I used to get these stamped metal gas stations. My Dad had to put them together. They were all tabbed and slotted and pretty cool. Pretty big also. Today they would not be produced because the metal edges were sharp and I got cut often by handling them wrong.
GI Joe! When he first came out. I loved the little machine guns and grenades and stuff that went with him.
Cowboy and Indian stuff! (Politically INCORRECT now.) Cap guns, holsters, bright red cowboy hat, fringed gloves, plastic and metal rifles and sheriff badges. They had a toy rifle modeled after a real one that I’ve never found. It had a rotating revolver cylinder in it with plastic, realistic bullets you could put in.
Rocketship XL5. There was a puppet show on, dealing with space adventures and they sold a not very good plastic rocket that was pretty big and came apart into the two sections, like on the show.
Model rockets = but they were new and took so long to build that I was afraid to shoot them off and loose them (BACK THEN, FOR $25, ONE COULD BUY FROM THE BACK OF A CATALOGUE, A 2 1/2 FOOT LONG KEROSENE FUELED JET ENGINE! THEY SUGGESTED STRAPPING IT ONTO YOUR BIKE OR HOME MADE 4 WHEELED CART. IT TOOK AN AIR COMPRESSOR TO START IT AND THE DAMN THING PRODUCED SOMETHING LIKE 50 OR MORE POUNDS OF THRUST. TODAY, ABOUT A DOZEN OR SO PROTECTION GROUPS WOULD BAN IT AND LAWYERS WOULD BE LINED UP DROOLING FOR THE LAWSUITS IT WOULD CAUSE. IT HAD TO BE DANGEROUS, ESPECIALLY THE EXHAUST.)
A single speed, FAT tired bike! I lived on a dirt road and those BIG FAT tires (with white walls) were great for the soft sand.
Inexpensive models, like Flying Fortresses, Battleships, Submarines, Migs, Jets, tanks, and, of course CARS. They ranged from $1 to $5 for a big, complex model and many were quite detaled. I priced models today and almost fell over at the prices.
WHIP-FLY-IT model jets. A clever invention. Take one of the simpler and cheaper model jets, provide it with about 10 or 12 feet of strong cord and a touch of brown modeling clay. You assemble the jet, poke the clay into the left wing tip and nose for ballast, glue the string end around a post hidden in the right one. Then, the kid gets into a clear area and ‘whips’ the jet around his head in a circle! It looks like it is flying! I had many a happy battle out there by myself on the dirt roads and sand lots and lots of exciting crashes and ‘forced’ landings. (A plastic skid, salvaged from one of many left over parts from other model kits, glued to the bottom of the jet [after the not very sturdy landing gear had broken off about a dozen times and got lost] made an excellent landing attachment.)
The HYDRODYNAMIC BUILDING SET. A GREAT TOY. It was an assembly of plastic, interlocking I beams, gaskets of bright yellow and green, clear plastic tank parts, valves that worked and plastic tubes. You built various structures to hold the tanks on a plastic base, which held water and a pump. Then you added colored water and turned it on. The water flowed up the tubes, filled the tanks, flowed through various valves, to various tanks, even to some measured dippers and then back down to the pump. It was a great toy and just as variable as one’s imagination. They even provided a set to go with it where one could add on more I beam structures and cover them with thin plastic panels to make a building. It was too cool!
I’d like one today but they don’t make them any more.
Lastly, the old gory monster scene kits, like Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula and the ‘Karr-toonz’ rat-fink characters and their ‘funny’ cars, where they reached up through the roof to grab the shift knob and sat behind an enormous engine that stuck out of the whole front of the car. They used to be in Car magazine (or Hot-rod) until those rags became ‘sophisticated’.
(At least the nasty little finks didn’t DROOL all of the time like it seems every friggin’ cartoon character today has to do.)
“Think of it as Evolution in action.”