Monday, December 03, 2007

RIP Evel Knievel

...which is even more ironic, since two days beforehand, I discovered this website. It's full of toy catalogues from the mid to late 1970s (including two separate Evel Knievel catalogues), which has taken me on a massive nostalgia trip, full of exclamations of "I used to have one of those!" "The kids next door used to have one of those!" and "I always wanted one of those!" It's interesting, too, to be able to put a name to all those nine-inch action figures that the unbelievably grown-up and sophisticated older kids next door (three and six years older than me, respectively) were always playing with (Mego Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Superhero figures, mostly).

I'm also both enchanted and frustrated by the discovery that Space: 1999 had not one, but two sets of action figures associated with it (by Kenner and Mego, respectively). I didn't discover Space: 1999 till my teens, but I would so have loved a teeny-tiny Paul Morrow and Victor Bergman for my desktop.

It also makes me mourn the loss of the Family Show. TV shows that were adult hits, like The Six Billion Dollar Man, Planet of the Apes, Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica routinely had action figure lines, reminding us that these programmes were made to be enjoyed by kids too, even if they didn't totally understand the nuances. Much as I love the new BSG, it's a real shame that the only programme out there which seems to have that family niche at the moment is Doctor Who.