Things have been retro on the Friday Geek Outs the past couple weeks. Saturday cartoons led to Saturday morning educational interstitials and now Sci-Fi Playsets of the 70s, which were super cool. This seems especially appropriate since it is Black Friday and people will be toy shopping today.
Back in the 70s, like today, shows that were popular with kids had toys. Action figures were as in then as they are today. But the playsets and assorted goodies seem better back then than they do today. Plastic, cardboard and vinyl could be bound together and create hours of fun either reenacting the TV show or creating your own adventures.
I had two playsets and assorted accessory sets that I fondly remember still.
It’s no surprise that I had Star Trek toys, including the Bridge playset, many of the action figures as well as the utility belt and the walkie talkies. The Mego Museum website is a great place to see a lot of information on these retro toys!
The other major set of toys I had were from Space: 1999, including the Command Center playset, the utility belt, lots of figures, the Eagle playset and the ComLink walkie talkies. The Toys You Had website had some great pictures of these vintage toys.
I’m not sure if there were actual commercials for the Space: 1999 toys, but someone made that clip that stands in for a commercial for the Eagle pretty well.
One of my favorite things to do was spread out both playsets across the living room floor and let them interact with each other. Sometimes the Enterprise would come to rescue Moonbase Alpha. Sometimes the Alpha crew would stumble up on the Enterprise and help them get back to their own universe (given that the two shows can’t really exist together since the moon is in Earth orbit in Star Trek). It was hours of fun.
Today’s playsets may be more high tech, but I really don’t think they compare with these where I think you had to use more imagination to make it all work. Now after writing about these I wish I could sit down and play!