Sunday, February 28, 2010
Motorific Tractor - Trailer
The loading dock has a series of guide grooves and levers which started, stopped, and reversed the truck; released or hitched the trailer, and switched the truck into the appropriate groove for loading/unloading; or simply passing by.
Truck enters loading dock track.
Pressing Lever #1 will direct truck into dock area.
Truck enters dock and advances towards the reversing trip.
Truck hits trip and begins to back up.
Tractor's reverse guide pin drops into slot.
Truck backs up.
Note how trailers wheels are steerable.
An ingenious design which made the whole idea possible.
Step 5: Truck parks and shuts off.
Step 6: Lever #1 releases trailer.
Step 7: Lever #2 starts truck. Truck leaves loading dock,
resetting trips for next time.
The chassis was compact, and unfortunately, a bit fragile. Mine has a few cracks, which I glued years ago. But I played with it a lot back then. Look closely and you will see tire marks on the tracks and chrome worn thin from handling.
The chassis had to fit a gear reduction drive, reversing mechanism, steerable front wheels and retractable reversing guide pin, a long with 2 AA batteries and a motor in a very small space.
Bottom view: Forward/Off/Reverse switch visible, along with front and rear guide pins, and trailer hitch/steering mechanism.
I remember paying $20 for the whole set back in 1970, after the Motorific line was discontinued and the set was relegated to the discount rack. A recent Ebay search revealed no sets for sale, but one person wanted $69 for the bare tractor chassis alone. I would venture to say that my $20 was not a bad investment.
Sadly, not just the Motorific line, but the Ideal Toy Company itself, has passed into history.
Posted by Robert at 6:51 PM