Sunday, August 23, 2009

What My Dad Kept

My Mom and Dad have always been good at saving my brother and I's childhood things. Anything that survived after we were through with it got tucked away in storage to be found as treasure at a later date. I know I'm extremely lucky as I often hear story after story about how someone's toys were either thrown away or sold in a garage sale by parents. Luckily, over the years, I've been able to find the majority of the things I played with as a kid.

This past week, I spent several days helping my folks sort through things in their garage to either be organized or given to a place like Goodwill (furniture, clothing, etc.). To my surprise there were still quite a few childhood things that belonged to my brother and I that I hadn't somehow come across in earlier "toy recovery missions." So, this is kind of a "down and dirty" post to show some of the things I came across this past week in boxes that were in my parent's garage. These are all items from the mid to late 70s with just a couple of exceptions.

Toy Guns - The above shot is a couple of toy guns from the 70s. The Space Astro gun is one of those light and sound jobs that drive parents crazy. The other is a gun that would shoot little plastic colored disks. I believe that this one may have come on a card and been Star Trek branded, despite it's generic appearance. We also had a Star Trek phaser that shot the same disks. I'm not sure what happened to that one.

Spiderman and Hulk Silly Putty Containers - Spiderman had red putty and Hulk had green. The putty is still inside.

Paperback books from the 70s - I had no idea that I had a Welcome Back Kotter book, at some point. I'm sure I got it through one of those Scholastic school book orders. For those of you a bit younger, Welcome Back Kotter was a popular TV sitcom (remember those?) that ushered a very young John Travolta to stardom (he's on the cover at the far left).

Kiss puzzle and book - The Kiss book is another school order book. I don't remember having the puzzle...but there it is.

Six Million Dollar Man record and books - I had always wondered what happened to these over the years. I used to love to listen to the adventures on this record. It's great to have the books back again, as well.

Superman pop-up book - This is a pop-up book from 1979. It has some pretty cool actions that the pages do when you slide a lever or turn a door.

Star Trek children's books - I love the illustrations in these and they are illustrated throughout. Good stuff.

Fisher Price Adventure people - I don't know a whole lot about these guys. They belonged to my brother. I'm sure there are quite a few pieces missing.

The Lone Ranger and Silver - The Lone Ranger still had a bit of residual clout in the 70s and early 80s from previous decades. This is a 3 3/4 scale set from the 1981 movie, The Legend of Lone Ranger. So, not quite a 70s toy but close.

Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica - This is a 3 3/4 inch figure from Mattel. They created these in the wake of the tremendous popularity of Kenner's Star Wars figures. I always hated the fact that they didn't bother to paint the eyes on any of the characters.

Clash of the Titans - These are a couple of 3 3/4 scale figures from the movie. Nice likeness of Harry Hamlin as Perseus...especially at this scale.

Micronaut - This was a very cool 3 3/4 scale (noticing a trend?) line of figures from Mego. I believe the concept was licensed from Takara's Microman line from Japan. Love these guys!! Although, I have no idea who this character is. He comes with an Egyptian style tomb to store him in.

Mego Pocket Heroes - Mego made a complete line of 3 3/4 size heroes and villains. This is what's left of my brother's collection.

Tron - These are figures from the 1982 Tron movie (close but not quite 70s, again). They are also in 3 3/4 scale. They are made of a semi-translucent plastic. Cool.

Star Wars Han Solo pistol - This, to me, is the coolest thing I found. My Dad made this for me out of a couple of other toy guns in 1977 before Star Wars toys started hitting toy shelves. He chopped pieces off, used part of a scope from another gun, glued things together, and painted everything black. Sure, it's not 100% accurate but it was close enough for me. I still think he did a great job, all things considered. This was at the bottom of a box that was headed to Goodwill. I almost didn't even look through the box...and I've been looking for this thing for years. Close call.

I hope you've enjoyed this smattering of stuff I found in my folk's garage... a little something for everyone, I hope. There are still a couple of other things I found that I will probably do a more in-depth look at in the future.

What a fun week I've had!


  1. What a find! I'm so envious! It's nice to see that some people get to go back and re-enter the world of their childhood like this. Great post!

    I also couldn't help but notice that you kept your toys in excellent condition as a kid. You're a better man than me, or at least far less destructive than I was.

    And your parents sound like awesome people, especially your dad for making that gun for you. Wicked cool!

  2. WHOAH! Whatta haul! Nice stuff - all very well kept too. The Pocket Heroes are especially cool - and the Tron stuff (I had all those as a kid too!)

    The Han Solo gun is indeed the best of the bunch though, what an awesome thing for your dad to do! Congrats on finding it!

  3. You have the best parents in the world. Holding on to your stuff like that -- they deserve some sort of medal.

    All the toys themselves are great, but I agree, the Han Solo pistol is the biggest score of the day. Aside from it being -- for all intents and purposes -- Han's gun, it's got so many memories wrapped up inside of it. It's nice that you were able to find it again.

  4. DANG! That Han Solo pistol is the absolute coolest thing ever! 100% cool dad, too.

    Not 100% accurate? Kids have great power to truly believe something looks real and cool. I mean, you were at an age where the effects and backgrounds to Thundarr the Barbarian were mind-bogglingly amazing :)

  5. As I kept scrolling down through this post I was thinking "I remember those" and "I had that, sweet!" What an awesome post!

    That Micronaut is complete and awesome! I had the same one, but all orange, that was my favorite of the bunch!

    The Han blaster reminds me of when my pop made me a lightsaber, before the toys came out. Those kit bashed, home made toys are the best and that blaster looks like it's ready to take on the Empire!

  6. There is a lesson for all those Dad's and Mom's out there that its really meaningful to keep all your kid's toys until they themselves tell you its okay to get rid of them. You never can tell how nostalgia will hit someone and to deprive them of that is cruel.

  7. Great post, great parents.

    I too love the Solo Blaster the best.

    My brother had the Adventure people too and I think we had a dolphin that went with the boat you have.

  8. You have to be the luckiest man alive, There are no toys from my childhood left anywhere at my folks house. But i believe I used to own a Space Astro pistol myself... or at least one very similar to that one.

  9. The Micronaut is Pharoid.

  10. I'm too envious to say any more.

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  12. Do you have any more info on the Space Astro toy gun? I have a working one as well, and was curious as to who the manufacturer was. All I can see is that it was made in Hong Kong.