I don’t know jack about cars. People go to car shows and then tell me all about engine specs and… I don’t even know enough about cars to know what people who do know about cars talk about. HOWEVER, I am crazy about toy cars! I always have been. My first word was… oh wait, it was “ball.” But my second word was “spin,” which I would say when I spun the wheels on toy cars.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite toy cars from my childhood as well as my adul
The Dixie Challenger
This was always one of my favorite cars growing up. I’m not really sure why. It was released in 1981, but the one I got probably came from a 1983 McDonald’s Happy Meal.
I thought maybe Mattel had the foresight to make a car similar to the General Lee, only without the controversial confederate flag, but it turns out they made some variants that did have the flag on the roof. I’m pretty happy that mine doesn’t have one.
For the 40th anniversary of Hot Wheels, they also released a special chrome Dixie Challenger. I’d love to get my hands on it, but I don’t want to spend most of the asking prices I’ve seen on eBay.
Days of Thunder
When Days of Thunder came out in 1990, I was pretty excited. Not because I gave a crap about the movie or the actors, but because I loved all the cool toy NASCAR cars with corporate logos on them. I’ve also always been obsessed with logos for some reason. Anyway, the Hardee’s and Superflo Motor Oil cars were released by Matchbox, and the green Chevrolet was released by Racing Champions INC. all in 1990. I used to have the Mello Yello and Exxon matchbox cars too, but I can’t find them anymore.
Hot Wheels Speed Demons
During my childhood, Hot Wheels released a line of cars that looked like animals called Speed Demons. The two that I have are the shark called the Sharkruiser (released in 1987), and this leopard called Cargoyle for some reason (released in 1985).
Hot Wheels released this ’40s Woodie back in 1979 or 1980, but this version that I have is from the California Customs line released in 1990, as if that weren’t the most 1990 color scheme you’ve ever seen. I believe the “customs” part refers to all the stupid decals it came with, which make it look like junk in my opinion.
When I think of Hot Wheels, I think of the Tricar X-8. This bright red phallic car with it’s flame paint job (although worn off on mine) is everything that Hot Wheels embodies to me. These were released in 1980, but I’m pretty sure the ones I have came from that same McDonald’s Happy Meal as the Dixie Challenger.
1937 Mercedes 540k
For Hot Wheels’ 20th Anniversary, they released a line of silver and gold cars. I had a gold one, although I don’t remember what it was. This silver 1937 Mercedes 540k was released in 1988. Wow, that means that as of last year, Hot Wheels was 50, and I’m… getting old.
I had a bunch of these Matchbox Originals, but the only three I have left (pictured below) are the fire truck, the double-decker bus, and the tow truck. These cars are apparently authentic recreations of early Matchbox cars, and they even came in a little matchbox.
1928 Ford Model A Rice Krispies Truck
According to everything I can find on the internet, this was released by Matchbox in 1979, two years before I was born. How I came to get my hands on it, I have no idea. I think it was a send-away from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. The only explanation I can think of is that it was re-released at some point when I was a kid. I like it, though.
In 1990, Hot Wheels came out with a line of cars from The Simpsons that you could look into and view a little picture. I used to have the family van too, but I still have Homer’s nuclear waste van. Here’s what you get to see when you look inside:
In 2015 (jumping way into the future), Hot Wheels released some more Simpsons vehicles. This is the Simpson family car, although they seem to have omitted the trademark bent coat hanger radio antenna.
What’s the sticker price? $82,000?! This monstrosity cost $82,000?! Oh wait, that sticker says I only paid $7.99 at Rider’s. Phew. Some things never go out of style, like tail fins and bubble domes, and shag carpeting.
I really love this car! I’m not sure if they came out with other episode specific Hot Wheels from The Simpsons, but I’d love to see some like Mr. Plow, Otto’s school bus, Superintendent Chalmers’ Honda (“My H has been stolen! That’s how people know it’s a Honda!”), Li’l Bandit, Moe’s car with the rubber hippie daisy on the hood, and the Canyonero. And maybe Ed Begly Jr.’s go-kart that runs on his own sense of self-satisfaction. OKAY, ENOUGH SIMPSONS REFERENCES!
Super Mario Cars
In 2015, Hot Wheels came out with a line of Super Mario related cars to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. I tried my darndest to find and buy them all, but the only ones I could get my hands on were Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3. They also came out with Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario World, and Super Mario Kart cars.
Then in 2016, they released a line of Mario character cars. The only one I could find was Bowser, but they also released one for Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, and Yoshi.
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
You ever order something from the internet and then totally forget about it? This showed up at my house one day last spring, and I thought maybe it was a mistake. But nope, it was addressed to me, and it was in my eBay order history. I love it and I think it’s awesome. Despite being a Koegel’s man, I love the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and driving it is on my bucket list.
Modern Hot Wheels
I only buy Hot Wheels these days if they’re super interesting to me. These two are super cool. Roller Toaster? I always thought the Scion XB looked like a toaster, but this one literally has toast popping out of it! And the stegosaurus car? How could I not buy that?
These two I bought because they were
10 for $10 at Kroger really cool. I don’t have much to say about them. There’s a Tesla Model X and a Corvette Grand Sport Roadster. Yup.
Well, this concludes my long-winded tale of car collecting. I hope you haven’t died of boredom.