One day we pulled up to the drive through window and something caught my eye. Just inside the window was a display box overflowing with Jack in the Box action figures! Just as McDonald's had characters like Ronald, Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, Big Mac, & Grimace, to market their product towards children, Jack in the Box also had their own cast of characters to help sell Jumbo Jacks! I begged my dad to buy me one, and he shelled out fifty nine cents of his hard earned money for an "Onion Ring Thing" figure. What a Dad! Back in those days, fifty nine cents could buy you a gallon of gasoline! He continued purchasing different figures for my brother and I every time we visited Jack in the Box. These were some of my favorite toys from my early childhood, and I got endless hours of enjoyment playing with them.
Tired of the hustle and bustle of California, my family moved to Colorado in 1977. Sadly.. my set of figures were lost during that move. For years I wondered what happened to those toys. As an adult.. I swore that if I ever came across any of these figures ever again, I would snatch them up no matter what the cost.
For about eight years, I scoured the web looking for these toys on auction and toy websites to no avail. Then.. in the spring of 2007 I found an online antique store that had the entire set of toys I was seeking! Yes.. I once again became the proud owner of a complete set of 1975 Jack in the Box Bendy Figures! Come along... meet the marketing that helped mold me into the hamburger and fast food connoisseur I am today!
The Fab Five's likenesses appeared on collectible cups, comics, storybook's, and a slew of kids meal prizes. The most memorable Jack in the Box fast food toys from my childhood are the Bendy action figures pictured below. These Jack in the Box bendies roughly stand about four inches tall, and were made by Imperial toy company in 1975.
"JACK"The ringleader himself! Through the 70's, his face graced most everything connected with Jack in the Box from food packaging to advertisements. Surprisingly, he was most sane and well adjusted character of this bunch!
"Onion Ring Thing"A Hyper little fellow that always seemed to be goofing around and shouting "Hoo Hoo!" He's the kind of guy that you'd like to sock in the stomach.. if he had one.
"Small Fry"Small Fry was a kid that was always hanging around and asking Jack questions. The storybooks depicted him as being a little kid, but the bendy fig makes him look more like an awkward teenager that's always half asleep.
"SECRET SAUCE AGENT"I'm not quite sure what Secret Sauce Agent contributed to Jack's Clique. Maybe his job was to guard the secret sauce from Ronald and the Burger King? He always had a big grin on his face, and was constantly peeking around corners and hiding. He'd pop out once and awhile to say a word or two, and then he'd go and hide again. Secret Sauce Agent's skin was flesh color in the story books and on the toys, but Imperial for some strange reason opted to color him purple. It made him look kind of sinister, so I designated him as the villain when I played with these toys.
Being a Hamburgermeister isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact.. I've been called a Hamburgermeister on many occasions! This little guy hails from Germany and was always clad in lederhosen. He was known for cracking incredibly bad jokes and had a thick German accent. Sadly, the coolest thing about this cat is his name.