February 02, 2016

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #106: Remco's World War I Playsets

With the centenary of World War I now reaching midpoint of the five year commemoration we take a FOTW look way back to 1964 when Remo Toys issued their plastic World War I playsets. Why Remco jumped into WWI when no other toy company had attempted it remains a mystery. Perhaps the 50th anniversary of the war in 1964 inspired them but these are the only WWI themed playsets to ever be released. There were three sets. World War 1 Air Aces (Set #628) and World War 1 Doughboys (Set #629) and a big set featuring the first two combined. These sets were packaged in full color window boxes complete with battle graphics in all their 1960s colorful glory!  The Air Aces set included no less then three allied and two German biplanes and five "doughboy" soldiers while the latter featured a tank, a truck with ammo trailer and artillery piece. None of these vehicles resembled actual ones of the period but are still cool none-the-less even with the slight inspirational look of period. Five doughboys in red and 4 Germans in blue plastic sporting the early war spiked helmets that were long gone by the time the doughboys hit the shores of France. Historical accuracy be damned! These were just plain cool. Unfortunately they seemed to have only been offered in 1964 leading one to believe the range was a dud and leads to some pretty big money needed when hunting down these plastic gems on today's market. Most pieces from these sets were also sold in separate packaging for either side with vehicles appearing in red (German) with iron cross decals and blue (Allied) plastic with star decals.
Remo World War 1 Doughboys playlet

DYK- Remco Industries, Inc. was a toy company founded in the 1940s that was best known for toys marketed and sold in the late 1950s and 1960s, like the 'Johnny Reb Cannon', 'Mighty Matilda Atomic Aircraft Carrier' and the tethered 'Electronic Falcon Plane' that "flies itself". The company's slogan was "Every Boy Wants a Remco Toy...And So Do Girls! If you grew up in the 60’s chances are you had Remco toys.  Big Caesar Roman ship, Hamilton Invaders Alien Invaders playset, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea sets, Barracuda Submarine, Beatles Figures, Musters, Lost in Space…Remo covered them all. And of course there was the Remco Monkey Division one of the coolest line of military toys ever!

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