“Remember, if it doesn’t say ‘Micro Machines,’ it’s not the real thing.”
They say that good things come in small packages, and in the world of Toys, perhaps none have ever been smaller than Micro Machines – those tiny vehicles that made Matchbox cars look like a giant movie prop by comparison. And in the eyes of kids throughout the 90s, Micro Machines were must-have toys, beloved by car collectors, young and old alike.
First introduced by Galoob in 1988, Micro Machines made their debut in a series of commercials narrated by the “the world’s fastest talker,” John Moschitta (of Fed-Ex fame). At about a tenth of the size of a standard-issue Hot Wheels car, they held one other distinction from their iconic counterparts; these diminutive beauties were cast from plastic, rather than metal.
And lest you think that Micro Machines only consisted of cars, think again. A whole plethora of vehicles were available including motorcycles, ships, airplanes, trains and military transports. And rather than limit their focus to actual vehicles, Galoob also ventured into the realm of futuristic transportation and prototypes. Typical packages consisted of multiple Micro Machines, often grouped by theme such as “The 1930s” or “Corvettes,” giving the consumer a little more bang for their buck than they were accustomed to from the competitors. The result was a toy that literally flew off of toy store shelves and into the pockets of little collectors everywhere.
Along their journey, Micro Machines got a little more ambitious with their themes, offering sets from Indiana Jones, Star Trek, the Apollo space program, and a galaxy far, far away with a series of fondly-remembered Star Wars collectables. Along with the various vehicles, a Death Star and Ice Planet Hoth playset were also available, complete with human and non-human action figures. For the Star Wars fan, these little babies were just too much fun to resist.
Micro Machines were eventually sold to Hasbro toys in the late 90s, who focused more on newer toys than the classics. By the time the new century rolled around, the toys were long past their glory days on the consumer market. But the collectors market continues to thrive for these tiny transportation vehicles that fetch a pretty penny, especially for the earlier models. And one thing is for certain, whatever theses pocket-sized playthings lacked in girth, they made up for in sheer lovability.
If you held a particular fondness for these little transportation toys, we hope you will take a moment to share your recollections of Micro Machines in our comments section.