Category Archives: toys

Toys I Wanted But Never Got – Space 1999 Stun Gun (1970’s)

It was just so much cooler than a crappy green plastic water pistol, or cap gun. I only knew one person who had one, and I only saw it once at school, but that was enough to haunt me forever……….

Space 1999 was a Gerry Anderson live action production, starring Martin Landau as Captain Koenig. Here he is, on the Series 2 intro, about 20 seconds in, brandishing the object of my young stun gun desires;

Images courtesy of www.toysyouhad.com

Space 1999 at Wiki

Everything you need to know about Space 1999

Fanderson covers all your Gerry Anderson needs

Palitoy Pocketeers

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There was an influx of cheap(ish) handheld electronic games at the tail end of the Seventies and beginning of the Eighties (think Grandstand’s ‘Invaders From Space’ game, a clone of Space Invaders). This was beginning of the home gaming revolution, which would quickly overtake Arcades as the preferred environment for gamers worldwide. Before the electronic handheld game, and during its early years, there was a competitor, made by Palitoy, called Pocketeers, a range of distinctly non electronic handheld offerings.

You can see why the pocketeers lost out to the electronic games – the Pocketeers take on ‘Space Invaders’ does not have the same dynamic quality that the likes of ‘Invaders From Space’ has;

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Basically, you wound up the barriers, they moved from side to side and you had to fire a tiny ball and try and hit the U.F.O at the top of the screen. That was it. No waves of attacking aliens, no damage to shelters that protected you from the invaders missiles. Bit boring, with limited appeal. I remember being excited at the prospect of playing, but feeling VERY let down by the reality. Ho hum.

What it did do well, and one I particularly enjoyed, was the Fruit Machine, providing you didnt mind not getting any cash if you got 3 bells etc….
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There is a bit of detail about the game here;

World Of Stuart on ‘Fruit Machine’

The excellent ‘World Of Stuart’ website has loads of information about the Pocketeers – well worth a look;

World Of Stuart

For an overview of Grandstand Games, and other handheld electronic marvels, have a look here;

Retro Games site – with a feature on hand held electronic games

For an exhaustive look at the handheld gaming, check this out;

handheld museum

Mego / Palitoy Marvel Toys – 1970’s

One of those unfilfilled childhood wishes. I wanted all of the ‘Fist Fighting Super Heroes’, but I had to make do with Captain America battling Batman & Robin, because I didnt have any ‘super foes’. I remember really wanting Spiderman & The Lizard, but again, my dreams were smashed against the rocks of financial hardship…..

I also desperately wanted the Batmobile,


but had to settle for the small Corgi replica Batmobile (with Batboat) and the tiny 1 inch figures of Batman & Robin;

Yup, I was a spoilt brat without the budget. This makes me feel better though. This is a fantastic clip of the UK Palitoy advert for ‘Fist Fighting Super Heroes'(about £2.25 each!!).

Mego were the manufacturers of these toys, with Palitoy selling them under license over here in the UK. Some great resources here;

http://www.megomuseum.com/
marvel.co.uk article on Marvel action figures
An article on Mego toys
Dedicated Mego Action Figure site

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Palitoy were a great company, giving us British kids the wonders of Star Wars figures in the 70’s and 80’s, as well as Action Man, Action Force & Marvel licenses like Micronauts. Not only that, they had the only real rival to Subetteo – ‘Striker’. Based in Coalville, Leicestershire, they sadly closed in 1984. Some links for Palitoy;

http://museums.leics.gov.uk/collections-on-line/

http://www.actionmanhq.co.uk
A Striker tribute site
Lovely site – shows the conneciton between Mego & Palitoy