The Hot Wheels Sting Rod is a Larry Wood design that was first cast in 1988. It was produced in about 6 different variations up until 1996, then was retooled in 2010 and so far has been released in about 7 more versions. Sting Rod, a highly armored and weaponized sports car (Toyota Supra?) with a monster off-road chassis, is among the more fantastic vehicles included in the Action Command series, which generally included more traditional military-type models. In the 1988 Action Command series, Sting Rod was released in 4 variations; olive camouflage with either black or sawblade construction tires and tan camo with the same wheel options. This example with olive camo and black construction tires is one of my R&S Resale finds.
The missile launcher on the back of Sting Rod can be pivoted up and down to aim at your target.
Hot Wheels | 1988 Action Command | 5025 | Sting Rod | olive with dark green, brown and tan camouflage | MY | black ct
The Hot Wheels CAT Dump Truck was first released in 1980 and has been produced in about 12 different variations. I found these two examples recently at R&S Resale and thought it would be a good chance to highlight the subtle differences in these two variations. This first model is from the 1982 Workhorses series. It was cast in Malaysia, has a yellow body, a yellow metal bucket and yellow construction tires. It also has C 777 cast into the left side of the cab and the word CATERPILLAR cast just above the front grille.
Hot Wheels | 1982 Workhorses | 1171 | CAT Dump Truck | yellow with C 777 cast in left side, Caterpillar cast in front, yellow metal dumper | MY | yelow ct
This next example, is the Collector #38 from 1991. It was also cast in Malaysia, has a yellow body, a yellow metal bucket and yellow construction tires. But on this variation, the C 777 has been removed from the left side of the cab and the word CATERPILLAR is no longer found on the front. Scroll to the bottom to see a photo showing a side-by-side comparison of the two.
This was the last version of the CAT Dump Truck to be released with a metal dumper; after 1991 variations had a plastic dumper.
Hot Wheels | 1991 | 38 | CAT Dump Truck | yellow with yellow metal dumper | MY | yelow ct
There are about a dozen different variations of the Hot Wheels Big Bertha, if you count the redline-era releases as Tough Customer and the 1982 Megaforce Series version called Battle Tank. I picked up two more of them in my recent score from R&S Resale. This first example is the dark green Collector #79 from 1990.
Hot Wheels | 1990 | 79 | Big Bertha | dark green with light green, burgundy and tan camouflage | MY
Next we have the gray-brown Collector #159 from 1992.
Hot Wheels | 1992 | 159 | Big Bertha | gray-brown with brown, black and white camouflage | MY
The Hot Wheels Speed Demons series, which ran from 1986 through 1988, was responsible for some of the most bizarre Hot Wheels castings ever brought to life. The series features fantasy hot rods based on creatures you might find in your nightmares. I found two examples from the 1988 Speed Demons series in my recent score from R&S Resale.
No doubt inspired by the famous giant lizard movie monster, Rodzilla is a purple reptilian with a blown engine. It features a positionable neck and it has painted eyes and teeth. Rodzilla has a metal base with a plastic upper body and chrome plastic engine. This casting can be found in about 19 different variations.
Hot Wheels | 1988 Speed Demons | 4389 | Rodzilla | purple with yellow eyes, white teeth purple metal base | MY | uh
There are about 10 different variations of the Hot Wheels Ratmobile. This 1988 first-release has a white plastic body with painted face details, a metal base and a chrome plastic blown engine.
Hot Wheels | 1988 Speed Demons | 5028 | Ratmobile | white with red eyes, black brows and nose, silver teeth | MY | uh
The Hot Wheels Tall Ryder – an off-roading minivan – was first released in 1985 and was produced in about 10 different variations. This green example from a 1988 Color Racers 3-Pack was found at R&S Resale. Like many of the color-changing cars from the late-1980s, this one has lost its ability to change color (in this case, from white to green) when heated or cooled.
The Hot Wheels Monster ‘Vette, first released in 1987, is essentially the Corvette Stingray casting plopped onto a monster truck base. There about 12 different variations of the Monster ‘Vette. This example, from my R&S Resale haul, is one of two first-release variations (it could also be found with off-road construction tires) from 1987.
This Hot Wheels casting, designed by Larry Wood based on the M40 155mm Gun Motor Carriage, was first released in the 1976 Flying Colors series as Aw Shoot. It was renamed Shell Shocker and appeared in the Action Command series in both 1986 and 1987. In 1994, it was included in the Action Command 5-Pack. This tan example is from the 1987 Action Command series and is one of my R&S Resale finds.
The Hot Wheels Auburn 852 made its debut in the 1979 Oldies But Goodies Series. Based on the iconic 1936 Boattail Speedster manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Company in Auburn, Indiana, the Hot Wheels version was produced in about 31 different variations. This green, whitewall-wearing example from 1986 is one of the cleaner models that I picked up at R&S Resale.
The Hot Wheels Pontiac Fiero 2M4 made its debut in the 1985 Hot Wheels The Hot Ones series. It has been produced in about 27 variations up to as recently as 2013. This example from R&S Resale is the Hong Kong-cast 1985 first release (it was also cast in Malaysia with identical paint and tampo.)
Of the many cars I picked up at R&S Resale in February, this Hot Wheels Real Riders Bywayman is one of the best. These original Real Riders are generally a pretty good investment, and for 75 cents I think I did okay. It’s has a little playwear and, unfortunately, it’s missing the running lights from atop of the plastic roll bar.
The Hot Wheels Bywayman was based on a ’70s Chevy Silverado pickup. It was first released in 1979 and was produced in over 40 different variations until it was included in the 2003 Final Run series. This metalflake blue version is from the 1983 Real Riders series. It was also released that year with grey hub Real Riders.