Excel Toys was yet another of those toy companies that mainly existed to serve the dime store and discount chains in the 1970s. Although they also seemed to be catering to the gift shop industry as well.
Their main output tended to be action figures with a quality very similar to what Mego was doing. Though they would release an officially licensed Kojak figure in 1976, the majority of their toy output tended to be public domain names based on US History.
The main theme for 1975 would be characters based on the old west, a theme that still enjoyed popularity in the 1970s.
The Legends of the West line premiered the same year as Mego’s American West toy line and featured five of the same characters in their assortment. It’s really interesting that Excel seems to have struck a nerve with the release of Deadwood Dick which proved to be so popular he got his own assortment. These figures were likely very popular as gift shop items.
Unlike their competition, Excel Toys didn’t forget about the ladies, the Cowgirls line was a pretty innovative idea for the era. Also, you can’t release this many Western figures and not include a horse.
Excel Toys Military Legends was quite an ambitious line based on military leaders from US history, the figures were well detailed and still enjoy a following to this day. You finally have someone to boss your GI Joe figures around.
Excel Toys was really ahead of the curve here with their line of Little Legends which would later be pick up by Empire Toys and run until the late 1970s. 1975 is the same year that the Fisher-Price Adventure People debuted and most people credit that as the first 3 3/4″ line but these guys were also at the party.
These Excel Toys Playsets for the Little Legends of the West look super fun and I’m not sure I’ve ever run into them before.
I have never heard of two by twos but I adore that early look to Daffy Duck, the crazy version of the character will also be my favourite.
Do you miss toy magazines?
That’s why we created Toy-Ventures magazine, an old-school print publication dedicated to vintage toys from the 1960s to the 1990s. Each issue is packed with never before seen images and information written by some of the top collectors. We’ve got six issues and climbing; please check our page here or visit our store.
Our newest book “Knock-Offs: Totally, Unauthorized Action Figures,” is now available. It’s 130 pages of bootleg goodness.
You can get this new book via the PlaidStallions Shop , On Amazon (Affiliate Link) or on eBay (eBay Link)
Our book Rack Toys, Cheap, Crazed Playthings is now available again! Order through our Affiliate Link
Order Rack Toys 2.0 Here through our Affiliate Link►https://amzn.to/3Bkm9z1
FACEBOOK GROUPS FROM PLAIDSTALLIONS
Pod Stallions is based on our podcast and is one of the most fun groups on Facebook. Toys, Comics, Movies, TV, it’s all up for grabs and remember, you keep the glass! If you like our show, then you have found your tribe.
Mego Knock Off Headquarters– The leading group discussing 70s Dime store knock-offs and bootleg action figures, we talk vintage toys and not others. We know the difference between Astro Apes and Action Apeman. It’s a fun group where we talk about Lincoln International, AHI, Mighty Gary, Tomland, Bogi, Demo Man, Mortoys, and other generic greats.
5 Awesome Things on eBay this week