Earthquake Tower from Remco (1976)
Release date: 1976
Where to purchase: eBay
Advertised as the “world’s tallest playset” at over 5 feet tall, Earthquake Tower from Remco capitalized on the public’s fascination with the disaster films produced in the 1970s, such as The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), and others.
The playset came complete with 24 plastic figures representing civilians and rescue workers, a helicopter, fire engine, rescue truck, barricades, a four-section skyscraper with two external elevators, and a plaza structure. Assembly instructions were also included.
One of the elements that set this playset apart from others in the category was its packaging. It came with a vinyl record that featured sounds one might hear during a catastrophe. Playtime was accompanied by the sounds of sirens, helicopters, crumbling structures, and other auditory delights.
Kids stacked the segments of the building and placed the civilians on the toy. When ready, the quake button was pressed to activate the swaying motion. Kids launched a rescue response and took on the role of hero as they swooped in to rescue the vulnerable civilians.
No batteries or electricity were required to operate the toy.
Complete playsets of any particular toy can be difficult to find due to the many pieces typically included in the box. Earthquake Tower is no exception. Missing and broken pieces often mean that multiple sets need to be acquired to complete the toy. Earthquake Tower is considered rare, which can make it challenging to find sets to combine. The vinyl record — made from a lightweight material similar to Dynaflex — may be damaged due to it being carelessly tossed back into the box or it may be missing altogether.
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