Archive for the 'Lego' Category

Christmas Morning, 1980: Lego Space and The Green Machine

Christmas Lego 1980

That’s the Galaxy Explorer, the centerpiece of the 1979 Lego Space line. (For stacks of Lego Space in a toy store in 1981, go here.)

Marx Toys released the Big Wheel in 1969 and the Green Machine—“a racer for guys who like a ride that’s really fast…“—in 1976. Damn thing was the Corvette of racing trikes.

JC Penney Catalog 1976

JCPenney Christmas Catalog, 1976

I’m assuming the dog on the left is a Christmas present, and the dog on the right isn’t.

(Images via j_t_d/Flickr and Wishbook)

Christmas Toy Aisle Zen (1981): Lego Space and The Empire Strikes Back

Toy Aisle Lego 1981

Target, December 19, 1981. (Bonnie McCune/Denver Post)

The only thing better than perusing classic toys on toy aisles during Christmastime is perusing stacks upon stacks of classic toys on toy aisles during Christmastime. Our toy department manager is stocking the Alpha-1 Rocket Base.

Behind the bundle she’s holding you can see stacks of Millenium Falcons.

(First image via Big Ole Photos)

Christmas Morning, 1982: D&D and Lego Space

Christmas Morning D&D 1982

Via thinking.blissful/Flickr.

Okay, first off, he’s holding the Tomb of Horrors module, written by the great Gary Gygax. (I’ll post it in my module series next year.)

Next, we’ve got two Lego Space sets: the Mobile Rocket Transport (6950) and the Surface Explorer (6880). (Images are via Brickipedia.)

https://i0.wp.com/images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100509190339/lego/images/5/5c/6950_Box.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100509184015/lego/images/5/5f/6880_Box.jpg

Top Secret was a spy vs. spy RPG released by TSR in 1980. Rubik’s Revenge was a more difficult version of the Rubik’s Cube (I so hated those cubes). And of course that Pitfall is the original Atari 2600 version, released in 1982.

Boy’s Room, Circa 1982

Sam's Room 1982

Via Sam Howzit/Flickr. There’s an awful lot of awesome here. Let’s make a list.

1. Donkey Kong on the Atari 2600

2. Righteous Empire Strikes Back wallpaper

3. Snowspeeder and Slave I under the bookshelf

4. Lego Space on the table, and Lego Space (one box and a bowl of loose bricks) under the TV

5. I think that’s a picture of Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) next to the Legos under the TV

5. Hand embroidered Pittsburgh Steelers pillow on the bed

Do yourself a favor and click pic to enlarge.

1980 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog: Lego Space and The Empire Strikes Back

As I’ve said before, Lego Space may be the best toy line ever. Beta-1 Command Base, I would like to stroke your box. Come hither.

As for Empire, I had the Imperial Attack Base, the Tauntaun (subtitled “the Weird Hoth Snow Creature” in the catalog), and the Snowspeeder. I guess I opted for the all-Hoth experience.

I remember hearing that the radio-controlled Sand Crawler was a flop, but I don’t think I ever saw it in action. It was way too expensive, and clearly a gimmick.

(All images via WishbookWeb. Click to enlarge.)

1983 Sears Christmas Catalog: Lego Space, Crossbows and Catapults, and `Far-Away Worlds’

These are from WishbookWeb, an absolutely brilliant site where you can find beautiful scans of complete Christmas catalogs all the way back to the ’30s. Yes, my plan is to go through these catalogs (from the ’70s and ’80s, anyway) one page at a time and post the stuff I like and probably circled when making Christmas lists as a kid. (Click images to enlarge.)

Lego may be the single greatest toy line ever produced for kids, and Lego Space, in my opinion, is the company’s greatest achievement. We essentially built our own visions of life in space. Sure, the first time through we followed the directions and built what we saw on the front of the box, but after that the Legos went into giant Tupperware containers with hundreds of other Legos, at which point we relied exclusively on imagination. Unfortunately, Legos have always been too expensive. All the kids in my neighborhood would have to get together and combine Lego forces to produce our individual and collective masterpieces. Nobody ever went home with the same Legos they brought to the table. And that was okay.

I had a lot of fun playing (mostly with myself) Crossbows and Catapults, until all those goddamn caroms got lost. A hundred years from now, if the houses we grew up in are still standing, the inhabitants will still be digging these things out from the crevasses. And they would really fly, man, especially if you double-wrapped the rubber bands on the catapults.

It’s funny to see all the satanic D&D stuff (notice the Endless Quest books?) in a respectable catalog. I remember seeing the Star Frontiers ads in the comics of the day, but I never had it or played it (apparently some of the old folks still play it today). The Star Trek RPG came out in ’82, although I was too into D&D at the time to notice.


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