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Evel Knievel

King of the Stuntmen

If you were alive in the 1970s and either had kids or were one, you surely remember Ideal's classic Evel Knievel toy line.  These toys were as wild and as adventurous as the late great King of the Stuntmen himself.  He stood small (just about 6 inches) but was flexible and durable, more of a "bendee" figure made of all rubber except for his vinyl head. 

Best Buy recently posted a pretty neat look back to Black Friday over the years on their web site that shows prices dating back to the 70s for toys and other really popular items including the Evel Knievel stunt cycle in 1976. Definitely worth a look to walk through memory lane for toys and items like Creepy Cralwers, Lionel Trains, 2-XL, Atari and more.  Check this out at Best Buy's History of Black Friday.

Quick Links:
Action Figures      Playsets and Vehicles    Derry Daring    Robbie Knievel    Other Toys     Did You Know?

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Action Figures

The basic figure came dressed in Knievel’s trademark American flag-adorned white jumpsuit and white shoes. Additional accessories included a helmet and, strangely enough, a cane.  Some other outfits were sold like an adventure set and arctic adventure set as well a super rare set (see Did You Know?).

 

 

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Playsets and Vehicles

 The Evel Knievel figures were a big hit and were quickly followed by the next logical step: stunt vehicles. After all, everyone wanted to fly as high as Knievel but no one wanted the multitude of broken bones that would inevitably be involved. Thus, Ideal’s Evel Knievel stunt vehicles provided a perfect solution to this dilemma. This long-lived line of vehicles began with the Stunt Cycle, a working miniaturized cycle piloted by a bendable Evel Knievel figure. The cycle was powered by a hand-cranked power launcher that got its engine going and could then be launched towards any stunt-obstacle its user’s fevered imagination could dream up.  Lastly, there was Evel's favorite weekend retreat vehicle - the Scramble Van!

Ideal Toys also unveiled a series of playsets to provide unique backdrops for the antics of the Evel Knievel stunt vehicles. There was the Stunt Stadium, which included a ramp and cheering crowds painted into its bleachers, and Stunt World, which included a three-dimensional obstacle course for Knievel to ride his cycle through. One of the strangest Evel Knievel playsets was the Escape From Skull Canyon set, which included a werewolf-style monster, boulders, and skull-adorned trees as obstacles for Knievel.

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

 

Evel Knievel Dragster

 

Evel Knievel Scramble Van

Scramble Van Front

Scramble Van

 

Evel Knievel Stunt Stadium

 

Evel Knievel Stunt & Crash Car

 

Evel Knievel Fast Tracker

Pops Wheelies!  Also available in white.

 

Evel Knievel Sky Cycle

 

Evel Knievel Super Jet Cycle

Sparks created by real flints (you had to replace them)!

 

Evel Knievel Trail Bike

 

Evel Knievel Chopper

Rare Arxon (Germany) Chopper

 

Escape from Skull Canyon Playset

 

Evel Knievel Stunt World

 

Evel Knievel Road and Trail Adventure Set

 

Evel Knievel Strato-cycle

This is the "Super Rare" Evel Knievel "STRATO-CYCLE." This motorcycle was produced to tie-in with the "Viva Knievel" movie featuring Evel Knievel himself.
This is very hard to find! If you find one loose, you'll be lucky enough to just find the motorcycle itself! The other accessories, can be purchased with ease, since most were interchangeable. These other accessories are normally the same Evel Knievel doll w/helmet & cane, & the hand operated Launcher. Just getting the right colored Evel Knievel cloths (since he came in 3 different colors) & the right Launcher color (also came in numerous colors) will take a little time. But who cares! As long as you have one of these baby's, that's all that matters!
 

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Robbie Knievel

Once the popularity of the original Evel line had been established, Ideal unleashed the Robbie Knievel action figure on us.  At just a tad shorter and thinner than the King, Robbie is of the same design and fairly hard to find in good condition.

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Derry Daring

In an effort to grab the attention of young girls everywhere, Ideal released Derry Daring in 1976.  Although the line was not a huge success, it included such great items as a Trick Cycle (of course), Wheelie Car and Baja Camper.

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Other Toys

In addition to the Evel Knievel stunt vehicles and playsets, Ideal also found much success with several die-cast Knievel vehicles, a series of miniatures, and even a board game.  This sounds like quite a lot already, but other companies produced countless other Evel Knievel toys and novelties. There were Knievel lunchboxes, bicycles, comic books, pillowcases, bedsheets, trashcans, radios and model rockets. There was even an Evel Knievel electric toothbrush that was designed to look like the famous X-2 Sky-Cycle.  Several of the classic stunt-toys were also reissued by Playing Mantis Toys in 1998 and found much favor with nostalgic Knievel fans. The continued popularity of these toys shows that Evel Knievel and the toys he inspired are phenomena with true staying power.

 

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Did You Know?

Ideal also released an extremely (and I mean extremely) rare and limited issue (talking less than 100 sold) of five outfits for Evel Knievel to dress up in.  Available through mail order they came packaged with a white outfit figure.  A really, really great find!


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