Updated: Feb 2
Did you own one of the most iconic toy lines of the 1970's? Ideal Toy Company produced a series of Evel Knievel toys during the years of 1972 through 1977. In 1973, they released the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, which became "the" must have toy that holiday season. With the success of the Stunt Cycle Ideal released different models and designs over the years, plus an assortment of figures, playsets and accessories. The touring stunt show line included a Robbie Knievel action figure, Scramble Van, Dragster, Funny Car, and the Evel Knievel Stunt Stadium. They also released a line of non-touring toys such as the Jet Cycle, Trail Bike, and the Skull Canyon Playset, plus and a female counterpart to Evel, "Derry Daring". Ideal claimed to have sold more than $125 million worth of Knievel toys, during the years the toys were produced. The Evel Knievel toy line is still one of the most successful toy lines in history.
The Stunt Cycle:
The Stunt Cycle was released in 1973. It underwent some design changes during its production, the first edition having chrome features and painted highlights. Then in 1974 the 2nd generation was released, but Ideal had stripped away the chrome from the front forks, and the black details off the frame. They produced 5 generations of Stunt Cycles, each time redesigning it to reduce manufacturing costs.
The Scramble Van:
The Scramble Van playset was released in 1973. The very first generation of the Scramble Van featured detachable side panels and back door. Plus either red or brown colored accessories, depending on their size and the year they were produced. The playset was a huge success from the start and continued to be produced until 1976.
The Jet Cycle:
The Jet Cycle was released in 1976, just a few years after the release of the original Stunt Cycle. The red jet packs on the back of the jet cycle actually had a function. When you
revved up the cycle on the Energizer, a wheel in each of the jet packs spun against a piece of replaceable flint that then produced sparks. The jet packs would fill with sparks, and then the sparks would shoot out the back.
Skull Canyon playset was released in 1976, it was also a considerably large playset. It came with, believe it or not, a Sasquatch, plus a canyon, some trees and skulls, some various sized boulders, and a ramp-shaped stack of logs. Skull Canyon was the most unique playset in the entire line.
Ideal assumed that girls would enjoy a female version of the Stunt Cycle. So in 1975 they introduced the Derry Daring Action Figure and Trick Cycle, the counterpart to Evel Knievel. Ideal also produced some other vehicles for Derry, like the Wheelie Car and Baja Camper. Unfortunately by 1976 they canceled the Derry Daring line because of slow sales.
I'm sure a few childhood memories of scraping your knuckles while energizing your Stunt Cycle have come flooding back. But it was all worth it in the end, watching Evel pull away doing a wheelie !!!
Tell us in the comment section about your favorite childhood memory of the Evel Knievel toy line.