Record Breakers: World of Speed

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Record Breakers logo.

Record Breakers: World of Speed were a line of battery operated Mini 4WD manufactured by Hasbro in the late 1980s to 1990s, originally in Japan and then brought to the US. To promote the toys Hasbro created the "National Association of Record Breakers" [1] and hosted races in shopping malls across the country. A syndicated live-action series entitled simply "Record Breakers" plugging the toyline aired some of these events.

The toys[edit]

Record Breakers were Mini 4WD but not in the conventional sense as they didn't have the pins or blades characteristic of most. They were battery operated and could run on a track with horizontal side-mounted guide wheels, but could just as well run independently of tracks, though if their guide wheels were removed, in-track performance would be greatly diminished if not impossible. The cars were known for their high performance, and on smooth surfaces were capable of 20 mph, translating into 500 to 640 scale miles per hour.[2][3] A car outside of a track would inevitably crash into an obstacle if not otherwise stopped. Twin electric motors cars ran off two AA batteries. Another version of the cars used a single motor that ran on two AA batteries, though often a third battery could be added for additional power. The single motor cars could be manually switched between 2WD and 4WD. The scale is difficult to specify as they were frequently not based on any real-life vehicles, but it appears to be approximately 1:32. Customization and upgrade kits with accessories such as different kinds of wheels and guide wheels were sold, as well as different kinds of tracks.

TV series[edit]

A live-action TV series[4] produced by DIC Entertainment[5][6] was co-hosted by Jesse Ventura[7] and Gary Apple,[8] aired in syndication for four episodes in 1989, and is an example of televised slotcar racing. Episodes were shot in shopping malls and featured a large, extravagant race track. Jesse Ventura's car, in particular was outfitted with a small camera and the show would frequently air video from his car's perspective as it raced through the track. Segments included kids interviewed for racing tips, "Jesse's Crash Bash", and the show would also feature stop-motion shorts of Ventura's car with his voiceover (in effect making the car a cartoon character.)

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