Computer Garage

Do You Remember 1972’s Sears Computer Garage?

You would think that in my youth I would have been attracted to more car toys. Especially a playset advertising itself as a Computer Garage. When you add in the fact that my Family had their own garage and auto dealership, it would obviously make sense that I wanted Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to play with, right?

That was sadly not the case when I was growing up. Furthermore I would possibly have rather had dental work than receive toy cars. In the light of what I just said however there were a few “car” toys that I was happy to get. Like the Batmobile, or the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard as well as Ideal’s Evel Knievel’s Stunt Cycle!

[Via] Vintage TV Commercials

Consequently when my Cousin, Brandon, and I received that stunt cycle set on the same Christmas. There were EPIC charges of those toy daredevil’s at each other across the kitchen floor. How we managed to not trip any of our relatives while tiny Evel Knievel’s were darting everywhere I will never know.

Eventually I managed to amass a small but stylized collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox vehicles. Thanks to various family members giving me their hand-me-down toys. In truth some of those fit my overall love of science-fiction toys at the time, fueled by 1977’s Star Wars naturally.

Which is in fact why when back in the day one Summer when I was with my Grandmother at a garage sale. I didn’t just pass by a rather odd looking playset – The Sears Computer Garage. Now even at that age, which was around eight I was very interested in all things related to computers. Thanks to brief encounters with the Commodore Vic-20 and the TRS-80.

I was intrigued by the playset which was basically a motorized gondola. When a kid would use the plastic numbers – a “coded” computer card. It would rotate to the number of the stall that had been selected. With the aid of a lever at the base of the Sears Computer Garage – the car would be ejected.
Computer Garage

Now in all honesty, there were two other reasons I wanted to buy it. It was only a mere fifty cents and worked to boot. But most importantly, inside one of the stalls I could see Captain America’s van!

Image courtesy of the Hot Wheels Wikia.

I was actually able to talk my Grandmother into giving me the money and took the Sears Computer Garage home. It basically acted as a storage unit for my tiny toy car collection. Until a couple of years later I in turn sold it at my Grandmother’s garage sale.

Thanks to MootSooToo’s YouTube channel you can see the Sears Computer Garage in action!

Batman Green Machine

In the late 70s, Green Machines were all the rage. Different from a Big Wheel, the Green Machine used two levers to pivot the back wheels. Shortly after Green Machines hit the scene (the late 1970s), Sears released their own version of the Green Machine: a Batman themed one. As a kid, I was lucky enough to own one of those Batman-themed Green Machines. As an adult, I am lucky enough to still have pictures of it.

Despite the blur, you can see that the Green Machine’s black and green color scheme has been swapped out here for Batman’s blue and yellow. The Batman version also came with a sweet flag that trailed behind you, warning the citizens of Gotham City (or more likely, adults in cars) that you were zooming down the road.

That’s me again on the Bat-machine, getting bopped in the face with an inflatable bopper by my neighbor, Scott. I’m pretty sure that’s my parents’ Vega station wagon we’re standing in front of which, in a race, stood no chance against the pedal-powered Bat-machine.

Atari 2600: Arcade Golf (1977)

I never had this particular Atari 2600 Sears Tele-Game cartridge but looking at the description on the back of the box that may not have been a bad thing.

“Nine different unique holes, each one with a moving obstacle to make life miserable, but interesting.”

Now what kind of description is that? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have wanted my Grandparents to pick up this cartridge for me with that description.

As always a big thanks to the kind folks over at AtariAge for the box scans. Thanks as well to Tork110 for uploading a few rounds of the game over on YouTube.