At some point in our lives we have all had Hot Wheels cars and tracks. When I was growing up we used to fight each other with the plastic tracks and man did that sting. It really hurt if you had the hard plastic connectors in them. But mostly you played with the cars and tracks. As you get older some people continue to collect them and seek out rare and older cars for their collection. I usually do not collect many toys because it can be an expensive habit and take up a lot of space. I have up until recently never bought many Hot Wheels cars. While they are still pretty cool I already collect too many things. That changed when Mattel started to do Hollywood cars in the regular line. The first one that got my attention was the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. They continued to release a few more Hollywood cars and if you were lucky you could find them at a local store for about a buck. Mattel soon realized that there was demand for entertainment based cars from both the current Hot Wheels collectors and people who didn’t buy many that were snapping up the cars and in 2013 decided to start a dedicated line for them called Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Series. The first wave included 1932 Ford (American Graffiti), 1966 Batmobile, Ecto-1 (Ghostbusters) K.I.T.T. (Knight Rider) and The Mystery Machine (Scooby-Doo). I think that they caught on because people like me who love movies and television shows have very fond memories of the cars that were in them. And at a retail price of $5 they were very affordable to almost everyone. The thing I really liked about them was the packaging. Most of them had a shot of the original car that the die-cast were based on and in the case of the Hanna-Barbera ones they had original artwork.
The other thing that I like about the line is that they are not just doing ones based on real cars. There are many such as new Enterprise, Battlestar Galactica, and the Hanna-Barbera ones that would have never been made had it not been for the early success of the early releases in the regular line. They have also done quite a few odd ball things like the bus from the original Muppet Movie. They also did the original Herbie from the Love Bug and I though that I would never see the GMC Moterhome from Stripes.
There are cars for just about everyone’s taste in the line. While I have quite a few the nice thing is that I only get the ones that I like. While it’s great that they did the helicopter from Magnum PI it’s not something that I need. I hope that they do more Hanna-Barbara cars like Speed Buggy and of course all of the Wacky Races cars that would be a real dream come true. Mattel seems to have licenses from almost all of the major studios so there is a good chance that almost any car could be done for the line. They have announced that this year they will start to do cars from the James Bond films such as the Aston Martin DBS, Aston Martin DB5 and the one I really want the 1976 Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and it will be the submarine version. They are also doing the Batmobile from Batman Returns.
The really big surprise was that they are doing the Homer Car (aka The Car Built For Homer) from episode 28 “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”. When I heard about this one I had to look it up and there it was. I imagine that they will do the Simpson pink sedan car at some point too. I have include a picture of the regular version that is in the current regular mix that is out right now but the price is hovering at about $8.00 right now and you might as well wait for the announced collectors packaging that has been announced. That’s really steep for a car that retails for $1.00
These are really fun toys to collect and the price is right too. Some of the cars are harder to find than others due to demand and you will have to pay more than retail for them but, for the most part I have never had to pay more than $8 to $10 for a few of the harder to find ones like the Battlestar Galactica and surprisingly the Muppets Bus that was kind of hard to find. Sometimes the price will fall after a while because the market got saturated like the 1966 Batmobile that initially was pretty high around $20 but the price has now bottomed out now to about $8 so make sure that you look around.