As a family man with responsibilities, I have to acknowledge that I’m never going to own the car of my dreams – the Pontiac Trans-Am. That said, I think I could happily settle for this 1:18 scale model of K.I.T.T. from the Hot Wheels Cult Classics collection!
The Hot Wheels Elite website has a better view of the images and a wonderful Vehicle Highlights section that details the many features of the model, including moving headlights, opening doors, hood and trunk, foldable seats (including eject-out front seat!), revolving rear license plate… I should stop before I reach for my credit card.
The 1:18 scale Hot Wheels Elite collection also includes K.A.R.R. as well as a host of other classics such as the Ghostbusters Ecto-1, the A-Team GMC Vandura van and the Delorean from Back to the Future.
I am not sure where I picked up my copy of Hot Wheels. I might have traded for it from a friend who was not a fan for a couple of blank discs. He didn’t like Hot Wheels because it wasn’t a straight up game, instead it was more of an open ended sandbox that let you just “play”. A concept that is always risky and was especially so in the early days of computer gaming. I probably spent about 30+ hours just playing around on Hot Wheels, building cars, driving them around and taking them to the car wash. The game had some racing challenges, but they were not implemented in a compelling way and the real fun was in the simulation of playing with Hot Wheels the way you play with Hot Wheels in the real world.
I am not sure why Hot Wheels does not revive this concept nowadays on say a system like the Wii. They could do something like Animal Crossing but with cars.
Elliot Handler, creator of Hot Wheels cars and the co-founder of Mattel toys, passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 95.
According to legend, Elliot wanted something that would appeal to little boys as strongly as his wife Ruth’s creation (Barbie) appealed to little girls. He found the answer in tiny race cars: Hot Wheels. According to Elliot, the difference between his cars and other small, metal cars were in the wheels. The wheels on Hot Wheels cars were designed to spin fast and go far, and that they did.
I don’t know where it came from — probably a garage sale — but as a kid I had a big cardboard box full of mismatched Hot Wheels track pieces. I’d say that 95% of what I had were red, blue, and orange straight pieces, along with the little plastic tabs that allowed you to connect track pieces together. I used to spend hours in my room making tracks from one end to the other, complete with little loops and jumps for the little cars to attempt.
One of my favorite cars of all time was the Red Baron.
The only problem with the Red Baron was that, because it was so light, it would often sail far past any landing strip I had prepared for the cars. I remember studying every inch of that little car and wishing that someone would create a real-life version. Just think how safe it would be! Who needs seat belts when you’re sitting underneath a giant metal helmet?
And who could possibly compete with the Red Baron in a head-to-head race? How about Speed Racer!
Because the trunk never opened, I always secretly wondered if Spridle and Chim-Chim were stuck in there …
Please post pictures (or at the least the names) of some of your favorite Hot Wheels cars of all time. With 10,000+ different models to choose from, I’d like to hear which ones were your favorites!