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Saturday, January 25, 2014

#373 HOT WHEELS! - CRACK UPS (1985 and 1986)

As a kid, when I was maybe four years old, I got a Hot Wheels track. It had the form of an X, with two launchers on two edges and two rubber bands on the opposite sides. By pushing the big red buttons on the launchers, two cars would accelerate towards the middle of the track, and sometimes they would collide with each other. The first car was an american police car, the second one a red sports car.

The interesting part of the game was the cars. They belonged to a special series of Hot Wheels! called "Crack Ups". Then they crashed, some part would change its aspect to simulate a real crash. In this case, one front door of the police car and the front of the runaway sports car passed from looking "normal" to "wrecked". The good thing about it, is that they could be repaired again for the next crash: those parts were fix with a spring, that allowed to turn it in a way that one of two sides was visible, and the opposite side remained hidden, creating an amazing effect.

The Police Car can also be decorated as a taxi or fire chief car. In this case, I own the white (Crash Patrol) and also the light blue (Crunch Chief) versions, both with police decoration, and both from 1985.
As you can deduce from the description above, these cars had quite a rough play. They are difficult to find in good condition. Although I lost mine, I have later found the same models I had in good condition. The "Cruiser" is especially fragile, since the bonnet of the car is made of plastic, and it is sometimes missing. There are various versions made of this model: the four depicted in the picture below and even more that I do not own.

Basher in yellow from 1985 
Stocker Smasher in red from 1986
Smash Mobile in Maroon from 1986
Smash Mobile in blue from 1986

These series was, I think, quite successful, since there were many models with this feature made in later years. The two models described above were the first ones (1985), but later, more models were released, all of them with many different decorations, colours and tampographies. Cars were available in individual blister packs, or in special boxes with playsets, like the one shown at the beginning of this article.
Apart from these two, I also have some models that I am presenting now:

Top Bopper in silver (top crash) from 1985
Bangster in green (top crash) from 1985

200SX Smash Hit in green (rear crash) from 1985

Side Grinder in black (side crash) from 1986

In case I find more, they will be posted in this same entry.
Sport Crasher in black from 1985 

UPDATE2 (JAN/2017): Patrol Crash with a different base. I bought it to resell it, but now I will keep it. This one seems to be more modern.

  • Name: Hot Wheels! Crack Ups: Crash Patrol, Crunch Chief, Stocker Smasher, Basher, Smash Mobile, Top Bopper, Bangster, Smash Hit and Side Grinder.
  • Alternate Names: Auto da Scontro (Italy)
  • Scale: Approx 1:64
  • Year: 1985 and 1986
  • Company: Hot Wheels! - Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size: Approx. 6 to 7 cm


  1. Oooo, i had a green Top Bopper, i wonder where it went...

    1. If it's green it is not a Top Bopper, something interesting about this subseries is that each model has a different name for each colour, even if it's the same cast. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Mine came in the WIPEOUT side by side racing set. They were the yellow Basher and the same vehicle in Red. I still have the entire setup in the box. Boy the cars took a beating!

  3. Hi Joe!

    Thanks for the comment!

    I just searched for that track and found the commercial from 1980. Really amazing track.

    Interesting that yours came with Crack Ups (probably a later version), because these cars are quite heavy (an thus, slow) and I don't know if the chances of a crash are very high in that track... Somehow they fit better to the track that I show in the beginning of this article.

    By the way, your name sounds familiar, maybe you left comments in my blog before?


  4. I dont know if i have one rear car or not but how much are one this cars from say 1983 super x cars going for please tell me my son wants it bad it is one i have had as a kid

    1. Hi, I am not sure for how much money are these cars selling today. I bought most of them for 1 Euro/1 Dollar in thrift shops and flea markets. If you want one and you want it today, I wouldn´t pay more than 10 Euro/12 dollar per unit.
      Thanks for the comment!

  5. I remember these cars.
    They were great because I didn't have to take my other cars with a hammer to recreate a crash!

    1. :) Really? I never damaged my cars on purpose. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Hi Gog,
    I found your Pictures in the Internet and especially the verry first Picture from you have posted I really like! I have to make a presentation were i want to use your Picture for the presentation will be hold at the "Karosseriebautage, Aachen" it is ment as a joke in the presentation. Is it ok for you, if i use your Picture?
    Regards Sascha

    1. Hallo Sascha,
      Ja, kannst gerne die Fotos verwenden. Auch wenn diese Spielzeugautos nicht viel mit echte Autos zu tun haben, wäre cool, wenn du ein Link zu meinem Blog lassen konntest. Die Fotos haben alle ein Wasserzeichen, das reicht!
      Grüße aus Österreich!

  7. Question...similar Cruiser, door came off. How does one, go about reattaching it? Opened it, and can't seem to find any obvious hinges, that the spring rests on or, attaches to the body.Figured I'd ask here, as I have been unsuccessful in finding the answer.

    1. Hi, I never opened one of these. It definitely has some spring inside, and some physical "block", but if the car is already very worn, the spring maybe detached and got lost or it is already quite loose.

      The block sometimes is not so prominent anymore, and do not hold the movable part as it should.

      Sorry I could not provide a better answer and thanks for the comment!

  8. Hi Gog,

    Those cars were so cool back in the days..
    Any idea where we can still buy them? Maybe another toy maker took over.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment!

      They are currently only available on eBay or similar sites. I am selling one silver Top Bopper I have double on for 9,35 Eur + shipping.

      Unfortunately no other toymaker took over, although some tried to copy the concept. See #534:
      or #673:
      or #869: that will be published in a couple of days...


    2. Thanks for the quick reply.
      I live in Canada and shipping fees are a killer on eBay ahah..
      Too bad no toymaker took over.


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