Monday, November 28, 2011

Classic Television Toy Commercials

Captain Action Advertisement

I've mentioned before just how badly I wanted a Captain Action doll when I was a kid, and how I never got one. The Captain, with his ability to change into numerous other characters was easily the coolest thing I had ever seen and when I never got one under the tree it was really disappointing.

Ah well.

Here's the original commercial that introduced the good Captain and as I'm sure you'll see, Captain Action was one of the great toys of the 1960's.

Mom was never really into getting me GI Joe's either, which I again never really understood. Heck back then Mom was a Republican and Matt and I had all sorts of toy guns, swords and other implements of destruction, but never the ultimate boy toy, GI Joe.

Here is an early GI Joe commercial introducing us to Astronaut Joe and his realistic space capsule.

In the mid-1970's I finally did get one GI Joe, but it really wasn't your normal Joe.

Instead, Mom got me Bulletman, the GI Joe superhero.

Bulletman joins the GI Joes

Not to say that Bulletman with his complete rip-off of the classic Fawcett superhero wasn't fun, but he really wasn't that much a Joe and much more of a superhero.

Speaking of ripping off other characters, in the last days of the original GI Joe run, it seems that the folks at Hasbro not only had run out of ideas, but had no hesitation about stealing other peoples ideas as well.

For example Mike Power, the Atomic Man

Mike Power, the Atomic Man

I've always wondered if the owners of ABC's Six Million Dollar Man ever thought about suing the toymaker for the obvious theft.

Now what my mom did let me have was Mego's, tons and ton's of Mego's.

Maybe it was a cost thing, but where I couldn't get a Joe if I tried, my mom got me just about all of the Superhero's, most of the Star Treks, including the Enterprise play set, the planet of the Apes toys and even the Universal Monsters.

Mom was one of Mego's best customers for a few years there.

Here is the original commercial for their World's Greatest Superhero's line

The Planet of the Apes toys were really well put together like most Mego toys with good looking uniforms and great looking faces.

The Star Trek doll's were nice, but the Aliens from the series were just fantastic. 

Here's the commercial that introduced these fantastic toys.

By the way, although the GI Joes were famous for their detail and quality, by the later part of the original run in the 1970's the quality really went downhill. Mike Power was a second rate Steve Austin, as this commercial clearly shows.

In fact, the Six Million Dollar Man was so cool that even his sidekick Oscar Goldman got his own doll......and commercial.

There's what ever 8 year old wanted, a doll that comes with a 70's sports coat and a briefcase.

Now that was exciting.


  1. Other lines worthy of mention are the Marx "Best of the west" and "Noble knights" dolls. I hear Marx also had a Viking line of dolls (*faints*) but I never saw them.

    Those Marx toys were pretty much indestructible. I played with them for years, with all the carelessness boys are known for (throw them as high as can be, throw stones at them, dunk them in the bathtub) but today, 40 years later, they're still in my mother's basement... having served a full term with me, and a second one with my own sons. They're now patiently waiting for my grandkids, none the worse for wear (although I did lose a lot of equipment since then).

    The full-size G.I. Joe toys were almost as sturdy, although the kung fu grips eventually went bad. As for the ephemeral "Super Joe" dolls that showed up in the late 70s, they literally turned to dust when I took them out of storage to give to my kids; the rubber from the joints had gone totally dry and crumbled at the sligtest touch.

    Great trip down memory lane, Rick! I really, really wish I could have had that übercool G.I. Joe astronaut. Alas, I started playing with them with the "fuzzy beards" Adventure Team version, and although there were divers, spies, polar explorers and tomb robbers, I could never find an astronaut.

  2. I had most of the Johnny West toys, the Marx Knights and yes, one of the Vikings, which were as cool as you can imagine. Those Marx toys all had so much stuff that came with them, that they were just amazing fun

    I really should take a more serious look at those toys.

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