Mattel Talking Hand Puppets - 1960s puppets

Did You Know About These 1961 Mattel Talking Hand Puppets?

Friends, if you have ever listened to the Saturday Frights podcast episode featuring Poltergeist, you know I had grand dreams of becoming a ventriloquist as an adult. Obviously after watching the 1982 horror film by Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg…well…I developed a horrible fear of dolls as well as ventriloquist dummies. The odd thing is it only applies to certain types of those ‘dolls’ – for example these 1961 Mattel talking hand puppets are just cool to me, not frightening in anyway.

To be fair the spots on the internet I have looked these Mattel talking hand puppets up, say they were released anywhere from 1961 to 1963. So I’m just rolling with the date of release I have seen most while doing my little bit of research. The thing that interests me the most about the commercial I stumbled on is the choice of characters for the hand puppets. I can see Mattel choosing the likes of Woody Woodpecker, who rose to stardom thanks to his theatrical shorts starting all the way back in 1940.
Mattel Talking Hand Puppets - Woody Woodpecker - Title

Furthermore in the late 50’s Woody Woodpecker would jump to television on Saturday mornings with The Woody Woodpecker show. Which is why I said I wasn’t surprised by Woody Woodpecker being chosen for the line of Mattel talking hand puppets. The same thing applies to their picking of Bugs Bunny – that is a no-brainer in my book.
Mattel Talking Hand Puppets - Bug Bunny

It is the fact they chose Mr. Ed as the third talking hand puppet which totally blows my mind. Granted the show started in 1961 and was embraced by the public so perhaps at the time that decision made quite a lot of sense.
Mattel Talking Hand Puppets - Mr Ed

Having said that, you would just assume that Mattel would go after the licensing rights of Mickey Mouse or perhaps even the Pink Panther.

Ready to check out this fun TV commercial for the Mattel talking hand puppets?

[Via] D Heine

Zeroids - Zintar the Explorer

Marvel At The Mighty Zeroids By Ideal Toys From 1967!

Friends, I have mentioned already my love of all things robotic and Droid related. As I always say that has more than a little something to do with Star Wars in 1977. It truly didn’t matter to me if it was a wind-up or battery operated robot, they would all manage to find their way on my birthday and Christmas wish lists. The more futuristic and gadget-laden, all the better. Which is why I think it’s a shame that I was born too late to see the first release of Ideal Toys Zeroids line!
Zeroids - Comic Book Ad

Thank to the small removable DC motor installed in each of the Zeroids, they could move forward and backwards on the command of their ‘master’ with a flip of a switch. All four of the robotic toys featured wheels with rubber treads that allowed them to get around. In addition the cases they were packaged in acted as a playset, Zobor’s case transformed into a rolling container, allowing it to haul precious discoveries back to it’s master!
Zeroids - Zobor

The Zeroids or the Mighty Zeroids as they are also known featured swivel waist action as well as gripping hands. To say nothing of the fact that those hands could be interchanged for other features, like throwing items or magnetic attachments. The first three robots in the line all had these functions, those original progenitor included Zerak the Blue Destoyer, Zobor the Bronze-Colored Transporter as well as Zintar the Silver-Colored Explorer!

Now then, how about you take just a couple of seconds and check out this Zeroids TV commercial?

[Via] Deft Mahatma

Of course I just mentioned that these were the first three of the robots that Ideal produced in 1967. Shortly after they debuted and perhaps due to their pricing which was around five dollars, the series was widely embraced by young fans which meant a new Zeroid would shortly arrive on the scene.
Zeroids - Zeroid catalog page

That was Zogg and it would turn out that he was marketed as the commander of the Zeroids. The toy allowed for Zogg to ‘power up’ his station, which possessed moving parts such as a radar dish and a monitor that would present a spiral image. Zogg did not possess a throwing arm like the others but he did have an internal light bulb and could carry a light up laser beam weapon.
Zeroids - Zogg

It sounds like the Zeroids certainly needed those defensive capabilities when Ideal Toys introduced the Zeroid Alien. Besides having a clear dome head to witness his computer brain in action, it allowed you to replace cogs within it to alter how it moved. You could have the dreaded Alien move in a zig-zag pattern or even allow it to fire off it’s parts when you added the self-destruct cog.
Zeroids - Zeroid Alien

The awesome thing I found out is the Zeroids keep coming back!

Thanks in no small part to 1977’s Star Wars the robots were brought back as part of the Star Team. The Zeroid Pilot featured the body portion of Zogg and while it did have a light up dome, the motorized features were removed.
Zeroids - Star Team Pilot

Then in 2010 the Zeroid robots returned in a comic book mini-series published by Moonstone Books. In which they arrived on Earth to protect the descendant of their creator against a horde of zombies and the Shadow Raiders.
Zeroids - Moonstone Book Cover

That is not the last time they have shown up either as in 2016, Toyfinity produced kits for a new line of Robo Force toys and Zeroids as well. In fact you will want to hop on over to Toyfinity’s official site as they have secured the rights to produce future collectibles based on the 1984 line of Manglors and Rocks, Bugs and Things – although Toyfinity’s take on the latter is Mordles.

[Via] MHart77

In closing on how awesome the Zeroids line were…and continues to be…rock out with this fan video!

[Via] Mike Burrows

The Hobbit Board Game By Milton Bradley - Box art

Check Out 1978’s The Hobbit Board Game By Milton Bradley!

My love of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings saga is all thanks to the 1977’s animated adaptation of The Hobbit by Rankin and Bass. I have written about my absolute love of this TV special on the site once or twice before. However I was not aware that in 1978 there was The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley. Furthermore this isn’t based on the 1977 TV movie…but acts as a prequel to Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated The Lord of the Rings!

[Via] Night of the Trailers

While I was able to find a copy of The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley on ebay, the truth is it goes for big bucks. The one I stumbled on was going for an asking price of over $200. Unless I’m able to uncover a Troll hoard or some such I will just have to be content with looking at these images from the game.
The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley - 1978

As you can easily tell from the image above, this is in fact a 3D board game. Considering the popularity of Milton Bradley’s Which Witch from the early ’70s, it is certainly no wonder why they decided to go with a 3D approach for this Hobbit based game.

[Via] Ryan Taylor

The thing you should keep in mind is that the 1978 film by Ralph Bakshi covers only The Fellowship of the Ring as well as some of The Two Towers. There is indeed a bit of a flashback to Bilbo finding the One Ring and his encounter with Gollum though. But the 1977 animated TV special was already in development by the time Bakshi began his animated theatrical feature film.

The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley - Board Game Geek

Image courtesy of Board Game Geek.

The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley is like getting a quick glimpse at what could have been, an alternate reality where it was Ralph Bakshi and not Rankin and Bass that animated the adventures of Bilbo Baggins!
The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley - Elves - Goblin

I couldn’t help but notice an interesting omission from this board game, friends. You have the Great spiders of Mirkwood, Trolls, Elves, the Eagles, Bard of Laketown, Goblins, and Gollum. But by the glorious forges of the Lonely Mountain…where are the Dwarves?!

[Via] Rocdrias

As for the purpose of the game, you must be the first player to safely reach the end of the path by exact count and claim the One Ring!

No doubt the artist and designers for The Hobbit board game by Milton Bradley were elf-friend, right?

I’m not saying I do not want to add this awesome looking board game to my collection because of the lack of Dwarves. What I am telling you is that if I do pick it up, I will be sure to play this video featuring “Misty Mountains Cold” from the 1977 animated TV special!

[Via] Glenn Returns