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Old 01-01-2006, 09:47 AM
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Default Snow Trac TOYS

The FF don't have a "toy" forum, or a "collecting" forum so I wasn't really sure where to put photos of TOYS Snow Tracs! I figured I'd put them here simply because all the other Snow Trac discussion is in this forum.

I know of only 2 toys ever made to commerate the Aktiv Fischer Snow Trac which is a snow tractor that was made from 1959 to 1981 with approximately 2000 real units produced.

I have not been able to aquire, nor have I been able to source the cereal, but a breakfast cereal, which I believe marketed their cereal in Australia, included a snap together Snow Trac as a free toy in their cereal. Aktiv produced 2 different track designs, they had one version that had a large rubber tire at the rear fo the track, with small tires along the entire bottom edge. The breakfast cereal toy is modeled after this version of the Snow Trac.

Lesney MATCHBOX of England made 3 different versions of the Aktiv Fischer Snow Trac ST4. All were very similar in appearance, 2 of them used the same molds. All of the Matchbox toys are modeled after the 2 large wheel Aktiv Snow Trac; this version has 2 large rubber tires, one at the rear, and the third about 24" aft of the drive sproket. Lesney designated their toy #35 in the Matchbox series.
  • Version 1 had the words SNOW TRAC embossed in the sides of the tractor
  • Version 2 had no identification of the Snow Trac at all with smooth sides
  • Version 3 had white decals reading SNOW TRAC on the smooth sides
Below is a photo of the Australian cereal company Snow Trac toy. Also pictured below are 2 views of the Matchbox toy with white decals on the side.
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Last edited by Melensdad; 01-02-2006 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Here are 3 more MATCHBOX photos.

The first 2 show the embossed sides on the toy, the third photo has the plain sides.
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

You know, I had never even heard of a snow trac until you mentioned them. However, I have to admit that they seem to be the coolest thing on wheels, er, tracks. There's something about the things that are just cool. I don't know whether it is because they look like a go anywhere, but not huge, big boy toy, or what. They just look too cool to have not flourished.

What is their drawback? Do they have issues with their tracks? I know the powerplant is simple, efficient, reliable, and durable. Their size makes them reasonable for someone to own, as opposed to owning a tank. (I have a line one a very rare German tank that a guy wants to sell me if you want a real German tank) I could see southern rednecks running through the swamps and back woods with them. Why are they not running around everywhere? No attack or knock on them, they just seem too cool to not be more common. What gives?

By the way, if I were to buy another toy, do a 5 year complete restoration on it, and do a "Tim the Toolman" on the powerplant, my wife would make me live in it. However, they pretty well top the scale on the "cool" factor.
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Old 01-01-2006, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

In real terms I'm not the correct guy to ask, I'm a pretty new owner of a Snow Trac, and obviously am inexperienced with them too. But prior to buying, and ever since, I've been doing as much research as I can manage.

I think they did flourish, producing 2000 units for something that is obviously a limited market item seems pretty good, all things considered.

The Snow Trac seemed to appeal more a s people transport vehicle than as a now grooming/work vehicle. So for ski areas that groom their slopes, the Snow Trac would have been bested by more powerful equipment. The same is true for snowmobile clubs that pull large heavy drags to groom their trails. The Snow Trac is simply too light for that type of work.

I've found Snow Tracs used by utility companies across the northern latitudes from Canada and all across Europe to maintain electric lines. They were used by the British Commandos during the cold war as patrol and rescue vehicles, being light enough to carry by helicopter, they were carried in and dropped in remote areas for patrol of the Norwegian - Russian border during the cold war. Scotland seems to be a very busy area for private ownership of Snow Trac. Every large estate in the highlands seems to have had at least 1 for winter use, apparently they were a status symbol for quite a while. I know of Hotels & Restaurants in the Alps, as well as in upstate New York and also in Alaska that use Snow Tracs to ferry patrons to and through their property and some are still in use for this function today. I even know of Snow Tracs being used in the Texas Oil Fields as people/equipment transporters on the soft sand.

I believe their real downfall may have been the fac that they did not moderize their unit. The last Snow Trac produced in 1981 is very nearly identical to the first Snow Trac that was produced in 1959.


Below is an email I received from a guy who owns multiple Snow Tracs and has used them for a long time. His words may shed some light on the topic.
Hi Bob

Had a look at your snow trac on the web-site last night as it happens.

Was pleased to see that you too have a keen interest in them.
I've been involved with them for many years - the 1st in 1968 when I was a young deerstalker. Think it might have been one of the first in Scotland. It was the old style with the 2 rubber track. As I was leaving there to go to New Zealand my boss asked me to go and view one of the newer style . Must admit I thought it looked fantastic in comparison. Was clear to see the modifications were going to be a great improvement - tracks, sprocket setting and 1600 engine in comparison with the old 1200.

After coming back from New Zealand I took up a job in one of the most remote places in the UK. Winters were quite severe and the track in was obliterated by heavy snow and was blocked for many months of the winter. I relied totally on my snow trac to come and go to the outside world. Also used it for feeding sheep on a daily basis and also ferrying deer carcasses out for sale.

Been in business on my own for the last 20 years and needless to say snow tracs have been quite an important part of that business. I've been buying any machine I've come across and accumulated quite a lot of spare parts.

Still have a few machines in various states as well. Just getting the time to work on them is the problem!

I've been lucky to have had so much working experience of them in extreme conditions and I know exactly how they can perform. I do think they are a great machine.

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Old 01-04-2006, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

According to a Matchbox collectors website, 4 versions of the Snow Trac were available. I only own 3 of them
35B SNOW TRAC TRACTOR, 1964
1. red body, white treads, "Snow Trac" decals
2. red body, white treads, plain sides
3. red body, white treads "Snow Trac" cast on sides
4. red body, gray treads, "Snow Trac" cast on sides





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Old 01-06-2006, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

I had totally forgotten about this toy. It is a puzzle, issued by Lesney, with a 1969 copyright date on it.

I've only seen 1 of them in my life, is it still in the original cellophane wrapper and hanging on my office wall

I had a heck of a time with the photo because the cello is so reflective I kept picking up glare from the lights, flash, etc. Sorry it is sort of dark, but every other shot had too much glare across the image to see it clearly.
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Bob, have you just recently started collecting all the snow trac stuff? You sure have a lot of it. I suppose you had the match box toys first, and got the bug and the chance to get a full size one and you couldn't turn it down.
Cool stuff. Thanks for sharing the pics .....and oh yeah, your desk actually looks brown in the last pic you posted. :)
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

I had Matchbox toys when I was a kid, had a Snow Trac but the toys pictured here are all toys I've purchased a year or two ago. The one photo of the cereal box toy is not in my collection and I've tried (very unsuccessfully) to buy it. I don't think I've purchased any Snow Trac toys recently, but then again, I don't think they exist other than the toys I've pictured in this thread.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

I've been doing some digging and found out some information. The cereal toy pictued below is indeed an Australian toy, but it was given away in Kelloggs cereal.

The toy maker was ROSENHAIN & LIPMANN Toys, more commonly referred to as R & L Toys. The toy was from the "Polar Base" collection of snap together toys and appears to have been made in 1967. Rosenhain & Lipmann was based in Melbourne, Australia. I beleive the toys were issued in Australia by Kelloggs, but they may have also been issued in the USA.

If anyone ever sees one of these I would greatly appreciate hearing about it as I would like to aquire one of these toys.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
If anyone ever sees one of these I would greatly appreciate hearing about it as I would like to aquire one of these toys.
Let me guess . . . you aren't going to assemble it and drive it over your soggy Cornflakes. I bet many of these were drowned in half eaten bowls of cereal with nary a consideration of the value they would have to 50 year old teenager.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Hey, I am only 45! That makes me a pre-teen!
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:46 PM
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Talking Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
Hey, I am only 45! That makes me a pre-teen!
Yeah - whatever. Over 40 = old fart. (I got milk my last two years in my 30s for all they're worth!)!:StickOutT
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

I stumbled across another version of the Snow Trac toy. This appears to be a set that contains the same R & L toy that is pictured above in blue plastic, but includes other items with it. So it is the same toy but packaged in a set.

So the same toy was apparently sold in this set, and it was also given away in Kellogg's Cereal. Approximately 1975 to 1976.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

I have been searching for MONTHS to find one of the R & L Cereal Toys in any condition and have had no luck at all. The one I knew about I offered to buy but it was not for sale at any price.

Yesterday I lucked upon not 1, but 2 R & L Cereal Toy Snow Tracs (both are in average assembled condition) plus I also purchased a brand new-old stock from 1975, in the box version of the same toy, but packaged in the Aurora Snap A Roos Antarctic Exploraters set (as shown in the photo of the post above this post). So in 1 day, quite by accident, I managed to complete my Snow Trac toy collection. And I got all three of them for a very modest amount (less than a couple packs of cigarettes).

My wife still thinks I'm an idiot. But I'm a happy idiot! And she still puts up with me. :snooty:
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

And after all you have done for her!
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Old 02-27-2006, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Congrats on completing your toy collection! Of course, that just means you'll need to find more accesories for the big one too keep the wife convinced you're nuts.

Curious (probably posted this somewhere before, but I didn't notice), which bug bit you first, the toy or real thing?
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Old 02-27-2006, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy1
Congrats on completing your toy collection! Of course, that just means you'll need to find more accesories for the big one too keep the wife convinced you're nuts.

Curious (probably posted this somewhere before, but I didn't notice), which bug bit you first, the toy or real thing?
I think the blame can be squarely put on MATCHBOX. Had a Snow Trac toy when I was a kid. At that time I'm not even sure I knew that there were real vehicles that corresponded with the toys!

But then when the opportunity came up to restore another tractor, instead of choosing an antique farm tractor as I had done in the past, I figured I'd like to restore a Snow Trac. The farm tractors are fun, but can only hold 1 person at a time. The Snow Trac can be a family toy.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
The Snow Trac can be a family toy.
Aww thats nice Bob, putting your family first!
Cha! Like that was why!
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
I think the blame can be squarely put on MATCHBOX.
My habits of leaving toys outside of the sandbox ussually lead to them getting run over by a tractor.
Perhaps, that's why I prefer tractors....actually, I'm sure it has much more to do with me being way too cheap, not to mention hating body work [so cars and Kristis are out too].:o
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Snow Trac TOYS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy1
...actually, I'm sure it has much more to do with me being way too cheap, not to mention hating body work [so cars and Kristis are out too].:o
Man !!!! I didn't even say anything ! So how did Kristi's get thrown in here . Unfair!!!
Bob , on another note ,I am thinking about getting one of those Snow Trac toys for my "Kristi KT7" as a "chew toy" . I know she would love to "chew one up and spit it out " . Maybe I'll just wait till I let her play "cat and mouse" with ole Mouse Ear Mike's "wanna be snowcat ".

AHhhhhh.... Yes !!! The sun is shining and the Snow Trac insults have begun early today !
Good Morning Gentlemen!!!
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