1992 Hot Wheels Emergency Squad 5-Pack

This 1992 Hot Wheels Emergency Squad gift pack is the second of four five-packs I picked up at the Wichita Community Market. It’s a little different configuration than what’s shown on the Hot Wheels Wiki, which lists a Ramp Truck instead of the Police Chopper included here.

1992 | 3870 | Emergency Squad 5-Pack

Propper Chopper first came out in 1990 wearing “Newschopper” livery and has since been seen in more than 30 variations. This Police version in my five-pack appears to be identical to the mainline release from 1992.

Propper Chopper | white with red, black, yellow Police trim | MY

I already have a few variations of Sheriff Patrol, which was first cast in 1978 as Highway Patrol. This black and white Police version matches the mainline release from 1990.
Sheriff Patrol | black with blue, white and yellow Police trim | MY | BW

This is the first Hot Wheels Ambulance I’ve added to my collection. It was first cast in 1989 with this same paint and tampo. It has come out in about two dozen variations up until the Final Run series of 2003.
Ambulance | white with red, blue American Ambulance trim | MY | BW

In the past couple of years, I’ve had good luck finding mint condition blackwall Fire Eaters. The popular model was first cast in 1977 wearing redlines. This red version with the blue insert has no holes in the base, which makes it different than the other mint red model I have.

Fire Eater | red with black and yellow trim, blue plastic insert | MY | BW

This casting, first released in 1983 as Beach Patrol and appearing in about two dozen variations, is also new to my collection. Based on a first-generation Chevy S-10/GMC S-15, this model looks great in the striking red, yellow, black and white tampo with construction tires – identical to the 1991 mainline release.
Surf Patrol | yellow with red, white, black Rescue trim, red plastic interior/light bar | MY | CT


1994 Hot Wheels Blimp & Support Team 5-Pack

I don’t really seek out packaged Hot Wheels blackwalls – most of my pre-2000 collection is made up of loose cars – but when I recently came across a bunch of 90s Hot Wheels 5-packs at the Wichita Community Market,* I realized it was a great way to add a bunch of mint condition blackwalls to my collection. The Peterbilt Tank Truck in this Blimp & Support Team 5-Pack from 1994 was what initially caught my eye, but all five models make for a whole bunch of fun.

Hot Wheels 1994 | 11364 | Blimp & Support Team 5-Pack

Flame Stopper was first released in 1988 and has seen about 15 variations up until 2010. The yellow construction tires differentiate this 5-pack model from the 1988 first casting.

Flame Stopper | red with yellow and white trim, yellow plastic water cannon | MY | CT

The Hot Wheels Goodyear Blimp first appeared in 1991 and has since become a flying billboard for such brands as Fuji Film, Tide, Citgo, Dewalt and more.

Blimp | white gondola with gray fuselage, blue and yellow Goodyear logo | MY

The Peterbilt Tank Truck debuted in the 1981 Hot Wheels Workhorses series. I recently found a nice Hot Wheels Railroad version from 1986. Notice that the helium tanker in this 5-pack has a gray plastic tank, rather than the metal tank of the earlier versions.

Peterbilt Tank Truck | green with gray plastic tank, lt. green, white, black and blue trim | MY | BW

Rescue Ranger began in 1975 as one of my childhood Hot Wheels, the Emergency Squad, before having its name changed in 1986. This Airship Support Team version can be found with either white, red or black tampo for the words “Oxygen” and “First Aid.”

Rescue Ranger | yellow with black and blue trim, red plastic insert | MY | BW

This Airship Tug version of Rig Wrecker is one of three variations wearing blackwalls, including the first release from 1983. Rig Wrecker was included in the 2003 Final Run Series after a good run that includes more than two dozen variations.

Rig Wrecker | white with red, blue, black trim, gray plastic boom | MY | BW

*The Wichita Community Market is where many of the vendors of the now defunct Village Flea Market have resettled, only about a mile down the street. In fact, I’ve bought from this same vendor at the previous location.

1979 Hot Wheels S.W.A.T. Van and other Estate Sale Finds

I’m a big fan of the Hot Wheels Scene Machines, so when I found this S.W.A.T. Van at an estate sale recently, I took it home with me even though I already have one. And since it was half-price day, I took home a few other interesting models as well. The 1979 S.W.A.T. Van is based on the Letter Getter from 1977, but like all Scene Machines, it has a lens embedded in the back so you can peer inside to see what’s happening in the interior.

Hot Wheels | 1979 | 2854 | S.W.A.T. Van (Scene Machines) | dark enamel blue with white & orange trim | HK | bs

This Scene Machine has a lot of dust inside, so the image isn’t particularly clear, but I’m including a photo here of the scene inside of my other S.W.A.T. Van.

Continuing my recent trend of finding open-wheel race cars, I nabbed this 1993 version of  Thunderstreak. It’s from the short-lived Hot Wheels Pro Circuit series, a collection of cars that came with special wheels and a collector card in an oversized blister pack. I might have to attempt some repairs to the bent front wing and axles, but the Al Unser Jr. Valvoline livery takes me back to my days of watching Indy car races at Phoenix International Raceway in the late 1980s.

Hot Wheels | 1993 | 2690 | Pro Circuit Series | Indy (Thunderstreak) | blue, white and red with Valvoline Al Unser Jr trim | China | PC6 chrome

This last Hot Wheels model is the second well-worn 1968 Custom Fleetside I’ve added to my collection. Both are missing the plastic bed cover, but this one is even more beat-up and is also missing a rear wheel. Still, who can resist one of the original 16 – especially the Fleetside, which was the first casting designed by Harry Bradley, who based the model on his own daily driver?

Hot Wheels | 1968 | 6213 | Custom Fleetside | Spectraflame purple, missing box cover, missing wheel | HK | rl

Yet another open-wheel racer, this one a Matchbox Formula 1 Racer. First released in 1984, this popular model has been issued in about 35 different variations

Matchbox | 1984 | #16 F1 Racer | dark blue with white and red Bosch STP 20, red driver, chrome lettering on wheels | Macau

The lady who was taking money at the sale must have been a Benz fan, as she had this Matchbox Mercedes Benz 300E on her table and told me it was the “best one” of the bunch. The casting debuted in 1987 and features opening front doors.

Matchbox | 1987 | #58 | Mercedes Benz 300E | metallic light blue, dark blue interior, opening doors | 8-dot rims | made in Macau


1989 and 1994 Hot Wheels Thunderstreak

Since I picked up the Malibu Gran Prix on eBay recently, I’ve been finding open-wheel race cars left and right. These two blackwall Hot Wheels Thunderstreak variations are from a different lot of three cars that I nabbed on eBay.

This casting began as Formula Fever in 1983, then was renamed Thunderstreak for the 1985 Real Riders series. The original tool had a fairly small wing which was part of the car’s metal base. This blue and yellow Kraco version from 1989 could be found both with and without STP on the sides. Though the metal base is pretty tarnished, this model is in otherwise fairly good shape.

Hot Wheels | 1989 | 3915 | Thunderstreak | blue and yellow with Kraco blue, yellow, white and red trim, “STP” | MY | BW

In 1992, Thunderstreak was retooled for the Pro Circuit series, now sporting a larger tail wing which is attached to the upper body of the car rather than the base. The Aquafresh promo from 1994 could be found with either “WaterPik” or “Aquafresh” on the tail.

Hot Wheels | 1994 | 9545 | Thunderstreak | turquoise with red, white and blue Aquafresh trim, “Aquafresh” on tail wing | MY | BW

1982 Hot Wheels Malibu Gran Prix

This Hot Wheels casting suffers from an identity crisis. The El Ray Special was first released in the 1974 Flying Colors series, and in a short run of about a year and a half, it was seen in 4 different enamel paint colors. By mid- to late-1975, the nose of the car was retooled and Formula P.A.C.K. began to take the El Ray Special’s place in the Streak Machines 6-Pack. Formula Pack then went on to be a part of the Flying Colors series from 1976 through 1978. In 1982, the casting was reissued as Malibu Gran Prix, made in both Hong Kong and Malaysia. In 1984 it wore Real Riders and in 1985 it was a Kellogg’s Cereal promotion, but a yellow version could also be found in ’84-’85 that was called Lightning Gold.

Are you still with me? It’s a little worn, but I love the paint and tampo combination on this eBay find, the Hong Kong made Malibu Gran Prix from 1982. This is the first version of this multiple-personality casting that I’ve added to my collection.

1982 Hot Wheels | 9037 | Malibu Gran Prix | black with red, yellow and blue trim | HK | BW

1992 Hot Wheels Recycling Truck

This orange Hot Wheels Recycling Truck, which I landed recently on eBay, is from 1992, the casting’s first year. Of the dozen or so variations up until 2001, this is the only one that wore blackwalls, although it could also be found in 1992 with 7-spoke wheels. The Tomart’s book also lists three variations in the plastic container: large hole, small hole and no hole. With no other model to compare to, I’m assuming my version has the large hole.

1992 Hot Wheels | 2073 | Recycling Truck | orange with pink, blue and yellow trim, hole in container | MY | BW

Though I like my blackwall Recycling Truck, I couldn’t help but notice this casting’s version in the 2001 Final Run Series, which is a striking white with red, black and orange decoration, with a gold chrome base and Real Riders. Who knew a trash truck could look so good?

1986 Hot Wheels Classic Cobra

I haven’t bought much on eBay lately, so after spending a little time on the site recently, I would say the prices of Blackwall-era Hot Wheels are on the rise. A few years ago, I could find really clean blackwalls for just a few dollars. These days, for anything in reasonably good shape, the bidding can climb into the tens of dollars pretty quickly.

Just in case you are starting to question my financial commitment to this hobby, you might be glad to know that I was still able to find something to bid on. In fact, I was fortunate to land four separate items from the same seller – to save money on combined shipping, of course.

The Hot Wheels Classic Cobra debuted in the 1983 Hot Ones series and has been a wildly popular model ever since. I count over 70 variations from that first year up until as recently as 2015! This red version with yellow stripes and “Cobra” on the hood is from 1986. It was also found that year in the Real Riders series sporting Goodyear white letter tires. I am happy that the plastic parts and the opening hood are all in good shape.

1986 Hot Wheels | 2535 | Classic Cobra | red with yellow, black and white trim, black interior | BW

The Shelby Cobra, which brought together American automotive designer Carroll Shelby, British car manufacturer AC, and Ford, was born in 1962 out of the American carmaker’s desire to have a car to compete with the Corvette. The Hot Wheels version is modeled after the 1966 427 Cobra, which had wider fenders and a larger radiator opening than its predecessor.