It's been the month for finding horsies: first two antique wooden rocking horses, then the fab 1950s Harry the Hairless Horse ride-on, and now this: Blaze, the talking, galloping horse made by Mattel in the early 1960s.
At first glance, Blaze looks like just another variety of the ubiquitous spring horse (the kind most of us children of the 70's remember for their tendency to flip over during exuberant riding and pinch our fingers in their springs), but he's got a few features that take him to a whole new pedigreed level.
First off: no springs! Blaze is mounted instead on an "untippable", according to Mattel, tubular steel frame. Secondly, as you ride Blaze up and down, his legs move independently in a quite realistic horsey gallop. As if this wasn't enough, Blaze also
talked, courtesy of Mattel's patented pull-string technology. He said several phrases, including "How about some hay?" He also whinnied and neighed.
Naturally, the price for all this innovation was steep: $48 (that's a lot for a kid's toy now, let alone back in 1961!). Consequently, no one I knew as a child had Blaze, and I'd never seen one in the horseflesh until last week, when I found this one.
Mine no longer talks, as is typical of most Blazes found today, but he gallops great. We haven't tested the "untippable" claim, but if I crash, I'll let you know. I've installed my Blaze next to my dining room table. Guests can now pull up a chair, or a horse, as they prefer.
Blaze was heavily marketed on TV, and his original ad is now considered a classic. Click the link below to watch it, courtesy of TV Days
: it's fantastic
And here's a print ad for Blaze, in which he apparently helps capture an evil fire hydrant: