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What was this sit-in space vehicle toy I had as a kid?
December 29, 2013 5:55 PM   Subscribe

The Christmas season has me thinking about a toy I had as a child in the late 70s and early 80s. I don't know what to call it -- or even what category of toy it is, so I can't search for it with Google.

It was sort of like a Sit 'N Spin but it looked more like a bobsled. You sat in it. It had a steering mechanism in the center that you turned to one side, which spun you in the other direction. The screen showed an enemy space ship, and there was a control panel with buttons to push that had sound effects, like "Thrust," "Warp," and "Laser."

It was a big toy, as you can imagine, so I think it got put away a lot and eventually given away. But I've always wondered what it actually was, and if there's even a market for such items anymore. I suppose video games, where you actually get to fly a spaceship and shoot moving enemies, have made them obsolete. Now it seems like a charming relic from a simpler time.

So...does anyone know what this thing was?
posted by Flying Saucer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
A Krazy Kar?
posted by fiercekitten at 6:52 PM on December 29, 2013

I was thinking Krazy Kar also but from your description it sounds more like this thing? Which may be some variant of the Mattel X15?
posted by jessamyn at 6:57 PM on December 29, 2013

I know exactly what you are talking about, my brother had one as well. Looking for it now.
posted by kellyblah at 6:58 PM on December 29, 2013

Thanks for the guesses. Both the Krazy Kar and the X15 seem to be actual vehicles, in that you can ride them down the street. My thing was like an elaborate Sit 'N Spin; it only went in circles. Wherever you put it in the living room, it stayed there.
posted by Flying Saucer at 7:06 PM on December 29, 2013

You might ask the Retroist forums. They even have a Toy Detectives category.
posted by mattbucher at 8:34 PM on December 29, 2013

I think my brother and I had the same thing. It was a blue-gray as I recall, possibly with a darker blue around the screen. I barely remember actually playing with it, but I remember specifically what it looked like because we used to have a picture of a Christmas morning in the early 80s where my brother is sitting on it. I'm going to do some searching, and I'll ask my mother if she still has the picture...
posted by doctornecessiter at 4:37 AM on December 30, 2013

Is this it? This is the one I was thinking of that we had.
posted by doctornecessiter at 4:46 AM on December 30, 2013

Video (SLYT) of Playskool Star Rider.
posted by apartment dweller at 5:49 AM on December 30, 2013

That's it! Wow, thanks doctornecessiter and apartment dweller.

I remembered it being so big, but it's amazingly small. Really meant for little kids, I guess.

Also, $53 in 1980 would be about $150 today. Considering how primitive the technology was -- sound effects and very simple visual effects like an explosion super-imposed over the enemy ship -- I wonder if that price was considered a good deal.

Thanks for the memories, MeFites.
posted by Flying Saucer at 7:20 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Glad to have helped! My subconscious obviously remembered it more than I'd thought...I tried googling variations of "spaceship, sit-down, toy," etc. for about 5 minutes, then out of the blue I thought, "Hm, why don't try 'Star Rider'."
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:54 AM on December 30, 2013

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