About Me

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I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Ahco - ARCO - Arcotoys - Arcotoys Inc. - Arco Toys Ltd. - Argo - Mattel

Hong Kong/China / USA
Arcotoys Inc., Westbury, New York, USA
Arcotoys Inc., Customer Services, Crossways Park West, Woodbury, New York 11797, New York, USA
Arcotoys, 15930 East Valley Boulevard, City of Industry, CA 91744, California, USA
Arcotoys Inc, 800 Shames Drive, Westbury, New York 11590-1727, New York, USA (market research Co.)
Tel: 1 (800) 442 2664 (Freephone)

1967-97 approximately

See also: Bluebird (Polly Pocket), Giant, Mattel and World Toy House

Arco - an acronym for A Rosenberg Company was bought by Mattel in 1986 (some sources state '85, but Mattel say '86). The company was the Hong Kong production firm set-up by the Rosenberg's (brothers; Herbert, J and Harold) in 1967 when Giant folded (1970) and they moved their families to the colony. Under the Rosenburg's it shipped the same sort of rack-toys it had imported as Giant (rigid polyethylene/polypropylene (?) or polystyrene figures/accessories, mostly carded or bagged), but once under the wing of Mattel it became a major sub-brand, taking Bluebird's 'Polly Pocket' toys, Barbie side-lines, Disney-licensed stuffed-toys, the 'Play Kid' Space War and Space Explorer range of Star Wars knock-offs and other popular toys, probably best known now for their 'Other World' line of bendy fantasy toys.

Arco were involved in a voluntary safety recall with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1995 of 200,000 Disney toys, when a problem occurred with the plastic head (shaped like Mickey Mouse) of a small Play 'N Pop purple key, the head breaking to create a choking hazard, it's worth noting that Chinese produced toys were included in the recall, but not the Mexican produced product. 

This may have had something to do with Mattel's decision in winding-up of the brand, but I suspect it had more to do with changes in the power-politics of Hong Kong as Britain handed the colony back to China two years later? It would appear that Mattel set the remaining New York office up as a (autonomous/semi-autonomous?) toy-based market-research company, but that seems to have withered on the vine and Arco are no more.

Product listing
Dragons n' Monsters (later reissued by Toys and Things)
7033 - Dragons n' Monsters Skull Turret (reissued as: 3100 - Dragons n' Monsters Skull Turret by Toys and Things)
7033 - Dragons n' Monsters Headsgone Tower (reissued as: 3100 - Dragons n' Monsters Headsgone Tower by Toys and Things)

Spacewar Range (two lines, figures and ray-guns)
Play Kid Figures (like Playmobile with snap-grip hands, each with 4/5 accessories, Woolworth's versions exist)
No 811 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on Luke Skywalker)
No 812 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on Darth Vader)
No 813 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on C3PO)
No 814 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on R2-D2 unit)
No 815 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on Chewbacca)
No 816 - Spacewar Play Kid (based on Stormtrooper)
? - Play Kid Moon Walker ('Luke' with flyer, detector and other accessories)
? - Space Explorer (twin-set with 'Luke'-like and 'Vader'-like figures and space-buggy)
? - Galaxy Control (boxed set with 4 bagged 'Lukes' and lots of accessories, 2 vehicles)
- Space Set (unique to Woolworth's, 2 'Lukes', buggey, flag etc…)
Guns
? - Spacewar Target Games (conventional design, sucker firer, red, three suckers)
? - Spacewar Target Games (conventional design, sucker firer, blue, three suckers)
? - Spacewar Target Games (space-gun design, sucker firer, blue, three suckers)
? - Sparkling Space Pistol

Earlier Rack Toys
Animals (bagged in pairs with header card)
- Alligators
- Ant-Eaters
- Deer
- Elephants
- Giraffe
- Gorillas
- Hippopotamuses
- Lions
- Monkeys
- Rhinos
- Seals
- Skunks
- Tigers
- Turtles
- Zebras
Noah Sets (for the above animals)
- Noah and Ark
- Noah and The Ark (with all the above animals, boxed as petrol premium)

Other Items
No. 2324 - Military Mountain Pass (boxed, 45mm Airfix US Infantry copies, Jeep, pick-up truck 'Technicals' and bridge)
No. 7018 - Rogun Robots (40 pieces, 5 poses, 3 colours - red, black, blue, generics issued by other rack-toy brands, 40mm)
No. 7069 - Muntants and Monsters (blister-card figure assortment from Dragons n' Monsters sets)
- Vietnam US Recon (40mm Rambo figure and US-SF)
- ? (120mm Rambo figure and US-SF without bases)
- Become a Vampire (1983)
- Go Bots Mighty Robot Binoculars (1985)
- Hand Painted Farm Animals - 23 pieces (30mm scale, ex-Blue Box with fencing)

The Other World (1982, 50-100mm+ bendy toys, glow-in-the-dark weapons &etc…)
Terrans
- Ronin, the Hero
- Ronin and Kreena, the Princess
- Raidy,  King of the Jipps
- General Ess Gee, the Comander
- Warrior Jurka, the Enforcer (Yule Brenner lookalike)
- Komaro, Roaring Guardian of the Jipp (three-headed dragon)
- Gaifand, Two-headed Dragon
- Jipps, the Protectors of the Pir'Ankus (small, orange, red mouths)
Glowgons
- Zendo, Evil King of the Mogs
- Mogs, Zendo's Mindless Slaves (small, purple, bucked-teeth)
- Hondu, the Hatchetman
- Skitzo, the Maniac
- Weapon Master, Zendo's Defender
- Lava-Man, the Cave Creature
- Froggacuda, Monster of Red Lake
- Yurus, the Terrible
- Antor, the Stinger
- Sir'Cobra, the Strangler
- Moc, the Rock-thrower
- Sharkoss - Daring Demon of the Deep
- Kontory - Flying Beast of Prey
Playsets
7043 - Castle Zendo (castle relief-frontage and play mat)
- Battle for the Pir'Ankus
Other bits
- Weapon Rack

Other Mattel Year's Toy Lines
Centurions (1980-2001, eraser/toys, 1 large figural, part painted, 1 small robotic, unpainted)
- Hacker
- Power Extreme Hacker
- Centurions Turbo Thruster (1986, toy for bicycles)
Other Boys
- Mad Scientist Laboratory (bendy toy)
Barbie / Barbie Related
67791 - Baby Home Nursery
- Shelly My Very Own Nursery Playset (1998, Barbie's little sister)
- Barbie Accessories
- Barbie Fashion Fever (doll with outfit)
- Barbie Fashion Fever Gift Set (5 mix and match outfits with accessories)
- Miniature Barbie Collectibles [sic - US spelling]
- Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (Little Brietta toy, like My Little Pony)
Other Girls
- Color and Style Head Teresa (Arco Toys Ltd.)
- Polly Pocket Cruisin' Closet (Arco Toys Ltd.)

Links
The Other World
Barbie

What This Entry Needs
Better Product Listing

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .
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  2. Man you just saved me a ton of time and work! I was hoping to relicense the other world and set up a kickstarter to make new versions of the toys but with the rights firmly held by mattel that dream is a no go

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Hugh, you forgot the most famous set of all: Arco Submarine class 1 nr 2389. With 24 very nice 1:72 scale figures. Collectors item!

    ReplyDelete