Dick Tracy’s Police Squad Car [Photos]

Posted 8 years ago by Toys

If I had to list my favorite action figure lines as a kid, Playmates’ Dick Tracy series would be up there, hanging out with the likes of TMNT, Bucky O’Hare, and all the other embarrassing toys I used to play with. I’ve written about the Dick Tracy toys before, but never about the toy line’s vehicles.

Playmates released two vehicles in their line of action figures based on the (bad) movie, and even though they’re almost identical, I love them. Today I wanted to take a look at Dick Tracy’s Police Squad Car. Growing up, I was always a fan of normal-looking action figure vehicles. I was all about roleplay when I played with my toys, and having cars for my characters that didn’t look like giant mosquitos or crazy tanks was always a plus.

Dick Tracy's Police Squad Car

Dick Tracy’s police car is a pretty awesome-looking vintage car, and even though you can only fit one Dick Tracy action figure in the front seat, it looks great with the figures. The runners on the side have foot pegs to allow for the coppers to stand up and shoot all the goofy looking bad guys and look cool doing it.

Geek Confession: The reason I thought to snag this toy on eBay is because I’m building a little New York City street diorama to use for action figure photography. I’ve been having a blast taking pictures of toys lately, but without an interesting backdrop the pictures usually don’t turn out very well. I realized that a street scene could double for modern day and Dick Tracy-era New York, and that a couple of the Playmates vehicles would look awesome in the background.

I’ll be posting a series of articles soon on how I’m building the diorama, because I’m a huge nerd.

Dick Tracy's Car

It was kind of awesome opening a toy from 1990, snapping it together, and applying 22 year-old stickers. If there’s one thing I never get tired of, it’s 90s toy packaging. I love the art, the copy, the photos of goofy kids with the toys, and the meaningless points you could accumulate by clipping little squares from the backs of the boxes. With the Turtles it was Pizza points, and with Dick Tracy it’s Fingerprint Points. I’ve never been able to find out what you could do with Fingerprint Points, but I’m sure it was awesome.

Dick Tracy

High-speed gun battles? Sign me up! I mean, I’ve been in some high-speed gun fights, but never full on gun battles. Dick Tracy means business. Seriously though, this car is pretty badass. I like that Playmates eschewed attaching big, fake-looking machine guns to the front of the car, because in any other toy line that probably would have happened.

A big 1930s paddy wagon would have been cool to haul all the villains in after Dick Tracy and Sam Catchem chased them down at high-speeds and shot them repeatedly, which is what I assume happens in a gun battle. Seeing as how you can’t even put a figure in the back seat, I’m sure a lot of kids in the 90s were not taking very many prisoners when they played Coppers & Gangsters.

Dick Tracy's Police Squad Car

I love that Dick Tracy not only looks nothing like Warren Beatty, but doesn’t even have his trademark yellow jacket on. That’s one of the most endearing qualities about this toy line, I think. It looks like a random dude that just stole Dick Tracy’s hat.

Putting Dick Tracy in the driver’s seat makes him look huge though, and therefore more badass. If saw that coming at me in my rear view mirror I’d be shaking in my wingtips.

Of course Sam Catchem doesn’t look anything like Seymour Cassel either, so maybe they weren’t even trying. You’ve got to love the vehicles and accessories of this toy line though. Rarely anymore do you see an action figure with a realistic-looking gun, or a vehicle that looks fairly normal. Dick Tracy’s Police Squad Car probably seemed boring to most kids in the 90s, but I always wanted it. I just didn’t think it would take twenty years to get it.

I’ll be looking at the other vehicle in this series soon, so keep your eyes peeled if you were like me and loved this weird toy line.

  • I like that the bullet points give you reasons why the doors open, like recommendations for how to play with this thing. But could the expression on that kid’s face get any goofier? He’s not even looking at the product. I need to stop looking at him now. I kind of want to punch him.

    • Well, gunfight shielding is important! And yeah, it’s like he’s looking at a much cooler toy on the opposite side of the table or something. How weird would it be to be able to say you were a kid on a toy box in the 90s?

      • That’d be surreal. I always wonder who those kids are and what happens to them.

        • Yeah it would. I once met someone who was a contestant on Double Dare as a kid and still had their t-shirt. Unless they were lying.

          • That’s totally the type of thing kids in the 80s/90s would lie about.