Volume IX, Number 4

Kenner Fast 111's - 'One of a Kind license Plates'
story and images by Dan Whitehand

Kenner Fast 111's provided a chance to get a die cast car with a 'One of a Kind License Plate'. Your friends couldn't and wouldn't have one just like it. Each License Plate was "One of a Kind". And considering the wide possibilities for variations in the license plates, I believe it was true. Each package has a 'Certificate of Ownership' on the back for the owner to fill out to add to this personal ownership concept. On the package backs of the copyrighted 1980 and early 1981 packages, each of the first 16 different models had a different "Certificate" including statistics on the model in the package. Later years, all models had the same "Certificate" as any other model (with no statistics).

The 'One of a Kind License Plates' were well advertised on each package. Most noticeable on the models though is the large bumper which could be either Chrome or Black on many of the models. That large bumper helps to easily identify the cars as 'Fast 111's'. However, the bumper is a love it/hate it type of design. Some think the bumper helped lead to this brands demise.

The 'One of a Kind License Plates' could be any of the 50 United States & Puerto Rico (Available in U.S.A. and Australia), 10 Canadian Provinces & 2 Canadian Territories (only available in Canada along with the U.S.A. plates), European number plates during the 1st year (and then States Plates available in Britain), and the Netherlands plates (Available in Holland). Each plate could have a different color and number combination. For example, any States License Plate could be a different color on a different model adding to the variations possible.

In England, the 'Fast 111's' were first sold "Under license from Kenner Products Corp. Cincinnati, Ohio" by The Palitoy Company, only with British Number Plates. The mis-spelling of "licence" was on the package. I believe that Palitoy may have only sold "Fast 111's" during the first year because Kenner Fast 111's appeared there with United States license plates at some point afterwards. Any of the packages I've seen from Palitoy are only for one of the first 16 models. During the time Palitoy sold 'Fast 111's', they did not put 'Kenner' anywhere on the package except at the very bottom of the back of the package. The cars themselves have the same paint jobs and the base is essentially the same with only the 'Made in Hong Kong' in a different place on the base compared to cars I've seen from the U.S.A. or Canada.

There is no way of knowing now if all models came with all the available States and/or other places license plates on them ­ It would be quite an undertaking to try to find that out for certain.

Kenner Fast 111's certainly knew about the idea of possible variations to add to their sales. Using the "Blazin' Bandit" (Firebird) for an Example.

There are the White and the Black Colors in the blister packs,

Then there was Chrome or Black Bumpers,

Next- place of production was either Hong Kong or Macao.

License Plates could be any of the 50 State Plates, Puerto Rico, 10 Provinces, 2 Canadian Territories, Britain Number Plates, and Netherlands Plates (of course availability depended on where you lived).

Then there was the exclusive "Dyna Loop Set" Yellow "Blazin' Bandit" with blue and orange tampo saying "Thrill Team" on side, Chrome Hong Kong Base/Bumper.

So let's see 2x2x2x65 = 390 + 1= 391.

Then each plate is "One of a Kind" so that makes the possible variations -

Impossible to Count .

Then there are paint tint variations, I have only seen a few but I bet there are more.

Some models have Chrome or Black Engines or Interiors but I haven't seen enough to be sure if this is a Variation or an Error. So you can see there are many possible variations on each car model. Not all of the models were made with both bumpers or from both countries of production.

Kenner Fast 111's were made from 1980 to 1983. They were made first in Hong Kong (1980/1981) then 1982/1983 both Hong Kong and Macao. Models were mostly in two colors per model but there are a few with only one color, a couple with 3. There can be some variation in model color, tampo design and tampo colors depending on country of manufacture. Not all the cars have their names on the base. Kenner made a total of 38 different "Fast 111's" by the time of their demise. The first 16 models manufactured in 1980/1981 continuing through to 1983 are the easiest to find.

There are also Prototype Kenner Fast 111's that come up on E-Bay from time to time. The Prototypes I've seen are all bare metal body with chrome (no print) bases and bumpers, usually with a code or number written on the body in black magic marker. I have seen the Range Runner, Shark Shifter, Outlawer, Piston Pusher, and Blue Monday / Emergency Van in prototype form so far.

Another hard to find model is the Chrome Toy Fair "Jet Vet" which had license plates that are said to use the name of the person that was receiving it. I'm still on the lookout for this particular model.

For each area in the U.S.A. a special multi-pack was available with 4 to 6 cars. The license plates were arranged to be for the States included in that area. I've seen pictures of normal 3 and 4 car multi-packs available as well.

There were 2 track sets available with Exclusive Cars included. The "Dyna Loop" set had the Yellow "Blazin' Bandit" described above. While the "Burnout Alley" set had 2 exclusive cars included; a maroon with flames "King Cobra" and a gold/brown "King Cobra". The maroon with flames is harder to find mint.

There was also a Fast 111's Dealership/ Showroom set. I'm unsure if this set came with any cars.

In 1982 Kenner did a Chrome Mail-in Car Promotion using the "Piston Pusher" model. It came with 200 custom license plates that had names and custom sayings on them. All the Mail-in Cars had the exact same license plates sheets come with them. So they were not as "One of a Kind" as the blister pack car license plates were. You had to send in 5 proofs of purchase from the packages and they would send you the Special Car and Customizing License Plates. The car was supposed to have been available until Dec. 31, 1982.

Another Fast 111's Promotion done in 1982 included a Charity ­ Cerebral Palsy ­ I do not have the complete information on this promotion but if you participated you received a Button. The metal Button was about 2 _ inches round and said "I Raced My Kenner Fast 111's One of a Kind Plates to Beat CP."

For 1983 Kenner Fast 111's did a Belt Buckle Promotion. You had to send in the proof of purchase (from the back of blister) from 5 cars again. The offer expired April 30, 1983, the package says.

Along with all the items already mentioned there are Collector's Carrying Cases ­ One holding 12 cars and the other a 24 car case.

The 12 car case has a molding on the outside of the base that allows you to use it as a starting point to race 2 cars. You could also use it without any track or track connectors could slide into 2 slots at the edge of the box. There is a little yellow button you can see on the bottom, which pulls out, and extents two yellow tire stops to hold the cars until you push in the button to start the race. The lid label looks like a license plate which says "Kenner", "Fast 111's", "One of a Kind License Plates!" , and "Collector's Case." In Canada the 12 Car Case label was done differently only in that the last two quotes are done in English and French.

The 24 Car Case had a U.S.A. Map design on the front, with 2 storage levels and using a 12 car tray as the top level. The bottom level was deeper then the tray to allow the taller castings to fit in. This was similar to older hard plastic Majorette 24 car cases in that way but Kenner only used one loose tray. There are little plate stickers put on mine, so I guess that you received some plate stickers with the case originally so that you could keep track of which State's cars you had collected. The stickers are the same size as the plates on the cars; they say the State name on the top with "Fast 111's" below it. These 24 Car Cases were only sold in the United States I believe.

There were Kenner Fast 111's Coloring Books as well.

Parker Brothers had a Card Game and a Board Game that related to "Fast 111's".

The board game used draw cards instead of dice to move you and affect your opponents at the same time. This game had two versions, either for Americans (using United States Plates) or Canadians (using Provinces and Territories Plates).

Another product related to "Fast 111's" was Model Kits by MPC. MPC manufactured plastic snap model kits of some of the cars and trucks of Kenner Fast 111's. I've seen Evil Eye, Piston Pusher, and Jet Vet in model kits but I'm unsure just how many of the models they did do. These were in the same time frame as Kenner Fast 111's ­ 1980 to 1983.

Even after Kenner Fast 111's stopped production in 1983, some of the models got revived in the "Matchbox" line. Universal Holdings was the manufacturer of "Fast 111's" for Kenner Toys then Universal Holdings bought Matchbox in 1982. Four of the model molds were bought and then modified by Matchbox International Ltd. while Universal Holdings owned Matchbox (1982 to 1992).

Mighty Mule - 50F Chevy Blazer

Gravel Grinder - 37H Jeep 4x4

Dirt Digger - 72F Sand Racer

King Cobra - 74F Mustang GT

These models, except for the Blazer, were sold only in North America. The "Sand Racer" only lasted about a year as the mold broke.

A complete review of all 38 Fast 111 models follows.

.Certificates of Ownership - original and later versions

American, English and Dutch packages

Toy Fair Jet Vette

Track Set Cars - Dyna Loop and Burn Out Alley

Mail-in car and custom plates

Mail-in car and belt buckle

12 Car Case with race track

12 car case (above)
24 car case (right)

Kenner King Cobra and Matchbox Mustang GT #74F

IN 1980/1981 - First 16 Models

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumpers - Black Macao - Black Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong,, Shows up later as a common error in the Emergency Van blister.

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong
Quite Rare - Black Interior

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Chrome Macao, Quite Rare - Hong Kong Black Engine and Driver

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumpers - Black Hong Kong - Black Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Chrome Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Black Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Chrome Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Black (seen pictures)

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Black Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Chrome Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Black Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

IN 1982 - 14 New Models - Total 30 Models

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Chrome Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumpers - Chrome Hong Kong - Chrome Macao, unsure which bumper is rarer - The model itself is hard to find.

Bumpers - Black Macao - Black Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

27. RALLYE CHAMP (that's the way they spelled it)
Bumper - Black Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Rarer Bumper - Black (seen picture)

Bumper - Black Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong, Orange Street Boss - Rare Color

IN 1983 - 8 New Models - Total 38 Models

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumpers - Chrome Macao - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

Bumper - Black Hong Kong

Bumpers - Chrome Hong Kong - Chrome Macao

Bumper - Chrome Hong Kong

The above Information comes from:
"Collecting Matchbox Die Cast Toys, The First Forty Years" by McGimpsey, Kevin and Orr, Stewart- published in 1989. (I thank Mark Curtis for filling me in on this book.)

There is also an earlier story on Kenner Fast 111's on "Tales of Toy Cars" by Doug Breithaupt available at: /totc169.htm. If you have any questions I can be reached by e-mail at: zeezeerider@rogers.com .

I would like to dedicate this story to my Common Law Wife, of 28 years, Lucille as a Thank You for her Love, Help, and Support over the years and also helping to collect these Kenner Fast 111's models and being supportive of my die cast hobby. I've enjoyed collecting die cast for about 12 years now.