The greatest toy ever made is back! The Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/11/the-greatest-toy-ever-made-is.html

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Fun fact: When Evel Knievel went to prison on assault, the toy company produced repainted figures sold as Team America, who later had their own comic book published by Marvel. When Marvel lost the license a few years later they got to keep the characters but had to change the name of the team.

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Funner fun fact - While locked up in jail as a young man, Knievel shared a cell with another inmate named Knaufel. The local paper ginned up the headline, “Awful Knaufel Shares Cell with Evil Knievel” and the rest is history.

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I had the original as a kid in the 70’s, as well as the first re-issue in the late 90’s. It’s every bit as awesome as they say. (Now if they’d just re-issue the Snake River Sky-Cycle as well!)

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This. Interesting idea for a toy, kinda lame in practice. We had one and it didn’t last a week before leaking, and ultimately what were you supposed to do with it beside play tug-of-war? Real one-trick-pony of a toy.

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Wow, that brings back memories. I shot him down the stairs more times than I can remember! Like a champ he was always ready for the next run. Fearless so I didn’t have to be.

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One of my absolute favorite toys as a kid. Mine broke after only a few weeks unfortunately, but those were wonderful weeks. I might have to get me one of them, though I’m 53 and couldn’t possibly need one.

Nostalgia… it’s a hell of a drug.

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It just so happens a good friend of mine just has a song out about Evel Knievel, “There’s A Little Bit Of Evel In All Of Us”… https://youtu.be/1PcxtGiFj1A

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And the inspiration, no doubt, for Duke Caboom.

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I’ll second that. It was one of the few plastic toys that got a lot of repeat use in my house. Just so satisfying cranking it up and letting that stunt cycle fly.

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My brother and I had many hours of fun causing mayhem to poor Evel’s skeleton. I had the sky cycle!

In that vein equally played with were SSPs includuing the smash em up derby cars.

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Yeah I had one too. Also, his record album:

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I had those! Not sure how long the pieces that flew off lasted before disappearing forever. Maybe 20 minutes?

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Oh yeah, the SSP’s were what we played with the most outside. Often crashing them into the Fisher Price Little People farm and houseboat that we still had from when we were even younger. The Tonka Truck was spared because it was too deep in the sand box to put in the driveway for racing.

And yes, I had an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. It wasn’t as much fun, because it wasn’t as fast or robust as my SSP Super Stocker was.

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Bah. The greatest toy ever, spanning at least three generations to date, is a cardboard refrigerator box. Other large appliances are nearly as good, though. My son-in-law, his son, and I spent an utterly delightful day last summer building, destroying, rolling around in, and otherwise transitioning to a common mental age with boxes from a kitchen remodel. $HERSELF and my daughter looked on with expressions I can’t describe.

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I desperately wanted one of these when they first came out. Instead I got a ‘Daredevil Debbie’ clone and my eight yr old self was appalled. Now I think I might prefer it.
DaredevilDebbie

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Oh man, diving back into childhood here… awesome.

I loved pulling that zip thing hard, I’m sure I made that middle tire spin a bazillion miles an hour.

Those ramps found new life with my LEGO sets, I build many a large vehicle and jumped it off those only to have it smash apart upon landing (or going into a wall).

Wonder if I still have those cars, my mom kept many of my toys from back then. Hmmmm…

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…Stretch Armstrong filled with evil goo…

Stretch Armstrong was filled with corn syrup. I know because I cut him open and ate the viscous sweetness I found inside.

Now I stretch, too.

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There was about 10 minutes when my pre-teen self was really, really curious whether or not Evel Kneivel was going to be able to jump his motorcycle over the grand canyon.

I’m pretty sure by the time he moved the venue to the snake river, I had lost interest. Didn’t he lose his nerve at the last minute and call it off for “technical reasons”?

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Our next-door neighbors always had the more expensive toys like Evel Kneivel. Still, the SSP’s were faster and far easier to use, provided you didn’t snap the gearstrip in half. My SSP’s were my favorite toys, barring my Big Wheel.

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