Deluxe Reading Jimmy Jet

At-a-glance information:

Item  Jimmy Jet
Manufacturer Deluxe Reading, Inc.
Location Elizabeth NJ
Manufactured 1963-1966, non-confirmed

I took delivery of a Jimmy Jet for Christmas of 1966. This is one of my all-time favorite toys. Pre-EBAY, it took me 2 years to find one, in only fair shape. I since have bought another. These are rather expensive to come by now, and because there is a lot of thin plastic pieces on it, quite often the ones you find are missing parts. Both mine are missing parts or have some broken pieces, but I have both working.

This is another of Deluxe Reading's 'Supermarket Toys', sold in the 60s in supermarkets and drug stores. Deluxe Reading also sold the X-500 Playset and the Playmobile Dashboard via this channel, and you can read about both elsewhere on this site.

Like those other toys, this is highly stylized with a liberal use of chromed plastic. Although made in the 60s, this is pure 50s sci-fi. Or perhaps modern Russian equipment.

Nevertheless, this is a really interesting toy. The premise is that you are at a cockpit of a fighter plane. When you turn on the toy via the right "stick", the screen in front lights up, and the throttle on the left controls your speed. What you see on the screen is a silhouette of a jet fighter, which you can move back and forth with the steering wheel. The landscape underneath the jet moves. This is accompanied by a loud motor sound.

The pilot can also look out the site at the top of the console, and site various things in whatever room he is playing in. He can the fire missiles into the room. Overall, a really fun toy. My original was destroyed in a flood in our home, along with, get this, my Playmobile Dashboard and my Eldon Bowl-a-Matic, along with alot of classic board games. My parents tried to rebuy all of these, but they were no longer made. Of course, there were none of the wonderful secondary markets available today back then. So I finally got one a few years ago. I always assumed that they were made by Ideal or something.

My batteries are only about 60% here, so excuse the picture. This shows what you see in the screen. The landscape moves from top down, giving an illusion of flight. This is projected onto the fresnel screen from behind.

To the left of the screen are some nicely detailed instruments which you can manually set.

Here is the right side of the screen. You can see the tips of the on/off control stick, and the right side missile firing lever.
  On top of the console you will find a red housing. On the back of the housing you slide in two provided missiles with rubber tips. The larger of the two ovoid openings is a site that you look into.
  When looking into the site, you can see a crosshairs, and out into the room you are sitting in! When you pull one of the missile firing levers on the console, a missile fires out from the housing. Hence, the "Remote Control Missile Firing" mentioned on the box is somewhat true.

Here is a close up of the control wheel. Note the Deluxe Reading coat of arms in the center, just like on the console of the Playmobile. Yes, the throttle control is missing on this item. I bypassed it and wired it 'full on'. My other example is missing the left hand missile lever. Yes, I could combine the two to make one that is more complete, but I don't do things like that. That is for wienies.

At least two different types of missiles came with these. The one on the left, with black tip, is the EXACT same as the Bomarc Missile that comes with the Operation X500 set. The red-tipped one has outlines and adhesive residue of air force stickers on the wings (difficult to see even in person but there). My original one I remember had the black tipped missiles and no decals.

Two different backs came on these. The brown back is fiberboard and featured this reminder note on how to replace the bulb correctly.

Here is the black back, held in place with steel tabs held down with screws. The black back is made of corrugated cardboard.
  With the back removed (excuse the packing material, damn, thought I removed that for this shot) you see the secrets. Drum rotates with help of motor. The armature to the left of the screen holds a light bulb inside the rotating drum. The drum consists of a translucent scene that with the light glowing from within, projects onto the screen, not onlike those old 8mm movie editors.

Here is the aforementioned armature going into the drum.

 Here is the motor that turns the drum.

Here is a slightly fuzzy picture of the lever mechanism that fires the missiles up top.

This is a rather poor box, but get a load of that artwork. That kid is just too wierd.


Other interesting notes:

Both of my toys have the same landscape, a harbor with bridges, rocket launcher and buildings. I swear that the one I had as a kid had a different landscape. Also, I distinctly remember that mine did not say "TV Jet" above the wheel in the gold stick-on. I remember mine saying "Jimmy Jet" in script.

If anyone has any Jimmy Jet remembrances, please write me.

Take me back home