Imagination required

Saturday, May 22nd, 2004
At a time when the average American family did not own a color television, kids still had their play stations.  (If you instantly thought of Sony, then you may be too young to remember what this blog entry is about.)

Back in the days when the words "Some assembly required" meant that you had to have a tool-box, we had to use our imagination to play and there were a variety of basic toys to help us do so. I was lucky enough to own a toy that sparked my imagination -- it was an all-metal, recumbent ride-on rocket-plane, by Mattel, designed to look like the then-popular X-15 supersonic aircraft.

Image:Imagination required

This toy was special to me because it was given to me by my grandfather, who was a fuel systems specialist at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in support of this amazing aircraft. Little did I know then that someday I too, would have the opportunity to work at Edwards - not on planes but on computers as a technology consultant and trainer at the Flight Test Center.

Image:Imagination required
Here I am, flying over my front yard

With flight stick in hand, I would cruise down the sidewalk, sometimes for hours, carrying out various missions to defend our country.  Then, I would bank left and head for home to a glass of Nestle's, a plate of fresh baked cookies, and to catch up on the latest episode of Gilligan and Batman on our 13" black and white television. Finally, I would return to the skies and to complete my next mission.

A play station, was whatever was in front of us at the time. Whether it was a cool toy such as my X-15, or a pair of make-shift collapsible swords, made from a broken set of rabbit ears, there was always adventure to be found at play, and the best toys did not require batteries, Just imagination.

Those were great times.

Thanks, Grandpa.

Discussion/Comments (33):

X-15 Vrooom


I had one of those X-15 Vrroooms when I was a kid in the late 60's. I loved that thing to death, but could never remember the NAME of it until I saw your site.



Posted at 12/29/2004 12:47:05 by Brad Parsley

Imagination required

Great pictures and story. I too was given one from my grandparents. I have kept it for 37 years. I will never part with it. The memories of those years always bring a smile to my face. I have over the years purchased 3 more x-15 machines. Hey they will never make them again and I wanted to make them available to create new memories for my future children. Regards, Russell

Posted at 04/16/2005 23:14:49 by Eric Burr

Looking for an X-15

I've been feeling nostalgic lately. I also had an X-15 as a young boy and to this day can not get it off my mind. It was absolutely awesome. I am trying to locate one to purchase for my son. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you- Mike

Posted at 12/22/2005 20:59:04 by mike shutter

Imagination required

I got one of these cool X-15's for Christmas in 1965 from my parents. It's the only one they had ever seen. I was the envy of every child on our block! I recently purchased one on ebay and am proudly displaying it in my home.

Thanks Mom and Dad!!


Posted at 12/29/2005 9:34:02 by Gail

Imagination required

I too, had one of those cool toys back in the early 60's given to me by my parents.To me it was sort of the great-granddaddy of the modern Big Wheel except made out of metal!No cheezy plastic for us kids,it was sheet metal all the way!My mother had a desk model of a x-15,signed by the men who flew it!!!It was in my possesion for years,till I recently sent it back to her.Thanks for the fond memories............

Posted at 08/14/2007 13:41:17 by C.R. PEIRCE

re: Imagination required

A fun toy and fond memories, indeed.

Posted at 08/16/2007 23:33:30 by Eric Mack

Imagination required

wow. I was watching some old 8mm movies from my childhood and my Dad asked me if I remember my x-15. what a blast from the past! my grandparents gave it to me, and no other kid I knew had anything like it. I loved that toy. so solid. pull the stick hard to one side and you could skid out.

Posted at 12/13/2007 15:41:57 by Phil Cusick

Imagination required

i loved my X~15

would still have the darn thing today but my mother "lent" it to my cousin and when she thought he was done with it my Aunt sold it in a garage sale for 5$. I can feel the pain all over again.


oh yea I waxed it every week too.

Posted at 01/31/2008 17:00:42 by Lisa

re: Imagination required

Ouch. That was one of the coolest toys around. My daughter has a Buzz Light year cart that is similar in design but not nearly as cool. Check eBay. they sometimes show up there.

Posted at 02/08/2008 15:02:34 by Eric Mack

Imagination required

I had one of these also,I saw it in the store on my sisters birthday and my Dad thought it was neat,she has never forgiven me because all the kids on the block were in awe when I brought it home.I had the Batmobile model and to my understanding it was quite rare,unfortunatly I think it was sold in a garage sale..What a great toy though.

Thanks for the memory

Posted at 02/16/2008 19:28:33 by r.wilson

re: Imagination required

I had the X15 model, I did not know there was a Batman model - how cool!

For me, th eX15 was cool because my grandfather was a fuel systems engineer on the real X15 at Edwards Air Force Base.

I wish I still had my X15.

Posted at 02/16/2008 19:54:15 by Eric Mack

Imagination required

I actualy have had all the pieces to the X-15 for many years now hanging in my barn. Not knowing til now that is is an X-15. Ive always called it a Vrooom pedal car, thats probably why I haven't heard about them. Now I'm learning it may have been one of your's since my mom had bought it for me about ten years ago at a garage sale. I know what it susposed to look like now, I can't wait to restore it, I just need to find someone to put new rubber on the tire's.

Posted at 04/05/2008 23:13:26 by Greg Bray

Imagination required

It is interesting how the internet can bring memories back to real life. I have told people about my x-15 for years and nobody knew what I was talking about. I too was the envy of the neighborhood in the late '60s. Those pictures bring back memories and I find myself wanting to get on one and go for a ride. Thanks for the trip down memorie lane!

Posted at 05/29/2008 8:20:51 by Andrew m. Buck

re: Imagination required

Indeed! You are welcome.

Posted at 05/29/2008 17:35:07 by Eric Mack

Imagination required

We own a X-15 Mattel pedal car that is in very good condition (all original) including decals and hand grip. Would like to sell it for a fair price. If interested please e-mail.

Posted at 08/06/2008 17:53:22 by Roy Hughes


Wow! I can't believe it! How much you askin for the X-15? My brother and I loved that thing... I'd love one for my nephew!

Posted at 11/25/2008 18:49:51 by Roberta Armijo

Imagination required

Give me a price

Posted at 12/04/2008 13:03:30 by allen

re: Imagination required

Sorry, I don't have one to sell.

Posted at 12/04/2008 16:19:49 by Eric Mack

re: X-15

Sorry, I do not have one for sale. I do see them from time to time on eBay. Good luck.

Posted at 12/09/2008 17:50:37 by Eric Mack

Imagination required

Would love for all of you to post your X-15 pictures , stories and any other information about your Mattel X-15's on the Mattel X-15 fansite called Museum of Vintage V-RROOM!. Also, please place a pin on the registry map so everyone can see where all of the remaining X-15 trikes are located.

{ Link }

Posted at 02/09/2009 22:32:25 by Mattel Maniac

Imagination required

I have an 8mm film of me riding mine down the sidewalk and turning it on it's side to"work on it" I too loved that thing!!

Posted at 02/21/2009 19:30:48 by Don

Imagination required

Wow! I didn't remember the name of it other than x-15 until my mother showed me pictures of me on my brand new machine I got it for my 5th birthday in January of 1965! This thing taught me to be a natural stick and rudder pilot! Skills that I still use today as a real pilot! I too used to ride for hours pretending to be on missions in my x-15! It finally lost the front wheel bearing and fell apart in 1974. My dad trashed it without my knowledge the following week when I was on a camping trip! To bad because I would have never gotten rid of that thing it was so cool!

Posted at 03/10/2009 22:04:10 by a true x-15 pilot!

Imagination required

RE: X-15 recumbent bike. Got one for my son circa 1964...he and his brother wore out the back wheels so it rested in storage while we lived overseas. I was able to restore it and found wheels at (I believe) American Science Surplus. It is now the wonder of our neighborhood as my grandsons ride up and down sidewalks. One guy stopped and asked where he could buy one for his kids and was amazed to learn it was an original. Maybe my great grandkids will enjoy it also.

Posted at 04/03/2009 20:05:38 by tony martinez

Imagination required

I had one of these until the movers "lost" it when we moved from Colorado Springs to DC. I was one sad three year old kid, to say the least. That was back in 1965 and I still think about it from time to time.

Posted at 06/03/2009 21:36:58 by Mikey

Imagination required

I too had an X-15 varoom,

it was really cool and it was fun pedaling that thing around the places in our neighborhood,

It mad that neat growling sound and it was totally different than all the plastic stuff out there like big wheel's,

I wish I had one just for memeories sake it would be cool just to push it along as theres no way i could get in it,

Sweet memories,

Posted at 07/05/2009 15:39:20 by Kirk C,

Imagination required

what do you want for it, I mean the X-15 trike?

Posted at 07/05/2009 15:41:35 by Kirk C,

Holy Crap! An X-15

Wow, that's incredible. I don't HAVE a Mattel X-15. I don't WANT a Mattel X-15, but looking at the pictures sure takes me back. My brother had one. It was all he asked for his birthday and Christmas (Sadly for him, my brother was born on Decvember 24.) My parents blindfolded him and made him sit down on it, and he knew right away of course.

Amazing that so many of these unusual toys made it into the 21st Century!

Posted at 07/19/2009 10:13:26 by blackbelt_jones

Imagination required

Thanks, so much, for the information and pictures of this most wonderful bike. I got mine when I was 3 years old in '64. I loved that bike more than any other toy, before or since. I didn't know it was called the X-15, till now. I called mine "My Rocket Ship". I was never allowed to let others ride it and one day I found the seat gone. I guess if they couldn't play with mine, then I shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it, either. I got to enjoy "My Rocket Ship" for 3 or 4 years before the seat jacking. I still miss that bike, but it has been great taking a trip down memory lane with all of you who remember and experienced the thrill of the ride these babies provide. The X-15 was, in my opinion, the best thing Mattel ever came out with. Ever! Again, Thank You All!

Posted at 09/06/2009 11:35:01 by Judy S.

Imagination required

I've been looking for years for the X-15 - my 45 yr old son had one years ago and I sold it at a garage sale and I don't think he ever forgave me for it...This past week I stopped at a garage sale and found one - I'm thrilled...and he will be also when we give it to him for Christmas...I'm looking for decals for the side and the belt and most importantly the lever to hook to the varoom motor - otherwise it's in good shape. Any suggestions?? The mom....

Posted at 09/08/2009 11:42:27 by char

Imagination required

How much is one of these X-15 worth in fair condition?

Posted at 11/09/2009 11:19:40 by Nick

Imagination required

I have been looking for one of these for my grandson. I had one in the 60's and loved that toy more than anything.

Sad to say, my X-15 was stolen out of our yard in Poseyville, IN 1967. So who ever took it, I would like it back.

Posted at 12/07/2009 7:04:56 by David

Imagination required

how much is one worth in good shape.

Posted at 01/04/2010 19:42:19 by ron

Imagination required

i have a v-room x 15 in good condition i have had it since i was 8 1964 never wanted to part with it but need money so if anyone is interated email me at thamks cathy

Posted at 07/14/2010 18:23:09 by cathy ann hayes

Discussion for this entry is now closed.