The 1983 Tyco Fire Alert Electric Trucking set was a US-1 combination slot car and play set, manufactured by Tyco Industries, and released into the US, UK, and other markets worldwide in 1983.
Part of the Tyco US1 Electric Trucking range, which was launched in the late 1970s, and provided a unique alternative to traditional slot car racing sets by focusing on driving heavy vehicles around various play set pieces along the road-styled track.
Fire Alert obviously had a firefighting theme, featuring fire trucks and accessories related to city fire brigades, including a fire station, fire trucks, an operating fire alarm, and other components that could be connected to create a realistic firefighting scenario. The fire trucks were designed to navigate the track, pick up and drop off accessories, and interact with various components like the fire station and alarm.
The complete set of (non-vehicle) play features in the Tyco Fire Alert set included:
- Fire station with automatic switch (when dump truck parks, Fire Engine leaves!)
- Gravel Hopper
- Log Yard
- Pipe Loader
- Materials to transport including logs, pipe, and gravel.
- Highway bollards and road signs
- Twin steering wheels allowing forward and backwards control of both vehicles
Fire Alert shipped with three Magnum 440 based vehicles:
- Fire Truck (Red) with lights, bell*, and working extendable ladder. It fits neatly inside the Fire Station, and will trigger, driving out as soon as the dump truck is parked.
- Dump Truck (Green) with chrome features and working tipper tray for receiving and dumping pipe, logs, and gravel.
- Freight Truck (Blue) with long yellow trailer for hauling the “gravel” balls
Oh, and when they say the Fire Truck has a bell – they don’t mean some teeny tiny electronic speaker that goes beep. Nope. It contains a bell.
The other vehicles in this Tyco Electric Trucking set are pretty sweet too!
The set seems fairly simple compared to a larger Electric Racing track set, though it’s so much more exciting because you’re getting these mini playsets and three types of vehicles, to live out your fire engine, dump truck, and hauling fantasies!
Just imagine being a kid in the 80s unboxing one of these sets for Christmas… before iPads, and mobile games, and all that stuff which stopped kids playing with their toys and using their imaginations… yes I sound like a grumpy old man (my god, am I?!) but this would have been an EPIC Christmas and/or birthday gift for so many!
As with all ‘Electric Trucking’ sets, this isn’t about complex racing track layouts and loop-the-loops, bends, and all that. The track is here to create space for hauling ass between stop-offs, loading up your goods (or dumping them) and tearing up the tarmac to your destination.
Collectability and Availability
The Tyco Fire Alert Electric Trucking set is clearly a high value collectable, with the average USD price now around $350 USD. Sheesh. So yes, serious collectors only sadly.
Just like Tyco RC cars, pricing is starting to get a little crazy, so if you’re looking to pick one up cheap you may have toi get lucky at an auction, or buy a few broken/missing sets to create one whole. Often minor cosmetic issues will drag a price down substancially, some of them often fixable.
So be wise, don’t get put off by bad photos, or a little dirt/dust here and there, look for the potential, and know that ultimately you can fix or replace most items.
Just the Fire Station itself is selling for $135 USD right now, which is as much as many complete Tyco slot car sets, making this easily one of the most popular and expensive track sets around!