Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Collectible of the Week: Colorforms Adventure Sets

When I was a wee one, I  really enjoyed spending time with Colorforms Adventure Sets (from Colorforms Toys).  I thought these compact sets were incredible fun, and always wondered why my parents didn't want to buy them for me.  

As an adult, I see the matter a bit more clearly: the little adhesive pieces end up falling out of the boxes and landing everywhere.  Clean-up can be a nightmare.

Still, in the pre-VCR age of the 1970s, the Colorforms Adventure Set was an absolute necessity for imaginative kids hoping to relive adventures they had seen on television, or in the movies.  And as the Colorforms boxes suggested, "Colorforms plastic sticks like magic.  No scissors.  No paste.  Lots of fun!"

The advertising was certainly true, and I remember one particular time as a child when I got sick in Kindergarten (at Central School in Glen Ridge) and had to wait at a friend's house for my Mom to pick me up.  My friend had a Happy Days Colorforms kit, and I played with the bloomin' thing till I could go home.  

Oh, the sweet, innocent days of Fonzie...

In terms of genre entertainment, probably every sci-fi franchise worth its salt in the 1970s had a Colorforms Adventure Set to its name. 

The Star Trek set implored kids "to travel into un-explored territory in outer space on assignments to explore and probe the mysterious regions beyond our galaxy limits."  

The Space: 1999 set suggested you could "Explore the Moon surface near Moon Base Alpha."    Virtually all the adventure sets, designed for ages 3 and up, contained a board, approximately two-dozen plastic pieces, a play-board and a booklet.

Below is a gallery of images from my Colorforms Adventure Set collection.


  1. I can't help but think of all the unknown artists whose work were such a large part of our childhood. I had forgotten all about the Batman set, but as soon as I saw that picture of the Batmobile, a flood of memories came to me.

    Thanks for a great post!

  2. Pierre: That's a great point about the artists here -- we don't know their names, but they did beautiful work, didn't they? I love these colorform sets as examples of pop art, like you say -- and I'm glad you feel the same way.