Memory Lane: The Remco Bulldog Tank

This toy was a hot item in 1960, and my brother, then eight years old, got one for Christmas: Remco’s Bulldog Tank. Battery-powered, its mighty caterpillar treads would take the tank up and down steep hills of my mother’s books, all the while making a not entirely hopeful wheezing noise. Our family’s home movies show it doing that while my brother watches in angelic rapture.

Best of all, it shot! Boom! Well, not “boom,” really. It went “click.” It fired these plastic projectiles and ejected brass shell casings. Y’know something? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tank in a war movie eject a shell casing. But they must have, right? I mean, you can’t have the turret filling up with shell casings.

I wonder if they still make toys like this for kids–or do they try to make out like there’s no more war, we don’t need tanks to protect us from the bad guys anymore? Meanwhile, the same children deemed too emotionally fragile for a Bulldog Tank spend hours every day playing Zombie Massacre video games. Go figure.

8 comments on “Memory Lane: The Remco Bulldog Tank

  1. I remember those, or something very similar, that a neighbor had. We grew up with toy guns, toy tanks, jeeps, artillary pieces and toy soldiers, and none of my peers turned into violent predators, so I think that the current mindset might just be an overreaction. I have no desire to glorify war, but kids will scuffle and “play war” pretty much of their own accord.

  2. I remember bugging my mom for an electrical toy back in the ’50’s. They were expensive for a family like ours but she caved and got me one for Christmas. I was bored with it after one day, then it collected dust. I much more enjoyed my imaginary car races, and my pretend baseball match ups of all my heroes.

    1. No, but I did play a football game where electricity vibrated the surface which made the players move in ways you couldn’t really predict.

      Strat-O-Matic baseball is still popular today. Some people even organize leagues.

    2. I remember those games with the vibrating surfaces. We had the baseball game. The ball was a magnet. You pitched it with a kind of mini-catapult. It would land on a metal sheet. Behind that, the batter tried to knock it off with a spring-powered bat. The whole business was very complicated.
      My friends and I had a Strat-O-Matic league, years ago.

Leave a Reply