Remco
TypeAcquired by Azrak-Hamway International, Inc. (AHI)
IndustryToy Manufacturing
Founder
Defunct1994 (1994)
FateBankruptcy

Remco Industries, Inc. was a toy company in the United States founded in the 1940s. It was best known for toys marketed and sold in the late 1950s and early 1960s, like the 'Johnny Reb Cannon', 'Mighty Matilda Atomic Aircraft Carrier', 'Remco Voice Control Kennedy Airport' (which featured model airplanes of American, TWA and United Airlines, an album player and an album which played a voice giving landing and take-off instructions) and the tethered 'Electronic Falcon Plane' that "flies itself". The company's slogan was "Every Boy Wants a Remco Toy...And So Do Girls!"[1]

History

Caravell electronic transmitter / receiver, c. 1962.
Caravell electronic transmitter / receiver, c. 1962.

Remco was founded by two cousins, Isaac "Ike" Heller and Saul Robbins. Armand Daddis soon joined the two as the company gradually moved from simple 'walkie-talkies' to a variety of sophisticated remote control toys. The name Remco comes from the two words "Remote Control". Originally located in Newark, NJ, the company later moved to nearby Harrison, New Jersey.

The boxes and toys were printed with just the company name and the city on them, but there were a few more clues as to the company's physical location on packaging. A street address listed on the back of the 1960 light bulldog tank box is "113 North 13th Street, Newark 7, NJ." The address on the instruction sheet for factory service return of the 1966 Lost in Space Robot is "Cape May St., Harrison, NJ." The Harrison location is now occupied by the Red Bull Arena, while the Newark location is now occupied by a furniture outlet.

Remco Motor Action Kit Toy Phonograph
Remco Motor Action Kit Toy Phonograph

In the mid-1960s, Remco acquired several licenses for popular culture groups and TV shows and proceeded to make a variety of toys. Some of these were the Beatles, the Monkees, Lost In Space, The Munsters, Batman and Star Trek. However, the company often paid little heed to faithfulness to the property: Star Trek for instance, the merchandise Remco released for that series was usually generic toys from previous unrelated lines and had decals of the series simply placed on them, which is a technique called "label slapping."[2] The most derided of Remco's licensed toys for Star Trek is a white helmet with a red rotating light and siren with either Kirk or Spock's name on it.[3] One popular toy in the early 1960s was the 24 inch long functioning scuba diver with mask, knife, utility belt, rifle, walkie-talkie, air tanks, and floating location buoy.

From the 1980s through the 1990s, Remco made a variety of generic diecast and plastic trucks and other vehicles, usually uniformly made about four inches long. Vehicles were attractive and sturdy, though not uniform in scale, and included a tanker truck, fire truck, delivery van, cherry picker truck, skid steer, Jeep, and many more. A few vehicles were larger, like the seven inch long "Tuff Ones" "Recyclable Waste Management Corp." truck with opening side doors for "cans", "glass", and "paper".

Bankruptcy

Remco filed for bankruptcy in 1971 and was acquired by Azrak-Hamway International, Inc. (AHI), a toy company, in New York City in 1974.

The company was known by toy collectors for their many Universal Monsters figures produced during the 1980s. These figures were a continuation of the license and figures first produced by AHI during the 1970s. Steel Tec was distributed by Remco Toys, Inc. of New York, New York, from 1992-1997 and was a division of parent company Azrak Hamway International. In 1997, Jakks Pacific acquired Remco from Azrak-Hamway.

Toys

References

  1. ^ "You Can Tell It’s Mattel… It’s Swell!", Tim Forbes, American Heritage
  2. ^ "Star Trek". The Toys that Made Us. 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  3. ^ Sawyer, James. "A Collector's Trek #4: Remco Toys Of The 1970's". https://ca.startrek.com/. Retrieved 15 April 2021. External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Space Commander Walkie Talkies from Remco". ToyTales.ca.
  5. ^ "The Magic Market", Time, Dec. 14, 1959
  6. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Yankee Doodle Secret Rocket Test Center from Remco (1959)". ToyTales.ca.
  7. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Caravelle Radio Transmitter and Receiver". ToyTales.ca.
  8. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Mini Tru-Smoke Diesel Mod-Pad Carrier from Remco". ToyTales.ca.
  9. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Frustration Ball from Remco". ToyTales.ca.
  10. ^ Coopee, Todd. "Mister Brain, the Tru-Smoke Robot". ToyTales.ca.
  11. ^ Coopee, Todd. "The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior from REMCO (1982)". ToyTales.ca.
  12. ^ Coopee, Todd. "The Karate Kid from Remco (1986)". ToyTales.ca.
  13. ^ Katty Zion, "Steel Tec", Katty Zion