Its 1965, and my father brought from Germany a toy that made me the happiest five year old in the planet. I have nerver again seen such a high-tech toy, with quality and attention to detail.
Its puzzling, I thought that the future would produce better quality. Progress gives the idea of improvement, but in this case I reckon the 60s was the "future" compared to today. In those days there were no "made in China" mass cheap products. Only Japan was entering the industrial world with lower prices and a slight reduction in quality.
Germany was trying hard to prove itself worthy in post-war years. Maybe thats the explanation. Anyway, the toy was a Lufthansa Viscount, one of the most popular long range, four engine props of that decade.
Luckily one snap photo survived of me playing with it, in those pre-Flight Simulator years, but I can assure you all my gameplay fantasies were exactly as flightsimming today, probably more reallistic though, after all, i had my "hands" grabbing, touching the airplane :)
It operated with 4 batteries. There were two transparent sections, as you can see in the picture. One was the cockpit, which opened up like a canopy, with two little figures, pilot and a co-pilot. Inside there were four tiny switches, each one starting one of the engines. Once they were running with a very reallistic "viscount" sound, the navigation and beacon lights flashing, you could turn another switch near the nose wheel that made the plane move on its own.
The nose wheel was steerable, you could make it go straight or in circles. And here comes the strawberry: once it started moving, you see the transparent passenger section, a little figure (stewardess) would come out of a dark door from the non-transparent side, with a tray in her hands, sliding thru the aisle, stopping midway, turn, as if offering a passenger something, then continue sliding across the cabin.
I never again saw a toy with that kind of detail, you can imagine the joy it produced to a kid already crazy about aviation. It survived my whole childhood and gave me years of fun. I used to build whole airports using lego or anything else to support an imaginary flightsimming world. As the old saying goes "the only difference between adults and kids is the price of the toys". For me, this Viscount was as effective as FSX is today. :)