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GOT EVEL? The Marvelous Merchandising of EVEL KNIEVEL

In the more innocent days of the Seventies, American daredevil Evel Knievel captured the attention and imagination of children everywhere.  Between 1965 and 1980, Knievel attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and one iconic attempt to jump across Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket, the Skycycle X-2.  With his jumps being televised regularly on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Evel (who also held the Guinness Book World Record for the most broken bones, 430) became an icon for any kid with a toy car or a bicycle.

Ideal Toy Company released Evel Knievel merchandise from 1972 through 1977, ultimately selling more than $125 million worth of Knievel toys including action figures and accessories, the Stunt Cycle  the Scamble Van, a Dragster, a Stunt Car, a Chopper Motorcycle, a Trail Bike, the Strato-Cycle and the Evel Knievel The Stunt World.  Ideal also released additional figures including a female counterpart, Derry Daring and his son, Robbie Knievel.

After attacking Shelly Saltman, the author of the book Evel Knievel on Tour with a baseball bat over the unflattering picture within (Saltman alleged that Knievel abused his wife and kids and he used drugs), Evel Knievel’s moment on top was over.  He was sentenced to six months in county jail (and three years probation) and lost the majority of his endorsements which included Harley-Davidson and Ideal Toys.

As a man, Robert Craig Knievel was no role model.  As an icon, he was pure Evel.

After the jump read the Marvel/Ideal Evel Knievel comic that’s pure magic.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mark Schroeder

    March 26, 2014 at 7:05 am

    ah thanks
    what a mind flight
    i read this when I was a kid at camp
    locked in by rain
    over and over

    didn't know how sweet the atoms lay

  2. Kracalactaka!

    October 1, 2015 at 4:43 am

  3. Burdt Durgle

    October 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Do you remember when Dick Drost jumped over his airplane at Ohare whike riding a Chappy Mongrain dirtbike?…..well, his v fake beards flew off right before he slammed into a taco machine, he started wobbling, a black sock flew outta the tailpipe, and he landed on a restricted taxiway…..I used to fly that plane to Indiana in the 70s….

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