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1997 , 1998, 1999 Canadian HW
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By: Vic Prochazka
UPDATED: Mar.31, 1999

What's going on with Hot Wheels?

With the recent purchase of Corgi, Mattel has flooded the market with loads of "new" castings, adding to the bloat of "Collector #" cars. Unfortunately, these cars, commonly referred to as "China Cars" are not available in Canada. Fortunately, Canucks do have access to the newly expanded line of First Edition cars for 1998, along with the usual name variations. Add to that the fact that even Mattel didn't appear to know how many cars would be in the 1998 lineup, and you have a recipe for confusion.

As the first '98 First Editions started to hit the stores, it became apparent that there was going to be trouble. Cars like the '65 Impala Lowrider were appearing on 1997-style cards, bearing the label "8 of 48", while other cars on the new cut-corner 1998 cards like the Slideout were labelled "2 of 45". But even more turned up marked as "of 40", wich turns out to be the correct number. And variation fans will be pleased to hear that the mis-labelled cars are now turning up with the correct number designation.

In addition to these 40 new First Editions for 1998, there are the usual 12 4-car series.
Here's what's out so far:

1998 Hot Wheels Releases

First Editions

 No. US Name           International Name  Number Wheel Type
  #1 Escort Rally             -                   (of 40) 
  #2 Slideout                 -                   (of 40) 5sp
  #3 Dodge Sidewinder         -                   (of 40) 5sp
  #4 Dodge Caravan            -                   (of 40) tri, 5sp
  #5 Jaguar XK-8              -                   (of 45) silver wire
  #6 Jaguar D-Type            -                   (of 45,40) wire, 5sp
  #7 '32 Ford                 Ford '32            (of 40) tri
  #8 '65 Impala Lowrider      Impala Lowrider '65 (of 48,40) old card
  #9 '63 T-Bird               T-Bird '63          (of 40) lambo
 #10 Dairy Delivery           Moo Mobile          (of 48,40) 5sp
 #11 Mercedes SLK             -                   (of 40) 5sp, lambo
 #12 Lakester                 -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #13 Hot Seat                 -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #14 Ford GT-90               -                   (of 40) 3sp
 #15 Pikes Peak Celica        -                   (of 40) gold wire
 #16 Iroc Firebird            -                   (of 40) black 5sp
 #17 '70 Roadrunner           Roadrunner '70      (of 40) 5sp
 #18 Mustang Cobra            -                   (of 40) gold wire
 #19 Panoz GTR-1              -                   (of 40) wire
 #20 '40 Ford                 Ford '40            (of 40) 5sp
 #21 Go Kart                  -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #22 Super Comp Dragster      -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #23 Solar Eagle III          -                   (of 40) disc
 #24 Tail Dragger             -                   (of 40) wire
 #25 Tow Jam                  -                   (of 40) tri
 #26 Customized C3500         -                   (of 40) lambo
 #27 Super Modified           -                   (of 40) wire
 #28 Chaparral 2              -                   (of 40) wire
 #29 Mustang Mach 1  (yellow or bright orange)    (of 40) 5sp
 #30 Sweet 16 II              -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #31 Callaway C-7             -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #32 Chrysler Thunderbolt     -                   (of 40) lambo
 #33 Bad Mudder               -                   (of 40) constr. triblade
 #34 At-A-Tude                -                   (of 40) wire
 #35 Copperhead               Dodge               (of 40) 5sp
 #36 Whatta Drag              -                   (of 40) 3sp
 #37 Express Lane             -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #38 Cat-A-Pult               -                   (of 40) 5sp
 #39 Fathom This              -                   (of 40) n/a
 #40 Double Vision            -                   (of 40) gold wire


Techno Bits Series

 #1 Power Pistons             -                   silver 5sp
 #2 Radar Ranger              -                   silver const. triblade
 #3 Shadow Jet                -                   silver 5sp
 #4 Shadow Jet II             -                   Silver 5sp

Tattoo Machines Series

 #1 '57 T-Bird                -                   silver 3sp
 #2 '93 Camaro                -                   silver 3sp
 #3 Corvette Stingray         -                   silver 3sp
 #4 Stutz Blackhawk           -                   silver 3sp

Biohazard Series:

 #1 Hydroplane                -                   mini
 #2 Flame Stopper             -                   yellow const. triblade
 #3 Recycling Truck           Eco 1               silver triblade
 #4 Rescue Ranger             -                   silver 5sp

Tropicool Series:

 #1 Ice Cream Truck           Tropicool           silver 5sp
 #2 Baja Bug                  -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Classic Caddy             Cadillac '35        silver triblade
 #4 Corvette Convertible      Corvette            silver triblade

Low 'N Cool Series:

 #1 Mini Truck                Sonic Special       gold triblade
 #2 '59 Impala                Impala '59          gold wire
 #3 '59 Caddy                 Caddy '59           gold wire
 #4 Limozeen                  -                   gold wire

Dash 4 Cash Series:

 #1 Jaguar XJ220              -                   silver wire
 #2 Ferrari F40               -                   gold wire
 #3 Avus Quattro              Audi Avus           gold wire
 #4 Dodge Viper RT/10         -                   silver triblade

Race Team Series IV:

 #1 '67 Camaro                Camaro '67          silver 5sp
 #2 Mercedes C-Class          -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C      -                   silver 5sp
 #4 '63 Corvette              -                   silver 5sp

Artistic License Series
 #1 1970 Plymouth Barracuda   -                   silver 5sp 
 #2 Alien                     -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Speed Blaster             -                   silver 5sp
 #4 VW Bug                    -                   silver 5sp

Flyin' Aces Series

 #1 1970 Dodge Charger Daytona-                   silver 5sp
 #2 Dogfighter                -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Sol-Aire CX4              -                   silver 5sp
 #4 XT-3                      -                   silver 5sp

Mixed Signals Series

 #1 '80s Corvette             -                   silver 5sp
 #2 Ambulance                 -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Nissan Truck              -                   silver 5sp
 #4 School Bus                -                   silver 5sp

Sugar Rush Series

 #1 '95 Camaro                -                   silver 5sp
 #2 '96 Mustang Convertible   -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Funny Car                 -                   silver 5sp
 #4 Mazda MX-5 Miata          -                   silver 5sp

Tech Tones Series

 #1 Avus Quattro              -                   silver 5sp
 #2 Buick Wildcat             -                   silver 5sp
 #3 Silhouette II             -                   silver 5sp
 #4 Speed Machine             -                   silver 5sp

Treasure Hunt Cars

 #1 Twang Thang               -                   silver 5sp
 #2 Scorchin' Scooter         -                   silver
 #3 Kenworth T600A            -                   silver 3sp
 #4 3 Window '34              -                   silver lambo
 #5 Turbo Flame               -                   silver 5sp
 #6 Saltflat Racer            -                   silver 5sp
 #7 Street Beast              -                   gold wire
 #8 Road Rocket               -                   silver 5sp
 #9 Sol-Aire CX4              -                   white wire
#10 '57 Chevy                 -                   silver 3sp
#11 Sting Ray III             -                   silver 3sp
#12 Way 2 Fast                -                   silver 5sp



 Street Beast                 -                   silver triblade
 '58 Corvette                 Corvette '58        silver lambo
 Flashfire                    -                   silver lambo
 Lamborghini Diablo           -                   silver lambo
 ?                            Dodge Charger Daytona 1970  silver triblade
 ?                            Power Plower        silver const. triblade
 Camaro Z28                   -                   silver 3sp
 Ferrari 308                  -                   silver lambo
 Ferrari 348                  -                   silver lambo
 Skullrider                   -                   silver 5sp



 4 X 4
 Figure 8 Racers
 Rad Rigs
 Showroom Specials
 Flag Flyers
 Race Team III
 Race Team Crew
 Volcano Blowout

Cars listed in gray not yet found in Canada.


What Canadians Just Don't Get

One of the most common questions we receive at Collector's Planet is "Where can I find a Hot Wheels ______ in Canada?" Well, the answer is usually that you can't. Outside of First Editions and Series cars, not a lot of Mattel Hot Wheels products make it across the border and abroad. This may be a marketing decision, or simply a cost-cutting measure. Products sold in Canada must have bilingual (French & English) packaging. This adds to the cost. Copy must be translated and new packaging must be made up for the specific market it will be sold in. This may be why Johnny Lightning cars in Canada are few and far between. On the plus side, sometimes screwups occur during translation, or other interesting package variations are created in the process. The above list attempts to point out one such example - name variations. Below is a brief list of some Hot Wheels products you can and can't expect to find in Canada this year:

Collectible Available in U.S.? Available in Canada?
First Editions Yes Yes
Series Cars Yes Yes
Treasure Hunt Series Yes No
Collector Number Cars Yes No
Mystery Bonus Cars Yes No
Action Packs Yes No
5-Car Gift Packs Yes Yes
Hot Wheels World Playsets Yes Yes
Hot Wheels Track Sets Yes Yes
F.E. Year In Review Sets Yes No
Mattel Media Software Yes Yes
Hot Wheels Collectibles Yes No
Hot Wheels Pro Racing Cars Yes Yes
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