In the 1970’s Evel Knievel was one of the coolest guys around. Using a little bit of Elvis’ style and a boatload of tough guy charisma, Knievel acted as a real life character that Steve McQueen should have played in a movie. Knievel eventually got licensed to do a toy line, which was brought to us by Ideal. The company had previously achieved success with Captain Action and later with the Star Team and Evel was just another in their pantheon of toys.
Knievel made a perfect fit for action figures because of his outlandish real life stunts. This allowed Ideal to release a variety of vehicles and stunt tracks. It was the ultimate combination of playful toys and excitement. The line was very successful for Ideal and lasted several years. This ad from 1976 shows off a variety of the vehicles and even mentions Robbie Knievel who by this time had began getting in on the action with his dad.
Eventually Evel’s penchant for drinking, brawling and other nefarious activities, led to Ideal phasing out the line as Knievel’s popularity also began to plummet from super-stardom much like one of his failed canyon jumping stunts. Ideal’s line will always be remembered for it’s skyrocket to the toy aisle and it’s fun but simple toys. This Classic Comic Ad from Ideal perfectly captures the spirit of that era.