The next Christmas in this series should be 1972, but that remains a mystery year regarding toys from Santa! Dad had to go overseas with the Air Force during the holidays, so there are some home movies of family gifts (the usual underwear) that we opened early that year, but no footage of the toy haul. I bet I got some great stuff, too! It doesn't really matter, though, since I completely scored in 1973 with so many toys that I can barely mention them all!
The most cherished toy of the bunch was my Ready Ranger Backpack, which was a clunky orange and blue plastic box (worn on your back) that opened up to reveal all kinds of pretend equipment for high-tech wilderness adventure, fighting fires, spying, or something like that (I was never quite clear on the mission!). I completely loved all the doo-dads and the way they collapsed into the case, and I was so excited about it that this is the only toy I remember getting up in the middle of the night to play with by flashlight! (This is a good time to mention that I'm a huge fan of PlaidStallions.com, the absolute best site on the web for 70s toys memories!)
There were many other toys to enjoy in 1973, most of them huge, like the original Skittle Pool, the Big Jim Sports Camper and figures (I had lots of fun with these, but they look incredibly goofy now!), a semi-remote control spaceship called Solo Flight, a set of Tonka road construction vehicles, the Visible Man model (with removable intestines and liver and such), and finally a giant Mickey Mouse ventriloquist doll that probably could have paid off my mortgage if I still had it! What an incredible year for Christmas fun!