What would constitute an intermediate recreational ski for that (mid-80's, I guess) era? Mainly a matter of flex? Softer flexing to allow easier turn initiation for a slower, lower level skier?
The Toplite skis do have a fair amount of camber, and quality of construction seems to be good (from the outside). By my measurements tip-waist tail 85-68-78. The easiest thing for me to do would be install Railflex II plates on em, as I have a good set of modern, adjustable RF bindings with brakes appropriate for skinnier skis, and that would allow me to play with the fore aft a bit. Guess if I ended up not liking the skis I could just pop the plates back off.
What's the consensus - worth mucking with?
An intermediate recreational ski will ski well if you are not comparing them to a racing ski. They are forgiving and if you make a small mistake when skiing they will not make you pay for that mistake. The 85-68-78 side cut should carve a turn when you put them on edge as long as they are sharp. I have been pleasantly surprised by some intermediate recreational skis, in the correct length they can be very smooth and comfortable to ski.
I would use them even with the Tyrolia 180 if the boot sole is close to the existing mount but that is just me. I do not need a Din setting higher than a 7 so for what its worth if that is all you need go for it. If your boot sole is way off the mount than put the Railiflex II on the and take them for a spin. I would stay on groomed trails and just have fun for a half of day because the retro skis are harder to ski and will tire you out.