Hot Wheels 1986 Peterbilt Tanker

A few Saturdays ago, I had some time to kill on the west side, so I decided to check out the 40,000 square foot Paramount Antique Mall on West Kellogg. I’ve talked about my reluctance to buy at antique stores, but I’m finding out you can still find some fair deals if you are selective. Besides, while awaiting the start of garage sale season, it’s a nice way to break up the WalMart-hopping.

I found this Hot Wheels Peterbilt Tanker for $2.50. It’s in pretty decent shape and I enjoy the Hot Wheels Railroad decoration. The Peterbilt has been around since the 1980 Workhorses series, when Hot Wheels introduced the Peterbilt Cement Mixer. There is also a Peterbilt Dump Truck which came out in 1983. The Peterbilt Tanker was first released in the 1981 Workhorses series and it is one heavy casting – unlike the Cement Mixer and Dump Truck, which use plastic parts, the entire vehicle is diecast! My Hot Wheels Railroad variation is from 1986, one of about 7 variations of this model made up until 1994.

Hot Wheels | 1986 | 2547 | Peterbilt Tank Truck | red with silver tank, Hot Wheels Railroad trim | MY | bs

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Hot Wheels 2018 Sno Caps ’64 Nova Delivery

When I grabbed the two Spy vs. Spy Hot Wheels recently at Target, this Pop Culture Nestle Sno Caps ’64 Nova Delivery was hanging right behind them. This is the second time the Nova Delivery has been used for a Nestle-branded car, having appeared in the 2016 Pop Culture series wearing 100 Grand livery.

Hot Wheels | FKY23 | 2018 Pop Culture Nestle | ’64 Chevy Nova Delivery | brown and white with Nestle Sno Caps trim | WWRRmag

Two of my other Nova Delivery models are the 2015 Spider-Man car and the version from the 2017 Surf’s Up 5-Pack.

2017 Hot Wheels Spy vs. Spy ’66 Dodge A100

MAD’s Spy vs. Spy, which first appeared in 1961, is one of my favorite things ever. The premise of the comic strip by Antonio Prohias is genius. In a sort of James Bond meets Heckle and Jeckle, two rival agents – one dressed in black, the other in white, but otherwise identical – take turns trying to eliminate each other. The futility of this ongoing battle only heightens the comedy, as, with each new episode, they come up with more inventive and varied ways to try to cause the others’ demise. All of this is masterfully rendered in only black and white and with no dialogue.

I’ve been eagerly hoping to find these ever since I saw them in the Sneak Peeks last year as a sub-series of MAD magazine models in the 2017 Hot Wheels Pop Culture line. Initially, I found only the Don Martin cars, which are great in their own way. But while I was looking through the mainlines the other day at Target, my son – who is a second-generation Spy vs. Spy fan – spotted these hanging nearby.

I love the simplicity of the packaging and the decorations on these models. I don’t mind so much that they cheated and used some red highlights, since it ties in nicely with the MAD logo and the redlines on the tires. The ’66 Dodge A100, with it’s fairly extreme square features, seems an appropriate Cold War era vehicle for this particular mission.

Hot Wheels DWH40 | 2017 Pop Culture MAD #2/5 | ’66 Dodge A100 | micron black with Spy vs Spy trim | RLDDRR

Hot Wheels DWH37 | 2017 Pop Culture MAD #3/5 | ’66 Dodge A100 | pearl white with Spy vs Spy trim | RLDDRR

Antonio Prohias was born in Cuba in 1921. He was an experienced, prolific and award-winning cartoonist by the time he arrived in New York in 1960 – forced to flee his homeland after angering Fidel Castro with his anti-Communist drawings. When he took his portfolio to the MAD offices, he was immediately hired and his black and white Spies became an integral part of the magazine. Of his wordless style, Prohias has said (as quoted in Spy vs. Spy: the Complete Casebook), “As far as I’m concerned, drawing is a language in itself. I feel words are superfluous. In fact, even in Cuba I used Spanish as little as possible. All the power was in the drawings.”

My library of vintage Spy vs. Spy books.

As a youngster who loved to draw, I paid close attention to what Prohias was doing. He brought life to a spare palette with textures; endless varieties of brick and stone, clouds and smoke, tree bark and woodgrain. His skillful use of the brush tied together the page while adding and drama and tension. Prohias’ compositions defied two dimensions and his smart construction of the panels told the story fluidly.

My all-time favorite spread.

Hot Wheels 2017 Multipack Exclusive Chevrolet SS

When I found this 9-Pack at a Target in San Antonio during our Christmas trip there, I thought they must be sneaking cars from the Red Edition series into these multipacks. Since then, I’ve been assured by those who know better that this is not a Red Edition car and it is also not exclusive to Target. Well, I like to think this exclusive red on white decoration is at least inspired by the Red Edition series. (Compare it to the Red Edition ’68 Nova.)

Hot Wheels | X6999 | 2017 Multipack Exclusive | Chevrolet SS (Opala) | white with red trim | red rim 5SP

This is the fourth Multipack Exclusive Chevrolet SS since 2016, and I’ve been fortunate to find all of them.

Hot Wheels 2017 Surf’s Up 5-Pack

I picked up the Hot Wheels 2017 Surf’s Up 5-Pack mainly for the Beach Patrol version of the ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon. However, with the solid selection of models in this multipack, I decided to keep this one intact. The Nova looks great in this Hot Wheels Beach Patrol Rescue 24 livery. You’d arrive at the beach in style in this wagon, with plenty of room to haul all of your rescue gear. I’d suggest, though, that you switch to one of the other vehicles before you take off over the sand.

Hot Wheels | DVG00 | 2017 Surf’s Up 5-pack | ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon | white with blue and red Rescue 24 Beach Patrol | chrome red and black OH5SP

I’ve been enjoying collecting variations of the ’64 Nova wagon, like the version from the 2015 Redline series. There is also a delivery version (no back windows), which allows for some fun possibilities in decoration, such as the 2016 Nestle 100 Grand release.

All of the models in the Surf’s Up 5-Pack are new variations of existing castings. The most unusual of the group is the Mad Splash. This racing boat has been around since 2012, with its translucent plastic base cleverly molded to look like splashing water.

Hot Wheels | DVG00 | 2017 Surf’s Up 5-pack | Mad Splash | silver with translucent blue plastic base and dark blue, white and orange HW Coast Guard trim | chrome blue and transparent blue 5SP

The Jeep CJ-7 is the oldest casting and the only one of which I have another version (a white one from 1986 that I have yet to photograph). This popular casting has been around since 1982 and has been produced in at least 18 different variations.

Hot Wheels | DVG00 | 2017 Surf’s Up 5-pack | Jeep CJ-7 | red with yellow, white and black Lifeguard trim | grey OR5SP

Another popular casting, the Custom Volkswagen Beetle, has seen at least 26 variations since its first release in 2007. Here it’s coated in a beautiful metalflake dark blue paint.

Hot Wheels | DVG00 | 2017 Surf’s Up 5-pack | Custom Volkswagen Beetle | metalflake dark blue with red, silver and white Shark Spotter trim | 5SP

The Volkswagen Caddy (or VW Rabbit pick-up, as we know it in North America) is a fairly recent casting, first produced in 2015.

Hot Wheels | DVG00 | 2017 Surf’s Up 5-pack | Volkswagen Caddy | yellow with red white and black Surf Rescue trim | chrome red and black PR5

Happy 2018!

I predict that 2018 – the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels – is going to be a great year. It’s off to a spectacular start. After all, the first 2018 Hot Wheel I brought home is this HW Flames ’68 Chevy Nova, a really sweet version of one of my favorite castings.

FJW62 | 2018 HW Flames 3/10 | 1968 Chevy Nova | Metalflake purple with yellow and red trim | Yellow DD8 | Alternate tool (no hood scoop)

There is also a Super Treasure Hunt version that is Spectraflame dark blue and has Double 6-Dot wheels. Am I being too optimistic about the year if I expect to find one of those?

Here’s a link to a page that shows all of my Hot Wheels ’68 Novas.

2017 Hot Wheels Pop Culture MAD Don Martin Models

I’ve been holding off showing these, hoping I might still find the rest of the Hot Wheels MAD series. In fact, I really wanted the Alfred E. Neuman ’64 Nova panel and the Spy vs. Spy ’66 Dodge vans. But, considering how scarce these have been on the pegs and how much I loved Don Martin when I was a kid, I’m glad I landed these two.

MAD was scarce in our house. The irreverent and sometimes racy satirical compilation was frowned upon by my fairly straight-laced parents. But they couldn’t shield me forever from my older brothers’ library, and I quickly became a fan of the magazine, which was founded by Harvey Kurtzman in 1952.

Don Martin was one of the artists brought to the magazine by Al Feldstein when he took over the editorial reigns in 1956. Martin’s immediately recognizable style and beautifully designed cartoons were often the highlight of the magazine, and he continued working for MAD up until 1988. Martin was famous for his particular brand of bizarre slapstick humor, punctuated by unique sound effects, which feature prominently in the decoration of both the cars and the packages of these Hot Wheels.

DWH25-4B10 | 2017 Pop Culture MAD #4/5 | ’55 Chevy Panel | pale green with Don Martin SPLITCH trim | RLRR5SP

DWH36-4B10 | 2017 Pop Culture MAD #5/5 | Haulin’ Gas | sky blue with Don Martin SHTOINK | RR10SP

The ’55 Chevy Panel – with its broad billboard surfaces – is a staple in the Pop Culture series, having made previous appearances decorated with 3 Musketeers (2015 M&M Mars) and Ghost Rider (2016 Marvel) branding. Haulin’ Gas is another Pop Culture regular, and I happen to have the Green Giant version from the 2013 General Mills series.