Jay J. Arms Private Investigator

Jay J. Arms
Jay J. Arms

Jay J. Arms, aka J.J. Arms, was a private investigator who, as a child, had both of his hands blown off in an accident. He had his hands replaced by two metal prosthesis which he can use nearly as well as actual hands. While clearly a tragedy, Jay J. didn’t let losing his hands become an impediment. As an adult, he became a widely respected private detective, and, arguably, the most well known real life private detective in history. Following the release of his best selling autobiography “Jay J. Arms Investigator” in 1976, he struck a deal with IDEAL to release a toy line modeled after him.

I had this toy as a kid and loved it because of the bundle of interchangeable prosthetics he came with. You could swap out his hooks for metal gripping magnets, suction cups, a gun hand, and, of course, fleshy hands so that Jay J. could solve any crime involving common household furniture. Best of all, he came with a big red suitcase to tote them all around in.

Jay J. was no Star Wars or Micronauts, or even a Rom the Space Knight, but I spent, literally, hours making up and solving cases with him. When I wrote my first mystery novel (yet to be published, damn it!) I though of him repeatedly.

4 thoughts on “Jay J. Arms Private Investigator”

  1. I got mine when I wa sa kid on Guam. Saw the book on the rack later which had pictures of the guy and his private zoo/estate.

    In the bionic era of the 70’s, the idea of metal hands,etc was way too cool to believe…and since I had ALWAYS ‘repaired’ my broken GiJoes,etc (when their limbs gave way) with wire and ball point pen parts, this was an absolute hit with me. ( Not to mention that we N E V E R knew what was gonna show up on the shelves on Guam’s stores — Just because it was advertised didn’t mean WE got it there — So when I stumbled upon JJ on the shelf, it was all the more sweet…)

    I got one last year…Loose, missing most of the hands/hooks…but still….All MINE!

  2. The real Jay J. I think was a bat boy for a major league baseball team ,when he was a young man. I believe the Orioles. Was that true?

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Classic toys and ephemera from the 70s