The launchpad for the wind-up marvels called Wrist Racers (from Knickerbocker) was worn around the wrist like a watch, which meant you had to lie face down on the floor to play with them. Launching them from a standing position wasn’t as much fun as it sounds.
The Dukes Of Hazzard General Lee model was weighted at the back so it could drive around doing a permanent wheelie. The patrol car also had a special feature and could do spin-outs.
There were also Finger Racers where the launcher was a plastic ring. These actually went off with a great deal more force and could be employed as airborne missiles quite nicely.
Being so small, however, carpets were too much for them, so you had to race them on the kitchen lino, where they would invariably crash into your mum’s foot. While she was “trying to get dinner ready”.