Before today’s electronic, radio controlled cars, there was Hasbro’s Amaze-A-Matics. These battery-operated cars were touted as the ‘car with a brain’. And for 1969, that was pretty amazing. Might add that this was the only year they were produced. They were manufactured with a plastic chassis and body (with decals). The battery compartment, gears and axles were metal. The wheels are rubber. The length of the Ford car shown is 7″.
These cars were constructed to operate via a program card that when inserted into a slot in the rear-underside of the car (much like a floppy disk), they would follow a pre-set route when turned on. The program card allowed the car to travel forwards and backwards, and turn left or right based on how the grooves were cut into the program card. Each car came with a number of pre-programmed plastic cards as well as blank cardboard cards so that you could program your own courses.
Hasbro produced a total of six (6) different cars for this series. The Mark IV Ford is pictured above. The complete list of cars produced were:
Buick Century Cruiser
Mark IV Ford (pictured)
Chrysler charger III
Oddly, this car does not seem to be a high demand battery-operated toy and as such does not have a high ‘book value’ – in spite of its uniqueness. If you find any of these cars out there in the market, look for the original programs cards and box to be included with the purchase as this will surely add to the value.