“Ready, aim, chutes away!”
Released in 1977 from Gabriel, Chutes Away challenged players ages six and up to save the day as the pilot of a Coast Guard land and sea rescue plane.
The mission was to drop a set of eight plastic parachutists into various scoring cups on a revolving terrain, accumulating points and rescuing survivors along the way. To successfully drop the parachutes on target, players used the game’s built-in reduction-lens viewfinder in concert with an aircraft control lever. The lens-mounted scope provided a quasi-realistic aerial view and players initiated their drops using a Drop switch in the control panel.
The toy’s spring-wound motor allowed the terrain to move without the need for batteries, while an on/off switch controlled gameplay. The air-rescue target game took up a decent amount of table space at 21 ½ x 16 ¼ x 16-inches high.
Chutes Away’s popularity allowed Gabriel to release a Night Rescue version of the game, which added a small search light to the bottom of the plane, allowing children to attempt their daring rescue missions during the day or night.