The DYR blog

The blog with general chat about all things from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s plus news about new features and developments on the website.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Big Trak... it's back!

When Big Trak first emerged in the 1980’s it was a wonderment of technology.

This programmable electric vehicle created by Milton Bradley in
1979 was a marvel, a genuine marvel, to my 7 year old mind.

You could program into it where to go, forward 3 foot, left 5 foot,
back 2 foot, and off it would go following your every command.
AMAZING!!! A robot! At last! Comic books had been talking about them for
decades, and here we suddenly were in the 21st century with working
robots in the home! What was next? Jet packs???

It was quite the phenomenon of course, introduced on “Tomorrow’s
world” and “Blue Peter” it had presenters suddenly talking about this
new thing called “a computer” that “Big Trak” had inside it to tell it
what to do.

It was also a huge toy, especially for a child. But this only made it
more terrific, you forgot the fact that it almost broke your back to pick it up in your awe of it. It bleeped and pinged as it drove along it’s plotted
route, and then also when it stopped. It was quite reminiscent of R2D2 from
Star Wars which of course only made it better. (It was the same colours as R2D2.).

Looking back on it now, with 21st Century eyes, eyes fogged by the
dazzling Iphone and affordable 1000 GB hard drives, it looks
slightly communist in design - of course it wasn’t then, it was bang up-to-date capitalist.

As a child, my parents could never afford such a thing. They were
expensive at the time, so I was reduced to standing shoulder to
shoulder with my fellow poorer classmates, as the richer boys
programmed it mysteriously to move under it‘s own volition, to collect
them a can of coke, or to pull along their action figures.

Of course since that time many things have changed. Now, I CAN afford one! Not
only because I earn more money than my parents, but also because Big Trak
is being re-released and only costs around £30! Astonishing!

You can get them here and at the same time fulfil those young
fantasies. Now, when are they going to get around to jet packs?


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