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.