Monday, September 26, 2011

1966 - Cool Toys

Pictures are mostly from the 1966 JC Penny's Christmas Catalog.....

Captain Action and Accessories

In 1966 there was nothing that I wanted more in the entire universe than a Captain Action doll.

Not only was the good Captain cool looking all on his own, but he also had the excellent gimmick, of having accessory sets that let you turn Action, as well as his sidekick Action Boy into OTHER heroes.

You could make Captain Action turn into Superman, Batman, Aquaman, the Lone Ranger and even Sgt, Fury.

So if you owned Captain Action, you had 10 heroes in one, and there is nothing I wanted more then to get one.

Captain Action doesn't have time to put up with that wimp Superman

But sadly it was not to be.

You know how parents are, you tell them one thing, they get you another. It's not that they mean to break your youthful heart, it's just how it happens, so don't be a greed head.

What I got instead though turned out to be at least as cool and maybe even, in a way, just a bit more fun.

Mike Hazzard - Double Agent, and all the great gear that came with him

Mike Hazzard - Double Agent came equipped with weapons, disguises, bulletproof vest, exploding briefcases, loads of other exciting spy gear and a pipe.

Then again, thanks to both the Cold War and it's hero, James Bond, the mid 1960's was a great time for spy toys anyway.

James Bond Spy Gear

My brother got the camera and the swell shoulder holster, and I was given the Attache Case, with it's Walther PPK, silencer, sniper's rifle, hidden knife, and concealed gun in the case itself, we were ready to put SPECTRE out of business once and for all.

I recall that I kept trying to steal the shoulder holster from my brother because it was way cooler than my regular Bonanza gun and holster.

Zero M Specialized Weapons

We also had several of the toys from the Mattel, Zero M line.

My brother had the pocket knife that turned into a pistol and I had the transistor radio that turned into a machine gun.

 I like that it's Kurt Russell playing the suave young agent in the commercial

The Man From UNCLE had a huge number of tie-ins and merchandise

We never had many of the Man From UNCLE toys around the house, honestly I just don't think Mom was a fan, but I remember one of my cousins having the THRUSH rifle, with the special lite up scope.

JC Penny's in-house produced Secret-Agent Weapons Set

Along with the spy toys another Cold War toy were based around the Space Program, many of these were fairly realistic toys based around what was coming out of NASA, but I liked my space toys to be just a bit more fantastic.

Fireball XL5 Space City from the British series
created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson

No commercials but I do love the opening credits.

And of course being 1966, space exploration wouldn't be the same without some high powered weaponry to whip ET's ass as needed.

The "Plazer" gun looks surprisingly Han Solo, but 10 years too soon.

Now I was never really a fan of Lost in Space, but I clearly remember wanting this gun, mostly, because it shot large spinning disks that I could aim at my brothers head.

Lost in Space 4 in One Space Gun

Here's one I didn't have but still remember being a big fan of the original show, here's the Seaview from Irwin Allen's, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Submarine Seaview

I liked the Seaview, but I was a much bigger fan of the Flying Sub from the show instead.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Flying Sub Model Kit

Of course the big star of 1966 wasn't actually James Bond, sub-marines or outer space, no, 1966 belonged to Batman.

All sorts of must have gear for the true Bat-Fan

I owned the Helmet and Cape, the Bat-Bomb and best of all the Batman Utility Belt, which was even more cool to own then it looks.

The Utility Belt is the Holy Grail of Batman toys selling for thousands of dollars

Primitive by today's standard, I got a kick out of this "Magnetic" version of Gotham City, where you could move cars, heros' and villains around the city by use of a magnet on a stick underneath the board.

Magnetic Gotham City Set

And of course what was good for Batman helped to push some of the other DC heroes, including the Justice League.

Justice League and Batman Playset

I look at these great toys, as well as the stuff they have for kids these days, and the people who I feel sorry for are those poor kids who grew up in the 70's and 80's, when the Safety Nazi's had taken over and everything had to have soft edges.

The toys from when I was a kid were violent, loud and full of parts you could choke on, but still they were  really lots of fun.

And Batman was still likable.


  1. Very cool toys indeed, but I notice a dearth of Major Matt Mason figures in there!

  2. The good Major is getting his own post somewhere along the line.