Archive for the 'A-Team, The' Category

The A-Team Grenade Toss (Placo Toys, 1983)

A-Team Grenade Toss 1983


The A-Team M-24 Assault Rifle Target Game Set (Arco, 1983)

A-Team Rifle 1983

A-Team Rifle 1983-2

A-Team Rifle 1983-3

From a 1985 The Day story on ‘aggressive fantasies’:

Sales of action figures and accessories brought more than $620 million last year… Toy gun sales accounted for $64 million…

`When I was young, it was army men and cowboys and Indians. I think the format for fantasies has changed,’ said John Pedesco, chief psychologist at the Child Guidance Center in Des Moines, Iowa. `It’s become more space and surrealistic, but the nature of the play has not changed…’

‘I think we have one of the more violent societies existing today,’ said Pedesco. ‘If we’re going to look at where it (aggressive play) comes from, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.’

Mr. T Pencil Top Eraser (Diener Industries, 1984)

Diener Mr. T 1984

Wow. That’s one mean eraser.

1984 Daisy Toys Catalog: The A-Team and Hardcastle and McCormick

Daisy 1984

Daisy 1984-2

Daisy 1984-3

Daisy 1984-4

I talked about war toys. What about toy guns? We played guns a lot when I was a kid. We’d split up into teams and play in the hills, or we’d play in the house: the bad guy would hide upstairs and the good guys would try to sneak up and blast him before he blasted them. Identifying the “winner” was always problematic—“I got you, sucker. You’re toast.” “No way. I got you!”

The funniest thing about The A-Team, of course, was that tens of thousands of bullets were fired, but nobody ever died. Same with the G.I. Joe cartoon. Hardcastle and McCormick (1983 – 1986) was a small scale Mod Squad: A retired judge gets a car thief out of jail under the condition that the car thief helps the judge nail the criminals he was forced to free on technicalities.

Both shows represent a quintessential ’80s narrative: (1) the American legal system is irreparably broken, (2) traditional law enforcement is ineffective and/or corrupt, and (3) justice depends on reluctant-but-righteous vigilantes who live on the fringes of the society they are morally driven to protect.

After a number of fatal shootings, “realistic-looking” toy guns were banned in Los Angeles and New York in 1987. In 1988, Congress passed a law requiring that all toy guns “be identified with a `blaze orange’ tip over the gun’s nozzle.” The law is easily gotten around today.

More on this subject tomorrow.

(Images via eBay)




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