Evel Knievel Paint By Number Coloring Set (Hasbro, 1974)

Evel-1

Evel-2

Paint by number didn’t have quite the allure of the poster pen sets. I never liked being told what to color, and I’m betting I wasn’t alone.

One of the things that interests me is how kids’ heroes—and the toys that represented them—have changed so much. They were once based on real people—cops, cowboys, the original G.I. Joe, Matt Mason, the Fisher-Price Adventure People, and so on. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s they became more bionic and less terrestrial, more perfect and less human. Superhuman is now the baseline for action entertainment.

In retrospect, I’m not sure why I loved the idiotic Evel so much. But at least he wasn’t a talking turtle, or a robot that transformed into a robot riding a motorcycle.

3 Responses to “Evel Knievel Paint By Number Coloring Set (Hasbro, 1974)”


  1. 1 narvo May 12, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Wow, that one’s different though …an oil paint-by-numbers kit for kids? I only saw water-based ones, which would make sense since it’s fast-drying and way easier to clean up. Perhaps these oil kits were trying to prepare kids to be “real” artists, introducing them to the magical world of mineral spirits. Ahhh.

    The finished product would come out nicer too, though it would take much longer to dry. I could only imagine how disastrous it would’ve been for parents to try to keep their kids’ paws off of their new masterpieces during and after the process.

    I wonder if there’s anybody out there who has one of these things all done up!

  2. 2 Tom May 13, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Even though I was good at drawing, I could never stay in the lines in color by numbers. They always came out as blobby monstrosities.
    Yeah, Evel was crazy (obviously), but your point that at least he was “real” is well taken. Kids today miss out on having living icons. I met Evel a few years before his death. He was still crazy, but damn he was cool.

  3. 3 chris konovalchik January 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I just came upon this. I am the boy on the cover.. My name is Chris Konovalchik. I was 7 at the time. I lived just North of Boston and my father took my brother and I into Boston to pose for these! Too funny.
    I think there were more. Super Friends, Star Trek and maybe Wonder woman!


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