Fun wasn't hard to find for kids of the 1970s. Sometimes all you needed to do was send an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle flying down your driveway.
The Stunt Cycle was a small toy motorcycle that seated an Evel Knievel action figure. Kids revved up the motor with a plastic crank and off it went. Sometimes the Evel figure went flying off, just like the stuntman himself often did in real life.
Now, kids — or more likely the grown men who remember playing with the toy more than 40 years ago — can relive those magical jumps and crashes. California Creations recently began selling new Stunt Cycles and figures.
Amazingly, those items are being made with the original molds that were first used to produce the stunt cycle in 1973. The molds belong to American Classic Toy Inc. ACT is owned by Jay Horowitz, a veteran of both the plastics and toy industries, who had acquired the molds from the now-defunct Ideal Toy Co.
California Creations is marketing the Stunt Cycle and other Evel Knievel products licensed to ACT. Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based ACT also is handling production of the Stunt Cycle in Dongguan, China.
In a recent email, Horowitz said that new tooling has been built and revised for the molds over the years, but they're basically the same as they were in 1973.
"I've been doing this over 50 years," Horowitz said. "I say that if a mold is well designed, uses high quality steel and is well-maintained, it can go on forever.
"Forever doesn't really exist — but quality prevails. And [the Ideal molds] have made millions of units."
California Creations has been promoting the Stunt Cycle by asking fans to send in their own videos of the cycle making jumps. The best of those videos — including one involving fire and one using a fan's wife — are featured on the company's website.