The Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard

Tomy Turnin' Turbo Dashboard

My youngest son has recently taken an interest in the Disney Pixar Cars Dashboard that Father Christmas delivered to him half a year ago. This ‘game’ looks amazing at first glance and I’m sure my 18-month old loves ‘driving’ Lightning McQueen but, for me, it is a little lacking. I think the problem is that I had something a little more special when I was younger, I had the Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard.

I was around 5 or 6 when I played this driving simulator and it was probably my first proper introduction to video gaming. Of course, this wasn’t really a video game; the innards are mechanical, the various car functions are handled by timers, and there are no goals to accomplish. All of that didn’t matter though, this thing looked like a Porsche and the road moved along at great pace in top gear, and that was more than enough.

I’m certain that the practice I put in on this toy has since helped me conquer many racing games!

Hayden Yale

Child of the 80's. Born, raised and living in the Cheshire countryside, England.Lover of fan art, especially if it is based on my childhood heroes from Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and TMNT. Penchant for almost anything retro, especially movies, games and art.

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3 thoughts on “The Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard

  1. Max Power says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a completely-working one of these. A few friends had ones, but each had several broken gauges. It must have been incredibly complicated to make mechanical “digital” gauges.
    On the other hand, I had the similar, but smaller and less complicated “Digital Derby” game

  2. Oubler says:

    No goals to accomplish? IIRC, it was a high score game. The tripodometer would tick up as long as you were in the middle of the road, but would pause if you were banging along the shoulder (you can see this in the video’s first shot of the steering wheel). Your fuel gauge was your time limit.

    The game did a pretty good job of making the turns unpredictable, so you really had to be quick with the wheel to keep the car in the middle at high speed. I remember it being pretty loud in operation and eating D-cell batteries, so parents might’ve regretted the purchase.

  3. Thanks for the update Oubler. I must admit my memory of the TTTD is limited, possibly due to it eating all those D-cells and my parents stopping the battery refuels! I re-watched the video and I think you’re right, there was game-play at work here, which is just brilliant :)

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