Those of us here are older, came from moderate backgrounds, better educated, had moms and dads who were husbands and wives first. We were lucky. Saturday morning network television wasn’t a non-stop menu of wildlife shows, science and sundry other enviro-wacko horseshoe. It was CARTOONS! from 6:00 AM until about 11. You sat there in your pajamas, eating your Kellogg’s Sugar Pops or Cap’n Crunch cereal staring at the little black and white screen at Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Woody Woodpecker, Huckleberry Hound, Tom and Jerry, and my personal favorite, Linus the Lionhearted (with Itchy Brother and Biggie Rat.) There were no commercials for cars or laundry soap. All available minutes were designed to sell toys.
Here are some toys you may remember:
THIS IS THE MATTEL FANNER 50
It was advertised so heavily that in the different models that were produced there were more than 30 million sold. They were realistic-looking, and most importantly, they were cheaper than a lot of character guns. As a toy monger, I sold a lot of these because almost every boy had one.
THEY ALSO MADE A SHOOTIN’ SHELL MODEL IN A 9″ SIZE AND THIS FANNER .45, ONE OF THE RAREST AND ONLY DOUBLE ACTION CAP GUN I’VE EVER SEEN. ALONG WITH THE NICHOLS STALLION 41-40, THEY’RE MY TWO FAVORITE TOYS.
I’ve already done an article on Mattel’s Barbie dolls. Shortly afterward, Hasbro came out with a toy for boys, but didn’t call it a doll… it was an ‘action figure.’
There were two early variations, this one, commonly referred to as a Painted Head, in 1964
and in 1971, the Adventure Team Joe, commonly referred to as the Fuzzhead (with kung fu grip hands, which were interchangeable) came out. It had flocked hair, which had a tendency to fall out.
Maybe your brother had the 3 3/4″ Joes
I only dealt in the bigger 11 1/2″ figures, along with the dozens of playsets and accessories that came with them.
THIS IS CHATTY CATHY, THE FIRST DOLL WITH A PULL STRING TO MAKE HER TALK. THOSE OF YOU WHO’VE BEEN HERE FOR A TIME KNOW ABOUT THE TRAVELS ACROSS THIS GREAT NATION MY WIFE’S CHATTY CATHY TOOK A FEW YEARS BACK. I WILL ALWAYS TREASURE THE BOOK OF MEMORIES MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS PRODUCED.
THE TOY TOP…AROUND FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY. MOST WERE MADE BY J.CHEIN OR OHIO ART. MANY MODELS MADE A WHISTLING SOUND WHEN THEY SPUN.
DON’T EVEN TRY TO TELL ME YOU NEVER HAD ONE OF THESE:
MY COUSIN BOBBY GOT ONE OF THESE FOR CHRISTMAS. HE BROUGHT IT OVER AND WE PLAYED UNTIL THE CHEAP PLASTIC CONTROL HANDLES SMELLED LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO MELT.
BEFORE THERE WERE VIDEO GAMES WE HAD THESE
THEY WOBBLE, BUT THEY DON’T FALL DOWN
MY MOM ACTUALLY PLAYED THIS WITH ME
THEY REPRODUCE THESE NOW, BUT THEY’LL NEVER BE THE MEMORY THE ORIGINAL ONE WAS
I ACTUALLY ASKED GRANNY FOR ONE OF THESE WHEN BEATLEMANIA FIRST HIT IN 1963. I WAS 13.
SHE TOLD ME TO STOP BEING A DUMBASS.
AFTER THE WEEK WE’VE SUFFERED THROUGH, I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD TIME TO TAKE YOU ON A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE. I DON’T DO IT OFTEN ENOUGH.