Old TV

UK television adverts 1955–1990

Toys and games, hobbies, fireworks

Action Man: 1960s

On the look out for action!

Ready for action!

Action Force: early 1980s

Newsreader: The latest attacks led by Baron Ironblood and his evil forces, seen here in exclusive coverage, have forced the country to take action! With me in the studio tonight is the Squad Leader from the newly formed SAS, and the head of the new Z-Force: Captain Grant Campbell who’ll be taking command of their combined troops at a secret destination later tonight! More news — as it’s made — from New Action Force!

Atari (1): c.1980

Dad: Well, this is what you’ve been asking me for over the last few months — the Atari video game … and space Invaders!

Son: Thanks, Dad!

Voiceover: Discover the new Atari video computer system — 45 cartridges containing over 700 challenging, absorbing and educational games.

(Dad takes over)

Dad: I’m beginning to get a bit a bit bored with this!

Granddad: Typical! You never stick with anything long!

(On screen slogan): Atari — no-one can beat us at our own game!

Atari (2): 1980

Have you played Atari today?


Barbie, beautiful Barbie!

Bing Bang Boing (by Ideal toys): 1972

In 1902 Teddy Roosevelt and Ideal gave the world the Teddy Bear.

1933: Ideal introduced the Shirley Temple doll, and the licensing industry was born.

For the Toy Fair 1963 it was a thing called Mouse Trap — and a totally new concept in games started.

Now, for 1972, Ideal presents the first open-end action game ever created! Introducing … Bing Bang Boing!

There are many ways to set up Bing Bang Boing — the first game you can keep adding on to! Just one of the many games you can play is: Raise the Flag. How far you go with it is up to you!
Bing Bang Boing — the first open-end action game ever created! It’s Ideal!

Cabbage Patch Kids: 1983/4

Music!Because little girls just aren’t all the same
Cabbage Patch Kids were born.
Because little girls like family fun
And someone to call their own —
Cabbage Patch Kids were born.Music!

Cabbage Patch Kids — born to be loved!

Corgi (model cars): 1957

The first with windows!

The Corgi Sky Park; 1973

Tested by the Corgi technocrats.

Crayola crayons

Music!Red and yellow and blue and green,
Orange and purple and brown,
Crayola Crayons have lots more colours —
For less than half-a-crown.

Red and yellow and pink and green,
Orange and purple and blue,
Crayola crayons have 24 colours,
All especially for you. Music!

[Tune: I Can Sing a Rainbow]

Crazy Foam

Music!Crazy Foam, Crazy Foam, the push-button fun
When you decide it’s Crazy time for you and everyone.Music!

More and more boys and girls everywhere are going to have the time of their lives these holidays with Crazy Foam. And take a note, mothers: because it has soap, it actually keeps them clean while they play. Make bath-time a treat with Crazy Foam.

Music!Crazy Foam, Crazy Foam, the push-button fun,
The …iest, …iest, …iest, happiest fun for everyone.Music!

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Music!Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hungry Hippos!Music!

Hungry Hungry Hippos is the name of the game, and whosever Hippo gets the most marbles wins!

Music!Playing Hungry Hungry Hippos
Hungry Hungry Hippos!Music!

Hungry Hungry Hippos — from Hasbro!


(1) What will you build next?

(2) It’s a new toy every day!

(3) Just imagine!

Meccano: 1967

A boy and his Meccano turns a boy’s world into a man’s world.

Mr Potato Head Family

Voiceover: Announcing a new arrival!

Nurse (calling out): Erm, Mr Potato Head!

Mr Potato Head: Er, that’s me!

Nurse: It’s a potato!

Mr Potato Head: Awww!

Music!It’s the Mr Potato Head Family
There’s a Mr and Mrs and baby too
They have family — I love you!
With eyes and ears and heads and noses
You can put them in so many poses!
Then change them easy as one, two, three The Mr Potato Head family!Music!

I love you Mr Potato!

Voiceover: Mr Potato Head Family — new from Hasbro!

Patons knitting wool

Look smart with Patons.

[Knitter in armchair foils kitten’s attempts to grab wool]

Patons knitting patterns: 1983

[Snow scene — young woman models several hand-knitted jumpers]

This week, hand made originals are styled by one of the world’s great designers — Patons. Designs you can make from just eight pounds … with easy to follow patterns. Patons — the best-bred yarns!

Plastercasters: 1977

This is Benjamin Bunny – make him with Plastercasters.

Mix the casting plaster with water and pour into the mould. After thirty minutes peal off the mould and there is Benjamin Bunny! The paints, powder and brush are all in the box and you can use the mould again and again to make presents for your friends.

With other Plastercasters kits you can make all these delightful Beatrice Potter characters … and now, Paddington Bear … all in the most fantastic detail!

Plastercasters – the fascinating hobby for the whole family!

Playdoh: Late 1950s

It’s fun at the Playdoh factory … …
Three shape-makers and trimmers from the Playdoh people.

Poppet Walkie-talkie doll: Early 1970s

(The doll is shown walking and talking)

My name is Poppet.
Read me a story please.
Can we go shopping, Mummy?
I do love you, Mummy.
I’m so tired.

Pritt stick: 1973

Pritt, the non-sticky sticky stuff, not glue!


(A white couple in a hospital labour ward)

Midwife: Congratulations! It’s a boy!

(The baby is clearly a very black baby)

Wife: Er … it was just a friend. I’m so sorry!

Husband: What do you mean — sorry? It’s a boy! I can get a Scalextric!

Sindy: 1963

The doll you love to dress!

Sirdar knitting wool

Sirdar wools are better by far,
Sirdar wools are better by far,
You’ll love what you knit with Sirdar!

Standard Fireworks: early 1960s

Music!Please do remember
The Fifth of November,
Light up the sky with Standard Fireworks!Music!

Wise guys buy Standard fireworks.

Tiny Tears (1)

Music!Tiny Tears, Tiny Tears,
You’re my very own baby,
Mother’s here, Tiny Tears,
To sing a lullaby.Music!

Tiny Tears (2): early 1970s

She wets, she cries, and now she’s got “follow-me” eyes!

Tippy Tumbles: Early 1970s

Music!Tippy Tumbles over and over
Tippy Tumbles the whole day through
(See the tricks that she can do)
Up she flips and over she goes
And she can stand on her head like you!Music!

Tomy toys: Christmas 1984

Tomy-Time fun can go on and on!


Real tough toys,
for real tough boys.

Tressy doll: 1965

Music!Tressy’s got a secret,
B be the one who knows.
You can style Tressy’s hair
To match the lovely clothes she’ll wear.
Her hair grows,
just like yours.Music!

Uhu glue: 1960s

Don’t say glue, say Yoo-hoo!

Weebles: 1972

Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!

Adverts wanted

Bic pens

Brock fireworks

Chatty Cathy [early 1960s]

Lakeland coloured pencils


Mr Potato Head

Painting by numbers

Papermate pens (inc. Powerpoint and ones that hung around the neck)

Pedigree toys


Tri-ang toys

© Stephanie Jenkins
& Joan Williams

Visitors since January 2006: