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The Toy Car That Cost American Pickers $1,100

Modern toys have to pass all sorts of different safety checks before they get placed anywhere near your local Toys "R" Us or, more importantly these days, appear for purchase on Amazon. While these kinds of regulations are commonplace nowadays, they haven't always been standard. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act wasn't signed into law until 2008 and before the formation of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1972 (via CPSC.gov), the sale of children's toys in the United States was more or less akin to the wild, wild west. 

While the dangerous toys sold in the past might not be recommended for children anymore, they are pretty likely to catch the eye of antique collectors like the stars of History's "American Pickers." Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are always eager to add to their collection of bizarre antiquities and other oddities. In Season 17, Episode 7, the (no-longer-dynamic) duo run across one of these rare toys and quickly decide that it's a must-have, if only they can get the seller to agree to a good deal.

Tether cars could reach up to 214 mph

In the Season 17 episode titled "Hot Rod Hero," Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz find a tether car toy in a shop they are perusing. While the aged vehicle lacks an engine and the body has certainly seen better days, the history of the object is too strong to dissuade them from looking to purchase it. 

According to Mike, tether cars were a popular toy from the 1930s to the 1960s. Tether cars feature miniaturized internal combustion engines that allow the small vehicles to reach extremely high speeds. Because of the high-speed capabilities of the devices, the vehicles are "tethered" to a cable and only travel in a circle. The spectacle of such speed in such a tiny device made them a popular focus for races during the height of their commerciality. The highest recorded velocity of a tether car was a breakneck speed of 214 miles per hour (via Model Aviation). 

Mike's initial offer for the tether car is $700, but the owner counters that by asking for $1,000. While the owner is willing to settle for $800, Mike offers a combo deal for the tether car, two additional tether car bodies, and a memory jug for $1,100. The owner gladly accepts the offer and shakes Mike's hand to seal the deal.