Throughout the 80s and 90s, Tyco Toys produced some of the most popular toys, radio control cars, and action figures in the world. But it was slot cars and HO trains that put Tyler’s Company (Tyco) on the map, and it was a product they’d continue to manufacture from beginning until the end.
The Tyco US1 Electric Trucking series, launched in 1981 with the titular Tyco US-1 Electric Trucking set, became one of their most popular ever, combining Tyco’s talent for play sets and action figures with their decades of experience in HO scale trains and HO slot cars. US-1 sets would be neither slot cars, nor play sets, but a combination of both.
Seeing this success, they’d continue to expand the range beyond this initial set to include many more themed sets, some of which we have reviewed at Tyco Collectors.
Top 5 Tyco US-1 Electric Trucking Sets
One of the first US-1 Electric Trucking Interstate Delivery Set was first released in 1981, with subsequent re-release in 1984.
There are many more we’re in the process of documenting right now, including:
- US-1 Big City Trucking (3201)
- US-1 Electric Trucking Highway
- US-1 Gravel Quarry
- US-1 Cross Country Trucking (3205)
- US-1 Long Haul Trucking (3215)
- US-1 Coast to Coast Trucking (3225)
- US-1 Road and Rail (3235)
Tyco US1 Electric Trucking Expansion Sets and Add-Ons
As well as complete sets with everything needed to play, Tyco would also produce smaller expansion sets with specific play modes, vehicles, and destinations.
- Crane Pipe Loader
- Log Loading Bulldozer
- Gravel Hopper with Dump Site
- Gravel Terminal with Unloader
- Car Crusher with Dump Site
Buying Considerations – how to much to pay, how easy to repair?
Age and Compatibility
- Recommended for ages 8+, kids love these sets as there’s just nothing like them today.
- All Tyco US-1 tracks are compatible with one another, and technically compatible with regular Tyco HO scale slot car sets, with some caveats (see ‘Compatibility’ below)
Most Tyco US-1 sets are widely available on eBay, though some are more popular and so more expensive.
See our individual articles on each set (listed above) with links to current items on sale.
Vintage Tyco Toys are coming more popular each year as the kids from the 80s and 90s get older, and become more nostalgic, and now with full time jobs they can finally enjoy all the toys they missed out on in their youth, or ones they simply remember fondly. In other words, they’re not getting any cheaper!
- Factors affecting cost include completeness of set, condition, popularity, and rarity.
- Price ranges from $100 for used sets in average condition and perhaps incomplete to $350 USD + for popular and excellent condition used sets.
- New unopened boxes are rare and easily exceed $500 USD +
Maintenance and Repair
- Repairing and replacing plastic models, gears, road signs, billboard signs, stickers, and other accessories is part of the fun, and isn’t difficult. If you’ve got access to eBay to find parts, and are handy with cleaning, greasing, gluing, and dusting then that’s all the skills you’ll really need for this hobby.
- Stickers are the most commonly replaced item, with faded stickers easily replaced with replicas and reproductions found online, or unused sticker sets from other packs.
- Repair guides can be found on YouTube, and simply asking in our forum, or a larger slot-car based forum will usually find you can answer to any question.
- Sanding and painting can be a useful skill, but it’s not as necessary with these small scale cars and accessories which are simpler built, and often a single color plastic (which can be polished instead of painted) with stickers on top. What can come in handy is a simple black market, and a chrome paint pen, depending on what you need to fix.
Track Compatibility between Tyco US-1 and Tyco HO Scale Slots
Looking at the underside of a typical US-1 Electric Trucking vehicle we can see the connection to the track extends the entire length of the vehicle – necessary to ensure they could reverse just as well as moving forward, while keeping stable, or even towing other toys.
The US-1 track itself is a gray colored version of the Tyco Quick Clik track used since the 1970s on all Tyco HO scale Slot Car sets. There are reports online of compatibility between the two track types, with some being directly compatible, and others requiring only minor modification to click together.
Additionally US 1 Electric Trucking vehicles also work on regular Tyco HO scale slot track, making for some interesting opportunities. Given the differences in speed and dynamics (US-1 controller, reverse, etc.) between typical slot cars and electric trucking, you’ll have to do some thinking about a track combination that’s going to be fun to play.
Community and Resources
- Say hello in our Tyco Collectors Forum – we’re new to US-1 and slot cars, and welcome your knowledge and excitement into our collectors community!
- Possibly the most comprehensive resource on Tyco US-1 is located at Tripod.com here: TYCO US-1 TRUCKING (tripod.com)
That’s all for now
These Vintage Tyco US1 Electric Trucking Slot Sets personally give me a warm and fuzzy feeling just looking at them. It’s that combination of 80s box art, simple yet exciting play modes, and the lack of any fancy electronics gadgetry that draw me to them.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just beginning your journey into the world of Tyco Toys, Tyco RC, and Tyco Slot Cars, this Tyco Trucking series is a great start, and sure to bring a smile to your face, just as much as it did mine. So what are you waiting for? Jump on eBay, run to your local garage sale or Goodwill, and find those Vintage Tyco Toys! Happy trucking!