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Planet of the Apes

Of course TV had a huge influence on us kids in the 1970s, and when Plant of the Apes was shown in the sixties, it was only a matter of time for the TV series to be launched. This followed the five big screen film, the last being in 1973. Loved it “God what have we done?” that line from Charlton Heston.

With the TV series came the toys and we could all enjoy it again. So in 1974 along came the Planet of the Apes figures made by Mego in the States, but I am not really sure if that the name I remember for us teenagers in the UK.

We had all the main characters like Galen, Alan Virdon, Burke, General Urko, and General Ursus. If I can remember well enough we even had some of the horses that the Apes rode when collecting us poor humans, I know it was not real, but it was great to have those toys on the carpet and lose yourself into the Planet of the Apes. I think my favourite was Dr Zais, he was the ape scientist type with a white costume, who knew all about us humans, but never let it go public. So when I say favourite, I should say he got thrown around the room a few times.

The models were about 8” high and bendable in places, just as well as trying to get them on a horse would have been a problem. But it was not just the toys.

We all remember getting the Ape masks and going round school thinking it was really cool with the guns and walking like the gorillas. It was easy for many companies to cash in on the 70s ape masks, as did we really care if it had a Plane of the Apes logo on 1t? Nope, we just ripped the packaging off and ran into the kitchen as an ape to scare mum. She never was that scared, after all she was with dad.

70s Toys & Games

Remember the old retro toys you used to play with? Did you bounce about on spacehoppers, play pong or ride around on your cool Chopper? Can you recall the heroes Twirling Tim and Hurricane Hank, and who they used to do battle with in the arena? Did you used to come home from school with bruised knuckles from trying to beat 100 clacks on your Klackers? Or was you the studious type carefully making lovely patterns with your Spirograph which, no matter how careful you were, always seemed to cut through the paper turning your masterpiece into a mess.

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