The Ideal toy company produced a line of Evel Knievel themed “gyro powered” motorcycle toys from 1973 until 1977, the year Knievel attempted to beat Shelly Saltman to death with a baseball bat. Needing a quick replacement for their motorcycle toys, Ideal rolled out a line of “Scare Cycles” in 1978. These were the coolest toys ever in 1978. There were three characters in the series of monster-themed bike riders: Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Grim Reaper. Somehow the horror of monsters on cycles was deemed more palatable to children than the real-life horror of a baseball bat-wielding stunt-monster on a bike, IE Evel Knievel.
Dracula rode a “Dracucycle”—a coffin on wheels. Frankenstein’s monster rode a “Frankencycle” with skull handlebars and a tombstone backrest. The Grim Reaper rode “Boneshaker,” a three-wheeled hearse.
In addition to their macabre detailing, the toys glowed in the dark. They also included a haunted house themed wind-up base.
The Scare Cycles were produced up until 1983 when Ideal discontinued them in favor of the “Team America” line of motorcycle toys.
These things pop up on Ebay from time to time, but apparently horror toy geeks have deep pockets. They aren’t cheap.
Still, if you happened to luck across one of these bad boys in a thrift shop or yard sale, how could you resist the pure 1970s plasticky badassness of these little dudes?
Franky juicing up