Pinball Champ - Coleco

Remember 1977’s Pinball Champ by Coleco?

Pinball Champ must have made quite impression when it hit the scene in ’77. While there were certainly handheld pinball games around by that time. It appears that Coleco was aiming for the teenagers when manufacturing this home version. Although it must be said that Pinball Champ wasn’t the only table Coleco was producing at the time.
Pinball Champ - The Fonz

That Fonz pinball table was released back in December of 1977. Just a few weeks in fact after an TV ad for Pinball Champ was released. Around the same time Coleco was also producing Super Shot as well as UFO Electronic Pinball!
Pinball Champ - UFO Electronic Pinball - Coleco

Here is something to keep in mind, friends. It was in 1976 that New York City repealed the pinball ban. A law that had been in place since the ’40s. As tables were seen as a form of gambling. As was proven when an undercover patrol officer on March 6, 1948 arrested a cigar store owner after playing on a pinball table in his establishment. The reason being cited as having “Unlawful possession of a gambling machine.” If you want to know even more – make sure to follow this link to the History Channel.

Pinball Champ - William P. O'Brien - BettmannGetty Images

William P. O’Brien taking a sledgehammer to seized pinball tables. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

It was a dark time for pinball fans to be sure. While what most of us consider pinball wasn’t released until 1950, with Gottlieb’s Spot Bowler. The basic premise of pinball has been around since the 1700s, such as with Billard japonais!
Pinball Champ - Billard japonais

As I have previously said, there were pinball games for kids by the time Pinball Champ was released. Just not quite as sophisticated as what Coleco was offering at that time. Although having said that I did in fact find a video for a 1965 Riverboat table by Marx.

[Via] Douglas Luthringer

While I am sure that you wouldn’t want to get too physical with those tables. I feel it is more appealing than your typical handheld version. Excluding of course this 1977 Star Wars pinball game.
Pinball Champ - Star Wars

I think it is far past time you get a chance to see the TV ad for 1977’s Pinball Champ!

[Via] The Museum of Classic Chicago TV

Mr Skinny Bones - Marx Toys

Step Up And Shake Hands With Mr Skinny Bones!

For a couple of minutes I was tempted to publish this as a Saturday Frights post. As I have mentioned once or twice, I suffer from Pediophobia. The fear of dolls. Mr Skinny Bones from Marx Toys might not be an actual doll but it is close enough. However, I believe that if you look closely at the image of the Mr Skinny Bones box. Even the kids know this is full of Grade A nightmare juice!

Mr Skinny Bones was supposedly released by Marx Toys in 1970. You may not know the Marx brand off the top of your head but I guarantee you know some of their products. First of all the company was hugely successful in the 50’s. One of those reasons of course has to do with how many licenses they secured. The Long Ranger, Zorro, Robin Hood, and The Untouchables were just a few toy sets they produced. Not to mention the likes of trains sets, doll houses, as well as Rock’em Sock’em Robots!

[Via] Vintage TV Commercials

Marx was a toy company that early on saw the advantages of plastics. You know, like Dustin Hoffman was told in 1967’s The Graduate.

[Via] Zahh Man

As you can plainly see from Mr Skinny Bones… the character is very much into plastics. It was a type of construction kit, to create ‘A real posin’ pal’. As a matter of fact looking at the toy itself, I cannot help but think this would be an amazing thing for stop-motion animation.
Mr Skinny Bones - Instructions

Of course you might be wondering what Mr Skinny Bones could be useful for. Besides the obvious ability to induce nightmares in children and middle-aged writers for the Retroist. The simple answer is of course… anything you want to use it for. As I think is demonstrated quite well on the packaging for the toy.
Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 1

Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 2

By the way, our constructable pal wasn’t the only toy created by Marx for the Bones Family. There was one for girls known as Ginny Bones too. Furthermore they had pets as well, Trom Bones the horse and Ham Bones the dog.
Mr Skinny Bones - Bones Family

I have never heard of the show Thrift Hunters before, although there is this clip of them coming upon Mr Skinny Bones.

[Via] SPIKE

For more on Marx Toys, take a moment and check out this American Pickers bonus. They visited a Marx Toys museum which has sadly closed it’s doors. Some beautiful toys in the video though!

[Via] HISTORY

Mr Skinny Bones - Nightmare Juice

I’ll be seeing you in your dreams!

Retroist DVD Contest – Win a Boxed Set of “The 60s”

the60s

As you read on my post this morning, I really enjoyed “The 60s” boxed set. So much so that I am giving a copy away as part my next DVD contest. Since the Twitter contest was so wizard the last time, I am going to keep it rolling.

About The 60s

From the glamorous years of the Kennedy administration at the beginning of the decade to the triumph of the first moonwalk at the end, this comprehensive collection escorts you through the period’s world-changing events, including the Cuban missile crisis; the civil rights movement; the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.; urban riots; the Vietnam War; and the peace movement it fostered. No less dramatic were the decade’s cultural touch points: the Beatles and Bob Dylan, birth control pills and the sexual revolution, miniskirts, hippies, communes, the ”Summer of Love,” LSD, and Woodstock.

How to Enter the Contest
Go over to Twitter and friend your friendly neighborhood Retroist at (http://www.twitter.com/retroist). After you have done that, send me an email with your twitter @username so that I can confirm that we are connected. That’s it. The drawing will be randomly chosen from all entries (1 entry per person). Now remember this is even open to existing Twitter people – you don’t need to be new, you just need to be a follower. Just remember to send me an email with you @username. Good Luck.