Hasbro had a winner with the Amaze-A-Matics, the fantastic car with a brain. The battery operated cars travel forward and
backwards, and turn left and right based on the grooves cut into program cards that feed through the bottom of the car. The cars
came with a number of pre-programmed plastic cards and blank cardboard cards so that you could program your own courses. There
were a total of eight different bodies--two available only as extra body kits, two available as extra bodies or boxed with a
chassis and the four most popular that were only available boxed with a chassis.
Below are pictures of my five boxed kits as well as my two additional bodies which I've put onto chassis. Also below are my
mint in the box copies of the four spare body kits as well as a rare boxed spare chassis. Also, a one-of-a-kind custom paint job
and what I believe is a one-of-a-kind prototype body and chassis.
Other battery powered car toys in my collection:
Shark by Remco,
Switch 'n Go by Mattel,
Trik-Trak by Transogram.
The Chevrolet Astrovette, item number 5850, dated 1969. This is a special set that included six pylons (instead of four)
along with the punch-out street signs shown below. I've only seen this car and the Mark IV come in the six pylon
The Buick Century Cruiser, item number 5855, dated 1969.
The Chrysler Charger III, item number 5860, dated 1969.
The Mark IV Ford, item number 5865, dated 1969.
The Customized Volkswagen Bug, item number 5832.16, dated 1970. I have most of the street signs but none of the stickers.
Note that the three custom strips that came with the bug came in a cardboard surround which allowed me to recreate the missing
one which I believe was called Volkswagen #31 Double Corner Wing. The Bug and Dune Buggy were both available either boxed with a
chassis or as a add-on body kit (shown below).
The accessories included the instruction booklet (two shown here), an offer to get six additional program cards (none of my
copies have them), the road signs, and pylons.
Each kit came with six plastic program strips and ten cardboard blanks one could use to make their own programs. The body
kits also came with their own extra strips in black cardboard, one of which is shown here.
The Dune Buggy is Item 5830 and the Mustang Funnycar is Item 5831, both dated 1970. Each appears to have 3 black cardboard
strips and three cut your own.
The VW Bug is Item 5832 and the Stingray Special is Item 5833, both dated 1970. Each appears to have 3 black cardboard
strips and three cut your own.
It was also possible to buy just a chassis should you need one. Note that the three black cardboard strips appear to be the
same ones as in the VW Bug Kit. Item 5845 dated 1970.
Here are my seven cars. Note that I'm missing the snap-on slicks for my Stingray and the stickers have fallen off the Mark
IV (I have them). I could put my Mustang Funnycar in here and have all eight but I'm not willing to open it.
Here is an interesting car, the Chrysler Charger III with custom paint. I'm guessing that this was a fan/home paint job and
not something that came from the Hasbro factory, particularly since the car is clear coated.
This incredibly rare find is a prototype body and chassis. The chassis is clear plexiglass and takes a thinner strip to
turn the wheels and presumably switch from forward to neutral to reverse. The chassis does not work so I can't be sure. The Mark
IV body is very special in that it is made of painted, hand-carved wood. It is quite a bit thicker than the plastic bodies
eventually produced and instead of having decals, the stripes, numbers and lettering are painted on. Lots of parts on the bottom
are pieces of wood, plexiglas and brass glued to the wooden body. Though the body is stained/dirty and missing one of the mirrors
and some of the glued in parts from the bottom, it is still so very, very cool.
Contact me: Sam Cancilla, firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 28, 2017
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