Micro Machines are coming back!
Micro Machines, a parent’s second least favorite thing to step on after Legos, will return in late 2020 after a long hiatus.
You may remember Micro Machines in the five-pack package above, as a popular toy line from Lewis Galoob that later gained notoriety for making an absurd number of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” ships, to the point that they upstaged the miniature car lines. And you may have wondered what happened to Lewis Galoob, the company that produced a dizzying variety of small cars and playsets.
The company itself was bought by Hasbro in 1998, after Hasbro itself bought Kenner, the longtime maker of “Star Wars” action figures. Given the demand for anything science fiction in the 1990s, Micro Machines became a producer of “Star Wars” merchandise first and everything else second, as the car lines faded along with other toys of the ’80s and early ’90s.
Now, Hasbro is teaming up with Wicked Cool Toys to return Micro Machines to store shelves late next year. We have nostalgia for the ’80s and ’90s to thank for it, given the prices that some Micro Machines sets still bring on eBay. The biggest question now is whether Micro Machines will seek to offer a remake-based lineup of cars and playsets or whether the company will aim for something a little more modern to appeal to a younger generation, provided that generation can be distracted long enough from hand-held video games and other accursed gadgets.
The toymakers are fully aware of the trends motivating this relaunch.
“Considering recent toy unboxing trends, the brand’s multigenerational appeal and the vehicle category’s ripeness for something ‘new’ again, we believe Micro Machines will be a global phenomenon,” Wicked Cool Toys co-president Jeremy Padawer said.
The original toy lines in the ’80s and ’90s were more than just about cars and trucks; Micro Machines offered trains, boats, helicopters, submarines, tanks and even motorcycles, in addition to licensed entertainment lines like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “James Bond,” “Babylon 5” (remember “Babylon 5”?), “Indiana Jones” and NASCAR. The various Micro Machines lines certainly evolved out of small cars and playsets, but by the late 1990s there was a great variety of non-automotive toys.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Wicked Cool Toys, an entrepreneurial toy company that has a proven track record in relaunching classic brands with product innovation and a modern, sophisticated marketing approach,” said Casey Collins, general manager and senior vice president of entertainment and licensing at Hasbro. “We are excited to collaborate to introduce Micro Machines to a whole new generation of kids.”
You don’t even have to wait until 2020. The number of mint-in-box Micro Machine sets is one of the things that keeps eBay churning as the vintage sets can be laughably inexpensive to buy. We, umm, are certainly not hoarding certain Micro Machines lines or looking for rare sets. Hahah — who does that?
(But seriously, if you have the HMS Bounty three-pack, please contact us.)
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