I can tell you truthfully that in 1976 I was all about the remake of 1933’s King Kong. In fact I had seen the original film thanks to a local channel’s midnight movie. I was of course at the tender age of four blown away by Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects. It also made me a lifelong admirer of that craft and of primates.
I was fortunate enough to catch the Dino De Laurentiis produced film at the 62 Drive-In. Moreover the weeks before it was released, I can recall staring at the one-sheets. You know what I’m talking about. The legendary posters featuring artwork by John Berkey!
That is to say nothing of how excited about the movie I was after watching the trailer.
[Via] Movieclips Trailer Vault
Having said that and I know I’ve stated this before on The Retroist. I really didn’t see much merchandising for King Kong. Besides some awesome drinking glasses and a few T-shirts. I do however have very fond memories of the board game by Ideal.
There was much more than that, just none of it making it to my neck of the woods. So please try to imagine my surprise when I stumbled on the fact that Colorforms made a King Kong play set. Not just your average Colorforms set would do for something as epic as this, right?
That is why they released it as the King Kong Panorama Play Set! A 32-inch play set…but that is not all. This also happened to feature a reversible second side – so that you could have adventures on Skull Island and change the fate of the misunderstood Kong atop the World Trade Center.
We have Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery to thank for these last two images. Make sure to hop on over and check out more King Kong goodness. For example a 1976 belt buckle featuring some of the Berkey artwork!
Now here is a link to ebay if you decide you can’t live without a Colorforms version of Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.
But I feel I better give you a slight warning. I have yet to find any for sale under the $160 mark…but on the other hand doesn’t Kong demand such a price?!
Ready for more 1976 King Kong awesomeness?
How about this 1976 interview between Dino De Laurentiis and Bill Boggs?
[Via] Bill Boggs TV