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Hot Wheels, cold cash, lots of fun

April 30, 2014 - Brian Rowell
ESCANABA — I was in a book store over the weekend when I had an opportunity to take a trip back to my childhood. While I was browsing through the rows of books I came across a guide for Hot Wheels collectors. For any boy born after 1960, Hot Wheels need no introduction. They are those little (in my day metal) toy cars that are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. I used to race them on a snap-together plastic race track that started from the top of our staircase and took a steep dive to the bottom. There were many afternoons of fast paced races and spectacular crashes... most of all there was lots and lots of fun. I was eight years old when Hot Wheels first came out in 1968. They were hot then. They were still hot when my son was a boy some 20 years later. They seem to have endured — even in a world full of technology-based toys. I bought a few for my grandson a couple of years ago. I was never a Hot Wheels fanatic. In fact, Hot Wheel hadn’t entered my mind for years until I picked up that book. Looking through the pages brought back some fond memories — and a little bit of a surprise. It seems some people really like Hot Wheels. They like Hot Wheels so much they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for original vintage Hot Wheels in good condition. I once had at least half a dozen of the vintage Hot Wheels shown in the pages of that book. They’re worth a healthy chunk of change today. A part of me wishes that eight-year-old boy I once was would have left those Hot Wheel he got for Christmas in 1968 in their original packages and stored them away for the next four decades. But that would have cost me hours of childhood fun. Those memories are far too valuable and can’t be priced in any collectors guide.


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Brian Rowell