1977 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog: Matchbox Combat Zone Playset and Thundershift 500

1977 JCPenny Christmas page404

1977 JCPenny Christmas page405

The Matchbox Combat Zone was a play case only. You had to buy all the vehicles separately. I guess it’s a riff on the Marx war sets, but not a very good one.

I don’t think I had the Thundershift 500, but I remember playing with one. “Control vehicle speed with the shifter—a strong stroke sends your car through the tunnel and on to victory.”

If that doesn’t sound familiar, take a look at this video.

It’s a lot more fun when you’re racing someone.

(Catalog images via WishbookWeb)

(Video via cozythunder1/YouTube)

1 Response to “1977 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog: Matchbox Combat Zone Playset and Thundershift 500”


  1. 1 leftylimbo December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Aw geez, yet another catalog page where I feel I need to circle the things I had, and the things I wish I had.

    All 3 of those warships, including another one not pictured? Had ’em. Those awesome die-cast tanks and planes? Had ’em, except my planes were Dyna-Flites.

    I’m diggin’ on that Thundershift, but what caught my attention more was the Sizzlers II set. Sizzlers are killer (I bought my son a set when he was barely a year old back in 2007 when Target re-popped ’em), but I had no idea they came out with Sizzlers II! That Sizzers Day/Night Challenge Set is craaaazy! Holy crap!


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