentiate it from the original 1985 line). Kenner produced these figures as a subsidiary of Hasbro from 1995 through 1999 until its Cincinnati, Ohio office was closed. The remaining year of the line (2000) was produced and labeled as a Hasbro product, as they are done today (as of 2009).

Although Hasbro continues to produce a variety of toys relating to all six Star Wars films, the original Kenner toys are the most sought-after by collectors

Info gleaned from Wikipedia