The Hot Wheels Garage: 17 February 2010
17 February 2010: Adult Collectors Rejoice! The 2010 Delivery Series... ---When Hot Wheels Redlines were first issued in late 1967/early 1968, the world of diecast was forever changed. This new line of diecast cars would quickly take charge and lead the field due to its candy colors, incredibly smooth rolling and torsion suspension and for the most part, all metal construction. The all-metal theme would prevail for a decade, before the plastic chassis was introduced.

The move was an obvious cost-cutting measure to keep the cars at a dollar or less, as it became more expensive to produce all-metal vehicles. Collectors moaned and groaned about the change, but the price of Hot Wheels never went up. The kids seemed to pay it no mind; they were toy cars, after all. As long as they rolled over mud, concrete and carpeting, they served their purpose! Many of the cars during the late 70's and entire 80's still maintained a metal chassis, but the plastic replacement would soon become more prevalent. There was simply no avoiding it. Once the 90's were upon us, the plastic chassis was taking charge. Soon, all-metal Hot Wheels would be a scarcity, leaving only the bodies metal (depending on the model, of course. Many plastic bodies were accompanied by metal chassis.) When the year 2001 rolled around, collectors were introduced to quality, all-metal HWC and Redline Club cars that featured all-metal construction, reminding us of the quality of the past. But, the cars were pricey, and many collectors would shy away from the $20.00+ cost to attain them. This got designers thinking; why not introduce a "more-than-a-buck car" around the $4.00 price range to satisfy collector demand?
Shortly thereafter, Mattel would slowly start to issue quality, highly-detailed and collectible lines of cars. The line we're going to focus on in this article is the Hot Wheels Delivery Series or Slick Rides. Mattel touts the line as follows: "Slick Rides™ cars are inspired by historic dragsters and their authentic performance licenses. They celebrate the best Hot Wheels® Delivery vehicles and at the same time feature logos and insignias from oil manufacturers, part suppliers, and automotive retailers from both the past and present. With that realistic detailing you love, these slick speedsters put a fresh twist on old-school style." Once this series was released, collectors went crazy! Here was a quality issue for $2.99 that brought back memories of the past. But, there was more: each car would come with Real Rider tires, with a few different hubs! The Delivery line launched with great success, and collectors have been snapping them off the shelves as soon as they hit. Basically, it all translated into getting a Redline Club or HWC-quality car for $2.99! The Real Riders are always a key component of highly-collectible cars, so let's take a look at three of the hubs that have been offered (as of the date of this article):

Standard R/R hub w/Redline tire

5-spoke Real Riders

Standard R/R hub w/Goodrich tire

So, all of the elements were in place for the Delivery Series to be a highly successful line: cool paint jobs, realistic tires, new mods to existing castings and some new castings introduced overall. But, there had to be another selling point: the deco. Mattel chose wisely when it decided to market this line with well-known automotive brand names such as Bell, BF Goodrich, Wynn's, Champion, Holley, Clay Smith Cams, and more. The logos were approved, slapped onto the cars, and a winner was born. Let's take a look at a couple of the logos:

BF Goodrich logo

Clay Smith Cams logo

And, there you have it. Mattel listened to collectors over the years, and decided it was high time to put out a series that would compete with Johnny Lightning and other brands that featured rubber tires and all-metal bodies/chassis. Collectors simply don't mind paying a bit more for quality, and at $2.99 each, the Delivery Series...well, "delivers." Mattel also managed to one-up the other brands by keeping the cost of this series below comparitive pricing. Kudos to Mattel for recognizing collector desires. Many of us have "graduated" beyond the New Model Series and standard Mainline fare. Those are fun cars to collect, but they simply don't appeal to everyone. I personally stopped collecting all of the First Editions back in 2003; I just couldn't justify buying cars I didn't like, simply for the sake of completing the set. So, that left me wondering, years later: What else is there to collect? What else appeals to adult collectors? Then, Mattel hit paydirt, with series like the Delivery Series. Perfect!

In summary, I'll rate the 2010 Delivery Series as follows:

  • 1 Star = Poor
  • 2 Stars = Fair
  • 3 Stars = Good
  • 4 Stars = Excellent

    Quality Some older castings have some rough spots
    Value You're getting a LOT of diecast for the price!
    Vehicle Selection Some highly collectible models are included; some are just ok.
    Tires Real Riders at this price? Cha-ching.
    Deco Some look fantastic; others (like the Anglia) are overkill
    Distribution MANY states are reporting being unable to find a single Delivery car.

    In closing, the 2010 Delivery Series is rated overall at 3 1/4 stars out of 4, making this a very collectible set to pursue. A very similar series is currently out that matches this set: The Garage Series. We'll review this set next month. Until then, keep your wheels rollin' and good luck at the pegs!

    ~Neal Giordano