We're going way back to Christmas of 1977 for this one. I had just turned 5 years old and although I wasn't the most sports-minded kid (usually preferring to draw for hours on end or make up adventures with my action figures), it was pretty hard in my household, between my Dad and brother's influence, to not be at least a little interested in throwing the ol' pigskin or running some bases.
And today's toy (Part 1 of my 4 week look at favorite Christmas toys) is a prime example of how, every now and then, the sports world and the toy world collided in a brilliant flash of serious down-on-the-carpet fun.
This week's Awesome Toy of Christmas Past is Super Toe! The football kicking gridiron fellow from Schaper Toys!
Super Toe was one of a series of Super Jock toys from Schaper that came out in 1975 and lasted for several years. You can read about the other toys in the line, and see a bunch of pics of each toy (including the basketball shooting dude that I also got for the following Christmas) over at Plaid Stallions.
Super Toe was a pretty basic toy. He's a football player that kicks a football between a goalpost. Sadly, I found this chap on eBay without his signature flat-ended footballs or goalpost, so I guess I'm still on the hunt for them.
Even as a kid (destined to go into graphic design), I remember loving the starkly designed faces on these toys. I mean, look at him... that dude is grim.
The toy itself was pretty simple. You put a football in front of his right foot, push down his head, and POW! He'd kick the ball right throught he goalpost! Well, hopefully. It took quite a bit of futzing and practice to get it just right, but for some reason, the simple act of finally getting the pigskin through the uprights was unbelievably satisfying.
My brother and I once spent a couple of hours trying for field goals and extra points, moving the goalposts further and further away from the kicker. Then we got bored with that and tried to kick oyster crackers at each other while the other would try to catch it in his mouth. It wasn't easy. Oyster crackers just can't get much air or hang time.
Of course, it didn't take long for me to realize that if Super Toe can kick a football, he can kick all kinds of things and soon many of my toys were in danger of getting the boot from this focused place-kicker. And since I'm lacking in footballs for the piece currently in my collection, maybe I need to find something else...
Oh no! Artoo!
Just kidding, I wouldn't do that to poor Artoo. Not as an adult vintage toy collecting nerd, anyway. But I'm sure I did it a couple of times when I was a kid.
Thanks for reading and tune in next Friday for Part 2!