Archive for the 'Knockoff Toys' Category

Star Swords (Skyline, 1977)

Star Swords 1977-1

Star Swords 1977-2

So much goodness here.

“Soft inflatable fun.”

“Inflate Blade by blowing into valve with mouth.”

“Pinch the valve at its base with your fingers…”

“Draw rigid end of blade into collar until it fits snugly.”

You’ll notice that fake Darth’s sword trembles with flaccidity, while fake Luke’s (with Leia’s hair?) sword is erect and turgid with the Force!

(Images via eBay)

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)

Kids Playing Portable Pac-Man, 1982

Pac-Man 1982-2

Pac-Man 1982

1982 - Jim, David, and Pac Man

The first two photos are from Melissa Wilkins. That’s her in the first photo, and a neighborhood friend in the second. She describes the scenes here and here.

That’s Bandai’s Packri Monster in the last shot, a Pac-Man clone (duh). The photo is from jlkwak, who talks about the game and the kids who had it:

EVERYONE in the school wanted a shot at playing it. Students would literally line up in front of their table for a chance to play a round. These two fellows were the coolest kids in the middle school wing for a week.

I got my chance to play the game, once. Like the real Pac-Man, I was terrible. My turn was up very quickly.

Truth. The kids who owned these games were superstars, and turns were scarce and short.

Immortals of Change Battle Set (1985)

Immortals 1985

Immortals 1985-2

Immortals of Change Sears Catalog 1985

It’s Crossbows and Catapults, but in the future, and with shape-changing robots. Lakeside Games made both sets. Crossbows came out in 1983, a pretty brilliant concept that successfully cashed in on the D&D action. Immortals of Change came out in 1985, a cool-looking bomb that badly wanted to sop up some Transformers spillover.

Why did it tank? The name is awful, first of all. What the hell does it mean? Second, the game was overly complicated and didn’t work the way it was supposed to (the glider in particular, as I recall). Third, the concept made no sense the second time around.

The cool thing about Crossbows was that armies actually used giant crossbows and catapults in the Dark Ages. Why would immortal “battle machines” from the future hurl rocks at one another? Transformable robots have lasers and stuff. Everybody knows that.

The commercial below is very low quality, but it’s the only one I can find. You can tell they’re really trying to give the game an edgy feel. The volcanic landscape, the red lights, the smoke—it looks great.

(Images via eBay and Wishbook Web; video via xntryk1/YouTube)

Sparkle Toy: Defenders of the Planets (1985)

Defenders of the Planets 1985

Defenders of the Planets 1985-2

They’re not Masters of the Universe. They’re not Warriors of the Galaxy. They’re not Super Team of the Universe. They’re Defenders of the Planets!

Kidmate: Conbots (1985)

Conbot 1985

Look, I know the stuff shooting out of the phallic robots is supposed to be sparks, but it doesn’t look like sparks, because the phallic robots are phallic, and if you switched the ‘on’ in ‘Conbots’ with two really similar letters you’d have what I keep thinking about every time I look at this thing: an ejaculating robot penis toy.

And the company that made it is called Kidmate?


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