FW Presents: Those Wonderful Toys 11

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! Part two of Chris and Rob Kelly’s Lone Ranger discussion! This time the Kemo Sabes focus on action figures from Gabriel Toys!

 Be sure to check out the newest episode of Film and Water on 1981’s The Legend of the Lone Ranger!

For more on these toy lines, visit Plaid Stallions Lone Ranger Page

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK

  • Like our FACEBOOK page – https://www.facebook.com/FWPodcastNetwork
  • Like our FACEBOOK page – https://www.facebook.com/supermatespodcast
  • Use our HASHTAG online: #FWPodcasts
  • Email me at supermatespodcast@gmail.com

Clip credits:

“The Man in the Mask” by Merle Haggard from The Legend of the Lone Ranger

Audio clips from The Lone Ranger (TV, 1949) and Spaceballs

21 responses to “FW Presents: Those Wonderful Toys 11

  1. Great episode, gentlemen. As I mentioned on yesterday’s Film & Water episode, I was a proud owner of the 3-3/4″ Lone Ranger and Silver action figures. One of my younger brothers had the Tonto and Scout figures. My youngest brother was only an infant at the time, and my parents did not to buy him any of the figures. That was probably a good call, because 1) he would have choked on the figure and died, and 2) he would have been stuck with either the villain or one of the guys who didn’t have horses of their own. Speaking of the horses, I recall that I played a lot more with my Silver figure than I did with the Lone Ranger himself. That was one sweet horse.

    Finally, thanks to this episode, I now realize that, between the two of us, my brother and I could have sent in for the Western Town playset. Unfortunately, this was before my comic book reading days. So, I was tragically unaware of this incredible deal. Curses, foiled again by the fickle fortunes of fate!

      1. Yeah, you could have had that western town! And you had the Lone Ranger! Congrats! Choking hazards were definitely on the mind of toy manufacturers at this time, since unfortunately a young kid did die playing with a Mattel Battelstar Galactica ship, hence changes made to the size of firing toy projectiles and no rocket-firing Boba Fett. What this has to do with the Lone Ranger? Nothing, but I tend to ramble.

        I got a lot of play out of that larger Silver too. For some reason my Mego Batman and Robin were often seen on horseback, years before Frank Miller’s DKR!


  2. Thanks for the informative Lone Ranger episodes feput fellas. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recent LR comics from Dynamite. I enjoyed them myself and the John Cassaday covers capture the cowboy hero at his most iconic.

    Are either of you familiar with the western comic tpb RIO by Doug Wildey (creator of Jonny Quest)? I happened to pick it up this week and I highly recommend it.

    1. Thanks Chuck! I really wanted to love the Dynamite series, but it was VERY decompressed, and I lost interest. I may have to go back and try some later issues.

      I have heard of Rio, but I’ve never read it. I love Doug Wildey’s stuff, so I should seek it out!


      1. You’re right about the Dynamite book. I read it all in 1 gulp & that helped. I have a soft spot for LR. Were there ever any Green Hornet toys? I’ve never seen any.

        1. VERY few. There’s the Captain Action GH costume set, which is one of the rarest sets in the line. Playing Mantis reissued it in the 90s and put out a Kato set as well. There are bendies from the 60s TV series, and a few statue-type figures and Kids Meal toys from the Seth Rogen movie, but that’s about it.


  3. This was a great podcast. Thanks to my dad, I was always a western fan and loved western toys. I had several of the original Gabriel line (which mixed well with the Excel _Legends of the West_ 9″ line) in the late 1970s (well, I still have them), and I agree about the gorgeous box art and just how delightful the toys were, down to the amazing accessories. I also loved the mini-comics that came with them.

    As toys moved to the 3 3/4″ scale, I still collected western toys, getting the Excel/Empire smaller scale of the _Legends_ line, so I was thrilled on the Christmas where I was given the _Legend of the Lone Ranger_ figures, getting LR, Tonto, Butch, and all of their horses at one time. I never saw those in the wild at all, but that same holiday, when I went to visit my grandmother, I discovered Buffalo Bill and Custer at a Ben Franklin’s in her town, so I had all of the line by New Year’s Day. I agree they should have made Wild Bill, and the chance to make Grant was a lost opportunity here (as well as for the lines for _Wild Wild West_ and _Jonah Hex_, two other films with Grant as a prominent character and failed toylines). I also had the Zorro you mentioned and loved the Filmation cartoons.

    I keep debating getting a Captain Action LR, since I’d like to have the red-shirted look.

    I was hoping the recent film would be successful and bring toys with it, and some of what they produced was quite nice, but it of course flopped.

    Thanks for a great trip down memory lane.

    1. Thanks for listening Hugh! I don’t know much about Excel’s western lines, but I’ve heard of them. I’ll have to go and check those out.

      You most definitely could have ordered the western town! You had the whole line!

      I would recommend picking up the Playing Mantis Captain Action reissue costumes. They are pretty accurate replicas, and I think you can still get them at retail price or lower. I have both Lone Ranger outfits and Tonto, and they are sharp.


      1. Having never collected Captain Action, do I have to order a Playing Mantis CA and then the LR & Tonto costumes, or did they release them as sets with the figure?

        1. Hugh, the initial Playing Mantis sets came with the CA figure and the costume in a window box with a velcroed flap. I believe the red-shirted Ranger was available this way. Later on they issued the blue suit in a costume-only box that looked similar to the Ideal CA costume sets. I think that might have been through Diamond and comic shops only. I have both, and they both look great.


  4. Thanks for covering such an obscure, well for present day, toy lines. I remember the toys were pretty easy to find back in the 1970s. At the time, I was watching reruns of the Clayton Moore series on Saturday morning, which is why I wanted to the toys. I had the Lone Ranger, Silver, Tonto and Buch Cavendish. Since the Ranger had a horse and Cavendish was on foot, he would have been pretty easy to catch.

    I remember getting the origin of the Lone Ranger comic, but I don’t remember whatever comics came with the other figures. Back then, I didn’t keep any of the boxes, which makes me ill that I didn’t keep all that gorgeous artwork. The only other Lone Ranger stuff I had was a dress-up set, which I believe may have been made by Gabriel as well, and a few Gold Key comics, a prose novel, and a Big Little Book. I liked him pretty well, but I was more into superheroes. Batman has always been #1.

    I didn’t get any of the Legend of the Lone Ranger line from the movie. I didn’t really like the 3 3/4 figures. I wonder if that is why, although I liked Star Wars, I didn’t become a mega-fan. I always thought the Star Wars figures looked like crap. The Lone Ranger figures from the 70s really look good.

    However, my weird personal preferences are that I always got into stuff when it was at its low-point of popularity. I got into Batman into the late 1970s, when everyone else was into Star Wars, and James Bond in the mid-1980s, when everyone else was into Indiana Jones.

    I remember reading that Lone Ranger collectables may be decreasing in value, because no one really knows who he is, or is a fan any more.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the show, and you had good taste in toys! You’re the first person I’ve ever heard who called Kenner out on their rather simple aesthetic on the early Star Wars figures. Compared to what a lot of toy companies were doing back then, they are very simple. I like them myself, but I could see why someone would think they are a bit lacking, especially compared to Gabriel’s beautiful work!

      That’s very sad to hear about Lone Ranger being forgotten, but I think you may be onto something. I looked on ebay yesterday at some of the Gabriel stuff for the first time in years, and it seems the market has really shrunk on these. Prices were pretty cheap for vintage toys…much cheaper than Mego Super Heroes, for instance.


  5. Great episode guys! I believe that my brother and I had a couple of the 3.75″ figures, but I cannot say for sure. I will have to do some digging in the multiple bins of vintage toys I have in my bonus room and see what I unearth. It’s like an archaeological dig through your own stuff!

    The earlier large scale figures sound fantastic, even if that play pattern (large figures with interchangeable soft goods) is mostly an alien concept to me, being born in 1980. I can appreciate it even if I never played that way!

  6. Late to the party here, but I was finally able to listen to this episode over the holiday weekend. You lads did a fantastic job discussing this unjustly unloved toy line.

    The only figures I remember seeing were Buffalo Bill, Sgt. Gonzales (from Zorro), and the occasional Tonto; none of the others. The cross-sell on the cardbacks had me fascinated to see the rest, especially since the kickass Filmation cartoon was airing at the time. Many a Saturday morning was spent watching that cartoon with a bowl of Waffelos.

    Speaking of Waffelos, they had their own cardboard Western town set (https://steppingoutsidetoobserve.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/waffelos-ralston-purina-cereal/) that you cut out from the cereal box! The scale was a bit off, but I had a lot of fun with gunfights using my Star Wars figures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *