Edison Giocattoli is best known for being a maker of toy guns. The company was started in the late 50’s and became successful based on the quality, and vast array of models, of their Western cap guns. In the 50’s and 60’s, kids played cowboys and indians, and the sharpest shooters on either side of the conflict sported an Italian made cap gun from EG.
They did make a number of other toys, including models and cars, but the toys that caught my eye was a Sci Fi themed line that included articulated action figures with a lot of interchangeable equipment and a corresponding line of toy guns called TH3 Project.
TH3 Project was released hot on the heals of the Sci Fi fever induced by Star Wars. The figures and accessories had more in common with the Mego heroes than Kenner’s diminutive figures, though, with joints at the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and necks. I know there is a story that goes along with the characters, but I have to admit a total lack of knowledge on the subject.
I didn’t actually have any of these toys as a kid, but a friend did, and I LOVED them. First of all, most of the characters were girls. And I’ve always liked girls. The figures all also had this great armor and masked helmets that, for me at least, were unique. I also loved all the cool accessories for the toys. The individual figures have their own equipment, but you could also buy more elaborate sets, like the Video Control or Black Genius that had wicked gun platforms for the figures to work and LED powered monitors that glowed. As much as I do truly love Micronauts and Star Wars, EG put together a pretty cool package.
To my knowledge, there were three female characters, a blond, Thur, a brunette, Tharos, and a black woman, Thitan. There were also two male characters, Black Genius, a dark skinned guy and the toy line’s villain, and Duke Thyron, a dark skinned guy with blond hair and the leader of TH3 Project. The Charlie to the TH3 Angels I suppose.
There were four playsets in the series. I believe Duke Thyron and Black Genius were only available as part of their respective full playsets. Thur, Tharos and Thitan seem to be randomly included in the Attack and Video Control playsets. The boxes are sealed, so you never know which figure is inside until you open it up. The Video Control playset actually includes all the pieces in the Attack set, with the addition of a bunch of electrical components.
As I mentioned, one of the neatest aspects of the TH3 Project toys is the led lights. The Video Control, Black Genius and Duky Thyron sets all included a power brick, lights and light up monitors. If you wanted more powered features, there was an Electrical Accessories set you could buy that added a Video Control, TV Camera, Radar, Electrical Base and Monitor to your TH3 accessories.
The line didn’t stop with figures though. True to the company’s mainstay, there was a full line of TH3 guns including the Tharos, Thur, Super Tharos, Super Thur and Super Thur LR. Check out this site for a great list of EG Sci Fi guns. There was also a TH3 utility belt and holster and a “Spacetronic Jacket.” I’ve also seen pictures of full kid sized helmets based on the figure helmets.
70’s Sci Fi has indelibly etched itself into my brain. Movies like Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, Omega Man, Damnation Alley, and, of course, Star Wars are the defining visuals of all things Sci Fi for me. As toys, TH3 Project does a better job or presenting that 70’s aesthetic than any other toy line I know.