Evel Knievel action figures

Evel Knievel action figure Evel Knievel, the daredevil stuntman superstar of the early 70's, became a massively popular action figure toy starting in 1972 thanks to the Ideal Toy Company. While the figure itself was no great innovation, its accessory vehicles made it into a toy that thrilled millions of boys and girls alike.

The most basic package was the Stunt Cycle (shown here). The Knievel figure was placed on the motorcycle (his hard-plastic hands could grip the handlebars nicely) which was in turn placed on the launcher. This was a device, cranked manually by the child, which could be used to build up kinetic energy within the motorcycle's main wheel so that, when it was launched, the toy propelled forward at an astonishing speed - and the harder the kid cranked, the faster it would go.

Kids figured out that they could launch Evel from the top of a flight of stairs and his cycle would bounce all the way to the bottom, then keep going - until either the cycle's energy was expended or it ran into an obstacle or fell over (the latter two are usually what happened). The cycle could jump ramps, climb up inclines, or just go for several yards over a reasonably flat area.

Other toys were able to be wound up and launched forward, but the Evel Knievel toys could go faster, and take more abuse, than anything else had ever done before. Sturdily built, the cycles - and their softer riders - could endure dozens of abusive launchings, on concrete and pavement and rec room carpeting. Inevitably, something would break - usually the handlebars first - but as long as the launcher remained undamaged, the cycle could usually keep going even after substantial damage.

Figures were made of both Evel and his son Robby, who followed in his father's footsteps. Various vehicles, some of them not even remotely resembling motorcycles, were released. (This wasn't without precedent; after all, the real-life Evel Knievel's failed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon, widely publicized at the time, utilized not a motorcycle but a type of rocket-propelled car called the Skycycle X-2 that hardly resembled a two-wheeled vehicled at all.) The character was turned into a sort of generic adventurer (as happened to a lot of 70's action figures) so that he was given such accessories as a Scramble Van and Explorer and Racing Sets. There was even a female version of the toy in the form of a character called Derry Daring.

Evel Knievel* (white uniform)

Vehicles and Playsets
Arctic Explorer Set*
Escape From Skull Canyon*
Racing Set*
Rescue Set*
Trail Bike*