Considering the popularity of Knight Rider on NBC back in 1982. It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me that a kiddie ride was produced. Although I have to admit that I’ve not seen this early 80’s Knight Rider coin-op ride before today.
While like many of you out there that visit The Retroist. I too have some rather strong memories of begging for a quarter from my Family. For a few minutes time to ride a galloping horse or even a rocket ship outside a local store.
Of course there were more varied options vying for that precious quarter.
While it is quite true that my Family didn’t tune in on a regular basis to catch the adventure of Michael Knight and KITT. I can truthfully say there were more than a few Summer nights when visiting my Grandparents where the neighborhood kids would gather to watch it at one of their houses.
Now I can’t pin down an exact date for when this Knight Rider kiddie ride was manufactured. Or I should add I’ve yet to find anything official in my research. The video below uploaded by GMS1975 is quite amazing nonetheless. Furthermore I have to add that I was shocked their was no theme song from the television show while the ride is operating.
However, thanks to the likes of Pinterest it would appear there are multiple versions. For example – check out this intact version of the kiddie ride.
But then we have this version of the Knight Rider coin-op ride. Notice the lack of a left-hand door. As well as the variation of control panel layout and style of steering wheel.
Perhaps the easiest answer is that FLAG just went into mass production with the Knight Industries Two Thousand model?
Now that you’ve taken a look at the Knight Rider coin-op ride. Why not take a moment to watch this 1996 home video from Universal Studios Hollywood?
That isn’t a fanmade Knight Rider set from the Brothers Brick, that is an official LEGO set – a Knight Rider set that should hit store shelves next February.
So this Knight Rider set means LEGO is going to take over the world, right?
Pretty much. At least in regards to pop culture retro related properties. I mean, please don’t get me wrong but who is it that you think LEGO is aiming this Knight Rider set to? I say it is most definitely the likes of us that visit The Retroist!
That isn’t all that LEGO is making for us retro-minded fans though. I previously shared the information about the upcoming LEGO Dimensions sets besides Knight Rider back in June. You might remember we are also getting Gremlins…
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial…
and last but not least The Goonies – or at least Sloth from that film.
Why should we care about a LEGO Knight Rider though?
I know there may be a few of you out there that are asking yourself this very question. You are all dead to me. Just kidding of course – but how can you not get excited about a LEGO minifig version of David Hasselhoff, I mean Michael Knight?
Image courtesy of io9.
My friends, please listen to me. We are lucky enough to live in a time where by next year you will be able to have Dr. Peter Venkman of 1984’s Ghostbusters driving K.I.T.T. through Gremlins’ Kingston Falls!
Image courtesy of io9.
I kind of think that LEGO has made some amazing and excellent choices with Knight Rider and the other retro properties. In fact I believe I couldn’t be more impressed if they suddenly announced they were releasing a set for…
A huge thank you to Andrew Liszewski of io9 for the heads up on the Knight Rider set. Hey, if like myself you are geeking out over this release and need to pass the time until February, you can always keep Hasselhoff’s True Survivor on constant loop, right?
Browsing around Flickr, I came across the picture above and was instantly drawn to one of the cover headlines:
Meet a Real Live Unicorn!
It wasn’t enough that they had David Hasselhoff siting on K.I.T.T., giving his thumbs-up to a previous issue. No, the way to really make sales is by offering readers the chance to meet fictitious beasts whilst buttering them up with a FREE Unicorn poster and FREE Stickers!
It has to be said, I’m in awe of Dynamite magazine. Find more magazine covers here.
As a family man with responsibilities, I have to acknowledge that I’m never going to own the car of my dreams – the Pontiac Trans-Am. That said, I think I could happily settle for this 1:18 scale model of K.I.T.T. from the Hot Wheels Cult Classics collection!
The Hot Wheels Elite website has a better view of the images and a wonderful Vehicle Highlights section that details the many features of the model, including moving headlights, opening doors, hood and trunk, foldable seats (including eject-out front seat!), revolving rear license plate… I should stop before I reach for my credit card.
The 1:18 scale Hot Wheels Elite collection also includes K.A.R.R. as well as a host of other classics such as the Ghostbusters Ecto-1, the A-Team GMC Vandura van and the Delorean from Back to the Future.
A recent Knight Rider post here at The Retroist received a comment that suggested that KITT might be the first Cylon from the universe of Battlestar Galactica. This amused me enough to search the internet for more about this theory and I certainly found some interesting theories and fan-art but nothing to suggest the two were in any way linked.
And then I found the deviantArt website of Darren Rawlings and the image above. As it happens, I don’t think the artist intended this image of KITT as a transformed robot to look like a cylon, but that red strip in its eyes sure does make it look the part!
Even if the intent was not there, the artwork is still amazing, and best of all, KITT isn’t the only vehicle in the series.
The GMC van from The A-Team, Back to the Future’s Delorean, Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters and General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard are all wonderful pieces of art and I would love to hang a series of these on a wall at home!
Take a look at the artist dA website for even more pieces including Herbie, Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, the Starsky & Hutch Grand Torino, the Party Wagon from TMNT, the Mach 5 from Speed Racer… the list is amazing and continues to be added to!