Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tomy Mighty Men and Monster Maker, Trace Plates and Fashion Plates

I wanted to take a little time to talk about one of best toys of my youth, the Tomy Mighty Man and Monster Maker.  This was a fantastic art toy that created comic bock super heroes and monsters for you to color.  You could pick and choose the head, torso and legs to make all sorts of creations.  I probably could do the math on the combinations, but some of the plates were textural for hair and stuff which would mess up my count.  But lots how about that.

The toys of the time , the late 70's/ early 80's were going through a shift in packaging.  Toy's of the 50's and 60's often were identified by maker as they were all making toy guns and dolls.  In the later 60's and onwards toys became much more branded as is the case with the monster maker. There was also a girls version of the toy called fashion plates, which was not compatible.  As a boy I was really not even aware of the Fashion Plates toy.  I am saying that to illustrate the branded single toy concept.  This started changing In the later 70's when lines of toys started becoming the norm.  Thinks of toys like Rom or Sucker Man they are the toy with nothing else.  Then look at the micronauts when what a whole line that basically worked with each other.  The toys we see today are even greater expressions of the line of toys with video games, toys, movies even coloring books. I am mentioning this change because it eventually pushed Tomy to create other plate drawing sets and the release of many competitors.

For us boys The Mighty Man and Monster was the go to art toy.  It was great It had wolf man and lizard man bodes along with super heroes and all sorts of junk.  You could set up the head torso and leg bits, put down and piece of paper and rub the image with a crayon to get a nice newly made coloring sheet to play with.

For girls the Fashion plates toy was the same but with fashion related figure and square piece rather than the monster makers trapezoidal bits.  Apparently this line was expanded a bit in the 90's Introducing a newer version of the Fashion Plates, a New Kids on the Block Fashion Plates toy and something called Fashion Faces, which was more of a head shot creator. 

After the success of the two toys the maker Tomy produced a couple of lesser known sets.  These being the Fashion Plates travel set and the Little Van Goes sets.  I had the Van Goes toy I think we got it at Pic N' Save in Milpitas, CA.  This says it may not have been the success Tomy intended as mostly unselling toys went here. This set was a small box that had a drawer to hide the plates and rubbing tool.  The plates were vans and dragsters from what i remember.  A very similar idea

I stole this image from the following site please visit them for more little van goes information

I have seen similar Barbie fashion plates online recently you can find them by following this link.

Actually an Ebay search turned up a few for Cabbage Patch kids, Polly Pocket and The lion King.  Even some knock off products like Fashion Designer, the same idea just more grocery store toy section quality.  Even Gi Joe got into the act with Trace Plates.  The trace plates line include toys for Batman, Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs and WWF.  <- The wrestling not the animals.  Though a picture of Hack Saw Jim Duggan giving a panda a flying arm bar is pretty bad ass.

King Norman's Toy Blog is open

Hi, I want to welcome you to my new project King Norman's Toys Blog.    You may know me from my original blog Crescent Star.  I have written a couple of Toy related posts that just feel out of place on Crescent Star which is focused on writing.  After some thought I have decided to test the waters of a second blog.   My hope is to work on this with a few other people so we will see what happens. 

As you can see from the photo the inspiration for the name King Norman's comes from the best toy store ever to grace the Eastridge Mall.  That would be King Norman's.  They were the best toy shop with all sorts of crazy stuff from the Pressman toys "Dick Smith Monster Make up Kit" to Bristle Blocks.  I am grateful for Plaidstallions having a picture of the old place, I haven't seen it in years but it all comes quickly back.

I will be moving some posts over from time to time and working on new ones as well, thank you for visiting.