Tyco Pocket Power was a collection of portable mini toys in a pocket sized rectangular case that were created by SEGA Toys (Japan), manufactured in Thailand, and licensed by Tyco Toys for distribution in the US, UK, Mexico, Philippines, and other markets worldwide.
The first set of 10 toys were released in 1989 beginning with Thunder Blade, Rapid Fire, Top Fight, Road Blaster, G.I. Supply, Target Master, Glo-Bones, Turbo Prop, Hovercraft and Indy Racer.
The following year Series 2 was released with several making a return including Thunder Blade, Roadblaster, Indy Racer, and Turbo Prop, however there was also new designs introduced – Speed Boat, Top Fueler, UFO, Survival Kit, Baseball, and Trick Squirt.
It’s interesting to note that all three projectile toys (Rapid Fire Uzi, G.I. Supply Bazooka, and Target Master Pistol) were all missing from the 1990 release, despite these surely being the most popular versions, right?
I mean I don’t have any hard facts, but if you had to get one as a kid, there’s no way you’re picking Baseball over a ‘Rapid Fire’!
With the toys originally designed for the Japanese market it’s no surprise that they had Airsoft-style spring firing toys included, as these are (or were) common in Japanese toys at the time, though other countries such as the U.S. were a little more cautious. For example, the Taiyo (Japanese) version of the Radio Controlled Tiger Tank shoots airsoft pellets, whereas the Tyco (US) Tiger Tank just has a sound effects chip.
In the words of Tyco
Power that packs in your pocket!
10 different action toys you carry in your pocket! No bigger than an audio cassette, you snap out each toy and fire for maximum fun! Launch the UFO Space ship into orbit! Race the Roadblaster Motorcycle! Shoot in three directions with the Trick Squirt Gun! Snap the Indy Racer onto the track!– Tyco Toy Fair Catalog 1990
Features and Performance
Many of the toys used a geared zip line called the ‘Power Lock’ that could be pulled, converting your linear pull into rotational force, spinning the wheels of the Roadblaster motorcycle, IndyCar and Dragster, or causing the UFO and Turbo Prop to spin up and take off.
Others had their own unique mechanisms or were simple toys in their own right.
Let’s look at each of them, and I’ll include Tyco’s description from the 1990 catalog in Italics where available, or my own comments.
“Power propelled for speed. Real propeller action for use on water — wheels for land! “
Series 3 and More Information
While researching for this article I stumbled across a wonderful site called PocketPowerToys.com, which much like TycoCollectors.com is a fan site dedicated to sharing with the world all about these wonderful toys. Even more interesting was they mentioned a Series 3!
I’d only managed to find one of the Series 3 before coming across that site – this awesome little submarine:
So if you’d like more in-depth information about Pocket Power toys, from a site dedicated to the product, I’d highly recommend you check out https://pocketpowertoys.com
Availability and Collectability
One of the best things about Pocket Power toys, apart from being small and affordable, is that they’re also easy to collect, with a plentiful supply of both ‘Brand New’ and Used / Unboxed items available online. Pricing starts from a few dollars for individual items, up to almost a hundred USD for a new fully boxed product.
As for collectability, these toys were designed to be not just collectable, but easy to collect from the very beginning. From their size, their affordability and interesting gimmicks, they’re a collectors item, and with websites popping up dedicated to these toys I can see them continuing to grow in popularity as children of the era get older and start looking back at their younger years with nostalgia.
©SEGA 1988. Distributed by Tyco Toys under license from SEGA Enterprises, Ltd., Japan.