Transformers Decepto-Pack

Grocery stores are sprinkled with “shut-up” toys, toys parents can buy to shut their kid up. Usually, these toys are cheap and small and not that notable. But for some reason, our local Krogers (which sadly does not exist anymore) had a toy aisle with some larger selections. It was there that I got the greatest shut-up toy ever: The Transformers Decepto-Pack.
The Decepto-Pack was a Transfomers costume kit, similar to the Autobot Dress Up Set. What distinguished it from that set, though, was that it did a little bit of transforming itself. Not only was there a mask, breastplate, belt, wristcuffs, shield, and gun, but those components all transformed into a backpack for both concealment and transportation. Ingenious.
I loved the breastplate, shield, and gun. I had a little trouble with the mask, though. I didn’t think it looked very much like a Transformer. I thought it looked more like the Sphinx. I’m not so sure that assessment holds up today, but that’s what I thought at the time. I also didn’t realize that it was a Decepticon set. Though it is clearly labeled “Decepto” and clearly has the Decepticon symbol on it, I still regarded it as Autobot gear.
I kept the Decepto-Pack nearby on Friday nights. I would fiddle with it while watching The New Twilight Zone, and then do speed drills, putting it on and then taking it off and transforming it to a backpack as fast as I could, as I waited for Fritz to come on. I really thought it was big-time battle gear that would someday get me through a battle with giant, intergalactic robots. And you can’t get a better shut-up toy than that.

Empire Strikes Back Model/Playset

I had almost thought I had imagined this toy until I saw this ad in an 1982 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. It is a model of the ice planet Hoth from Empire Strikes Back. I had this toy, and I remember having it, but prior to seeing this ad, I was never sure if what I remembered was a Star Wars, Buck Rogers, or Battlestar Galactica toy. I’m not sure if that’s the result of the toy’s poor quality (I don’t remember it being that top shelf) or just the conflux of all those space-oriented shows. In any case, it was cool to see the ad and prove that I wasn’t having a phantom memory.