Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle: When a Pair of Kings Ruled
The legendary “King of the Stuntmen” and “King of Toys” combined forces that resulted in the powerful reign of Ideal’s Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. When Knievel signed a contract for his personal promotion and licensing with Marvin Glass and Associates, Glass referred to Knievel as “…the last of the world’s true gladiators.” In 1973 the Stunt Cycle would become the most popular boys toy in America and stayed on the shelf for many years.
The designers at the Marvin Glass studio were so energized by Evel Knievel visiting their studio, they came up with a hand cranked device to rev up and launch a gyroscopic motorcycle. The powering ramp was called the Energizer (patent #3,798,832). Glass partner Jeff Breslow fondly recalls the Stunt Cycle, “The toy was the only huge success we did from that line. We did so many other products, but nothing came close to the motorcycle toy.” Stewart Sims from Ideal remembered, “The stunt cycle was clearly the best seller. The second-best seller was probably the van, the Crash and Stunt Car was probably the third best seller. But you know, it was the motorcycle, it was the performance of that toy.”
The Knievel line of toys lasted until 1977 with Ideal once stating they sold over $125 million worth of Knievel toys during that time. The line eventually crashed in 1977 but the Stunt Cycle had some more jumps left. It has been re-introduced many times throughout the decades by companies like Ideal, Playing Mantis and Poof-Slinky, with the company California Creations planning on releasing it again in 2019. Recently the fictional toy character of motorcycle stuntman Duke Caboom, in the movie Toy Story 4, was based on the famous Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. The toy, just like Evel, just can’t be kept down.
Youtube link to original commercial
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