Archive for the 'Toy Stores/Toy Aisles/Toy Departments' Category



Child World Newspaper Insert (1978): Shogun Warriors, Star Wars, and More

Child World 1978-2

Child World 1978-3

Child World 1978-1

We didn’t have Child World in Southern California, but my mother did put lots of stuff on layaway. Try to explain that concept to Gen Y.

The Flying Finnegan game on the second page looks pretty sweet—for about five minutes.

Here’s a great view of the Cheerios box appearing in the ad, courtesy of Gregg Koenig.

Cheerios 1978

Kay Bee Toy Store Ads (1984 – 1987)

Kay Bee Ad 1984

Kay Bee 1984

Kay Bee 1984-2

Kay Bee 1985

Kay Bee 1987

Brilliant marketing, but not a reflection of reality. Kay Bee was the go-to mall toy store, yes, but it was overpriced and rarely had the hot items in stock. And it was always a mess.

Johnny’s Toy Store, Circa 1978

Johnny's Toys 1978-1979

Johnny’s Toys was in Covington, Kentucky from 1939 until 2001, famous for its giant birthday castle. It’s now online only.

By your command.

(Photo via Jana Lee/Pinterest)

Toy Aisle Zen (1979 – 1983): Special Star Wars Edition

Star Wars-1

Star Wars-2

Star Wars-3

When I say Zen, I mean Zen. See all sixteen (sixteen!) enlargeable images at Kenner Collector, where I found them initially. They originate from Ron Salvatore at the Rebelscum Forums, where you can find details on origin and location. Salvatore co-edits and writes for the definitive Star Wars Collectors Archive.

Lots of other beloved toys to be seen, including the Star Bird Avenger and Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica Viper Launch Station.

A pool of drool is collecting on my desk.

Target and Toys R Us Nintendo Ads, 1986/1988

Nintendo Ad 1986

Nintendo Ad 1988

I can’t remember if I got my NES for Christmas ’86, or Christmas ’87. Either way, it was the most my parents ever spent on a single gift. I got a Schwinn Scrambler (red mags—it was beautiful) one Christmas, but I’d been putting payments on the thing for months. I’d sold my old bike to a kid in the neighborhood and used the money as a down—I think it was 20 bucks. My parents sneakily paid the balance, and there it was propped up by the tree in the morning.

Anyway, Atari it isn’t, but the NES is a great system. I put it third behind the 2600 and Intellivision. Favorite games: Tecmo Super Bowl and Xenophobe. Friend J. and I, and his brother, logged many, many hours on the former. And I have a very strong memory of renting Xenophobe from Blockbuster, getting pizza from the neighborhood joint next door, and playing three-player mode throughout the night.

The fact that the NES went up in price between 1986 and 1988 shows how dominant it was at the time. The next system I got—and the first one I bought for myself—was a Sega Genesis in the early ’90s, when Sonic the Hedgehog was bundled with it.

(Images via The Mushroom Kingdom and Fins Vintage Paper and Collectibles/eBay)

Toy Aisle Zen (1980): Dungeons & Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game, Super Simon, Perfection, and More

Toy Aisle 1977-2

The D&D Computer Labyrinth Game was not a big seller, as you can see. It was expensive, and D&D hadn’t yet gone viral in the kid world. Here it is with Dark Tower in the 1981 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog for $44.88.

1981 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog P490

Super Simon was in the same catalog for $37.99. The non-electronic games pictured—Ideal’s Rebound, Galoob’s Pro Pinball, Perfection (scared the crap out of me when that board shot up)—were much cheaper.

The photo is alluring, but also frustrating: all of those aisles in the background forever unexplored, all of those endcaps flush with eternally unidentifiable carded toys.

(First image via Historic Images/eBay)

Toy Aisle Zen (1981): The Dukes of Hazzard

Toy Aisle 1981

November 13, 1981. (Photo: Joe Maher/Ledger-Enquirer)

Oh, Daisy. What we have here are HG’s Dukes of Hazzard Adventure Set, Coleco’s Dukes Power Cycle, Illco’s General Lee Dashboard “with lighted fuzz detector” (Illco also made a Dukes pinball game), Ertl’s General Lee die-cast car (I had the small one), and, on top of the cycle, Mego’s 8″ Bo Duke action figure.

Here’s a closer look at the adventure set.

Dukes Adventure Set

And here it is in the wild. “Breaker One, Breaker One, I might be crazy, but I ain’t dumb!”

Dukes 80s

Let’s throw in Bo and Luke as well.

Bo Duke Action Figure

See more toy aisles here. Plaid Stallions has a monster collection here.

(Images via eBay, The Dukes of Hazzard Museum, and Metallichicks)

Toy Display, 1980

Toy Display 1980

Toy Display 1980-2

In 1980, toys from the ’50s and ’60s were considered vintage, and transformable robots like the DX Daimos (far right) were the hot new thing.

Today, toys from the ’50s and ’60s are forgotten relics, transformable robots are vintage, and the hot new thing is selling vintage toys (and replicas thereof) to 40-year-olds because kids don’t really play with toys anymore.

The “Thank you, Canada” sign refers to what’s now known as the Canadian Caper, the 1979 rescue of American diplomats in Iran fictionalized in Ben Affleck’s Argo.

(Photos via ed/Flickr)

Toy Aisle Zen (1980): The Empire Strikes Back

ESB Toys 1980

ESB Toys 1980-2

I’ll just shut up and let these speak for themselves.

(Via Kenner Collector via Spencer Smith)

Toy Aisle Zen (1984): Krull, Masters of the Universe, Star Wars, Stompers

Toys-1

Toys-2

Toys-3

Toys-4

Toys-5

Toys-6

Some of you will remember a controversial film from 1984 called Silent Night, Deadly Night (the working title was “Slayride”), in which a traumatized teenager goes nuts, puts on a Santa suit, and starts killing folks. Well, right before he loses it, Billy (that’s his name) works at Ira’s Toys, and that’s what you see here.

Toys of note include Jabba the Hut and Luke Skywalker, Hot Wheels Wipe-Out, Stomper: Badlands Trail, Matchbox Super Garage, Castle Grayskull, and, best of all, the psychedelic Krull board game. Get in my closet! Also, in the very last shot, you can see a massive, nondescript AT-AT box behind Grayskull.

Thanks goes to Geektarded for spying the goodness and grabbing the screenshots. Special thanks to Transformer World 2005 for the heads up (and the mention).


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