A first time for Palitoy on this site. The original manufacturers of Action Man (GI Joe to you Americans) marketed this strange toy in the late 1970s. It consisted of a rifle which required a cartridge type thing to be loaded into it. Inside this cartridge was a small car. Once in position the gun could be placed at an angle on the floor and the car fired out of it when you pulled the trigger. The car would then speed along the floor making a whirring noise. WEIRD! Included in the box was a set of barrels which you could aim and shoot at to knock them down. I think the real idea behind this and from what I remember in the advert was that it was fun to con one of your more simple friends into getting one as weel so you could race the cars sid by side. Palitoy also cleverly made a saftey device on the gun so that you could only fire the cars along the ground. A wise move. One can only imagine the horrors of loads of little kids running around firing these things into the air. Anyway here for your enjoyment are some images of an original Ricochet Racers gun set.Steve Says:
Ricochet Racers was another prime example of 70s toy advertising at its worst, promising levels of excitement the actual toy could never hope to deliver.
The advert showed ecstatic kids firing futuristically styled vehicles from some sort of space-age rifle at near ballistic speeds over jumps, knocking down assorted targets or crashing into a brother/friends vehicle. The reality was you could only fire the thing with any success on something very smooth and very long. So unless you were blessed with parents who had the foresight to invest in sheet glass floors in the hall or kitchen you were up shit-creek without a paddle! If you tried firing them on carpet with a pile greater than 1mm they would stop dead after travelling about 3 inches and when they did fire with any sort of speed they would invariably break as soon as they hit anything remotely solid. As you can imagine this lead to a great deal of frustration and tears on Christmas Day mornings when little Johnny realised the toy hed waited all year for was in fact crap!
The one thing that possibly could have saved this toy from being consigned to the loft on Boxing Day was if you could have launched the vehicles into the air, Bazooka style, to then smack into the heads of smaller brothers/sisters/sleeping grandparents. Unfortunately this wasnt possible, Palitoytm had cunningly equipped the gun with a safety device that meant it could only be fired when it was resting on the floor, damn!
Due to the disappointing nature of this toy I imagine a lot were quickly consigned to the rubbish-tip, as they now appear to be scarce, with examples rarely showing up at Boot-Sales or on-line auctions. The near-mint example shown here was recently purchased at a local Boot-Sale for the sum of £3 by budding toy collector John Buckmaster (Steves dad).