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A Little History On Ideals Derry Daring Toy Line...
Evel Knievel wasn't the first daredevil, but he certainly was the most well known. With his sudden rise in popularity, many tried following suit. There were a few that shined like Gary Wells, but no one could ever capture the magic Evel had. In 1972 a young girl named Debbie Lawler came on to the scene. Just 20 years old, she too had high hopes of becoming a famous motorcycle daredevil! Debbie's father was a professional motorcycle racer which sparked her love for motorcycles as a young girl. She started out by jumping at local fairs and eventually moved on to bigger and betters jumps. Being the only female motorcycle jumper at the time was also a unique thing in itself. With this new fan base of girls and the success of Ideals Evel Knievel toy line, Kenner took a chance and introduced the "TTP Debbie Lawler Daredevil Jump Set" in 1974. Of course Ideal didn't want to be left in the dust, so they quickly came up a line of their own called "Derry Daring". So why not call it the "Debbie Lawler Line"? My guess is Kenner beat them to the rights, or it was just cheaper not to brand the line. Either way, its obvious Ideal was creating a "Debbie Lawler Line". Since Ideal already had tons of Evel Knievel merchandise to choose from, and didn't have to pay royalties, it was relatively easy for Ideal to come up with their new Derry Daring line. A new figure, a few modifications to EK sets(instructions, graphics, etc) and an entire line was formed! If successful, Ideal could have easily expanded it. If a failure, they wouldn't be out much. Pretty much a win, win situation. In 1975 Ideals new Derry Daring line hit store shelves. The next year Debbie Lawler crashed while attempting a jump and never jumped again. As quickly as Debbie disappeared, so did Derry! By 1976 Ideal canceled the Derry Daring line for good! Would the Derry Daring line have been successful if Debbie Lawler hadn't quit jumping? Most likely, no. I don't think enough girls were in to motorcycle jumping at the time to sustain that market. Maybe it would have made it an extra year or so, but I couldn't see the line lasting much past 1977.

Today the Derry Daring line is fairly rare. Loose pieces do turn up, but nice boxed and sealed pieces are getting harder to find. The Derry Daring line consisted of 3 vehicle sets(Pop Top Camper, Trick Cycle, Wheelie Car) and 4 figure sets(Racing, Western, Mountain Climbing, Action Reporter). Sadly, we'll never know what the Derry Daring line could have been. Its been nearly 40 years since Ideal canceled the Derry Daring line. But for those who shared a piece of their childhood with Derry, the sound of the Energizer winding up and those brightly colored shelves full Derry Daring toys seems like just yesterday!

Last Update:
March 29, 2017