1972 Hot Wheels Side Kick

Back in September, I made a run through a local antique store, the Paramount Marketplace, to see what I could find. I don’t usually buy redline Hot Wheels in antique stores because they are usually priced quite high. But when I saw this rough-looking Hot Wheels Side Kick in a baggie for $2.25, I decided to take it home. It’s the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection – in fact, it’s the only Hot Wheels model from 1972 that I have in my entire collection.

The Side Kick was designed by Larry Wood, cast in Hong Kong, and released in 8 different Spectraflame colors. On this example, the original Spectraflame light green has unfortunately been painted over, but is visible in a few spots where the aftermarket paint is wearing off.

A fun feature of the Hot Wheels Side Kick is the way the cockpit slides out the side of the car – and this sliding action at the same time causes the plastic exhaust pipes to grow out of the back of the car.

Hot Wheels | 1972 | 6022 | Side Kick | Spectraflame light green painted over | HK | rl

New Year’s Inventory

It’s been five years since I did a thorough inventory of my collection. I know that my collection has grown since then, but it has also evolved, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the numbers and compare to five years ago.

I still think of my collection as having three main categories: Vintage, Novas and Impalas. But in recent years I have sold off a lot of my more recent items and have focused more on the vintage stuff. I’ve also tried to narrow the brands I collect. Currently, the collection stands at 1,477 items (up from 951 five years ago). Here’s how the collection breaks down.

993 Vintage
In my collection, “vintage” is essentially anything 1995 or before. These 993 items include my childhood collection and a bunch of almost entirely loose cars with a focus on blackwall-era Hot Wheels. The oldest items would be a few late-1950s Lesney-era Matchbox cars and I have a few items that blur past the 1995 date. For the most part, I’ve narrowed this category to include only brands that I had when I was a kid; Hot Wheels, Matchbox (England-cast), Tomica (Japan-cast), Husky (and by extension Corgi Juniors), Playart and Majorette (French-cast). This category has nearly tripled in size from a total of only 397 five years ago.

I have 52 cars that I’ve managed to hold onto from my childhood. They include 18 Matchbox, 9 Hot Wheels, 7 Tomica Pocket Cars, 5 Zee Toys, 6 Husky, 4 Playart and a single Majorette.

The remaining 941 Vintage cars break down as follows:

Hot Wheels – 602 (up from 219 five years ago)
Matchbox – 178 (up from 53)
Budgie – 3 (up from 0)
Corgi and Corgi Juniors – 31 (up from 14)
Husky – 14 (up from 1)
Johnny Lightning ­– 1 (up from 0)
Majorette – 46 (up from 7)
Playart – 14 (up from 1)
Road Champs – 3 (down from 4)
Shinsei – 1 (unchanged)
Tomica – 53 (up from 4)
Welly – 1 (up from 0)
Yatming – 2 (down from 9)
Zee Toys – 1 (down from 11)

196 Impalas
This category has shrunk from a total of 262 five years ago, largely due to the fact that I sold off most of my M2s and other brands, narrowing the focus to Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning. Also, for whatever reason, many of the Hot Wheels Impala castings haven’t been released with new variations in recent years.

Hot Wheels – 91 (up from 85 five years ago)
Johnny Lightning – 62 (up from 59)Corgi – 3 (up from 2)
Greenlight – 5 (down from 14)
Jada Toys – 5 (down from 21)
M2 Machines – 4 (down from 15)
Maisto – 3 (down from 11)
Racing Champions – 2 (down from 6)
Revell – 20 (down from 22)

171 Novas
Despite focusing on Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning and selling off many of my other brands, this category shrunk only slightly from 188 five years ago as Hot Wheels continues to crank out variations of the existing Nova castings. Matchbox even entered this category for the first time when they released the 1979 Chevy Nova casting in 2021.

Hot Wheels – 120 (up from 85)
Matchbox – 1 (up from 0)
Johnny Lightning – 40 (up from 38)
Auto World – 1 (up from 0)
GMP – 1 (unchanged)
M2 Machines – 3 (down from 27)
Maisto – 2 (down from 10)
Racing Champions – 2 (down from 3)
Universal Hobbies – 1 (unchanged)

109 Miscellaneous
This category only grew by 1 item in five years as I sold off a few brands and tried to be disciplined in keeping a focused collection. The 105 items here include 19 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary models from 1998, Batmobiles and Mystery Machines, NASA-themed items including 3 Hot Wheels Action Packs, 17 2005-2006 Hot Wheels Classics and a few other odds and ends.

Hot Wheels – 82 (up from 78)
Matchbox – 8 (up from 4)
Johnny Lightning – 6 (up from 5)
Bauer – 1 (unchanged)
Ertl – 2 (up from 0)
Jada Toys – 4 (unchanged)
Majorette – 2 (up from 0)
Racing Champions – 1 (up from 0)
Revell – 1 (down from 2)
Unknown – 2 (unchanged)

My Collection by Brand
My collection is made up of at least 25 different brands, down from 41 five years ago. Being well-represented in all of my categories, the Hot Wheels brand still dominates with 904 items. Matchbox has moved up to second place (from third five years ago) due to steady growth in my vintage category. Johnny Lightning drops to third with 109 and I’ve added quite a bit to vintage brands like Tomica, Majorette, Corgi Juniors and Husky.

Hot Wheels – 904 (up from 476 five years ago)
Matchbox – 205 (up from 75)
Johnny Lightning – 109 (up from 102)
Tomica – 60 (up from 11)
Majorette – 49 (up from 7)
Corgi (includes Corgi Juniors) – 34 (up from 13)
Revell – 21 (down from 24)
Husky – 20 (up from 7)
Playart – 18 (up from 5)
Jada – 9 (down from 31)
M2 Machines – 7 (down from 42)
Zylmex (Zee Toys) – 6 (down from 11)
Greenlight – 5 (down from 14)
Maisto – 5 (down from 22)
Racing Champions – 5 (down from 18)
Budgie – 3 (up from 0)
Road Champs – 3 (down from 4)
Ertl – 2 (down from 6)
Yatming – 2 (down from 9)
Unknown – 2 (down from 12)
Auto World – 1 (down from 3)
Bauer – 1 (unchanged)
GMP – 1 (unchanged)
Universal Hobbies – 1 (unchanged)
Welly – 1 (up from 0)

1983 Hot Wheels Royal Flash

The Lotus Esprit is a mid-engine two-door coupe produced by the British automaker from 1976 to 2004. The car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and featured an angular fiberglas body mounted on a steel frame. The Series 1 was powered by a 2.0 L inline 4-cylinder paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. Though the Esprit had excellent handling, it was considered somewhat underpowered, so the Series 2 offered a 2.2 L engine and by 1980 the factory turbocharged Essex Turbo Esprit was available.

The Hot Wheels Royal Flash – based on the Lotus Esprit – was first cast in 1979 and was released in about 10 different variations up to 1987. This nice example of the metalflake orange variation from 1983 is another of my Wichita eBay finds.

Click here to see the first-release Hot Wheels Royal Flash from 1979. And click here to compare to the Corgi Juniors version of the Lotus Esprit.

Hot Wheels | 1983 | 2501 | Royal Flash | metalflake orange with purple, yellow and black trim | MY | bw

Click here to see photos and links to all of the 1983 Hot Wheels in my collection.

1991 and 1993 Hot Wheels Toyota MR2 Rally Variations

The Toyota MR2 is a two-seat, mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car made from 1984 to 2007 over three generations. Japan’s first rear mid-engine production car, it featured independent front and rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and an inline four-cylinder engine mounted transversely.

The Hot Wheels Toyota MR2 Rally – based on the car’s second generation model (1989-1999) – was first released in 1991 and can be found in about 34 different variations. These are the first two examples of this casting that I’ve added to my collection and I got them both from my Wichita eBay friend.

First, this white model with red, orange and yellow livery, Ultra Hot wheels and a black light bar is one of three variations from the first year of release, packaged as Collector #122.

Hot Wheels | 1991 | #122 | Toyota MR2 Rally | white with red, yellow and orange trim, black plastic base with chrome headlights | MY |  uh

This second example, with white paint, red, purple and pink livery, Ultra Hot wheels and a black light bar is the 1993 Collector #233.

Hot Wheels | 1993 | #233 | Toyota MR2 Rally | white with red, purple and pink trim, black plastic base with chrome headlights | MY |  uh

1990 Hot Wheels Getty Promo Nissan 300ZX

The Hot Wheels Nissan 300ZX was first released in the 1985 The Hot Ones series and has been produced in about 12 different variations up to 1997. This white model with colorful livery – another of my recent Wichita eBay scores – is a Getty promotional item from 1990.

The only other example of the Hot Wheels Nissan 300ZX that I have in my collection is a yellow variation from the 1987 Speed Fleet series.

The Nissan 300ZX is one of only a few Hot Wheels castings that have opening doors. Other Hot Wheels in my collection with opening doors include the Mercedes-Benz C-111, the Blazer 4×4 and another Nissan model, the Nissan Custom “Z”.

Hot Wheels | 1990 Getty Promotional | Nissan 300ZX | white with Getty trim, unpainted metal base | MY |  uh

1983 Hot Wheels Datsun 200SX

The Nissan Silvia was a series of sport coupes based on the Nissan S platform. In the U.S., they were marketed as the Datsun 200SX and produced in three generations from 1975 through 1989. The Hot Wheels casting represents the second-generation 2-door coupe.

The Hot Wheels Datsun 200SX was introduced in 1982 and was only produced in about 7 different variations up to 1985. This nice metalflake gold example from the 1983 Hot Ones series is another of my Wichita eBay scores.

The only other Hot Wheels Datsun 200SX in my collection is the white, Malaysia-cast model from 1982.

The Hot Wheels Datsun 200SX features a hood that opens to reveal the inline 4-cylinder engine. Also notice the headlights that are part of the unpainted metal base and the 5 mph bumpers that are molded with the black plastic interior.

Hot Wheels | 1983 Hot Ones | 3255 | Datsun 200SX | metalflake gold with orange, dark red and yellow trim | MY | gold ho

Click here to find links and photos of all of the 1983 Hot Wheels in my collection.

1990 Hot Wheels California Custom 3-Window ’34

The Hot Wheels 3-Window ’34 is based on a hot-rodded 1934 Ford coupe. It was first released in the 1980 Hi-Rakers series – with adjustable-height rear wheels – and there are about 14 variations up to 1985. From 1987, when the casting was retooled to remove the Hi-Raker rear wheels, there have been about 60 more variations released. This metalflake blue version with Real Riders is from the 1990 California Custom series and is one of my Wichita eBay scores.

The Hot Wheels California Custom series, a brightly colored range of cars packaged with a plastic collector coin and a sticker sheet, was produced from 1990-1991. The other California Custom model in my collection is the Custom Corvette from 1990.

Hot Wheels | 1990 California Custom | 1299 | 3-Window ‘34 | metalflake blue with blue interior and fenders, white, light green and pink trim | MY | gray hub rr

Other examples of the Hot Wheels 3-Window ’34 that I have in my collection include the 1980 first-releasethe metalflake red version from 1983a purple version from 1989a Malt-O-Meal promo from 1994 and a nice metalflake silver version from 1995.

1980 Hot Wheels GMC Motor Home

The GMC Motorhome was manufactured by the General Motors Truck and Coach Division from 1973-1978. The only motorhome designed, engineered and built entirely by a major vehicle manufacturer, it featured front-wheel drive and a fully-integrated body. It was powered by an Oldsmobile 455 cu. in. V8 or 403 cu. in. V8 with the Turbo Hydramatic 425 automatic transmission. The front-wheel drive and unique rear suspension – which eliminated the need for a driveshaft and rear differential – allowed the floor to be built about 14 inches above the roadway, with only the rear wheel wells intruding on the living space.

The Hot Wheels GMC Motor Home was first cast in 1977 and has been produced in about 42 different variations as recently as the 2016 Pop Culture Marvel Series with Dr. Strange graphics. This green model with black, white and yellow Palm Beach tampo from 1980 is another of my Wichita eBay scores.

In my collection, I also have a nice example of the orange GMC Motor Home from 1979. The GMC Motor Home casting was also used in 1979 for the Captain America Van from the Scene Machines series.

Hot Wheels | 1980 | 9645 | GMC Motorhome | green with black, yellow and white trim | HK | bw

Click here to see photos and links to all of the 1980 Hot Wheels in my collection.

2021 Hot Wheels Car Culture Fast Wagons ’64 Chevy Nova Panel

The Hot Wheels ’64 Chevy Nova Delivery – a variation of the ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon without the rear side windows – has been around since 2015. Up to this point, all 5 variations have been in the Pop Culture series (see below for links to those models) so it’s nice to see the Nova Delivery breaking out and making an appearance in the 2021 Car Culture Fast Wagons release. This nice wagon was included in a recent shipment I got from my friend, Brad.

Each model in the series features a metal body and metal base with Real Riders wheels.

Hot Wheels | GRJ66 | 2021 Car Culture Fast Wagons 2/5 | ’64 Chevy Nova Delivery | metalflake steel blue with white and silver trim | Thailand | RRS

The Fast Wagons segment includes a fun assortment of castings, as you can see below in the image of the back of the card.

Other examples in my collection of the ’64 Nova Delivery include: 2019 Pop Culture X-Men2018 Pop Culture Nestle Sno Caps2017 Pop Culture MAD2016 Pop Culture Nestle 100 Grand2015 Pop Culture Marvel Spider Man.

2021 Hot Wheels Boulevard ’63 Chevy Nova AWB

The Hot Wheels ’63 Nova AWB was first cast for the 2009 Drag Strip Demons series and a second variation was included in the same series the following year. In 2018, the Drag Strip Demons made a return in the Car Culture segment and, again, the ’63 Nova AWB was included. A similar casting, the ’63 Chevy II, has made regular appearances in the mainlines since 2016.

This latest variation of the ’63 Nova AWB, painted metalflake purple with Lil’ II Short livery, is from the 2021 Hot Wheels Boulevard series. Like each version before, it has a diecast metal body and base and Real Riders wheels. I haven’t yet gotten back into the habit of making regular rounds to the big box stores, but my good friend, Brad, found this one recently and sent it to me.

Hot Wheels | GJT68 | 2021 Hot Wheels Boulevard 21 | ’63 Chevy Nova AWB | metalflake purple with yellow, black and white Lil’ II Short trim | Thailand | gray rrmag

The back of the card shows the interesting range of castings that can be found in this series.