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The 1972 Kenner “Fun Catalog”: Cheap Toys for Gen X Boys & Girls

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1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (1)

In 1972, Kenner placed a multi-page catalog in the back of select comic books, advertising some of their products for kids.  This was back when Kenner was owned (along with Parker Brothers and Tonka) by General Mills, as their “Fun Division”… so, I don’t know if they really had a grasp for what really made 70s kids tick.

But beggars can’t be choosers, so boys and girls of the early 70s were happy to get any morsel of store-bought fun they were given.  Unlike today, where it seems everything under the sun is marketed for kids and scooped up by rabid consumers, back then, things were a bit sparse… and therefore even the cheapest, crummiest toy brought joy.  It sounds cliche, but is absolutely true- as evidenced by the fact that most Gen Xers old enough to remember ’72, will fondly recall at least one of these toys….

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (2)

Any boy who grew up in the 70s will remember the SSP (Super Sonic Power) racing cars.  Just rip the cord, and the “Hustlin’ Hoss” is hauling ass across your bedroom floor.

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (3)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (4)

 

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (5)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (6)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (7)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (8)

I love how the Gabbigale doll is put to various nefarious purposes: to scare the hell out of the family dog, alarm the butcher, and tell on her brother for not cutting the grass.  Gabbigale is a little b***h.

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (9)

“The greatest girl’s toy since dolls”….Kenner would never get away with being so gender oriented with their advertising today.

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (10)

“Aha! Caught you kids with Snoopy again!” I don’t get it.  Is mom just playing mind games with them, or did she really lose her mind over this

? Either way, this is is child abuse.

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (11)

“Yes, kids. Some day you’ll see cassette shows at home.”

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (12)

For one hopeful moment, she believed her idiot grandson had a talent.

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (13)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (14)

1972 Kenner Fun Catalog (15)

 

  • timdub70

    I had the SSP Super Stocker and the Rail Bird. That Spirograph pen would have come in handy if you had a Spirograph. I got one in 1970 and it had four different color pens with it. The Spirograph 3-color pen came about the same time Bic came out with their 4-Color Pen.

  • njguy54

    I had the Snoopy toothbrush, the Smash-Up Derby and the Fun Factory (which I think every kid of that era had). The Snoopy toothbrush kinda sucked, as it didn’t have the power to move the toothbrushes– but I loved it anyway as I was a Peanuts freak at the time (and still am). The Smash-Up Derby didn’t work as advertised either, as the car pieces would either get jammed in place or wouldn’t snap in the cars at all. That left the Fun Factory, which was so simple it couldn’t fail.

  • I had this catalog! Every page is deja vu! I really was kinda creeped out by the eyes on the Blythe dolls. I always wanted SSP cars, but only ever got one.

    • warren bailey

      do you still have your Blythe as they are very collectible these days. my daughter has 15 and been to Blythe festival in Melbourne