Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Those Daring Young Men And Their Flying Machines

Starting in 1966 Topps began issuing a long running series of styrofoam airplanes called Flying Things. At least seven different series were issued and this does not count branded items such as Marvel Flyers. Clearly showing the effects of the cutting edge artists Woody Gelman was hiring, each Flying Thing came in a paper wrapper and consisted of a plane body, wing, tail and nose clip.  All sorts of wacky designs were used, some of which were really out there.

Here is a shot of the second series wrapper:

Most series had a checklist on the back, although at least one did not and that makes a definitive list of these tough to cipher:

The eagle-eyed among you will note the odd production code.  I think the non-confectionery items that were intended to be sold as toys had a different system of numbering at Topps.  This may be due to their manufacture occurring in Japan; these suckers were imported into the U.S. and Canada.  The visual checklist is nice but nothing beats the real thing: 

The assembled plane is quite the sight; behold the Flying Hotdog!

Here's a top view, the fork is classic Gelman: 

The tail piece has some manufacturing information on the bottom:

Here's Flying Uncle Sam from the same series, although this may be more of a Frankenstein's Monster:

Here'a the tailpiece bottom:

At a guess, it looks like someone changed out the Captain America tailpiece from Marvel Flyers.

Flying Things were issued through at least 1975 and there are at least 48 different ones, many of which were issued multiple times.  Marvel Flyers has 12 and there are a few other similar issues such as Fighter Planes, albeit without the whimsical themes of these. 

Toward the end of the run they came in clear poly bags:

1 comment:

VintageGirl64 said...

My Uncle Sam Fler has the same tail with the Marvel name stamped. Uncle Sam was a somewhat super hero back in the day but the storyline never went anywhere. I think the Uncle Sam is a rare find.