In 1968 came the successful release of Hot Wheels cars. Due to that success, the cars were soon followed by an array of products hoping to promote -- and benefit from -- the Hot Wheels brand. Sticker books, coloring books, comic books and puzzles were just some of the top-selling merchandise.
Whitman Publishing produced several products that showcased the Hot Wheels brand. They created coloring books for the Redline era, as well as sticker books and puzzles, which showed up from 1968 to 1977.
What little boy growing up in 1969 didn't want a Hot Wheels lunch box to bring his lunch to school in? The first lunch box was made by Thermos, and it was metal. It showed the Splittin' Image on the front and the Twin Mill on the back. The thermos itself featured the Twin Mill in mid-jump!
In April of 1970, National Periodical Publications produced a six-issue collection of bi-monthly comic books. It ran until February of 1971. Each issue of the comic follows the adventures of teenagers Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler and his friends who call themselves "Hot Wheels." They promote courtesy and safe driving at school while dealing with their rivals, Dexter's Demons, at the same time. The Demons were always causing trouble at school and at the track. Jack and his friends usually prevail against the Demons in the big race at the end of each issue.
In 1970, another couple of cool products were the Racing Stickers and Stick-Arounds. These were manufactured by Mattel and could be used to decorate Hot Wheels cars, notebooks etc.
Collector catalogs were included in all the track sets. The small catalogues showcased available cars and had a color guide and other available products. On the back was a collectors log to keep track of your collection.
Wastebaskets, clocks, wristwatches and Halloween costumes... the list goes on and on. With a little tenacity and patience nearly all of these products can be found today via online auctions and sales, estate sales, garage sales… most with affordable prices!
It's a great way to complement your collection and make it stand out. Don't stop with the cars!
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not of Mattel, Inc. Mattel, Inc. has not verified the facts stated herein and makes no representation as to their accuracy.