First up we have the Swing Wing which was the paraplegic’s answer to the hula hoop. Worn on the head like a beanie, a person swung it round and round their head by jerking their neck. I don’t know why anyone thought this would be fun, it certainly looks more like a chore or punishment. “Be a good boy or I’ll make you use the swing wing for an hour. Then you’ll be sorry.” Notice the kid in the commercial that tries to walk and use it at the same time, it looks like he has some sort of neurological disorder. This toy appears that it would be better used as a punishment rather than a fun time activity.
When the Japanese take a property from somewhere else, they always tweak it to bring it more in line with their culture- whether it needs to or not. And when, in 1979, the Toei Company acquired the rights to make a live-action Spiderman TV show they added a few bits for the kids. And what did kids in japan clamor for back then? Giant robots of course! So Spiderman, somehow, got a massive robot to fly about in and pummel things with. It didn’t go entirely to waste in America as several of the robots developed by Toei were recycled into The Shogun Warriors.
From the good people at Transogram comes a game of strangeness, Monkey’s Uncle. This actually doesn’t look that bad, the smothered eight year old inside of me would’ve leapt right on it. A game that involves screaming, running, tossing things together- I was all about that back then. However how many times can you build a tower with three pegs or make a noise before it gets old? And with all those pieces how long till you lose a few, or all of them, or your retard younger brother shoves one up his nose thus rendering it unclean?
Well this toy, the Loop-a-Lot, pushes a few buttons. First you have the fake German professor type trying to lure you into his rape van, the two smarmy kids who think they’re oh just so much better than you, and the abused animal zapped into activity by electrodes hidden under its clothing. But putting those aside, I don’t see the appeal of this “game”. You spin the necktie and keep your penny on it. It seems like it would be fun for less time than it took to describe it in this commercial.
Finally we have the Trik Trak. The daredevil simulation plastic stunt car where the pieces don’t fit together- batteries not included. This commercial is so sixties with the poor man’s Phil Silvers in glasses and sweater vest, the buck toothed kid in the Bobby Brady hairdo, and the Batman inspired onomatopoeia title cards when the car slightly knocks over some simulated hollow plastic logs. Another toy that you play with intently for twenty minutes, forget about in the closet for five years, and pull out again only to realize that you’ve lost most of the pieces and the batteries have been cannibalized to run your sister’s transistor radio.