This memory was added on: August 26, 2010
I loved my Jimmy Jet. What memories! I wanted a Jimmy Jet very bad. I remember being at the grocery store (Kroger maybe?) with my Dad on a typical Saturday morning getting groceries. I looked up on the top shelves and there was a Jimmy Jet. My parents weren't well off at all so not a lot of extra money to buy things like this. I was devastated when we left the store without the Jimmy Jet. What a surprise that Christmas when I opened up my very own Jimmy Jet. I flew missions across the world. The light bulb and transparent map were magical to me. And just the feel of sitting in the "cockpit" was wonderful. They just don't make toys anymore that require using your imagination like the Jimmy Jet. Rick
This memory was added on: March 11, 2010
I did not have a Jimmy Jet, but my best friend did, which was almost as good. I did have the Playmobile, so we could trade off driving for flying. Many people have mentioned the price. Deluxe Reading sold these toys with $1.00 down and $1.00 per week until it was paid for. This allowed parents of the 60’s to get the “grocery store” toys without breaking the bank. Every store had a little red box with all of the orders in it, and Deluxe knew exactly how many toys they had to make.
This memory was added on: January 8, 2010
Ahh the memories! All those missions flown, Budda, Buddda, Budda! All those enemy aircraft shot down! (Russian, North Korean and of course, sometimes the luftwaffe.... remember 12:00 High?) All those enemy bases I sent up in a balls of flame! I got my Jimmy jet for Xmas Circa Cold war era year 1962. It powered hours and hours of imaginary flying defending our country....even without batterys! Now as a Vietnam Era veteran and licenced pilot I look back at the wonder and interest the Jimmy Jet generated in my Patriotism and personal fasination with aircraft and flight. The admiration and gratitude that i acquired and the stark realization of the stamina and and guts it took for these veteran aviators and all veterans who put themselves in harm's way.
A few years ago I found a Jimmy Jet in a yard sale, still working and in the original box. Complete without the typical broken knobs on the gages or missing parts. I bought it for $6.00! It is now one of my most prized posesssions! How did our generation ever occupy our time without video games??.....TV heros, toys and loads of imagination! Watch your six!.... Budda.. buddda... budda..........
This memory was added on: January 27, 2009
My fondest memory of Jimmy Jet is a tape recording I have of my family on Christmas morning, 1963 or 1964, I'm not sure.
I'm 11 years older than by brother, Frank, and he received this toy on Christmas morning.
I'm now 60 years old and my brother is 48 and we often tease each other about the tape and our comments and remarks about the Jimmy Jet and how much we both enjoyed playing with it. I remember it being a great toy and how much my little brother loved it.
Well, I searched for a Jimmy Jet to give to my brother for his birthday, in June, and I found one! It's in pretty good condition, albeit with some issues, but it works! I can't wait to see his face when I give it to him.
Vito A. Calamito Sr.
Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
This memory was added on: January 27, 2009
I had a Jimmy Jet too, and it had a special place in my memory, since my father was in the USAF at the time. Since we were all Air Force brats, we would all dress our G.I. Joes in their flight suits, climb in front of the Jimmy Jet (strategically placed on the landing in the basement) and simulate our dads on missions. Great fun!
This memory was added on: December 22, 2008
I remember asking for Jimmy Jet for Christmas and even asking Santa to leave it at the foot of my bed, which he did.
I played with it for hours and attribute those times to my love of flying to this day - although I don't have a pilot's license, I still take demo flights in small planes and helicopters where they let you fly.
By far, Jimmy Jet was my favorite toy as a kid and reading the other memories was great.
This memory was added on: October 26, 2008
It was 1963, as I recall. Our family had just moved to Arkansas from California less than five years earlier, and I was in the third grade as I found myself gripped by the image of the most incredible toy I had ever seen in my life.....
DeLuxe Reading's Jimmy Jet.....makes you feel you're flying, flying, FLYING!
In southwest Little Rock, where I lived, there was a Kroger store nestled into the Town and Country Shopping Center. My mother, the wife of a fledgling mutual insurance agent, was struggling to make ends meet on about $50 a week for groceries. There, above the meat racks, in its own special place on the right side near the pork chops, was the DeLuxe Reading display for boys, while on the left, near the chicken, was the display for the girls.
This company, that would later become Topper Toys, marketed exclusively through grocery stores, with tie-ins to network toy commercials on Saturdays. The display for Jimmy Jet was riveting enough, but rarely did I get the time to stand and stare, always desperately hoping that my mom would continue to wallow in indecision over whether to fix those chops or make a meat loaf. The more indecision, the better because I got to look longer at the blue, red, black and silver plastic.
The idea of the screen showing a moving image of the toy flying over an area captivated me. I had never seen a fresnel lens before, so the images looked magical as they washed over the screen. I prayed daily for the toy, and then begged for it every time we went to the Kroger store. My mother's answer had to be no, because the price -- $12.99 -- was one-fourth of her entire budget for groceries. I didn't realize how expensive that amount was in 1963.
Eventually, National Food Stores opened, and Mom abandoned Kroger. I would not see the toy again until a friend's birthday party in the 5th grade, when I got to play with it at his house for all of 15 minutes. After that, I resorted to using scissors, cardboard boxes, paper towel rollers and popcicle sticks to make my own Jimmy Jet, which my mother remembers to this day. But I never got the real thing, and it slipped into a part of my memory of unfulfilled dreams.
Fast forward to 1993. I became a professional musician, working in restaurants and night clubs, learning my craft until I entered a major national music competition far in advance of American Idol, and to even my surprise, I won the national title of the contest. I picked up a $50,000 prize, among other goodies, and suddenly, I was giddy with power and potential.
I contacted a new friend, Bill Bruegman, who had a company called Toy Scouts at the time. If there was a Jimmy Jet out there, he could find it. He calmly told me that he only saw about two units a year, usually non-working and missing parts, and held out little hope of finding one in an actual box. Usually, boys just destroyed the box on Christmas Day, he said.
Over a period of a few months, I located a working unit on my own that was somewhat incomplete, but at least, it was the toy. It worked, I got to touch it, and the process of putting to rest my frustrations of three decades had begun. Then, the fateful call came. "You'd better be sitting down, Ricky," Bill began, "because you aren't going to believe this."
As I listened, Bill explained how a midwestern mom-and-pop grocery store had been a fixture in a particular area for decades. One of them died, the other one following a few weeks later from a broken, aging heart. The family managed its grief, and began the gargantuan task of closing the longstanding, small grocery store. Fixtures, shelves, everything had to go. As they dug through the old building, they came across a freezer in a storage area that was in front of what no one had realized was a door that had been painted shut.
They got inside, and found a treasure trove of various items.....including a mint sample of the Jimmy Jet toy that some long-gone salesman had brought to the old grocery owner trying to get him to put it above his own meat rack. The toy was stuck in time. All of the original packing was still inside. The missiles were not only all there, they were still in their poly bag! Everything was shiny, unused, never having seen a battery. The bulb was bright and sharp, waiting for that first tug from the D cells that had never been inserted before.
The full instruction sheet was there, along with a three-color brochure to "Mr. Grocer" from the DeLuxe Company, asking him to consider the ENTIRE line of DeLuxe toys, all of which were in this priceless brochure. Later, Bill would provide me a copy of the original patent notice for the toy.
And that's before I mention it was in a pristine, mint box, unopened. With no haggling, I quickly agreed to a price of $600, and he offered to auction my other unit, saving me an additional $200. When the toy arrived, and I opened the carton, I just sat in quiet awe, breathing deeply, eyes shining, filled with the wonder of a 9-year-old boy.....even though I was then 39.
It was a special time. Jimmy Jet had flown home. It's a toy that takes up a special place in a very protected part of my storage facility, with a heavy box protecting both the Jimmy Jet box and toy. I have told my family that, of all of my collectibles, this one will be with me until the day that I die, and it will even have a place in my will! I waited for it far too long to ever let it go.
Sometimes, I like to take it out and put it on a table on a cool afternoon alone, and just look at it. No batteries needed (I know it works), and I have never even removed the missiles from the bag to fire them from the launchers on top.
It's enough, just knowing that it's here.....knowing that the wheels made it to the ground, and that "the Jimmy has landed." All is right in my world!
Ricky David Tripp
This memory was added on: October 26, 2008
I got my Jimmy Jet for Christmas in 1962, I was five years old. I had seen it on the top shelf at Lewis Grocery Store in Mandarin, Florida for months before Christmas, but knew better than to ask for it because it was so expensive.
My mother, father, sister and brother and I all loaded up in the family pickup truck and went way up north to Douglas, Ga. to spend Christmas with my aunt and uncle. Christmas morning my Jimmy Jet was under their tree with my name on it.
How Santa found me way up there I will never know. I am 51 years old now and it is my favorite gift ever.
This memory was added on: August 12, 2008
I remember being sick with the German measles about 1962 and I had to stay in a dark room. I saw the commercial for Jimmy Jet on our old Philco black and whit TV. I wanted one soooo bad….but they cost around $12.99 and that might as well been a million…..because we didn’t have it. Then Christmas came…and my Jimmy Jet came with it! I played in the dark with it and saved the world many many times. Today at 53….I have 2 working Jimmy Jets……and I still play with them! The best toy ever made…..and the memories are priceless. I will never never lose my Jimmy Jets again!!
This memory was added on: March 19, 2008
I got mine from some kid I played with. Nothing worked on it, but I still had fun with it. I used mine as propeller plane- I set it on a tray table behind a box fan on a stand (that was my engine and propeller). Also had one similar, but it was a car instead of an airplane. Anybody remember those?
This memory was added on: February 8, 2008
I had one of these and I remember getting this Christamas morning 1962. I played with this all the time. I did lose the rockets that fire off the top of the control panel. I wore this to out!! Loved the controls, the plane on the screen. Maybe one of the best toys ever invented.
Lake Barrington, IL
This memory was added on: January 23, 2008
Boy, they sure don't make em like that anymore. Several years ago I had some 8mm films transferred to video. Among the films was some footage shot on Christmas morning 1962. I am shown opening several presents and flying my Jimmy Jet, still in my pajamas. I showed my five year old son the video this Christmas and he said " Dad if I had one of those, it would be my favorite toy". I told him to wait right there. I ran down to the basement and brought up a huge box. I then pulled a Jimmy Jet out of the box and set it on the table. I hadn't had it out since before my son was born and it took some work but within thirty minutes, we had it working and my son was flying around and firing missiles just like me. He enjoyed it even more than all the stuff he got for Christmas. Seeing my kid enjoying the same toy I enjoyed 46 years earlier... Priceless! Of course we put it back in the box, but we'll get it out and play with it from time to time. Supervised, that is. he want's a Robot Commando for his birthday. What have I done?
This memory was added on: January 11, 2008
My Memories Of Jimmy Jet, et al
In the era of the large, fully moveable G.I. Joe, The Tiger Joe Tank (wire remote controlled), a see thru submarine, Battlewagon (that shot hard plastic shells from multiple gun turrets) and various models of the Seaview, Flying Sub, Land Of The Giants and the U.S.S. Enterprise I remember sitting in our cellar with the glowing lightbulb inside a rolling acetate air view of ground targets under the plastic jet contolled by my steering wheel. Missiles on top, and a chrome dashboard the envy of any '57 Chevy, my parent's came through again for yet another memorable Christmas that was the envy of friends and family.
Unknown to me that at the same time there was an airplane named after me, the Fellabaum JRF using opposing cylinder VW type engines, I was flying in my basement envisioning on day building and flying my own plane to be constructed in our back yard overlay with duct tape and a barrage of Estes engines to get it moving as it coasted down our hill to take off (a la Fireball XL5) hopefully not crashing into the cemetery below. Ahhhh Jimmy Jet. How the imagination of a child could conceive so much in an era before video games.
J. R. Fellabaum
This memory was added on: December 1, 2007
Jimmy Jet Memories
One of my best Christmases was the year after I received my Playmobile I received my Jimmy Jet. I remember being sick in bed and Santa bringing that big box to my bedroom. On the corner of the box was written "To Craig, Merry Christmas from Santa" in red ink. I remember pulling the bed covers over me and my Jimmy Jet and playing for hours "bombing targets" under the covers. I also remember shooting the white plastic missiles at our black & white TV as I was flying over targets. Two of the greatest toys ever made were the Jimmy Jet & Playmobile and thanks to places like Ebay I now have mint boxed examples of both of these. I'll never sell them.
This memory was added on: November 18, 2007
I discovered the Jimmy Jet when my mother would take me grocery shopping with her to the Hinky Dinky grocery store near our house in Des Moines. I wanted one so bad. As Christmastime approached, each time we would go there, I would run to the Jimmy Jet and obsess over it. But my mother never seemed to respond with anything other than indifference, and then it would be time to go home. I never dreamed I would actually own one, until one day when my older sister told me to come to the window in our dining room. She had the binoculars and had me look through them. There was something special she wanted me to see.
Being only three or four years old, I had never looked through binoculars before and it took a while for my eyes to adjust before I finally could see the entrance to the Hinky Dinky two blocks away. I still didn't know what she wanted me to see, and she told me that my parents were there to buy me the Jimmy Jet for my Christmas present. Just then they came out of the Hinky Dinky with the Jimmy Jet box in a grocery cart and I watched them push it toward the parking lot. She told me I must keep my knowledge a secret--something very difficult for an excited four-year old, but somehow I must have been able to do it. This story became part of our family lore. It was my sister's present to me, the advance knowledge that I would soon be receiving the thing that was my heart's desire.
This memory was added on: May 23, 2007
Oh man, I got one of these the year after I got the Playmobile. My parents sold these in their Sure Fine Supermarket in the 60's in a small town in Michigan. The display in the store had a plastic window so kids could look at it while they walked by. Jimmy Jet would stop us boys in our tracks. I think the original cost was something like $14.99 or so. That was a heck of alot of money back then.
This memory was added on: March 20,2007
I "flew" my first Jimmy Jet in 1965. Christmas morning of 1966 found me with a brand new Jimmy Jet AND Johny Seven. I flew many hours on the JJ... batteries would die, I'd lose interest, the JJ would sit for two months, I'd get new batteries, fly many more hours with newfound energy, batteries would die, repeat.
I sold the JJ in 1973 for $4, grew up, went to college, got a job, bought a 486 home computer, and in 1991 was logging my thousandth hour on Falcon3. I switched the radar console to map mode, and as I navigated across the Nevada desert I realized I had come full circle: Falcon3 with the radar in map mode bore an uncanny resemblence to my old Jimmy Jet.
(Wish I could have gotten $4 for that 486!)
This memory was added on: February 21,2007
I got a Jimmy Jet Christmas of 1963. It was probably the best toy I ever got. My Dad died in a boating accident 6 months later, and I treasured that toy as the last xmas gift he gave me. Over the years it was lost. I did end up becoming a private pilot, and until I found your site today I had never made the connection between flying and having received this wonderful toy that was so important to me.
This memory was added on: January 20,2007
I remember getting this the year after I got the Playmobile, by the same maker. These toys would show up at our Kroger grocery store in big boxes over the fruit and vegetable isle. I still have the reclining chair that I sat in in 1963 and put the unit across the chair arms to make my jet. The year before the Playmobile went there and I watched TV there pretending I was at the drive-in movies. Anyway, the rolling terrain was a great feature and pretty imaginative for a toy of the early 60's. I'd love to get one now, bit am afraid my son wouldn't think much of it and that would break my heart.