Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tanks Fred

Once again, reader Billie Towzer has scanned the internet for pictures of old Hanna-Barbera merchandise. Click on each to enlarge them.

We had those flimsy Flintstones building blocks when I was a kid. They weren’t designed for kids. The Styrofoam nubs at the top of the bricks broke off way too easily, even when handled by calm, quiet children like myself, rendering the blocks useless. But this Flintstones wind-up tank looks a little more sturdy.

Today, it’d be stamped out from some moulded plastic or something. But this one by Linemar is made of real tin. Being a “cartoon”, it naturally has eyes. And being Stone Age, it uses “candles” for headlights. It was made in 1961. There were Superman and Jetsons tanks, too. Anything with Baby Puss is okay in my book, but I haven’t figured out what that flat Fred is sticking out at the bottom. And I can see kids getting bored with it after awhile. What do you do with a tank besides run over Mr. Slate?

Here are tile puzzle games featuring the cast of the Huck show and the Jetsons. Yogi and Jinks are awfully stretched out here, aren’t they? The designs for the Huck puzzle (save Boo Boo’s) are based on Dick Bickenbach model sheets from the late ‘50s.

And this is a Colorforms toy from 1960. Despite the fact the cover design says it’s by “Dick Martin”, the characters are based on Bick models. Inside, there are little plastic models—of Yogi, Jinks and so on—that you put on a sticky game board designed in a forest scene. Then you create your own little show with them and pretend you’re Daws Butler saying “I hate meeces to pieces!” Children using their imagination. Remarkable, isn’t it?

Incidentally, Gene Deitch’s short The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit came out about two years later. Unlike the Tom and Jerry version, the Huck kit does not come with coffee and cigarettes for the cartoonist.

Thanks again to Billie for passing these on. We’ll post more in the future.


  1. I was a proud owner of THE JETSONS' tile game back in the day. I may still have it somewhere. It would be terrific to uncover.

  2. I have a Flinstones version of the clickety-clack puzzle (as I always called it). I think we got it at a Woolworth in Coral Gables around 1969 or so. I was just a wee tyke at the time.

  3. I had the Popeye version of those puzzles, where the open space required to move the pieces around finally justified a reason for the existence of Shorty in the Famous Studio cartoons.

  4. wow... these brought back a flood of memories !! Thanks !

  5. I don't recall Huck ever wearing a top hat in a cartoon or comic book, but it seems he always did in toys and other merchandise: the tile game, the cartoon kit, the TV Tinykins figure, and the Soaky Toy.