70's TV News And The Dangers of Dart Guns
This may look like a typical TV news clip from 1977 (from Chicago's WGN Channel 9 as it happens). It's a fairly standard TV news theme from around the holidays. First, spook viewers with the possible threats posed by popular toys, then pit the poor reporter against these perilous playthings.
In this clip, our hapless correspondent shows us the dangers of a suction cup dart that refuses to stick to its target. Many, many times. Okay, that's kind of funny... but stay tuned past the bloopers to see the outrageous 70's newsroom and the atomic yellow blazers on our three correspondents. If anything, Ron Burgundy went too subtle.
Don't touch that dial yet... Channel 9 used to show the local weather in lieu of closing credits. The footage underneath the weather text is test footage of the notorious Shogun Warrior toy. Watch one of the missiles aimed on purpose at the eyes of a goggle wearing kid. These vinyl robots were a massive 2 feet tall - and were massively popular back then. They were super-colorful with wild designs not typical of American robo toys... but the main feature was always the sheer number of projectiles the robot could deploy. The results of tests like the one featured here declared the toy too dangerous to children's eyes and respiratory systems. It's hard to disagree.
The Shogun Warrior is, sadly, a mostly forgotten toy of the 70's, the ban of the toy led to its rarity. I'd actually kind of like one now for my shelf as they are so outlandish and huge, but they command real money on Ebay. You may recall that we featured a Shogun styled Stormtrooper limited edition figure a while back. I've since seen it in person, and it's amazing. Hopefully more Shogun styled toys are in the pipeline. Now that we're adults maybe we can just play with our toys responsibly, and avoid ending up on the evening news.
[Sharp eared Retro Thing readers may recognize the unusual music from the closing credits. The bleeps and bloops are from the seminal electronic music album "The In Sound From Way Out", featuring synth pioneers Jean-Jaques Perry and Gershon Kingsley.]
Thanks to Fuzzy Memories, the amazing online museum for classic TV fans from Chicago and beyond.
Collectible stormtrooper style Shogun toy
Memories of the Zanbots
Qonto: another forgotten late 70's Japanese toy robot