Sunday, May 14, 2023


 In 1968 Mattel released Hot Wheels. The little die cast cars got their name from the wheel system that used piano wire and special ridged wheels to cut down on friction. Less friction = faster car. So much faster, in fact, that the rest of the toy car industry was left in the dust. Sales went through the roof!

There was one problem with them (and their biggest rival, Matchbox cars), however. Although they had track for them, all roads lead down. In other words, to make the cars race along the track, they had to be pushed down a hill. Although they added jumps and loops as accessories, it was still a one way trip. 

Until the Supercharger.

Released in 1969, the Supercharger was brilliantly simple. It was a box that housed two foam wheels which spun horizontally; one clockwise and one anti-clockwise. Track could be attatched to both sides of the box and a car could enter one side, get gripped by the spinning wheels, and shot out the other side at pretty high velocities. The speed could even be adusted with a lever on the side. 

Now a race course could be constructed where a car could run forever! ...or at least until the two D cell batteries ran down.

There was a simple one and a double decker two booster version as well. I happen to have found a very clean, working single booster example at a toy show years ago. Here it is!

Here it is! A grabbed a few 1971 Hot Wheels to model with it...

On one side there are pictures of a really cool speed shop!

The end graphics...

On the other side there's a 60s diner!

A closeup of the wheels inside that shoot the car out...

...and the handle you can adjust the speed with.

Lastly, the compartment where the D cell batteries go. 

Amazingly, this unit works as well as it did when it was brand new! I don't fling any vintage cars with it, because I like the paint actually ON the car! I know, I'm just being picky.

So there you have it, a bit of late 60s toy tech that was a fun part of a lot of kid's childhood!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!


  1. Nice find, Stu! My brother and I received two of these for Christmas of '69. I had to go look at a picture that was taken that morning, showing the box. It has "Supercharger Double Action Set" printed on it. Until reading your post, I didn't realize that there was a double set. I just figured that my parents bought two of them and that we stacked them. I wonder if you could also do it that way, since the little houses were separate from one another, even in the "Double" set. I'm also wondering if ours still work. They are packed away in my mom's garage, along with the track, and the little "Speedometer" house, or whatever that was called. And we still have the box for the Speedometer, but I'm not sure how or why it got saved. I started saving packaging and boxes at a much older age, but something like that normally got tossed when we were that young.

    Congrats on finding one of these in such good working condition, Stu!

    - TokyoMagic!

    1. Wow, I really didn't know that the double set worked that way! I guess I've never seen one "live." Yours may well work if they were stored without batteries. Batterines have killed many vintage toys, I'm afraid!
      I also have a speedometer...somewhere. no box, though. It's cool that you still have yours!

  2. Hey Stu, I just posted two pics of our Hot Wheel Superchargers, both on Christmas morning. One where they are set up and "stacked" and the other one of the box. There's actually two boxes in the photo, but I guess the other box didn't contain a Supercharger, since the one box has "Double Action Set" on it, but I don't remember what was in the other box. Maybe it was just a basic set-up with track, etc. Here's where I posted the pics, if you are interested. Just scroll down to the last two pics:

    Hot Wheel Superchargers - Christmas 1969

    - TokyoMagic!

    1. Wow, my own blog lost my comment. Bummer!
      What I said was, "Cool! I never reasized that they were two single ones put together! Now that I see your picture, I can see holes on the bottom of mine where the stand would have gone to make it a top level building!" Or...something like that.
      But that really is a cool picture! Thanks!

  3. Oh yeah, I meant to ask you if yours had a hole or slot on the bottom. The "stand" to hold up the one end of the top building, was the exact same piece you see holding up the "curve" in the track, in that same photo. Those pieces looked like little grey stone walls. They had a slightly textured surface that made them look like they were made of individual stones, but that texture doesn't show up in the pic.

    - TokyoMagic!


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