After a couple of models were leaked out with the new gold Hot Ones wheels in 1980, the line became official in 1981, being touted as "The Fastest Non-Powered Diecast Cars." The axle leaned more toward the thin wire that was utilized during the Redline Era. Basic, or Blackwall Wheels used a thicker axle wire, and made the cars slower and somewhat clunky. They just didn't move very well at all. So, the axles and wheels were due for an adjustment, and this was accomplished with the Hot Ones line. The Heroes and Scene Machine series were carried over into 1981, but would be discontinued at the end of the year. The Hi-Rakers and Workhorses series were also present in 1981.

Quoted values are for LOOSE, NM examples. Cars less than NM will obviously command a lesser value than listed, depending on overall condition. Unless otherwise stated, the country of origin for all listed models is Hong Kong. Different countries will be listed second, and bolded.

Note that the NCHWA utilizes a pricing method called "Star Value©." Instead of specific dollar values, each car will be assigned a Star Value© to indicate rarity and potential price range. There are simply too many variables to place a "set" value on any model, so a range will be used instead to indicate where that particular model may fall on the secondary price scale. A +/- indicates where on that scale the value is approximated, while a number by itself would indicate the value falls in the middle of the Star Value. This is also an easy quick-glance method to determine rarity; the higher the number, the rarer the car. The value chart will be placed at the bottom of each page.

Option: Click the button to the left to download a printable copy of the Star Chart for easy reference (Microsoft Word or equivalent program required for viewing or download). It beats scrolling up and down when you're pricing your cars!
#
Name
Description
Wheels
Value
9649
'31 Doozie
a) Orange body with green plastic fenders and a white top
b) Green body with green plastic fenders, tan top & yellow side tampo
c) Same as "b", light green side tampo
d) Same as "c", Malaysia chassis
BW
BW
BW
BW
6
1+
2-
2-




1696
'37 Bugatti
Black body with red tampo on the sides. Blue windows and chrome plastic chassis
BW
1+
1131
'40's Woodie
Orange body with faux brown "wood" panels on the sides. Black roof (Hi-Rakers)
BW
1+
1699
Airport Rescue
Yellow body with orange and black "Airport Rescue Fire Dept" tampo on sides (Workhorses)
BW
2-
2016
A-OK
a) Dark red body with dark red fenders, with red/yellow/black "Early Times" tampo on sides
b) Same as "a", but with burgandy fenders
c) Same as "b", but with grey GoodYear Real Riders (GYG)
BW
BW
GYG
2
2
9
2505
Auburn 852
a) Yellow body with dark brown plastic fenders and interior
b) Same as "a", reddish-brown fenders and interior
BW
BW
1
2-
1690
Bronco 4-Wheeler
a) Black body with red, orange and yellow stripe tampo on the sides. Black plastic shell & blue windows
b) Same as "a", clear windows
BW
BW
2
2
1691
Cannonade
Red body with yellow and white stripe tampo on the sides with number "3"
BW
1
1693
Chevy Citation
a) White body with red stripe and "X11" on the sides. Red interior
b) Same as "a", red body. (Never issued in blisterpack--only in a 3-pack w/HW book)
BW
BW
2-
2+
3303
Circus Cats
White body with "Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus" and tiger tampo on the sides
BW
4
3364
Dixie Challenger
Orange body with Rebel flag tampo on roof and "Dixie Challenger" on the hood
BW
2
3301
Iron Man
White body with yellow/black "The Invincible Iron Man" and character tampo on the side (Heroes)
BW
2
1697
Minitrek
Tan/brown body with orange and yellow stripe tampo on the sides
BW
2-
1700
Mirada Stocker
Red body with black, yellow and red racing tampos on sides and hood, number "10"
BW
2
1695
Old Number 5
a) Red body with yellow and black "No. 5" and "Fire Dept" tampo on hood
b) Same as "a", but with louvres on the hood
BW
BW
2+
1+
1692
Omni 024
Silver body with black and orange stripe and "024 Omni" tampo on the sides
BW
1
1689
Peterbilt Tank Truck
a) Orange cab with metal tank and "California Construction Company" on sides (Workhorses)
b) Same as "a", Malaysia chassis
BW
BW
2-
2-
3305
Racing Team
Yellow body with red HW logo, black "Racing Team" and various sponsor tampos (Scene Machines)
BW
6-
3304
Rescue Squad
Red body, clear windows, chrome plastic chassis (Scene Machines)
BW
5
3300
Silver Surfer
Chrome body with red and black "Silver Surfer" and character tampo on sides (Heroes)
BW
2+
9242
Street Rodder
a) White body with red and orange flame tampo on the sides
b) Same as "a", Malaysia chassis
BW
BW
2
2
1125
Turbo Mustang
Orange body with "Cobra" on sides/hood. (Never in blisterpack--only in a 3-pack w/HW book)
BW
2+
1694
Turismo
a) Red body with yellow and black stripe and number "10" tampo on the sides
b) Same as "a", Malaysia chassis
BW
BW
1
1


1 = $1-5 2 = $6-15 3 = $16-25 4 = $26-35 5 = $36-50 6 = $51-70
7 = $71-90 8 = $91-110 9 = $111-130 10 = $131-160 11 = $161-180 12 = $181-200
13 = $201-220 14 = $221-240 15 = $241-270 16 = $271-300 17 = $301-330 18 = $331-350


What Events Defined 1981?

  • "Pac-Man" was introduced to the United States and ignited the Arcade Era, gobbling millions of quarters
  • The first Space Shuttle launch: Columbia lifted off on April 12, 1981
  • President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.
  • "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with Harrison Ford storms theaters in the Summer of '81
  • Video game mega-hits "Donkey Kong" and "Ms. Pac-Man" are released late in the year
  • Major League Baseball went on strike on May 29, and didn't resume until the All Star Game on July 31.
  • MTV launches at 1 minute after midnight on August 1. The first video was "Video Killed the Radio Star"
  • Prince Charles and Lady Diana are married in Britain, in one of the most-watched weddings in TV history
  • Pope John Paul II is shot, but survives in an assasination attempt
  • AIDS is first identified, as it quickly became an epidemic
  • #1 Movies of 1981 included: "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Chariots of Fire", "Clash of the Titans" and "On Golden Pond"
  • #1 Songs of 1981 included: "Keep on Loving You" (REO Speedwagon), "Jesse's Girl" (Rick Springfield) "Kiss on My List" (Hall & Oates), "Morning Train" (Sheena Easton) "Endless Love" (Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie) and "Bette Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes)




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