What’s In Your Pocket?

Back in the 70’s there was a British toy company called Palitoy.

Ring any bells?

They made my sister’s favourite doll at the time… Penny Puppywalker…

Sadly, and I have no idea why, I can still remember the flipping advert… and now I can’t get it out of my head…

“Penny Puppywalker…
Take Penny Puppywalker for a walk
She walks her dog just like you
Squeeze one little air button and she walks with you
Squeeze the other button and her dog walks too…
Penny Puppywalker… “

I’m so sad…

I didn’t look any of that up…

I just remember it (and the tune too)…

and it’s going round and round in my head…

Aaaarrrggghhh

Anyhow…

Enough about Penny and her pesky, plastic, pneumatic, perambulating pooch.

Palitoy also made a particular range of games that were everywhere…

For while anyway…

I bet you had one.

Do you remember Pocketeers?

No?

I bet you will once you see a few of them…

They were pocket sized games that, from what I can find, were launched around 1975.

Disclaimer

Now I owe a lot of the content in this post to a stunning resource I found online called “World of Stuart”.

It hasn’t been updated since 2010… and the “contact” page doesn’t work so I haven’t been able to contact the aforementioned Stuart (Stuart Campbell) to ask his permission to borrow his content… so I hope that explaining all that and giving a link to the appropriate pages of “World of Stuart” in what follows, will prevent me from getting into too much hot water!

Pocketeers

Pocketeers were pretty simple games, generally for one person. They were all the rage… for a while.

Many a long coach journey was made slightly more bearable by our little pocket entertainment systems.

I owned the “done what it says on the tin” game… Rock ‘n Roll.

All of the ball bearings started in the top section, you released them one by one and, using the red balances (which you tipped from left to right), you navigated the ball down to the bottom, trying to score as many points as possible.

Rock n Roll Baby!

It was essential toilet entertainment for many a “sitting” (if you know what I mean)… but, like so many games, there was a trick to it.

The critical factor was the slope on which you put the game (so that gravity progressed the ballbearing downwards).

Too steep and it was impossible to score more than about 20.

But nice and shallow and 20 from each ball was a doddle…

I think that’s probably why I soon reverted to Whizzer and Chips for my sitting down entertainment.

With the gravity secret the challenge had gone.

Pesky Isaac Newton!

Other children at school had different, some more exciting-looking games than my balancing one.

I remember the driving game, Rally…

“Rally” (ooh the graphics!)

The “kept my attention for about 15 seconds, the name sounded good but what’s the point” Grand Prix

Grand zzzzz

A poker game that I don’t think that I ever really understood…

Poker (can’t think of anything witty, sorry!)

I could have sworn that there was a 2 player basketball game where you placed the game upright on it’s long side and each person had to flick a button to try to get a ball into the basket at the opposite end. But I can’t find on the Pocketeer page…

Does anyone remember that… or am I just going doolally?

I think though, that the most iconic of all the Pocketeers games has to be this one: Fruit Machine.

I seem to remember it was the most sought after in the playground, with my Rock ‘n Roll lagging at the back of that particular hit parade.

Does this image bring back any memories for you?

As I say, thank you to Stuart for all of these images.

There are loads more Pocketeers (many of which I don’t remember) here: http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/pocketeers/new/list.htm. And there’s also a picture of the original boxes that each Pocketeer came in… and those boxes bring back a load of memories too I can tell you. Take a look and enjoy.

Do you have any memories of Pocketeers?

Even better, do you still own one of them?

If you do (to either of the above… or if you know any more about that basketball game that I may have fabricated in my head) please share your memories in the comments section below.

I think we all need cheering up at the moment…

Stay safe…

Michael

Please Spread The Word!
  • Laura says:

    I had a Penny Puppy Walker, except she didn’t walk much, she just kept falling flat on her face like she had been on the gin but I loved her anyway. I had three of the Pocketeers as well. It’s so good to see pictures of them again, happy days

  • Bruce says:

    I’d forgotten all about Pocketeers, they were brilliant. I tried to collect them all back in the day, might even still be one or two in a box in the loft!

  • HAZEL says:

    I remember the rock n roll one. I suppose it was our generation of the game boy. Thanks for the memory

  • Andy B says:

    The Basketball Game is in the link you have attached on the Top Row.

  • Linz says:

    My brother had the fruit machine and a cricket game. This brought back loads of memories, thank you!!

  • Dave says:

    Wow, these take me back to being a kid! This site shows all the pocketeers games: http://www.planetbuilders.co.uk/ian/pocketeers/index.html

  • C. Parker says:

    I had the fruit machine and always wanted the grand prix but, looking at it now, I have no idea why! Love the trip down memory lane, it’s taken me right back to the mid 70’s.

  • sharon says:

    Please keep going with the blog! Yes, it’s possibly trivial and definitely not serious but you’re right, we all need a bit of an escape from the world at large!
    The only Pocketeer I remember was the rock n roll one which my brother had…. I never figured out the trick though so I probably had more hours of entertainment from it than you!
    Keep ’em coming… In the meantime I’m taking government advice for once and working from home with a rather large jar of jelly bugs 😁

  • Dek says:

    Very good my kids played with some

  • Louise says:

    I bet this has made lots of people smile – it certainly did me (and brought back lots of happy memories!). They were very popular in our house – I recall being particularly thrilled to get the Fruit Machine as a birthday present! The cars in Rally and Grand Prix were guided around the track with the aid of state-of-the art magnet technology; if the game was held at too steep a gradient it all the cars slid to the side! A lot were based on arcade games – ancient ancestors of the Nintendo DS!

  • Sarah Lyman says:

    Oh the fruit machine was my favourite by far! I also owned rally and I think the monkey one but I took my fruit machine to school a lot and it never got confiscated so I must have been sneaky on when I played it. Thanks for that memory. one I had totally forgotten about until your email. It’s nice to have a respite from all the other news sometimes.

  • Richard says:

    Its amazing what you forget from your childhood. I wouldn’t even have given this thought if someone had mentioned Pocketeers, without seeing the images. I remember having Rally, Grand Prix and the Fruit Machine. Wasted many hours on them, but what great fun at the time.

  • Rob says:

    The only decent toy to come out of Palitoy was Action Man. I used to ask for them at birthdays, Christmas and even give up Easter eggs one year to get hold of a sailor with gripping hands

  • Justin says:

    They seemed familiar then I saw the steeple chase one which I did have in the orange! I had completely forgotten about it. Now I feel old!

  • Rachael says:

    please don’t stop! Its the light relief required!!

  • Mrs Avril Gladwin says:

    I don’t recall the picketers, but I did have Penny and her puppy 😊

  • John says:

    Keep bringing it on. Nostalgia. Ah, you can’t get enough of it. Thanks.

  • Loulou334 says:

    I was just speaking to my husband about these at the weekend! I actually looked on eBay and found some for sale. My sister had the fruit machine one, I had one that was like a pin ball machine- must have driven my parents mad with the constant ball bearings being flicked!

  • Lisa says:

    I am a kid of the 70s born in 1969 but I don’t remember any of these toys! Please keep the messages coming as we need a bit Of light relief and nostalgia in this scary world right now, thanks

  • kevin says:

    thanks for the memories,
    I used to have the fruit machine game, played it for hours.
    keep up the good work.

  • Vanessa Clair says:

    😁 I have one of the fruit machine pocketeers somewhere in my basement.. We also had the poker one and the rally but think they are long lost..
    Great to see a few old things to remind you of simpler times…

  • Alec says:

    I remember the Palitoy brand and had the Rally game but eventually the magnet stopped holding the car in place and it was discarded but it whiled away many a car journey.

  • Luigi says:

    I ‘ve still got the cricket one!

  • Alfi says:

    Didn’t Palitoy make Sindy? I had one of those! I also had a doll called Tressy. Looked like a Sindy but had a bit of hair in the centre of her had that you could adjust and make longer. Came complete with rollers etc. Can’t remember who make that one!

  • simon phillips says:

    Thanks, Michael.
    We all need comforting right now, and your blog does exactly that.
    Simon

  • Joey says:

    Lovely to read Michael.
    And I do remember them and owned a few.
    I’ve no idea why we had so many as we didn’t have a lot of money.
    So they must of been cheap(ish)…

  • Dawn says:

    My younger sister was bought a Penny Puppy Walker for her birthday.She told me to throw it to her,so I did down a flight of stairs.Needles to say it ended badly for both me and Penny Puppy Walker x

  • Martin Summerhayes says:

    Hi Michael, thank you so much. I had a couple of these. So the blog brought back fond memories…..

  • Valerie says:

    I always love reading these posts! Please don’t stop! However I have no recollection of either Penny or the Pocket games , maybe it’s my age, too young or too old to have encountered them!

  • Joy Holgate says:

    Hi Michael
    I don’t remember the pocketers but I do remember Penny the Puppy Walker although I never owned one (I think like you I remember the advert). Please, please, please keep the emails coming. I was just wondering the other day when we might hear from you and then there you were 🙂 lots of love to all the ‘ A Quarter Of’ community and please stay safe x

  • HAZEL WILKINSON says:

    I love to read your blogs we need something to cheer us up these days. Keep up the good work Michael.

  • lou says:

    Way too old to have had these but please keep cheering us up with your e mails (goodness knows we all need happy thoughts at this extraordinary time) Thanks for taking the time to make us smile.

  • Stuart says:

    Jeez, brought back loads of memories. Reckon between me and my brother we had about 10 of these pocketeers. Hours of fun.
    Such a good blog – Thanks!

  • Dawn says:

    I remember having a little handheld puzzle where you had to get the silver blob out of the maze. The problem was, the little silver blob was actually MERCURY !!! How safe was that !!

  • Hugh Coward says:

    Michael. I really enjoy your communications. Do you remember on BBC Childrens hour in the early 1950s Billy Bean. There was a song that went with Biily Bean built a machine to see what it could do, he built it out of ????? and held together with glue.I’m 70 so my childhood memory isn’t that strong but as you’re into nostalgia……
    Best wishes.
    Hugh.

  • Malc says:

    I do not remember these maybe too young….I wish. Keep blogging Michael and thanks for the emergency supply of sweets that arrived today. Keep safe and your team too.

  • Sue says:

    Brilliant, you always cheer me up,
    Stay Safe
    Thank You

  • Tony Doyle says:

    Had them ALL..
    Only seems like yesterday tbh..
    Playing on my ATARI 2600 too..

  • Andrea Tucker says:

    I remember these well and think I collected a few x

  • Alison says:

    Now that brings back memories, I remember my brother having the Grand Prix one. Please keep doing the blogs, we all need something to make us smile at the mo.

  • Christine says:

    I used to watch my friends with their new toys. I was still happy with my Granda gardening and looking after real animals 🙂

  • Ms Kay Chambers says:

    I sure remember these Michael, I love reading your nostalgic stories,thanks for keeping our memories alive from our childhood. Kay x

  • Andy Burgess says:

    I’d completely forgotten about these too. Friends at school had different ones, but I think I had “Rally”!

    Great to reminisce over them, thanks.

  • Wool says:

    Thank you I only wish everyone had a computer they could join in the fun.

  • davidwride says:

    Hi Michael, great to be taken back to when life was scarey but normal. Had several pocketeers but had forgotten all about them, favourite was a cricket one. Stay safe

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