Saturday, August 25, 2012

1972 Kenner Toy Catalog! Snoopy! Chip-A-Way! How to Insult Ethnic Groups and Good Taste!

From a 1972 Gold Key Disney-themed comic book, here are a few samples from a huge (16-page) Kenner toy insert, innocently stapled into the innards of said publication! Lest you think such blatant consumerism is a present-day trend, dig this tip to crass commercialism! Once again, I'll comment as we go, so get your engine (or electric toothbrush) started, and let's dive in, as you click each image to enlarge!

I had the SSP cars, and the "Smash-Up Derby!" Those things worked like gangbusters!

Has there ever been a more hideously frightening doll than "Blythe?" And such an old-fshioned name, too?! She looks like one of the moon-eyed kids seen on paintings by Margaret Keane! This was the period of "action toys," so even the girl's dolls had to grow hair, burp, wet, walk, karate chop, etc...I think this one added to the terror, by having her color-changing eyes actually roll back into her head, to create the eerie effect...BBrrrr...

Oh, where to begin? This ad tells kids about the endless fun they'll have with the also-oddly-named GABBIGALE doll! Berate your lazy pals, as they sleep in and miss badly-animated cartoons! Take years off your pet's life! Insult broadly-depicted ethnic groups! Snitch on your siblings! And, don't worry, since young African-American gals can get in on the hijinks, too! And, when those gals grow a little older, they can visit the Easy-Bake Oven factory! Gets them set for the role they'll assume in just a few years, right?

So, are the non-germophobic siblings above sharing the badly-rendered off-model Snoopy electric toothbrush? Is it really so bad that Mom "catches" them using it?! The next ad tells kids that someday (maybe in the year 2848?) you'll be able to actually enjoy video-cassettes in your home! But, until that glorious day, why not project stills of all the lame cartoons you just saw on Saturday morning?  I joke, but in those days, this was kinda a big deal, along with View-Master reels! I had the VM wall projector!

Here's another fun toy I had! I wonder why this one hasn't made a return visit to modern toy shelves, as, in today's "everyone's a winner" society, it'd be a big hit! Why spend years honing your artistic talent, when you can simply look like a hard-working,  ever-toiling artist? Give every one of those kids a ribbon! They didn't mention the ungodly mess those sets made, too! In the next ad, the hot and heavy early 70s whittling craze (not to be confused with the concurrent wood-burning mania) is addressed, as kids too young for sharp knives can finally get in on the artistic act! So, they're gonna "catch it" from Mom if they get caught with knives? Did they really "whittle" those animals, canons, and almost sacrilegious shapes?


Ashley Holt said...

The SSP Racers were indeed the greatest toy to ever put out children's eyeballs. Those suckers moved like lightning.

Anonymous said...

Me and my brother had a lot of these as kids. SSP, Chip-away, Viewmaster projector (a later version than the one shown above) and believe it or not -- Easy Bake Oven. My grandmother was ahead of her time, I guess. She'd give us a children's tool chest -- and children's china set -- for the same Christmas!