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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Kenner Can-Am SSP Plastic Car General Mills Fun Group Promotional 1970s Citgo Gas Station Lego Lovers


Image of my Kenner Citgo MIni SSP Can AM Orange  car in my Etsy shop.


Hello little toy plastic fantastic car, what are you? How did I not know you in my youth? 

Recently I was offing my extra stock of  Hot Wheels and Matchbox vintage cars in my Etsy shop, and came across this strange orange car I had gotten some time ago.  Although I refuse to admit being actually old, or archaic, it is true that I am a 1970s child. Even so, one who loved plastics growing up, whom does not remember this at all, and perhaps with good reason.  

I was s. Born in 1973, these cars were made as gas station premiums by Kenner for Citgo gas stations circa 1970-1971ish.  Still, if my older guy buddies that I hung with (I was their shadow), had one of these coveted somewhere in their collection, I am sure at age six or so I would have remembered such a glorious piece of plastic! But they didn't have one, and with good reason.  They were all older than me, and most likely outgrew it, broke or lost the zipper part, or gave it away.  Surely if they had sold it for ten cents at the neighborhood flea I would have remembered it.  By the way, I should thank the kids across the street for that cool 45RPM collection including Blondie's Heart of Glass for $1.00.   

Kenner Car
Does that look like a Lego to you? 

Good Design, wait, whut, is that a LEGO? 

What's even stranger is how the car is designed.  It surely at first glance reminds me of having a "LEGO" build onto it, when it's actually some part of the exhaust or something, I wonder if it's designer played with Legos when he was designing the super spiffy plastic engine? I don't know.  Just sayin'. 

Kenner Can Am Car
From my RetroChalet Etsy shop.

The car is a Can-Am, Mini SSP which is short for Super Sonic Power.! According to the instructions if you whip the little rip cord through, it will turn out 20,000 rpms. I'm not a math whiz by far, in fact I definitely suck at all things math, but I think that may be an overstatement.  Maybe in 1970's advertising terms, the 20,000 rpms is the equivalent of pretend warp speed. 

As for the Can-Am model,  Kenner also produced a green model of the same style, which they had in a Tournament of Thrills kid's playset in the 1970's.  The orange seemed to be a gas station premium, thus the boring cardboard display box I can just imagine these lining up a little plastic cabinet in the gas station and kids screaming at their parents to buy them one. I am NOT sure if this was a mail in car or on site premium.  I do know it originally came with: 

  • Rip Cord
  • Decal Sheet
  • Advertising Memorabilia
  • Car

 rmpsThis is just another fine example of Plastic Fantastic.  Also a great indicator of cool toys we used to get.  

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