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NOVA-Antiques is the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique and collectible. Our website features antique & collectibles dealers, shops & malls; Flea Market Directory & Reviews; Monthly Antiques Show Calendar; Estate & Tag Sales Page; and our NOVA-Antiques Newsletter, which contains news, articles and information about the antiques & collectibles market. NOVA-Antiques Blog is an extension of our Newsletters.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lordy . . . Lordy . . . Looks Who’s 40 – Hot Wheels Having a Birthday

One Christmas I remember that I couldn’t wait to open my presents that were under the tree. I had asked for a special present and was sure I was going to get it because I had been "a good little boy"if there is such a thing. In any case, our family tradition was to all get together on “Noche Buena” or the Christmas Eve and after what seemed like a long night to us kids of dancing and eating, we would all gather and open our presents. The night, I was not disappointed, I opened the colorful wrapping to reveal my Hot Wheels race track and cars.

Of course, my brother and I could not clear enough space on the floor in the family room that evening to set up the track and play with my present so we had to wait until the next morning. I can still see us pushing the Hot Wheels cars thru the garage portion of the track that also housed “the engine.” It was nothing more than two large rubber bands spinning the cars our other side with what was hopefully enough force to send it around the singe track one complete time. If it did, the car would theoretically continue to spin around the track. Unfortunately, in most cases the cars would either stop short of the garage entrance or would careen off the side of the track onto the carpeted floor.

I’m sure that Hot Wheels, which are die cast toy cars, brought many children happiness in those times where things seemed simpler; we didn’t have video games or computers to complicate our lives. Hot Wheels were simple toys where kids had to use their imagination and creativity and were introduced in 1968 by Mattel Toys. The first car ever produced was a custom Volkswagen along with 15 other different models. Its top competitor at the time was Match Box, of which my brother and I owned some, but nothing compared to the designs of the Hot Wheels, that were designed by Harry Bentley Bradley.

Mattel will hold a kickoff ceremony at its El Segundo, California headquarters followed by a countrywide tour of life sized versions of their famous cars. You can look at the cars and join the festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 30th, Detroit’s Automotive Hall of Fame on September 1st and at Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival on September 5th. The celebrations will also include Hot Wheels memorabilia, autograph sessions with different designers and many other things, including the display of a one of a kind diamond encrusted Hot Wheels car created as a memento to their four billionth car.

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