Sunday, May 22, 2016

At Flashbak: Mattel's Vertibird (1971)

This week at Flashbak, I remembered an awesome toy from the 1970s, Mattel’s Vertibird.

“In 1971, Mattel produced one of the greatest toys of a generation: the Vertibird.

The Vertibird toy featured a helicopter which could fly around a central base while a “pilot” operated a control panel which could change speed and even pitch.

The box for the original Vertibird noted that the (child) pilot could “throttle fast or slow” the copter with 8-inch rotors. The pilot could also “change altitude, speed, direction…and touchdown.” 

But there was more to Vertibird than mere flight. The plot could also engage in rescue missions, picking up an astronaut and “his space capsule.”

Described and promoted as “safe flying for indoors and outdoors,” the Vertibird came in many packages throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, and had a multitude of copycats.

In terms of copycats, Remco created a Star Trek (1966-1969) version of the Vertibird, with a flying starship Enterprise instead of a rescue copter. The toy was called CSF: Controlled Space Flight.

Mattel’s Vertibird got into the space age action as well, creating a Space:1999 (1975-1977) model – in which one could command the series’ trademark Eagle space craft -- and later a Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979) edition too….”

Please continue reading at Flashbak.

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