Hot Wheels Scene Machines (1979)

Scene Machines Ad 1979

Scene Machines Spidey 1979

Scene Machines Spidey 1979-2

I’d completely forgotten about these. I had the cleverly named Space Van (on the package it was called Space Vehicle). You looked through a viewer in the back of the van and saw what was going on inside—the Hulk, for instance, was smashing stuff. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a cool illusion, a momentary voyeuristic satisfaction. It’s not like we’d ever find out what was going on inside the real vans the older kids inhabited.

The scene on the card is what you saw inside the van. Here’s the Space Vehicle card and actual viewer image, the latter via Hobby Talk. (Click link for more viewer images.)

Scene Machines Space 1979

Scene Machines Space Image 1979

The Scene Machines were released in ’79 and continued to be produced until at least ’81. You can see some later models (Thor and the Human Torch included) at Plaid Stallions.

(Images via Hot Wheels Wikia, eBay, and Hobby Talk Forums)

6 Responses to “Hot Wheels Scene Machines (1979)”


  1. 1 Ed February 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    You have got to be kidding me! I still have all of my Hot Wheels and they are in great shape. I know I have a least a couple of the super hero ones and I never knew I was supposed to look inside! It looks like the Hot Wheel cases are coming out tonight, I am sure the wife will be thrilled.

  2. 3 J February 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    My brother had a bunch of these. I know the Spiderman car and The Web of Thunder specifically. We had alot of damage in my house growing up due to ramp mishaps . I don’t remember any of these cars breaking though. I’m curious about the quality of current Hot Wheels. I just saw Hot Wheels versions of Crockett’s black Ferrari Daytona and Ferris Buelers sister’s white sports car in the magazine/ toy aisle at the Stop & Shop (with the radio on). They looked pretty neat.

    • 4 2W2N February 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      The new cars feel less sturdy and much lighter, but I could be projecting.

      I have mixed feelings about all these “retro” toys. On the one hand, I get a kick out of certain ones, including some of the Hot Wheels throwbacks. On the other hand, I think it’s kind of sad that toy makers are focusing so much energy on middle-aged males, and so little energy on coming up with gnarly stuff for the next generation (male and female). What’s your take?

  3. 5 leftylimbo February 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. I vaguely remember these, not sure if I actually owned one or not. Great concept nonetheless.

  4. 6 J February 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, I agree. Baseball cards, comics, and video games are way too focused on older demographics. I had tons of Baseball cards growing up, a nearly complete 1986 Topps set aquired mostly through trading at school (destroyed in a basement flood, sniff). I rarely see baseball cards in convenience stores and supermarkets now. I think it might be a modern myth that kids don’t appreciate physical possessions (Skylanders?). They just don’t seem to have as many opportunities to do so.

    When I go into my local comic shops I wonder how many of the toys in there are ever actually played with or if those comics on the walls sealed in plastic will ever be read. Seems like they’re going to waste. I did almost walk out of Stop & Shop with a Miami Vice Hot Wheel earlier, but unlike Crockett and Tubbs, I knew when to quit. No shoot outs with feds required.


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