After a stressful day at work, I headed to K-Mart where I knew they had all of their Christmas decorations out. I needed to be among Star Wars ornaments, white rotating fake Christmas trees, holiday appropriate hand towels and bronze stocking holders in order to sooth my soul and find peace once again.
My hike through their Christmas section lead me to the toys where I found two Hot Wheels not like the others…
When you’re a young boy, all types of toy cars/vehicles are cool. You don’t believe me? Actually, on second thought, this is still true when you’re grown man. Anyway, whether it was Hot Wheels, Tonka or Micro Machines I wanted them all. Of course, what childhood would be complete without a race car track or two? Especially when they glow in the dark, which is the set of Cliff Hangers I owned. I don’t really remember them being referred to as “Daredevil Cliff Hangers” or “Zero Gravity Cliff Hangers”. They were always just “Cliff Hangers” to me and my friends.
Sadly, as was quick to happen, pieces of my track went missing until basically I was back down to running them in a regular boring oval shaped track. Not that I’ve ever thought race car tracks ever had a long lifespan anyway. It’s like NASCAR. If you’ve seen one lap you’ve seen them all. Time to turn the channel. The other factor going against sl0t-racers is that they were slot-racers! They just weren’t adept to working on any terrain other than a cheap plastic glow in the dark track set.
Nonetheless, these commercials are pretty fun, especially the 1970s commercial for Nite Glow track where the music could be interchangeable with any porn soundtrack or detective show from that same era.
Super-Glow styling? FREE iron-on decals? FREE t-shirt? Consider Tyco’s Curvehugger HP2 line completely pimped out.
Despite thinking it the term makes for a funny selling point/post title, I wasn’t sure what a “HO car” was. Luckily, Wikipedia can help with that:
H0 scale (HO scale in North America, Japan, and Australia) is the most popular scale of model railway in most of the English-speaking and non English-speaking world (in the United Kingdom, 00 gauge—with trains built to a larger scale but using the same track as H0—predominates). In H0 scale, 3.5 mm (0.14 in) represents 1 real foot; this ratio works out to about 1:87.086. In H0, rails are usually spaced 16.5 mm apart which models the standard railroad gauge of 1,435 mm (56.5 in).
Got that? Good.
Slot cars were always good fun. My personal collection was always the versions that Tyco would make for young boys, but there was a “grown up” hobby shop near our house in Lynchburg, Virginia, that I would go to with my dad when I was really young. It was pretty cool filled with train sets, model kits, slot cars with all the accessories that would go with them. In the back of the store, on the upper level, there was a HUGE race track and there were always a group of guys back there racing their cars. My memory is fuzzy, but I think there may have even been a big water tank somewhere in the store where you could putter around your motorized boats.
Sometimes would feel uncomfortable going into the store though because the clientele was always older guys who looked to be in their 30s, 40s and 50s so it gave me the impression that this wasn’t really a hobby shop that welcomed the loud and inquistive nature of youth. Maybe that’s why I never really had any interest in owning any of the train and car sets they sold, it all seemed like it wasn’t mean for my hands anyway. I was content just looking at the merchandise, watching others race and hearing the cars as they whizzed by and smelling that odd “copper & rubber on track” burning scent.
By the way, a quick look on Google Streetview shows me that the shop, A Collector’s Lair, STILL exists in the very same place I remember it. That’s pretty cool.
… the Morphodroids are HERE!
With the success of Tonka’s Gobots and Hasbro’s Transformers, it’s no surprise every other toy company tried to get in on the act. Before coming across this ad from one of my comic books, I had never heard Vector Intercontinental’s Morphodroids line, but they don’t look too bad as far as knock-offs go, even if it looks like their faces and all those control panels and whatnot they’ve got going on were probably nothing more than stickers. Even the name “Morphodroids” has a goofy 80s charm to it.
It’s a nice touch with the battery operated “plug-in light cannons” and remote control as well, but unfortunately it’s not very “remote” because it looks like they were attached to the controller by wire. I always hated those type of remote controlled toys, the kind where you had to shadow the toy with a cord no longer than a few feet. That always seemed to suck the fun out of having a remote controlled toy. I wonder if the remote control allowed you to “morph” them or if that was a manual function.
These are pretty nifty looking cars from diecast manufacturer Corgi.
Notice the Joker and Penguin cars. Now, I can understand a super HERO placing their symbol/color scheme onto their transportation mode of choice — it’s advertising to let the people (and criminals) know that they are around. But WHY would the Penguin and Joker want their names and logos on their cars? Why would a villain want to draw the attention of the cops and/or heroes when driving down to 7-11 for a Big Gulp?
Obviously, it’s just to market the toys, but I always found it to be amusing nonetheless, just like when I see that a hero that WHO CAN FLY has a car (or plane!). I guess for when times Superman just really doesn’t feel like dealing with splattered bugs and plane fumes, he can catch a ride in his Space Cruiser. Or drive around in his, um… van.
I have to say, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman have some sweet pimped out rides though and it’s always good to see the 1960s Batman show getting represented as well.
Since my mind and heart usually go in a hundred different directions at once, I figured I’d put pen to paper, er… fingers to keyboard and make a list of things I wanna do. Short-term, long-term, whatever. I seem to be thinking about these things a lot lately.
-Beat all of my Wii & Virtual Console games… So I can buy MORE games for Wii & the Virtual Console
-Learn guitar… again
-Start up a webcomic
-Write a book
-Play through Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs for the PC
-Get a better paying job
-Watch TONS of horror movies this fall and add a new ones to my DVD collection
-Get the latest Tesla, Queen, AC/DC, Edguy and Sammy Hagar albums once they are released this year
-Go see AC/DC in Detroit this November
-Buy a car