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Evel Knievel
By Euphrates
Evel Knievel What boy, in the early '70s, didn't find a plank of wood, set it up at an angle over a cinder block or a tire and then attempt to run his Western Flyer at dizzying speeds up the "ramp" inevitably crashing at the end because the bottom of the "ramp" wasn't anchored properly? Then, you and a friend review the failed jump, make some adjustments and you're back on the bike to give it another go. Why did we spend all day doing this? Evel Knievel!

In 1972, Ideal celebrated this daredevil's heroics and influence on adolescents by releasing his likeness as a 6-inch figure along with a bunch of neato accessories. The basic figure came with a helmet, white jumpsuit, shoes and a cane. Yes, a cane. His bottom is marked 1972 Ideal Hong Kong His body was a bendy with plastic hands and a vinyl head.

One of the neatest pieces made for Evel is the Stunt World playset from 1975. It came in a vinyl case with a picture of Snake River Canyon on the side. Included was a plastic jump ramp, motorcycle, truck and rocket car with trailer. This set enabled you to take Evel and his wheels on the road or at least down the block to your buddy's house.

Ideal provided Evel with a large variety of powerful vehicles and playsets including:

Figure with cane and helmet
Funny Car
Super Jet Cycle
Stunt Cycle (came with figure)
Scramble Van
CB Van - HTF
Stunt and Crash Car (came with figure)
Canyon Sky Cycle (came with figure)
Canyon Rig Set
Stunt Stadium
Formula 1 Dragster (came with figure)
Trail Bike
Escape from Skull Canyon
Road and Trail Adventure Set (came with trail bike and figure)
Racing Set
Arctic Explorer Set
Robby Knievel, Teenage Daredevil
Evel Knievel Stunt Stadium Set
Evel Knievel's Stunt World

There are a couple of jumpsuit variations. One was all blue and the other was made of a denim material.

There were a ton of other collectibles made bearing Evel's likeness that weren't made by Ideal including trashcans, puzzles, coloring books, cups, lunchboxes, comics, games, bicycles, halloween costumes and more.

The Ideal Evel, like the real Evel, is tough to find loose and in mint condition. The wires in his limbs are frequently broken, the bottom of the helmet is usually cracked from forcing it off and on his head, and his cane is almost always missing. Nice loose figures can bring up to $50 while carded figures command up to $100.

In 1998, Playing Mantis reissued replicas of the original figure and the chopper. Keep this in mind when buying items off of auctions and sales pages.

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