Let’s face it, not all of us had every vehicle that Kenner, Hasbro, or Mattel made from our favorite toy lines. There were many that were just out of each, i.e. way too expensive. There were some that only happened after we “grew up” and started to discover other things in the world. When we look back there are a few vehicles that will always be there in our memories. They were our chariots from the living room to our adventures outside. Some took us to other planets. Many turned the backyard into one giant swamp. Whichever chariot you had each made out imagination come to life. Here are the "Top 10 Toy Chariots of the Gods!
10. G.I. JOE DEFIANT (HASBRO)
DRIVER: HARDTOP (CRAWLER)
PILOT: PAYLOAD (SHUTTLE)
At the end of G.I. JOE’s popularity, Hasbro took a huge leap into space with the Defiant. By this point, many fans were growing up and Hasbro rolled the diced on another giant vehicle. The Defiant was a space shuttle and a launching station It was released in 1987 and was one of the largest vehicles in the entire series. The Defiant was actually three vehicles in one. The Crawler unit transported the shuttle to its launching area. There was also the booster shuttle unit in which the Defiant space shuttle rode during the launch, It retailed at $129.99 making it the most expensive vehicle in the G.I. JOE line, which was thirty dollars more than the U.S.S. Flagg. The shuttle alone was re-released a few years later but it paled in comparison to having the whole Defiant. Sure most of us didn’t have this bad boy. It was way cool and unlike the U.S.S. Flagg playset, the Defiant took us somewhere, anywhere. The Flagg itself was perpetually trapped in one room.
9. STAR WARS IMPERIAL SHUTTLE (KENNER)
PILOT: HAN SOLO, LUKE SKYWALKER, IMPERIAL PILOT
By far the most expensive STAR WARS toys every produced at the time, the Imperial Shuttle or Shuttle Tydirium was an incredible vehicle because of its duality. The Millennium Falon was always Han Solo’s ride but the Imperial Shuttle could either deliver the Emperor or sneak the rebels onto Endor. Hours upon hours of fun could be had with the Imperial Shuttles because it had the best feature where the wings would open and close just like in the movie. Kenner outdid themselves with it and though it has been reproduced since the original it is still a true chariot for all of our Star Wars action figures.
8. GO BOTS THRUSTER (TONKA)
DRIVER: CY KILL
It seems odd that GO-BOTS, a toy line based on robots that turn into vehicles would have a vehicle for them to ride in. Then again how else did they arrive on this planet, to begin with? Balls of fire that fall out of the sky? Lame. Now don’t start singing the praises of the Guardian Command center. It was a poor excuse for a Star Wars Imperial Walker with an idiotic face. Villain’s vehicles are always bad-ass and Thruster was no expectation. Thruster got you there and back in style.
7. THE “REAL” GHOSTBUSTERS ECTO-1 (KENNER)
DRIVER: RAY STANTZ
If you were at all fanatical about the GHOSTBUSTERS, and what kid wasn’t, then this was an essential toy to have. It didn’t matter if it were the holidays or your birthday, the GHOSTBUSTERS ECTO-1 had to be yours. How else were you going to get to your sister’s haunted Barbie house and demolish it while busting some ghosts? I wonder if any parent stopped to think about the fact they just bought their child a toy hearse. There are some vehicles in a toy line that you can do without but the ECTO-1 is not one of them. Not having the ECTO-1 is like Batman not having a Batmobile!
6. THUNDERCATS THUNDERTANK (LJN TOYS)
There are some vehicles that go hand in hand with their driver and the Thundertank is certainly one of them. Born from the wrecked THUNDERCATS spaceship, the Thundertank’s construction was the first order of business in helping to tame Third Earth. Built by the mechanical engineer extraordinaire, Panthro, the Thundertank was his Batmobile. As Cheetara once remarked, “Is there anything this kitty-car can’t do?!” Unfortunately, it had a tendency to flip over but hey if the Thundertank simply rolled over every Mutant there wouldn’t be much of an adventure to go on. You can forget about all the other crazy stuff that the cat in King Arthur’s court show came up with. The Thundertank was all that you ever needed or wanted.
5. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE BATTLE RAM (MATTEL)
PILOT/DRIVER: HE-MAN, MAN AT ARMS
It was simplistic, a rocket launcher that rolled into battle and had a detachable sky sled. It took two heroes to use it properly but let’s face it after you fired all the rockets, the sky sled wreaked havoc on poor Beast Man time and time again. The MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE line had a huge assortment of crazy vehicles. This one was the first and best because it delivered time and time again. It took you and He-Man right into the heart of Snake Mountain and home again. All so you could do a victory fly by over Castle Grayskull.
4. M.A.S.K. RHINO (KENNER)
DRIVER: BRUCE SATO
M.A.S.K. was G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS rolled into one. V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem) was a criminal organization bent on world domination. The only thing that stood in V.E.N.O.M’s way was the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (M.A.S.K.). Each faction had vehicles that would appear to be normal but in actuality could change into heavy duty weapons of destruction. Rhino was the biggest beast of them all, a tractor-trailer that had concealed Bruce Sato’s unstoppable tank. Sure all the little hi-tech helmets were cool but Rhino rolling onto the playing field was the very definition of power. This is a true chariot of the toy gods and one to be reckoned with.
3. THE BATMOBILE—SUPER POWERS COLLECTION (KENNER)
Kenner, Hasbro, and now Mattel have produced numbers renditions of the Batman’s most essential piece of hardware. None have ever come close to Kenner’s SUPER POWERS Collection Batmobile. The design is both reminiscent of the Batmobile from the seventies comic books yet represents that future we all hoped cars would look like one day. There has never been a ride that has been more synonymous with its owner. As toys go, if you didn’t have a Batmobile, then there was no point in having a Batman figure.
2. G.I. JOE HOVERCRAFT KILLER W.H.A.L.E. (HASBRO)
Additional Vehicles: 2
From the first moment, it appeared on screen you knew you had to have one. After seeing the commercial where you learned it could float you broke into that annoying child that begged and begged until you got it. The Hovercraft Killer W.H.A.L.E. (Warrior: Hovering Assault Launch Envoy) took you everywhere because there was no place it couldn’t go. It was also armed to the teeth and complete with two mini vehicles if stealth for the mission was required. Cutter may have looked like a doofus in his orange life jacket but he quickly became one f your favorite figures. It was as good as a tank because nothing could ever stop it, at least in your mind. Cobra squeezed out two different boats to combat it but neither every really stood a chance. The W.H.A.L.E. was the very foundation of your G.I. JOE missions.
1. STAR WARS THE MILLENNIUM FALCON (KENNER)
PILOTS: HAN SOLO & CHEWBACCA
Han Solo once told Luke Skywalker that “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.” Truer words have never been spoken about this hunk of junk. The STAR WARS universe was a vast place to play in as a child and the one vehicle that took you everywhere was the Millennium Falcon. Complete with a card table, satellite dish and a secret compartment for your adventures continued long after the final credits rolled. If there was one toy vehicle from the seventies and eighties that logged more flight hours than any other it would be this one. As you walked Han and Chewbacca up its gangplank, the universe was your oyster and this chariot took you everywhere.