From the moment the first Hot Wheels™ car in its familiar blue-background blister pack, with the familiar “swoop” hit the rack at toy stores and hobby shops their popularity and collectability was evident. It took the vision of one man to bring a child’s toy to legendary pop-culture status: Elliot Handler. Co-founder, with his wife Ruth, of Mattel, Handler saw a world where toy cars, which had been around since before the first Model T rolled off the line, could be more, much more.
What would lead to achieving more in toy cars? A better, sleeker and smoother-running wheel was what it took. Enter the era of the Redline – the first Hot Wheels.
“Despite the wild Spectraflame paint and the California mods that have defined the first Hot Wheels cars introduced in 1968, it’s the red-striped tires that have identified the first ten years of the Hot Wheels car design as the Redline era,” writes Angelo VanBogart, in his introduction to his new book, Hot Wheels Classics. “Even though the tiny stripe isn’t as obvious as the glow of spectacular Spectraflame paint, there’s good reason that the redline tires have become the hallmark of the early years.”
Hot Wheels Classics,
by Angelo VanBogart
Hot Wheels 40 Years,
by Angelo VanBogart
Today, Redlines remain the Holy Grail of the Hot Wheels collecting community and are the stuff legends are made of, literally. The beauty of Hot Wheels legacy lies not only with the Redlines and the Sweet 16s, but also in the availability and affordability of Hot Wheels for the youngest of collectors and the youngest-at-heart. While the Redlines are less easily obtainable and obviously more expensive, they’re something to aspire to finding/adding to a collection … a collection that can begin with spending just a dollar and some change on a Hot Wheels car today.
Whether you’ve been collecting these mighty miniature racers since the beginning, a few years, a couple months, or have a few left over from your childhood, the new book, Hot Wheels Classics is a big, beautiful look at the pocket-sized cruisers that have captivated fans of all ages for the last four decades. Every page of this book features large-size, detailed photos of the cars that defined an era, the Redline Era. Arranged by every year of the Redline Era, each chapter gives you highlights of Hot Wheels™ history for that year, a showcase of the cars released, and a concise and intriguing bit of history about each car – including the name of the designer and specially noted “play value features.”
An exclusive feature sprinkled throughout the book is commentary from actual Hot Wheels designers including Harry Rees and Larry Wood. Since every car has a tale to tell, Hot Wheels are no different. The story of Wood’s 1970 Tri Baby Hot Wheel car is legendary.
“My story about the Tri Baby was that when I worked at Ford, all I did was work on door handles and hood scoops. I wanted to design a sports car, and that was my first sports car I designed,” said Wood, in Hot Wheels Classics.
Take a trip back through Hot Wheels history with Hot Wheels Classics. You’ll be glad you did. Visit Shop.Collect.com to order your copy and Save 34 percent on the cover price! Plus, you can get both Hot Wheels Classics and its companion, the top-selling Hot Wheels 40 Years (another beauty by author Angelo VanBogart) for just $35.00 (that’s an extra savings of 10 percent). Just include Coupon Code ATRBART90809 when ordering.