The Phantom Raider – An Ideal Toy
The Ideal Toy Company released The Phantom Raider in 1964. It was a large toy ship that held lots surprises. It was the ideal toy for a boy captivated by ships (pun intended).
The concept of The Phantom Raider was based on the Q-ships of the first and second World Wars. They were seemingly innocuous, commercial steamers. They were slow and sailed alone. They were designed to appear as such easy targets the German U-boat commanders would be tempted into a surface attack.
A submarine on the surface is at it’s most vulnerable state. Once surfaced, the U-boat would prepare to attack the steamer with it’s deck gun.
Suddenly, the Q-ship would reveal her true self. False panels would drop to reveal a heavily armed submarine killer. In an instant, the tables turned and the prey became the predator.
In practice, the Q-ships were not as effective as the naval leaders would have hoped. Overall, these ships were less efficient than low tech mine fields.
The Ideal Toy Company updated the concept and released the battery operated Phantom Raider. In mystery ship mode it “sailed” both forward and backwards on hidden wheels. With the flick of a switch, the ship expands revealing hidden compartments holding torpedoes, depth charges and rockets. Here’s a video of the toy in action I found on YouTube.
I never had one of these toys, but I knew a family that had one. It was missing most of its armaments, the door to the battery compartment was gone. But I spent hours locked in mortal combat with The Phantom Raider and the U-boats of my imagination.
Filed under: Ships | 2 Comments
Tags: q-ship, The Ideal Toy Company, The Phantom Raider, toys, U-Boat, wishbook