Rola-matics

Rola-matic vehicles are Matchbox models where a lug on one of the wheels engages and moves part of the vehicle, such as spinning a fan or radar dish, or causing an engine to move up and down.

In some cases multiple wheels were used, each wheel engaging and moving a different part of the vehicle. These vehicles are recognizable by the moving part(s), specialized wheels, and the fact that their bases are labeled “Rola-matics” instead of “Superfast“. Rola-matics were issued in the 1970s and 1980s before being discontinued.

I found one last week in the secondhand toys store: Turbo Fury. The car has turbo fans at the rear which rotate when the car moves.

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Turbo Fury

I don’t have a premium WordPress account, so I can’t upload video directly to my blog, but I have  uploaded to Youtube, a video clip of Turbo Fury. Matchbox Rolamatics Turbo Fury

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Turbo Fury base

You can see on the wheels a couple of lugs which come into contact with the cream wheels, which turn the rear rotors.

There were about a dozen Rola-matic vehicles in the Matchbox range.

 

Hot Rocker #67 is a Ford Capri with an engine that rocks as the car moves. Recently Hot Wheels have put out a couple of models similar to Matchbox Rola-matics. Crate racer like Hot Rocker has an engine which shakes when the vehicle moves.

 

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2 thoughts on “Rola-matics

  1. I still have the Matchbox Mustang Piston Popper that I’ve had since childhood, but the rod is worn down so it doesn’t pop anymore. I really like your Turbo Fury. I have a Matchbox Blue Shark (not from my childhood) that looks to be the same casting, except that it has a plastic engine instead of fans and Superfast wheels.

    • Blue Shark is a similar style to Turbo Fury but the casting is different at the rear. I had Blue Shark in my childhood, but haven’t got one now. I’d love to find a Piston Popper.

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