Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Collectible of the Week: Big Trak (1979; Milton Bradley)


On the cusp of the futuristic 1980s (!), Milton Bradley's electronic toys seemed truly amazing and forward-looking.  The toy company created the Star Bird (and later, Star Bird Avenger), as well as its nemesis, the Star Bird Intruder.  And, of course, MB created Big Trak, the "fully programmable electronic" vehicle.

As you can see from the box photos, Big Trak is a big, land rover-type vehicle, one with a nice futuristic sheen.  The craft is sleek and it looks bad-ass.  On the dorsal side of the tank is a rectangular computer panel, fully programmable.  As the box establishes:

"BIG TRAK's computerized Control Center -- with its intricate electronic memory -- can accept complex programs of up to 16 separate commands.  Big Trak can go out of the room and return to you; it can maneuver around furniture.  Detailed instruction booklet (with sample programs) included."

So Big Trak could "respond to your commands" and the box invites kids to "watch Big Trak perform!  Goes forward and reverse, turns, spins, and fires."

An accessory (sold separately, naturally) was the Big Trak Transport, which could be atached to Big Trak to "haul light loads for long distances."  You could also deploy the transport as a kind of dump truck, which was very cool. 

Alas, I don't currently have the transport...

But Joel and I have played with Big Trak up and down our driveway, across the street, and into the woods.  It's super easy to program, and the laser spotlight is pretty cool, especally in the dark. 

I believe a company (in England?) recently re-released Big Trak for the collectible crowd, but I'm not sure.  One thing I am sure of, though: this is a toy that really holds up.  Our Big Trak has been around for over thirty years and all the functions still operate perfectly. 

Also, as a side note, Big Trak has several brief cameo appearances (box and toy) in this week's The Films of 1982 feature, Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist.

8 comments:

  1. I didn't have that particular toy growing up but it reminds me of the Landmaster from Damnation Alley. Was there ever a toy version of that?

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  2. Hi Chadillac,

    So far as I know, there's never been a toy version of the Damnation Alley Landmaster, but there sure SHOULD be one. I love that vehicle, and Big Trak does have a very similar look, especially around the nose/front.


    best,
    John

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  3. Had the Big Trak!Loved the Big Trak! Scooted along next to the Big Trak with foot pajamas I think. Yes, still wish I had the Big Trak [and maybe some feet pajamas] ;) Best, sff

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  4. Monster Dad9:56 AM

    That was one of those toys I SO wanted, but never got. Sounds like it was actually worth having too (unlike some of the cool-looking toys that turned out to be junk when you actually got them). I have also seen that there's a new version of it being sold now. Don't remember where at the moment though. Guess good ideas and quality are ageless!

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  5. Hi Guys!

    SFF: Oh man, the Big Trak is awesome. I'm so glad you remember this toy as well, my friend. I love the thing!

    Monster Dad: The Big Trak is pretty awesome. I can't believe that the "computerized" keyboard still works so perfectly, as do all the flashing lights and gears and such. I watch in awe as Joel programs the thing to do these complicated maneuvers (go left 50 steps, go forward 10 steps, fire 3 lasers, go backwards, fire 99 lasers...), and it executes them perfectly.

    I think there is a re-issue out there, perhaps in Great Britain. In this version, the tank has been molded in white instead of battleship gray, but heck, I'd get one!

    best to you both,
    John

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  6. I so remember this toy, what a great toy was the most favorite and the one i remember after my old speak and spell, and red playable toy guitar, but i cannot remember the name of the toy guitar
    .

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  7. I like the big trak so much I made a great video about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x02a_56y1fE&feature=plcp Like my facebook.com/az80s page and you could win a big trak

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  8. I have a big track,from when I was a kid.perfect. condition as I was a freak about my toys keeping them nice.

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