1970 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Laguna Oval Set

BEVs, Battery Electric Vehicles, are entering today’s automotive mainstream in increasing numbers.  Tesla, Ford and Nissan are some of the better known manufacturers of this type of car today.

But more than 40 years ago, Mattel was cranking out BEVs at a rapid pace.  Using GE technology for the battery (NiCad: Nickel Cadmium), Japanese precision for the electric motor and Mexican industry for plastic chassis and body construction, Mattel came up with rechargeable, free-wheeling Sizzlers.

The original Sizzlers cars could be fully charged in 90 seconds with a Juice Machine (battery powered) or a Power Pit (wall plug in).  These cars typically ran for 3 to 5 minutes.  And Mattel gave them lots of orange track to run on during the first year.

The basic Sizzlers layout is the Laguna Oval Set.  It comes with 16 feet of orange track, 7 joiners, 2 full curves, 2 trestles, and 1 Juice Machine.

Here’s the instructions.

Instructions – front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – steps 1 through 5. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – steps 6 & 7. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – step 8. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – last page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

On the track: here’s a 1970 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Firebird Trans-Am running the oval.

Up the first trestle.

Into the first curve.

Over the second trestle.

Racing past the Juice Machine and into the second curve.

Here’s my video of the Laguna Oval Set in action.

So there you have it.

The 1970 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Laguna Oval Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Laguna Oval from 1970 Hot Wheels Racing World  magazine.

Laguna Oval from 1970 Hot Wheels Racing World magazine. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front.

Box art – side.

Box art – side. Close up of 1970 cars.

Box art – back.

European releases.

Circuito Indianapolis. The basic Sizzlers set in Italy. Courtesy eBay.

Ciruito Indianapolis. Box art side. Courtesy eBay.

Circuito Indianapolis. Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

This version has a battery powered Power Pak charger and a lap counter. Courtesy eBay.

The Circuito Daytona version has a battery powered Power Pak charger and a lap counter. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

The basic Sizzlers set in the UK. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese release using 90 degree curves.

One of the basic Sizzlers sets in Japan. Courtesy eBay.

Japan’s “Hot Circuit Set”. Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

1970 Sizzlers ads.

Sizzlers photo ad. Courtesy eBay.

Sizzlers art ad. Courtesy eBay.

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1970 Hot Wheels Sky Show

In a departure from 3 years of stunting and racing, Hot Wheels added plane launching into the mix.  The 1970 Sky Show set comes in 2 versions.  The US set includes a modified Custom Fleetside aero launcher.  The launch ramp is adjustable and moves up and down (see box 11 of the instructions).

1970 Sky Show Fleetside. Courtesy http://www.toycarcollector.com.

The Canadian set uses a modified Deora aero launcher.  The launch ramp is fixed and is not adjustable.

1970 Sky Show Deora – Aqua.

Both sets come with 10 feet of orange track, 4 joiners, 1 universal clamp, 1 white trestle, 1 launch trigger, 1 rubber band pack, and 6 stunt planes (2 yellow, 2 green and 2 blue).

5 of the 6 planes in a Sky Show set.

The yellow and blue airplanes have plastic wings that can be cut (see box 12 of the instructions).  The resulting moveable flaps give the planes extra stunting performance for loops and barrel roles.

Here are the instructions.

Instructions – front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – back page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Car and plane at the start…ready to go.

Heading for the trigger ramp.

Launch!

Yellow plane away!

Green airplane taking off.

Going separate ways.

Blue plane in the air.

Here’s my video of the Sky Show Deora set in action.

So there you have it.

The 1970 Hot Wheels Sky Show set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

1970 Toy Fair Catalogue. Courtesy wwwtoycarcollector.com.

1970 Hot Wheels Drag ‘Chutes

For two years, 1970 and 1971, Mattel produced drag ‘chutes to slow down Hot Wheels cars at the end of the track.

'Chute Pak from the U.K. Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak from the U.K. Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

'Chute Pak (U.K.) box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak (U.K.) box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

'Chute Pak (U.K.) contents. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak (U.K.) contents underside. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak (U.K.) contents topside. Courtesy eBay.

During the 1970 year, Mattel sold 4 sets with drag ‘chutes: The Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set, The Snake & Mongoose Drag Set, The Twin ‘Chute Action Set (UK), and the Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set.

The instructions from each set include a section on how the drag ‘chutes work.

From the Drag 'Chute Stunt Set. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The ‘Chute Trap puts a small space under the track where a drag ‘chute can be stored.

The drag ‘chute is a flexible plastic parachute made in Japan.  It is attached to a metal harness.

Once the drag ‘chute is placed inside the ‘Chute Trap the little metal harness sits on top of the ‘Chute Trap waiting for a Hot Wheels car to race by.

When the Hot Wheels car hits the metal harness, the metal harness rides along with the car’s front bumper.

As the car moves forward the metal harness then pulls the drag ‘chute out of the ‘Chute trap.

The drag ‘chute catches air and then bounces along the track as the car slows down.

The drag ‘chutes are fun to use but if you are doing an extended series of elimination races the ‘chutes become a bit tedious to keep setting up.

Here’s my video showing the Hot Wheels drag ‘chutes in action.

So there you have it.

The 1970 Hot Wheels drag ‘chutes.

They slow down “The Fastest Metal Cars In The World”.  And it’s still fun.

1970 collectors’ catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.