Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings

I have mentioned a time or two how much I enjoy Plaid Stallions, the website and blog devoted to 1970s toys and fashion disasters. As a child of that decade, it always brings a smile to my face. So when I learned that Brian Heiler (the man behind Brick Mantooth) was going to be putting together a book, well, he had my attention.

That book is Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings, and it is a beauty. You know about rack toys, right? They are the flimsy toys you see in drug stores and supermarkets. Often, they are the last bastion of licensing for some properties. I mean, where else will I find a Heckle and Jeckle toy, except a grocery store toy aisle? Granted, it might just be a water gun or yo-yo, but that's not the point.

The pages of this book lovingly catalog a slew of rack toys from over the decades, both licensed and knock-offs. The photographs are beautiful and the book is helpfully divided into sections for your particular interest. And for those of you interested in them like me, I am happy to report that the Galaxy Laser Team is represented!

If you ever had a Spider-Man parachuting figure or a tiny plastic Batmobile, this is a book you will enjoy. It manages to be both a gateway to discovery (MANIMAL toys?) and a window back on happy memories (not only did I have a Spider-Man Webmaker, but I am pretty sure I still have the tube of webbing somewhere). It is published by Plaid Stallions itself, so mosey on over there and look into securing your own copy. Or you can find it on Amazon. But here's a hint: you might get some EXTRA GOODIES if you order direct.

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