Saddest eBay item ever — or greatest?

On occasion I go on a Mach 5 buying binge, and today I stumbled across this gem. At first I thought it was the saddest thing I’d ever seen posted to eBay … but then I read the description:“This Johnny Lightening Speed Racer is in fair condition. There are huge areas of paint chipping. It also looks like some of the still painted area are ready to start chipping. There are 2 hubcaps missing and it really worn around the window.
No marks that I can see.”

No marks that I can see.

I should send the seller 75¢ just for the best laugh I’ve had all week.


The Battle Machines line was clearly the toy god’s gift to gamers — great looking cars that already come armed and armored. Be still my Road Warrior heart. The Green Flag edition now has a page of rules dealing with turrets, heavy weapons, more armor and more ammo.

More car-nage below the fold Continue reading

Scale v. scale

With the release of Jada’s Battle Machines, scale became an issue once again. Jada was pitching their Car Wars-ready vehicles as 1/64 in size, but there was just no way they were that small. In fact, they fit in nicely next to the 1/55 Speed Racer line Jada put out a few years ago, so obviously they were the larger size. In prep for the Speed Rally expansion, I made the following side-by-side comparison of scales. The image has been bouncing around the web for a while, so I thought I’d repost it here again and give things another spin.

Click here to enbiggen

And for those looking to run Formula de or Speed Circuit in a larger scale …

Playing anywhere

Speed Rally was designed to be played anywhere, and in the summer of 2009 we took it to the beach — running the 1st Ever Outer Banks Rally.

And they’re off! I set up a course that would take racers over
and around sandcastles and pits we built before the race.

“Can I fire my rocket launcher from here?”


The whole game, including cars, fit into this box, making it easy to stick in a bag

The Mach 5 prepares to jump a sandpit. I don’t remember who won the race, as the Rally was called on account of a sudden storm that swept in from the Atlantic. Still, one of the most fun races I’ve run with these rules.


Custom mobiles

From the start of Speed Rally, I fully intended to build a personal garage full of famous cars. However, in many cases, toy companies have yet to produce many of the vehicles I wanted. So, I built my own. Here is the Bouldermobile (driven by the Slag Bros. in Wacky Races), and Delta House’s Deathmobile from Animal House.

Of course, what’s the point of driving the Deathmobile if you can’t yell “CUT THE CAKE!” during a race. The vehicle starts every race as the famous float, which they can then leave behind on the track as an obstacle. Special thanks to Spencer1984 for generously providing me with a copy of his Deathmobile decals, which made finishing this must-have car much easier.

By the way, to date the Deathmobile had yet to even finish a race, much less win one. Most of the time, the last words heard by its driver is “RAMMING SPEEEEEEEEEEEED!”

Race Around the World

Speed Rally premiered at Historicon 2008 with the spectacular “Race Around the World” — a single course covering six tables and passing through six settings, including Rome, Hong Kong, the Grand Canyon, the Amazon, the Sahara and the Alps. Sixteen drivers vied to be declared the first Speed Rally Champion and win a copy of the game.

The cars are ready to leave Rome —

— and they’re off!
See the rest of the race report is below the fold.

Continue reading