Tag Archive: retro toys


Getting a jumpstart on Hasbro‘s announcement from New York Toy Fair 2019 of a new, retro line of classic 3.75-inch Kenner-branded action figures, Target has listed the first figures on its website.  It’s no surprise that the franchise is the classic Kenner Star Wars, and they are being re-released on vintage style cards (with a new retro designating logo), but with original style sculpts as the Star Wars Retro Collection.  So at a minimum look for Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and a Stormtrooper coming to your Target soon.

The figures look identical to the originals from the marketing images, including the weapon accessories.  In addition to the new retro logo, the bubble cards appear to have a weathered design.  Here are the details for the Luke figure, with similar details listed at the Target website for each figure:

  • INSPIRED BY STAR WARS 70s-STYLE ACTION FIGURES – Star Wars Retro Collection 3.75-inch-scale Star Wars figures feature original Kenner figure design and detail and Star Wars movie-inspired back cards (Each sold separately. Subject to availability)!
  • CLASSIC LUKE SKYWALKER FIGURE – This 3.75-inch scale collectible Luke Skywalker figure features sculpting and design inspired by the original Kenner figures from the 70s and the Tatooine farmboy who joined the Rebels from Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • STAR WARS MOVIE-INSPIRED ACCESSORY – Includes a Luke Skywalker-inspired action Lightsaber that is great for display in any Star Wars collection.
  • 5 POINTS OF ARTICULATION – with the basic articulation of the classic Kenner figures, this Star Wars Retro Collection Luke Skywalker figure is a great addition to any Star Wars action figure and vehicle collection.
  • THE LEGACY CONTINUED – Look for other Star Wars Retro Collection figures to continue the collection from a galaxy far, far away! (Figures each sold separately. Subject to availability.)

Here are the package examples shown:

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A Robin

Merry Christmas!

I was searching through the old photo archive and revisiting the source of my current interests.  Sometimes you don’t have to look too hard.

Take for example the Christmas of 1974 pictured above.  I was three years old, yet already thinking about cars (that’s the Fisher Price garage there).  And already a fan of DC Comics, with my Mego Robin in-hand.

Then there was the Christmas of 1975.  I was not just an aficionado of one borg, but two–Santa brought me the Six Million Dollar Man and from my folks I received the Mike Power action figure.  What’s better than that?

A1 borg toys

I don’t remember being this cocky.  Hey, check out the Lite Brite!

A1 Six Mil

I held that action figure pretty close.  And check out the Shrinky Dinks!   Dad’s glasses are back in style (I’m wearing a pair now).  But not the striped pants.

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TIE fighter

If you remember the 1970s, you may remember the first time you saw the catalog for Star Wars toys–an insert in any and all Star Wars vehicles, playsets, and large-sized action figures.  Hasbro has published the complete, first catalog for Episode VII of Star Wars, and as we expected from the preview we discussed last week here at borg.com, plenty of dollars will be spent at midnight, September 4, 2015–“Force Friday”–as the new line of toys spreads across the country.  As much as for its groundbreaking space fantasy films, Star Wars is known for its landmark toy and collectible merchandising.  Look before Star Wars and nothing compares.

Below, we reprint the new catalog so you can start making your want list.  But first, do you remember the first Star Wars catalogs?  Just compare what was offered for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back fans to what will be available to the latest generation of Star Wars moviegoers.  Not much has changed, has it?

You’ll find 3 3/4-inch action figures, even the first of the 12-inch line of figures, vehicles, lightsabers (although the new line could merit its own catalog), and then those… other items you can’t quite explain.  Like Star Wars plastic model kit vans from the past, or now… is that a Chewbacca Furby?

Here are both the catalogs from Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope, Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, and the latest–the catalog for Episode VII, The Force Awakens:

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John Carpenter Christine Plymouth Fury

Director John Carpenter announced this week that Hot Wheels will be issuing a die cast metal version of his famous car Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury from his horror film based on Stephen King’s novel.  It doesn’t have a sound chip for playing Little Richard’s “Keep a Knockin'” but it’s still going to be a cool mini-ride.  Other new releases include Richard Dreyfuss’s truck from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Emergency! red rapid response truck from the 1970s TV series.  Not familiar with the retro entertainment line from Hot Wheels?  It gets better.

Stripes Urban Assault Vehicle    Electric Mayhem School Bus

So far the Hot Wheels plant has rolled out something for everyone, coming up with a pretty broad array of vehicles.  Remember the green GMC mobile home “Urban Assault Vehicle” from Stripes?  It’s coming in 2015.  Remember Mr. Miyagi’s yellow 1948 Ford–the one he gives as a gift to Daniel-san for finishing his karate training in The Karate Kid?  They’ve got that, too.

Dreyfuss Close Encounters of the Third Kind truck

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Cardboard Safari skull

The department stores have switched into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season seemingly overnight now that Halloween has passed.  If you’re thinking ahead to the latest and greatest new gift idea for model builders and other crafters for the coming holiday season, you should take a look at some creative new building kits from Cardboard Safari.  We at borg.com have tried out three of the company’s precision laser-cut project kits and found them to be easy to build and loads of fun for a variety of audiences.

Cardboard Safari designers use various types of cardboard to create everything from real office furniture to desktop art, and wall wreaths and retro toys to a human skull.  We tried out Cardboard Safari’s Human Skull, Astro Rocket, and steampunk or retro Ray Gun with display stand.  The instructions were straightforward and materials sturdy enough that when we were distracted during the World Series we could redo our work without any errors or blemishes in the final product.  They require no glue, but are carefully designed so cardboard components solidly secure the model–something like a snap-tite plastic model kit.  The photo above and first photo below show the final projects we created.

Ray Gun and Rocket Cardboard Safari

When I was a kid my first exposure to model kits was the Gayla Industries Styrofoam board gliders like the F-14 and the Space Shuttle, the West Wings simple balsa gliders, and Guillows rubber band-powered planes.  These were simple three or four step models.  Later I moved into larger styrene gliders, and more advanced balsa and plastic kits.  On a parallel track I grew up with Legos, starting with a basic house set and moving up to the remote-controlled functional car.  You can learn the same building skills with the projects at Cardboard Safari.

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Play Doh SW

Some toys are timeless.  Once upon a time I or one of my siblings received every single gift on this list under the Christmas tree, and we got hours and hours of use out of these.  Some bring out the creative in us.  Some are just plain fun.  But all of them are classics, and we’re lucky that, with a little effort we can still find each of them, if not under the original brand name, then re-marketed but containing the full spirit of the original.  Check these out, listed in no particular order, with links to the quickest way to find these for your gift giving list via Amazon.com.

Viewmaster

View-Master — If you’re not interested in recently available subject matter reels for this classic 3D image camera, then go to any antique sale in any town and you’ll likely find boxes of the old packets of three reels, ranging in subjects anywhere from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, to the Apollo Moon Landing to The Six Million Dollar Man TV series to every travel destination on Earth.  All you need is a basic viewer.  We picked up an original Sawyer’s black 1939 camera on a visit to the birthplace of the View-Master, Portland, Oregon, and it works the same as the classic 1970s red one you remember.  The same mechanism still runs today’s viewers.  Just grab yourself (or that person on your gift list) some reels and get started.

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