Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 83: The Six Million Dollar Man Mission Control Center (Kenner; 1976)

Ever have one of these?

In the Christmas of our Bicentennial year 1976 -- the last Christmas before Star Wars (1977) arrived -- Kenner's "bionic" toys dominated the market...not to mention the imagination of children like me.

These were the prized toys that every kid in the neighborhood wanted and hoped that Santa Claus would bring.

An avid fan of The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978) or The Bionic Woman (1976-1978) could choose from any number of really fine toys in this line, including large-scale action figures (Steve Austin, Jaime Sommers, Oscar Goldman, Maskatron...), huge vehicles (like Jaime's sports car, or Austin's space vehicle...), and cool play sets galore.

The Bionic Woman had a salon/repair center, for instance. Oscar had his Washington D.C. OSI office (not to mention an exploding briefcase...), and Steve himself had a space capsule/repair station.

However, one of the most exciting and sought after play sets in Kenner's stable was The Six Million Dollar Man "Mission Control Center," the very place, according to the box legend, "where all the bionic adventures begin!"

This huge, impressive toy included a "giant inflatable dome, 17.5" high and 26" wide."

Since the dome was inflatable by air valve (9 for strength and durability...), the toy even came with a repair kit.

In case, I guess, Big Foot (Ted Cassidy) happened by hoping to puncture it with a pin or something.

And inside (or rather beneath...) that huge dome was the HQ for OSI agents Colonel Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers. It was protected, according to the dome specifications, by a "laser force field."

Another exterior
section of the dome was a computer, a "retrieval storage unit."

The Six Million Dollar Man Mission Control Center also contains (from the bulleted points on the box): "radar scanner," "TV Monitor," "radio headphones" "bionic check-out panels and cables," "command chair and command console" and "mission control vinyl floor."

At the "Bionic Check-Out Panel" you could "plug cables into your Six Million Dollar Man's modules" and "
pretend you check out his bionics for special missions."
At the
communications console, you could "change pictures in the T.V. monitor to communicate with Oscar, Jaime Sommers, Maskatron and outer space."

And there was even a "secret escape hatch" designed
"for those times when the Six-Million Dollar Man must get out of the Mission Control Center in a hurry without being seen."
Designed for kids ages five and up (and I would have just turned seven that year...), this Kenner Bionic Headquarters was never featured on either TV series that I can recall.

But it's such a truly awesome toy that it certainly should have been.

Now, if I could just get my bionic action figures out of remote storage...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Hey Man! You cannot imagine how gartefull I am!! I got my Mission Control Center from EBay last year but without the pictures for the T.V. Monitor, and I`ve been lokking for that in the net. So now I printed the scans and started bionics transmisions!!