The Sizzlers were a 1970s Hot Wheels spin off with a built-in motor and a tiny rechargeable battery. They were introduced in 1970 and became an instant smash. Sizzlers run on the regular Hot Wheels track, and Mattel created special race sets with U-Turns, multi-level spirals and loops to take advantage of the cars' electric motor. Two lane race sets such as the California/8 race set were developed that allowed Sizzlers to race side-by side, until Mattel created the black Fat Track, which is three lanes wide, with steep banked curves, and designed to allow Sizzlers to run free. In action, Sizzlers display a unique, competitive 'passing action' when running on the Fat Track, as if each car were piloted by an impatient driver trying to jockey ahead of the rest. The Fat Track sets included the 'Big O', 'California 500', and Super Circuit' race sets, and accessories such as the 'Scramble Start' (a four-car starting gate), 'Lap Computer' four car lap counter, and 'Race-Timer' stop watch.
Six cars were introduced in 1970 (Angelino M-70, Firebird Trans-Am, Ford Mark IV, Hot Head, Mustang Boss 302, Revvin' Heaven), 12 cars were made in 1971 (Anteater, Backfire, Camaro Trans-Am, Cuda Trans-Am, Ferrari 512S, Hot Wings, Indy Eagle, Live Wire, March Formula 1, Sideburn, Spoil Sport, Straight Scoop), and 4 cars were made in 1972 (Co-Motion, Double Boiler, Flatout, Up Roar). The 'Fat Daddy' Sizzlers (oversized bodies with huge tires) were introduced in 1973. Mattel put the Sizzlers on a hiatus after that year, and in 1976 they created Sizzlers II. That next year, the Night Ridin' Sizzlers (which had headlights you could turn on or off) were created. Because of faded popularity (because of perhaps poor marketing, Mattel permanently stopped Sizzlers production in 1978.
Sizzlers were (and are) initially charged with quad or twin battery chargers called the Juice Machine and Goose Pump. Later, the Power Pit, a plug-in charger which looked like a pitlane on a race track, was introduced. Charging a Sizzler for 90 seconds gave it up to five minutes of running time.
It has been said that the 90-second charge time was 'the longest minute and a half in a kid's life' as they waited impatiently for the car to charge sufficiently to get back into the race. The Sizzler electric technology spun off into the Hotline Trains, which ran on track similar to regular Hot Wheels, and the Earthshakers construction vehicles. Both lines of vehicles were charged using the Sizzler Juice Machine or Power Pit.
See also: toycarcollector.com
What's it worth? Take a look at this Sizzlers Hot Wheels price guide: sold listings for a value indication.