Saturday, May 27, 2023

Presto Magix for Ozark Air Lines

As a Generation X kid, Presto Magix sets were firmly in my wheelhouse in the late 1970s and early 1980s. My favorites were the Star Wars and superhero sets, of course. I also liked the historical battles, such as the Battle of Midway (which I didn't know a damn thing about), and the generic outer space panoramas featuring rockets, space stations and jetpacks.

I mostly remember getting Mom to buy Presto Magix for me at the pharmacy sometimes. They were displayed on those spinner racks that usually held paperback books. Pharmacies had a much higher "coolness quotient" in those days. That's where I got many of my Star Wars figures. They also sold baseball cards, plastic toy soldiers and those tiny paratroopers you could throw into the air and then (hopefully) watch their parachute open. And sometimes they had those Yes & Know invisible ink booklets — another Gen X treasure that deserves its own post someday. In retrospect, I'm sure our parents dreaded letting us go with them to the pharmacy.

One of the odder Presto Magix sets was this collaboration with Ozark Air Lines in 1980. They were designed to hand out to kiddos traveling with their parents on Ozark flights. It doesn't seem they made much of an impact. Unopened sets from more than 40 years ago are regularly listed on eBay for less than $10. 

Ozark Air Lines was purchased by TWA in 1986 and TWA then was merged into American Airlines in 2001, so Ozark has long since fallen from most memories. But at least we still have these Presto Magix sets to tell us that it existed.

Finally, though I had to shake off some rust, I can happily report that this Presto Magix set still worked after more than four decades.

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