Archive for the ‘The 1970s’ Category

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.