Remembering the Greatest Toy of the 1970’s – The Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle [VIDEO]
In any decade, and for that matter, any corner of the world, the iconic Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle is flat badass. You had all the adrenaline and glory of being Evel Knievel, without the broken bones and legal problems.
Anyone living in the 1970's had the Evel Knievel 6" plastic action figure. If you were real lucky like me, the had the stunt cycle, too.
The Stunt Cycle is a remarkable piece of engineering and artistry. You see, you put the Stunt Cycle in this little red launch platform. Then, without the aid of batteries or any other modern-day wimp crap, you crank this lever on the side, building up torque in the Stunt Cycle, until such time as enough energy is generated to jettison Evel and his Stunt Cycle into whatever perils you have in store for them.
If you were lucky, and I mean real lucky, you could find the sweet spot and Evel and the Stunt Cycle would throw in a complimentary wheelie for sake of show business. This fringe benefit, however, was reserved for the real pros.
In most cases, the execution of the launch went a little more like this: You put Evel and the Stunt Cycle in the crank base and start cranking. Shortly there after, the Stunt Cycle falls over on its side, and you have to reset it and then start cranking again. Then, when you start building up some real torque, your hand slips of the crank, and you bust your knuckles on the driveway.
Many an adult such as myself still sport the scars where their knuckles met the pavement while building up for a particularly daring jump. Ultimately, if you built enough energy, didn't knock the launcher over, and if Evel stayed put, you managed to execute a perfect launch and write your way into the annals of neighborhood history.
Another great aspect of having the Evel Knievel doll and the Stunt Cycle was its ability to make you feel like you really were Evel Knievel. As you can see below, the resemblance between Evel and his doll is absolutely uncanny.
You could further pretend to be Knievel due to the doll's ability to be bent into various poses. Children everywhere could make their doll look just like Evel at some of the key moments in his stunt career.
Note to the designers: Evel's helmet needs a little work. No wonder Evel Knievel smacked up so much, he couldn't see a damn thing with his helmet covering his eyes.
Do you really want to know just how cool this toy is? It is so cool, I not only owned one back in the 1970's, I still own one today. The toy has been reissued, with the manufacturer recommending it for ages 5-10, and is available for the low, low price of $41.00. The reviews are in, and they are about as varied as it gets.
"This crap is not worth one dollar much less anything higher". - Kent J. Carter Jr.
"This is a great toy for any little boy." Jill Mabe
"I was such a fan of the old Evel Knievel Stunt Sets of the 1970's! All my friends had one and I loved playing with theirs. I bought this one for my six-year-old son last year for Christmas. I wanted him to see what good old fashioned clean fun used to be like when we were kids. This toy is very difficult for kids to maneuver! It was not very sturdy construction as well. It is really hard to get the motorcycle positioned properly into the crank base --- too difficult for a six-year-old especially, and at times difficult for his 35-year-old parents as well!" - Parent