July 12, 2014

X-15 V-RROOM!

Space-age Saturday: Spy Vibers who were born during the Space-Age may remember a Mattel tricycle with special features called the X-15. This super trike was patterned after the original X-15, which was built by a joint program between NASA, the Air Force, and the Navy. The X-15 had its first unpowered flight in 1959, and then launched from B-52s in a number of hypersonic test flights through the mid-1960s. The data it recorded contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. Mattel produced their X-15 in metallic blue and blue-green, and outfitted it with cool gadgets like a seatbelt with metal buckle, jet-style navigation stick, articulated back wheels for sharp turns, and Mattel's own V-Rroom engine effect with dash activation and a side speaker. I was one of the lucky kids who had this when I was little- probably a tag-sale find, but I don't remember the details. What I do recall is flipping the V-Rroom! switch and feeling the rush as I imagined my X-15 taking off into the outer atmosphere! Mattel also produced a Batman version of the X-15 in 1966. Vintage ads and images below. Learn more: Nasa history,  Eric Mack, Tricycle Fetish. Happy weekend, Spy Vibers!




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