I admit I was stumped when I found these two unusual Hot Wheels in the case of the Sad Dad. I did a fair amount of online research and came up empty. I couldn’t find them listed in any of the books in my reference library. At first, I thought these strange cars were some sort of Transformers knock-off. That odd slider on the base allows them to wiggle, but otherwise the all-plastic parts are firmly connected. I suspected a McDonald’s toy, but there is no telltale logo. About the only thing that I guessed correctly was that the hook on the bottom suggested some sort of a launcher was involved. When I finally gave up and posted a couple of photos on the Hot Wheels Newsletter Facebook page, I had my answer almost immediately.
When the Hot Wheels Top Speed line was introduced in 1995, the claim on the packaging was that they were “the most advanced vehicles in Hot Wheels History!” 8 unique castings could be purchased in packs of two, or were included in playsets. A “Catapault Launcher” and “Accelerator Tube” could be connected to regular orange track. The hook on the bottom of the cars was used with the launcher, while the slider on the base adjusted the chassis of the car to be stiff for drag racing or allowed a slight swivel for loops, curves and pipes. The Hot Hubs wheels on the Top Speed cars were new for 1995, but were also used on a separate Hot Hubs series