If you were child in the 1970s, then this toy would probably loom large in your memory, along with Tang orange 'drink' and the inexplicably popular 'Slime' toy. Designed to catch, house and observe insects, this toy was seen as an educational toy from a parent's viewpoint, a fashionable toy from a child's perspective and probably a poorly ventilated death-trap from a bug's eye view.
The donor of this toy recalls,
I clearly remember the TV advertisement with kids going around the garden saying ‘Aahhh … Gotcha!’ with their Bug Catchers, so they were very much the craze and we were seldom fortunate enough to get these more high end toys.
I think it was Christmas I was 9 and my brothers (twins) had just turned 8, in 1971, that we each were given a Bug Catcher for Christmas.
Growing up in the country we had nature on the doorstep and I do remember beautiful Praying Mantis being caught in the Bug Catchers as well as more pragmatic beetles, ladybirds and grasshoppers. The unfortunate thing was that the design was such that some broke at the neck join but not after we had plenty of enjoyment from them. We moved back to the older catching contraptions – jam jars for tadpoles and the large size Aktavite tin for the time my brothers caught a small Goanna!