SSPsharkII Anyone remember this awesome toy?

I’m taking a break from trauma and the personality disordered to bring you a lighter, whimsical tale of childhood memory: the Kenner Super Sonic Powered (SSP) Shark. It was one of many SSP Racers to come out in the 1970s, and it was a lean, mean, racing machine.

Basically, all SSP Racers had one large rubber wheel with a smaller wheel of teeth attached to it. To get the car to shoot across the floor, you inserted a toothed cord – I believe it was called a T-Stick? – then you gave it a pull, not unlike starting a small push-mower. Yanking on the T-stick got that wheel a spinning and you basically just set the car down and watched it zoom off at near-subsonic speed.

I’m guessing this particular model was made post-1975, shortly after the Jaws movie craze. The popularity of that film spawned a slew of shark-related toys, iron-on patches (remember those?), and games all marketed toward kids whose parents allowed them to see that awesome movie. Thing is, the shark on the SSP racer looks like it’s been crossed with a proboscis monkey, but I still thought this car was the shit back in the day.

Though I was never short on toys as a kid, I never had the SSP Shark. It’s not like my parents wouldn’t let me have one, either; it’s just that every time Xmas rolled around, I always wanted something else more than I wanted the Shark. By the time I thought to ask for one, the 80s were in full swing and video games, role-playing games, and kung fu movies were more my focus. C’est la vie!

Now, with the halcyon days of my youth behind me, I sometimes think about those amazing things from my childhood. Perhaps one of these days, I might go cruising eBay in hopes of one day finding a “for sale” sign hanging above a bright yellow Kenner SSP Shark. It might be too tempting to not put in a bid. SSPshark

Ever have an SSP racer? Or any other awesome toy from the 70s? Share your Generation X toy memories here!

About J.P. Ribner
J.P. Ribner is the author of Viking fantasy adventure series “The Berserker’s Saga.” Currently, the saga features two novels – “Legacy of the Bear” and “Prophecy of the Bear.” For more about his written work, check out his website.


  1. Tom says:

    I had a SSP Racer…It was red, white, and blue in a flag motive. Possibly because of 1976 bi-centennial. I had 3 brothers…my brother and I actually had 2 racers. I remember the big wheel in the middle of the car and pulling on the stick to get it going. I used to play with Major Matt Mason astronaut dolls, GI Joe, and Amiga Super hero dolls the most. Major Matt Mason made a large Lazer Doll that was battery operated and lit up. Our garage was full of Tonka Metal Trucks and Cars…LOL

  2. Steven says:

    I had the ssp shark. Many of my friends had ssp racers, and we used to race each other. Mine was the only shark as I recall. I don’t remember when or why I got rid of it. I do remember playing with it until the T-stick slipped almost too much to get the wheel going fast enough for it to be fun. The gear teeth were worn on the car or the T-stick, or both. I had it for years, and even when I was older I would get it out and play with it from time to time. Wish I still had it. I would play with it with my kids if I did. One of the greatest toys of the 70s.

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