Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles

Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles

Are you a pip squeak? Maybe full of rage because you are tired of getting pushed around. But lack the willpower to work towards a stronger you? Well then, do I have a product for you, Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles. Just put on this wonderful toy and prepare to be feared by all who behold you and hunted fearlessly by a reporter obsessed with uncovering your dark secret.

Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles first became available in the 1970s. From what I can tell by scanning my catalogs, they were not a long-lived toy. The only appeared in 3 catalogs. It is unclear to me why.

As you can see from the photo, they make for a pretty compelling toy. Especially after you spell out exactly how they work with the smaller photos. Now you probably wondering, “Is the shirt included?” I am sorry to say it was not. As you can see from this description in the JC Penney catalog, you need to provide your own large shirt.

Me? I would wear an extra small shirt. Why would I put all this effort into wearing and pumping up my bulging Hulk muscles only to have them covered up by a bulky shirt? If you got the gamma irradiated goods, you might as well flaunt them. Am I right?

To complete the Hulk look, you could also pick up these very convincing Hulk/Spider-Man makeup kits. Now I know what your thinking, how was THIS ever cool? Well, you got to remember that people could be more ignorant back in the day. The seventies were a very different time. It was not as frowned upon to walk around in “Hulk Face.”

Unfortnately Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles, were not of the highest quality. Plus the play style they encouraged put a lot of stress on them. So finding sets of the muscles intact is pretty rare. Ones still in their boxes can go for well over $200.

On an unrelated note, does the font on the packaging look like the font used on Hi-C?

Computer Garage

Do You Remember 1972’s Sears Computer Garage?

You would think that in my youth I would have been attracted to more car toys. Especially a playset advertising itself as a Computer Garage. When you add in the fact that my Family had their own garage and auto dealership, it would obviously make sense that I wanted Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to play with, right?

That was sadly not the case when I was growing up. Furthermore I would possibly have rather had dental work than receive toy cars. In the light of what I just said however there were a few “car” toys that I was happy to get. Like the Batmobile, or the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard as well as Ideal’s Evel Knievel’s Stunt Cycle!

[Via] Vintage TV Commercials

Consequently when my Cousin, Brandon, and I received that stunt cycle set on the same Christmas. There were EPIC charges of those toy daredevil’s at each other across the kitchen floor. How we managed to not trip any of our relatives while tiny Evel Knievel’s were darting everywhere I will never know.

Eventually I managed to amass a small but stylized collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox vehicles. Thanks to various family members giving me their hand-me-down toys. In truth some of those fit my overall love of science-fiction toys at the time, fueled by 1977’s Star Wars naturally.

Which is in fact why when back in the day one Summer when I was with my Grandmother at a garage sale. I didn’t just pass by a rather odd looking playset – The Sears Computer Garage. Now even at that age, which was around eight I was very interested in all things related to computers. Thanks to brief encounters with the Commodore Vic-20 and the TRS-80.

I was intrigued by the playset which was basically a motorized gondola. When a kid would use the plastic numbers – a “coded” computer card. It would rotate to the number of the stall that had been selected. With the aid of a lever at the base of the Sears Computer Garage – the car would be ejected.
Computer Garage

Now in all honesty, there were two other reasons I wanted to buy it. It was only a mere fifty cents and worked to boot. But most importantly, inside one of the stalls I could see Captain America’s van!

Image courtesy of the Hot Wheels Wikia.

I was actually able to talk my Grandmother into giving me the money and took the Sears Computer Garage home. It basically acted as a storage unit for my tiny toy car collection. Until a couple of years later I in turn sold it at my Grandmother’s garage sale.

Thanks to MootSooToo’s YouTube channel you can see the Sears Computer Garage in action!

Only the Coolest Future Protectors of the Galaxy owned a Star Rider

The Star Rider was an amazing imagination enhancement toy. A simulated control panel for a star fighter that made noises and allowed the lucky kids who owned it to take play time up to Warp Speed. This was an item I asked to get for at least two Christmases, but alas it never showed up. I would learn from my Mother much later on that she passed up a lot of toys that I would ask for because she thought that I would outgrow them quickly. Oh, little did she know just how long I would stay a child (I still want the Star Rider).

As you can see from the photo, this kid not only looks happy, but super cool as he jets across the pretend universe in his open air Star Rider. Clad in his sweater and dungarees, he is ready to B-BROOM, WARP and ZAP the evil alien forces that would threaten our planet and his fellow Star Rider Cadets. For under $60 bucks, that seems likes a bargain to me.

These 1983 Wish Book Watches Will Make You Wish You Could Go Back In Time!

Christmas is all but here and I won’t lie to you…I truly wish that somehow one of these watches from the 1983 Sears Wish Book was miraculously waiting for me to unwrap under the tree tomorrow.

Of course even back then the vast options you had to choose from was a little overwhelming! I ask you…which do you choose? One of those pair of Smurf watches…maybe the digital one that states “Have a Smurfin’ Day!”?
Smurf Watch Info

Or what about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial?
ET - Sears Wish Book 1983
E.T. Watch Info
Donkey Kong? Pac-Man?! Mickey Mouse?!?!
Donkey Kong - Sears Wish Book 1983
Donkey Kong Watch InfoMickey Watch Info
I’m truly not sure if Holly Hobbie is even a thing anymore but I can assure it was a big deal in 1983! Of course how could you go wrong with an A-Team/Mr. T digital watch?
Holly Hobbie - Sears Wish Book 1983
Holly Hobbie Watch Info
What about those good ol’ boys for Hazzard county?
Dukes of Hazzard - Sears Wish Book 1983
Dukes of Hazzard Watch Info
I told you that the Return of the Jedi was almost on every single thing that could be merchandised in 1983! Which watch though would you have chosen? One featuring the Ewoks or the vile Jabba the Hutt? Perhaps you might just settle for something like Garfield?
Garfield - Sears Wish Book 1983
ROTJ Watch InfoGarfield Watch Info

From Star Wars Card Games To Models The 1983 Wish Book Had It All

We are wrapping up our look at the amazing amount of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi merchandise that was being offered in the 1983 Sears Wish Book…and even so…there is still more items than I’ve covered these last three days.

As you can see up top a kid back in 1983 could have requested to either carry into the mock battle of their youth the E-11 Blaster Rifle widely used by Imperial Stormtroopers or swagger down the street with their DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. For myself, I in fact requested the Battle at Sarlacc’s Pit for that Christmas…and never got it. Sigh.
ROTJ Laser Rifle - Sears Wish Book 1983

On the other hand I was lucky enough to get the adorable Wicket the Ewok plush and I can say that I still have it in my collection.
Wicket - Sears Wish Book 1983Plush Ewoks - Sears Wish Book 1983

I’m not positive but judging by the product description for the Return of the Jedi movie storybook…I think that Sears at that time was secretly affiliated with the Empire. How about that Admiral Ackbar vinyl collectible? They even included glow-in-the-dark paints?!
ROTJ Books - Sears Wish Book 1983
ROTJ - Storybook - Sears Wish Book 1983

Last but certainly not least were the Return of the Jedi models. Jabba’s Palace looks nice and all but I think I would have gone for the B-Wing myself!
ROTJ Models - Sears Wish Book 1983
ROTJ Models Pricing - Sears Wish Book 1983