Archive for the 'LJN Toys' Category

LJN’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Toys: Dragonne – Half Dragon/Half Lion, Good Destrier – Mighty Battle Horse (1983)










More sensational Ken Kelly art. I wish I could see the originals for the whole line.

These are French boxes. Universal Toys owned both LJN and the Matchbox name at the time, and the AD&D toys were distributed in Europe by Matchbox.

(Images via eBay)

LJN’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Toys: Tiamat – Five Headed Evil Dragon (1984)

Tiamat LJN 1983-1

Tiamat LJN 1983-2

Tiamat LJN 1983-3

Tiamat LJN 1983-4

Tiamat LJN 1983-5

Saying the toy didn’t live up to the spectacular Ken Kelly box art is a bit of an understatement.

Entertech ‘Water Weapons’ and Zap-It Commercials (1986/1987)

The commercials are slightly different and highlight different weapons (pump-action shotgun, water grenade set), but the catchy tagline is the same: “The look… the feel… the sound… so real. En-ter-tech.” The cadence and music are unmistakably military, and the letters of Entertech appear on the screen in time to the rattle of a machine gun.

Zap-It was another Entertech gun line, the gimmick being that the “ammo” was disappearing ink. The first commercial is from 1987, before enactment of the orange tip law. Watch the kid pop out from behind the door and shoot the pleasantly bemused postman! (There were 18 postal killing incidents in the U.S. between 1983 and 1997. The first use of the phrase “going postal” in the media seems to date to 1993.)

The second commercial, from the early ’90s, features guns decked out in all the colors of the rainbow. The Death Wish fantasies of the Reagan era gave way to Clintonian sax appeal and Vanilla Ice brand hip-hop.

1987 LJN/Entertech Catalog: `Motorized Water Guns’ and Photon: The Ultimate Game on Planet Earth

LJN 1987-1

LJN 1987-2

LJN 1987-3

LJN 1987-4

LJN 1987-5

LJN 1987-6

LJN 1987-7

LJN 1987-8

LJN 1987-9

LJN 1987-10

LJN 1987-11

LJN 1987-12

Only in America, and only during the 1980s. LJN’s Entertech line (1986 – 1990) was hugely popular, and might’ve saved its parent company if not for all the cops shooting kids holding realistic-looking weapons. All toy guns were required to be fit with an orange tip starting in 1989.

Photon was the first laser tag unit to be sold commercially (1986), followed almost immediately by the Lazer Tag brand (released by Worlds of Wonder). Both were out of business by 1990.

LJN also produced a Gotcha! The Sport! NES game and paintball gun in 1987, based on the 1985 movie.

There were several memorable commercials for Entertech products. I’ll dig some up.

LJN’s Dune Toys: Sandworm (1984)

Dune Worm 1984

Dune Worm 1984-2

Dune Worm 1984-3

Have you no shame, LJN? If only it vibrated

This one’s for you, Don.

UPDATE (10/29/14): Found one with original and markdown price tags.

Dune Worm 1984

LJN’s Dune Toys: Fremen Tarpel Gun (1984)

Dune Gun 1984

Dune Gun 1984-2

Dune Gun 1984-3

No, LJN. No. Possibly the most ill-conceived toy line ever, so of course I’ll be posting more later.




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