Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Further Viewing: The Many Toys of The Six Million Dollar Man

As I said on this week's episode, I didn't follow The Six Million Dollar Man when I was growing up, but I do remember the existence of toys--yes, glorious toys, many of which I saw in comic book ads after the show was out of first run.

Thanks to the awesomeness of YouTube uploader maxcarnage70, we can enjoy many of the vintage TV ads in one spot. Not included, sadly, is the Venus Probe toy. Actually, even sadder than the lack of an ad here is the fact that Kenner wimped out and called it Venus Probe instead of Death Probe. I mean, they had a Death Star playset! You just don't see enough toys with "Death" on the package (especially nowadays, after ABC's ill-fated Deathchichis toy tie-in series in the 1980s), and we missed out on a classic here.

Let's examine some of the other Bionic Man toys, though:

Is this something that actually aired during Land of the Lost, or is it a promo film of some kind? Either way, it represents toy shilling at its finest. With this spot, Kenner uses the reliable technique of mixing in actual TV show footage and rockin' sound effects with its "kids playing" footage to make this toy line look a blast.

Lee Majors vs. John Saxon in a slow-motion fight to the finish? I'm not sure what the deal is with this voiceless clip, and I don't even think it's an actual toy commercial, but so what? It's cooler than half of the 1970s action movies I've seen.

MASKATRON is just about the coolest toy name ever--rivaling even Deathchichis--and I love this spot despite the rather pedestrian scenarios these two jabronis are acting out.

Wait. We're supposed to use the vaunted BIONIC GRIP to...pick up things? No Bionic Nerve Pinch? No Bionic Head Crush? What a letdown!

I love the uploader's title for this spot. Don't even try to convince me that any child anywhere sat on Santa's lap and asked for Oscar Goldman's Briefcase. It sounds like the world's worst Off-Off Broadway play.

This one cracks me up. Surely every child who got the chance to pit Steve Austin against Bigfoot conjured up the ideal platform for their epic battle: a drag race. Toy funnel cake and toy nachos for the toy spectators at the speedway not included.

Yes, while Steve Austin dolls--er, action figures--get drag races and vehicles, the Bionic Woman gets a beauty salon playset. Eh, it's still cooler than Oscar Goldman's Briefcase.

"Bionic Woman with Bionic Mission Purse." OK, I finally found something lamer than Oscar Goldman's Briefcase.

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