With Christmas fast approaching, do you remember the toys and games every Manchester youngster longed for in the 1960s?
Annuals were always popular, particularly Rupert Bear, The Dandy and The Beano, along with a selection box of sweets and chocolates.
Many toys were linked to TV programmes or popular movies. Davy Crockett hats were all the rage following the Disney film of the same name.
Corgi made a sell-out version of Noddy’s car – and Pinky and Perky puppets were in every toyshop window along with children’s TV favourites the Flowerpot Men and Andy Pandy.
Toys from the USA included Johnny Ringo Frontier playsets and Chad Valley battery-powered projectors showing four slides at a time – a far cry from You Tube and instant videos today!
In 1961, Gerry Anderson’s Supercar series took children’s TV into a new dimension, combining science fiction, action and adventure with puppets.
It was quickly followed by Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Toys and annuals from the programmes abounded – and every child wanted to own a Tracy Island from Thunderbirds.
BBC TV’s Blue Peter famously showed how to create a home-made Tracy Island when Thunderbirds was relaunched in the early 2000s.
Even adult TV programmes and movies produced spin-offs for children such as Simon Templar’s car from The Saint and James Bond’s Aston Martin.
Dolls were hugely popular too. Remember Chatty Cathy, Barbie and Ken? Or Action Man and GI Joe?
There was also the astonishingly hard Wham-O superball which could bounce as high as a building – as well as wreaking havoc on many a concrete patio or pavement!
Matchbox cars were eclipsed by Mattel’s Hot Wheels in 1968. The superfast American invaders ran on orange tracks that were slotted together with adaptors to form intricate circuits and loops.
Unwanted toy metal cars were the subject of the Blue Peter Christmas appeal in December 1969. Viewers sent in more than 16,000 cars in just four days – overwhelming the appeal depot.
Our photo shows presenters Peter Purves and John Noakes up to their necks in toy cars and parcels!