Although all my childhood toys were lost in the 'Great Disaster' after returning home from Europe I recently got the replica release by Ideal Toys. My Original Evel, like Spidey here, were the only two of my childhood figures to survive.
My Dad always bought me action figures and one Christmas I had both the basic Evel and bike set along with the Stunt Stadium and Scramble Van (look below). That had to be the best Christmas ever in terms of all the great toys I remember getting.
These ads from the back of comic books of the 70s are beautifully drawn and colored. You saw them in so many issues that you couldn't help but want the toys. They looked cool and better yet they PERFORMED even better than advertised. That bike and rider could take a lot of damage and their was enough power generated from the launcher that you could do some fun stunts in the backyard. I remember bringing wood to the sandbox and seeing how far we could laugh Evel into a pile of dirt.
So, who's the greatest and most popular star-spangled hero whose exploits fab artist Cliff Chiang has illustrated? No, no, not that woman of wonder with her satin tights, not this week in this feature. After all, it's Evel Knievel week! Ever wonder why those toys I've been featuring this week were so popular? Who tried to jump over sharks before the Fonz? And what the heck was up with that "swagger stick"? Cliff Chiang explains it all for you in these panels from The Big Book of the '70s!