Ricochet Racers from Hasbro (1974)

Company: Hasbro | Release date: 1974 | Where to purchase: eBay

“The excitement of load, lock, and let ‘er rip!”

In 1974, Hasbro released Ricochet Racers — action-toy playsets that combined target shooting and race cars.

At the heart of each set was a Ricochet Launcher, a large rifle equipped with a bolt-action lever and spring-loaded firing mechanism. Instead of bullets, the rifle’s ammunition of choice was a cartridge fitted with an elongated race car.

Once a cartridge was loaded and locked, kids could shoot cars across floors and over stunt ramp, aiming at a series of targets provided. A unique ricochet sound accompanied each firing. A built-in safety mechanism prevented the gun from discharging unless it was placed on a flat surface with the barrel sloping downward.

Hasbro initially designed 6 different Ricochet race cars and included one or more of them in each playset. Each car was either red or blue and given a unique name, including Boss Big Shot, 440 Magnum, Strip Shooter, Hemi Shot, Hole Shot .38, and Bluesteel.

Ricochet Racer playsets included the Marksman Set (with a belt to hold cartridges), Ricochet Western (including a silver-dollar saloon target with swinging doors), and the Super Duel Set (featuring 6 plastic barrels, 2 jump ramps, and a silver dollar target.)

Before the line was discontinued, Hasbro also released a Ricochet Racer Set that featured 2 Marvel superheroes, Spider-Man and Captain America. The set included two superhero cartridge-cars, a ramp, a spider web target, and a different colour rifle and decal set.

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