Ok, so this toy is technically from the late 70s (see the awesome commercial below from 1978), but for those of us that were teens in the 80s, we played with the toys of the late 70s! The Green Machine was so cool – so much cooler than its ride-on-vehicle-rival, the Big Wheel. It left a regular ole Big Wheel in its dust; the nimble Green Machine’s rear wheel swivel action design ran circles around the lumbering, clunky Big Wheel.
I received mine for my 6th birthday in the Fall of 1978. Our driveway gently sloped down to the street. I could pedal maniacally down the hill and then slam the levers in opposite directions to create the coolest, most whiplash-inducing spinout at the bottom of the hill. Sure, I was spinning out in the middle of the street, and sure, I had never heard of a helmet, but the danger only added to the thrilling excitement of the ride. Life simply didn’t get any better than that.
I love the advertisement from 1976 below that places the target demographic for this awesome ride at “Guys 8, 9, 10.” What about the girls of the late 70s? Didn’t we also deserve to feel the wind whip through our hair as we tore up the neighborhood sidewalks and streets? Yeah, well, good thing I didn’t succumb to their gender steering. I hate to think of the hours of pure bliss that would have been lost from my life.
An updated Green Machine, now made by Huffy, is still available online. It even features a 20-inch rubber front tire. The back tires remain slick and wide for maximum awesomity. At $105, this new version offers a new generation the thrill of the ride.
As the original ad for the Green Machine asserts, “It’s the HOTTEST Ride in Town.” We agree.
10-18-11: With the onslaught of holiday catalogs pouring in the mail box came the new Hammacher Schlemmer gift guide. Imagine my surprise to see a Green Machine featured prominently on the cover. Naturally, I flipped directly to this fabulous item. I was then shocked to discover the asking price for this jazzed up, motorized version of my childhood favorite. No more pedal power required. This big, bad boy runs on a Harley Davidson motor and achieves speeds of up to 50 mph. What!?!? And for the pleasure of this green goodness, what are they asking you wonder? How about $75,000? Uh, no. But, thanks for the laugh.