Archive for the 'Imperial Toy Corporation' Category

Close Encounters of the Third Kind Bendable Extra Terrestrial Figure (Imperial, 1977)

Close Encounters Figure 1977-3

(Image via Pinterest)

1941 `Para Toy’ Figure (Imperial, 1979)

1941 Kelso 1979

Stay classy, Imperial. Super-patriot Wild Bill is wearing a Rising Sun bandana, comes with a Rising Sun parachute, and appears to have a Hitler mustache. There’s another figure here with more appropriate dress, so maybe this guy is supposed to be some random Japanese baddie (in American fatigues with a Hitler mustache)?

(Image via eBay)

Robotech Sunglasses (Imperial Toys, 1985)

Robotech Glasses 1985

Robotech Glasses 1985-2

(Images via Etsy)

Dragons, Knights & Daggers: Battle Beast (Imperial, 1983)

Imperial Battle Beast

Imperial Battle Beast-2

Robots, Lasers & Galaxies was preceded by Dragons, Knights & Daggers. Hello, is that Castle Grayskull in the background? Poor thing is missing its eyes and nose. It was easy to go after both the D&D and MOTU fans, since MOTU was itself a D&D knockoff.

Robots, Lasers & Galaxies: Mammoth Marauder (Imperial, 1984)

imperial toy mammoth

imperial toy mammoth-2

imperial toy mammoth-3

I talked about the robots of Robots, Lasers & Galaxies way back here. The Mammoth Marauder is neither a laser nor a galaxy, but I don’t think Imperial cared for such details. Four out of five stars for the box art.

Imperial Toys: The Fall Guy Rub-A-Doos (1982)

Fall Guy Rub-A-Doos

Fall Guy Rub-A-Doos-2

That’s got to be the worst likeness of Lee Majors I’ve ever seen. And why is an astronaut on fire on the top of the package?

1983 Imperial Toys Catalog: `Dragons & Daggers’

Imperial 1983

Imperial 1983-2

Imperial 1983-3

I assure you that any resemblance to Dungeons & Dragons is purely coincidental…

More awesome Imperial Toys hack jobs here.

Imperial Toy Corporation: Microbots (1988)

Microbots 1988

Microbots 1988-2

Microbots 1988-3

Microbots 1988-4

A little late to the game, aren’t we, Imperial?

The jet plane is named Wind-Cutter. Wind-Breaker and Cheese-Cutter were already taken, I guess.

UPDATE: Friend J. reminded me of a popular Galoob line called Micro Machines, so that’s got to be where Imperial got the first part of the name/idea. Here’s the commercial, which features the fastest talker in the world (according to the Guinness Book) at the time, John Moschitta, Jr.

(Images via eBay; video via SpacedCobraTV)

Robots, Lasers & Galaxies: Avatar, Exceller, Exnon, and Radon (Imperial, 1984)

imperial toys robot warrior

imperial toys robot warrior-2

imperial toy avatar

imperial toy exnon

imperial toy robots

Radon is a radioactive element, so that’s kind of scary and cool, but Exceller? Nobody likes an overachiever. I wonder if Exnon comes from Xenon, another element. Switching the ‘x’ and the ‘e’ gives it a crunchier sound, and it’s easier for kids to say. I can just see some guy in a cheap suit looking at his kid’s chemistry textbook and rattling off names for his company’s knockoff robots.

Then again, Avatar is a pretty Hindu word meaning a god who comes to Earth and assumes human form. Too bad Jim Cameron’s shitty movie ruined it forever.

The art on the cards is smart and polished. The robots themselves are not, but they didn’t have to be. Notice the line at the bottom: “Scaled to play with all fantasy figures”. The kids could figure that out from one look at the package, but the parents (and grandparents, etc.) couldn’t. And knockoffs were what the parents brought home either (1) thinking they were the real deal, or more likely (2) as a stop gap measure to keep us from pestering them for the real deal, which was either too expensive, perpetually out of stock, or both.

There was a “battle beast” line in this series as well. I’m keeping an eye out.


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