Friday, November 21, 2014

Gabriel Toys Chutes Away

I thrift.  That is not a secret.  I thrift for treasure to add to my collection which is dragon sized in its hoarding capacity.  I like to collect games that are cool and great to play.  I also love to make some hobby money on games that have a nostalgia following in the out of production after market of Ebay.  I have decided to showcase some of these items on my blog as another area of my hobby interests that may be of interest to others.  So let's jump right into this project with Chutes Away!!!!!

Plastic Gabriel Awesomeness from 1978 found in a Kansas City Thrift Store for $1.98!  This game was sitting on the shelf with the toys and was without a box or bag to protect any of its pieces.  Therefore it is of no surprise that all of its paratroopers are AWOL.  That is sad because this seems like an over the top gizmo game of fun.

What attracted me to the item was the cool yellow plane and control panel sitting on the shelf with the obvious bombs away functionality suggested by the controls and bomb sight apparatus. I had to have it.  However I had not found the turntable as of yet so I looked at how all the parts worked and realized that there had to be a map of some sort that allowed the player to drop the chutes into targets.

After familiarizing my self with the controls and looking for the missing parts I had completed the toy.

I found the turntable map several feet away behind some stuffed animals.

Night Rescue action - check out the search light.

Let's take a close up look at the map and see what needs to be rescued from  the air by our brave Gabriel pilots flying at night.

The stranded camper.  Looks like perhaps a rock slide has his leg trapped.

The marooned canoeists. Half sunk boat in the water.

Cracked up cruiser.  Distressing isn't it?!

Automobile off the bridge!  That bridge is collapsed - has anyone seen the bridge?

Flipped vehicle.

The downed chopper rescue adventure.

The raft in the rapids.  What chaos!

A downed aircraft.  Looks like it came in pretty rough!  Wonder if it was from our own airfield?  A brother Rescue Chutes Away pilot?

House on fire, house on fire!

The deflated balloonists rescue.

This is what I initially found.  The stand and aircraft with controls.

The fully assembled toy.  My proxy parachutes are seen on the table.  They are made from paperclips and masking tape.  The paper clip is then cut or notched to allow it to load onto the chute ramp.

Aircraft number 3.

A look into the bomb sight apparatus and a close up of my clip chutes.

A certified toy rescue mission.

Remember kids read the instructions first.

Sweet control panel.
Aside from the lights this is not really a battery operated toy.  The knob on the turntable is a clockwork motor that winds up and then when you activate the right lever the turntable ratchets around  like a banshee in a frenetic swivet.  I am not a kid anymore and maybe too old to play this accurately but dang I gave it a try.  The obvious function is to drop the chutes into the cups pertaining to the missions.  In practice the map swirls around so fast and bumpy that I don't think I will ever actually make a target land correctly.  Oh well.  The coolness of the whole thing cannot be denied.
The center control slides the aircraft back and forth  along the top bar from the center of the map out to the outside perimeter.  The right most controller labelled "drop" is the release lever for the parachutes.  It all works just really loose.
Thanks for looking in on the blog.  You can expect more in depth looks at my game collection in future posts.  Join my blog group and leave a comment.

PS:  I would love to get some parachutists for this toy.  If you have a contact or ability to provide please advise.


  1. hello, Ive got some parachutes for this game, came across one a couple of months back that was in rough shape, but salvaged the parachutes...just have to find them in my warehouse...e-mail me at thedustyloftatcomcastdotnet

  2. OMG. I am so glad I posted this to my blog!!!!!!

    Chutes Away.

  3. What a cool toy - I mean, device. Great concept. I wonder if there might be some way of gearing the turntable back to give a better simulation of flying at low altitude (rather than 'on the deck'? It looks as though the aircraft can move back and forth along the arm so you can have a serious go at the missions at different radii from the centre of the turntable map.

    Too good for kids anyway, it seemed to me that maybe additional turntables could be made, building up a whole range of different types of missions. This is the war gamer and not the pacifist speaking, of course. But if it were susceptible to such modification you could have bombing missions (battlefield tactical or 'strategic'), air supply missions (with the possibility of supplies falling into enemy hands), air landing/ paratroop drop missions...

    Come to think of it, why make whole new turntables? You could just about make maps on paper to overlay the original, with holes cut for the 'on target' cups. As they seem to stand proud of the terrain surface, they would hold the overlays in place.

    Just think: this beasty could be integrated into a whole campaign - a whole war. A fine addition to one's war games inventory!

  4. Stay tuned. I have received the parachutes for this game from ToySoldiersDepot. BTW there is a link to the ToySoldiersDepot to the right column of this blog.
    Thanks Gerardo!!!!!

  5. I used to have this game back in the day...late 70's I expect. So cool to see it in great detail again. I am certain that I used to be able to get all chutes in, even though it span really fast! To add interest to the game, a friend and I used to go and act out each rescue afterwards ;) Great post!