AROUND TOWN (see below)
Observations, finds and comments on die cast vehicles in our little corner of the world.
Anomalies New!
Bizarre variations, errors and just plain unexplainable phenomena in die cast cars.
What's New New 2000 Tomart Guide
Find out where to get the best deal on this popular guide to Hot Wheels collecting!
Featured Vehicle Order Online!
Milezone's Limited Edition Custom Track T is here, and you can order it now!
1999 Canadian Hot Wheels
Check out what's scheduled for 1999, and see LIFE SIZE PICS as we find them!
1997 and 1998 Canadian Hot Wheels
A listing of First Editions, series cars and gift packs in International packaging, including some variations you may not be aware of!

How are we doing?

We'd like to know how we're doing, and what you'd like to see on Collector's Planet. Please take the time to fill out our Collector Survey. Don't worry! Your email and any
info submitted will not be given to anyone. Collector's Planet hates spam!

Please take a moment to give us your feedback: Collector Survey

The Exchange
Buy, sell or trade your Hot Wheels or other die cast vehicles, old or new with a FREE ad!
Manufacturer web pages, and links to other collectors' web pages. Submit your site!



The Grapevine

  • Grocery Boy has spotted Hot Wheels single blisters and gift packs at local Loblaws stores, and that's no joke! 04/01/00
  • Ackman says the new Tootsietoy cars at Zellers are utter crap. 03/27/00
  • Richard reminds us that Zellers stores still have model kits at 40% off. 03/23/00
  • Abe has found all the missing and long-awaited Matchbox Series 17 "Military Patrol" at a local Zellers store. 03/11/00
  • C.M. has found the Dirt Scrambler from the elusive Matchbox Series 19: "Mountain Cruisers". 03/10/00
  • AckMan notes that the new Hot Wheels "World Racers II" gift pack is out at The Bay, if you're willing to pay top dollar to be among the first to own it. 02/04/00

Spotted something new, interesting, or just plain weird in the Ottawa area?  Let us know!


Tired of looking at these same old pictures?

Then get out there! Find some cool stuff for us to report to other interested collectors like you. This is a heck of a lot of work to do without your help, dude! Drop us a line when you've found something.


Great gift idea from Golden Wheel Die Casting Fty.

November 26, 1999
Imported from China into Canada by Zellers Inc., this set of die cast Pepsi delivery vans features vintage-style slogans and artwork. It's nice to see something more affordable from a company that offers mostly larger scale models up to 1:18. While they don't have a website, you can contact their American offices by email.

Pepsi Collection


Mysterious Hot Wheels found

November 17, 1999
Among reports of new case assortments hitting the shelves recently comes an interesting new discovery. Several local collectors have reported finding a nifty silver sports car called "Ferrari 355 Challenge". The interesting part is its series designation... or lack thereof! Read the full report in this week's Around Town Spotlight below.


See actual-size pic


Another drought is finally over

September 13, 1999
Hot on the heels of the Hot Wheels First Edition #6 comes yet another red rocket: the # 7 Pontiac Rageous. While the detailed interior is best viewed using the unpainted-top version, it can still be appreciated on the variation with the black painted roof panel. In either case, the Rageous gets stuck with the curse that befalls many "concept car" FE's, the dreaded 3-spoke wheels. The trend seems to be that Mattel gets rid of them by putting them on futuristic or space-themed vehicles, but some end up on classic roadsters. This makes a potentially beautiful car downright ugly in some cases. Mattel should listen to popular opinion: "Come up with some new wheel designs!!!"


See actual-size pic


*The drought may be over

August 22, 1999
It's been a long, frustrating summer for Hot Wheels collectors, but that may be about to change. It's been over 4 months since the last First Edition came out in Canada. Luckily, at least one new FE has been found in recent weeks: the #6 Monte Carlo Concept Car. Its deceptively plain looks hide the fact that it boasts a feature few current cars have - a diecast metal top and bottom. Observant collectors will note that the font on the name label has changed. This is probably a one-shot occurrance, due to the Monte's unusally long name. We won't know for sure until more new FE's turn up. But the way things are looking, we won't be waiting long.


See actual-size pic


*Police Squad car substitution

June 18 1999
Nearly a month after its first appearance, the Hot Wheels Police Squad Gift Pack has its first "variation". This one is in the form of a car substitution - the 1998 First Edition Escort Rally takes the place of the GM Ultralite. The Escort takes on a European police car look with this colour scheme. Much of the words have been carried over from the Ultralite, and a few extraneous lines added for flavour. In addition, the spoiler has been cleverly molded in clear blue plastic - along with the windows - to cleverly resemble police lights! Some may recall the now replaced Ultralite in its movie role - a police car in Warner's Demolition Man! In fact, the casting still bears the Warner trademark on the bottom. And that brings us to this week's contest: Can you name 3 other Demolition Man Hot Wheels cars? Email me with your guess. The winner will receive one randomly selected Hot Wheels car and will be posted here. Hint: they all bear the Warner copyright to this day!


See actual-size pic


*A tight fit

June 13, 1999
Having been a slow start for Hot Wheels in '99, it's at least nice to see some of the cooler Gift Pack cars appearing in single blister packs. The '97 Corvette is definitely no exception. Bold red and white graphics on a beautiful blue metalflake base make this car a great companion to the Race Team line of cars. Which is good for some collectors, since there is no Race Team series scheduled for 1999. And until now, they have had to make do with the FE#3 Aurora GT3. Unfortunately, this car sits a little askew, due to it's not-quite-to-scale proportions. This little number will have to be opened to be displayed properly!


See actual-size pic


*The weird names continue

June 8, 1999
It's not unusual to see a Hot Wheels car from a 5-car Gift Pack appear on its own blister. It's not even unusual to see that car with a different name than its American counterpart. It IS strange to see that car with multiple different names within the same country! This is the case with Mattel's Oshkosh Cement Mixer. While it has appeared with that name in previous years in International packaging, this year it bears the name "Spin Out". But it's not the only one. Remember the U.S.-carded Tractor has appeared here as both Power Plower and Scooper in the last 2 years alone!


See actual-size pic


*POLICE SQUAD cruises into town

May 31, 1999
It's been around a few weeks, but it's worth looking at again. This year's Hot Wheels Police Squad is a perfect complement to last year's Police Force, even though the Oldsmobile Aurora 18838-insertappears in both sets. But this time around, more than just the paint scheme is different. Alert variation enthusiasts will notice that last year's Malaysia casting is slightly different than this year's Thailand casting. Just for fun, let's make a little contest out of it. I'll send a random 1999 Hot Wheels car to the first person who can tell me what the difference is, not including the wheels, paint, or tampos. Send me an email to the address above with your guess. I'll post the winner right here, so everyone can see what a sharp-eyed variation-detector you are!

Congratulations to Mike Dupley of British Columbia for noticing that the Thailand car's base is attached with 2 rivets, instead of the clip-and-rivet system on the Malaysia car. Good eye, Mike!


See actual-size pic


*American BP found in Ottawa store

May 20 1999
Despite the current unusually long drought in new Hot Wheels releases, there's still interesting things to be found around town. One local collector spotted a couple U.S.-carded Hot Wheels at a local Bay store. Grizzlor hasn't been seen in Canada in any series for several years, but is shown here, as found, on the typical U.S. "Collector #" card.

For the record, the red corner label (under the Bay price sticker) says "NEW!" - rather ironic, since this particular version was released in 1996!


See actual-size pic


*Hot Wheels First Edition #5 found

April 17 1999
Still no sign of the #4 Chevelle, but this one should keep collectors happy 'til then. The Olds Aurora GT3 is a beautiful addition to last year's FE racers, and has looks that would make even the coolest Race Team car blush! A large Hot Wheels logo adorns the all-white hood, and the car is wrapped in that deep metallic blue. And the whole package is finished off nicely with gold wire wheels, somewhat reminiscent of the Sol-Aire with Race Team treatment. Probably the only problem with it is the name cast into the base: "Olds Aurora GTS-1", which is sure to stir some controvery with racing aficionados!


See actual-size pic


Will it never end?

April 16, 1999
Mattel is at it again. Just when we figured all the '98 First Editions were out and we hopefully would start getting something beyond '99 FE#3, the latest boxes are full of more '98 variations. The newest kick in the knee is our old friend, #27 Super Modified. This was the last '98 FE we received around here, most of us finding them in Jan.-Feb. '99. Strangely, we could pick up a CD-ROM last July and get a variation before we could get the First Edition!

Now there are two new wheel variants. The original had a nice lace wheel and pro-looking tires. Next came the nice rear wheel with cheesy looking (by comparison) front wheel found on both ends of the CD version, but in silver instead of gold. Current peg hangers have the same cheesy wheels at both ends, again in silver.

Hey Mattel! Quit folling around with the 98's and get on with '99 production and distribution to the Canadian market!! You think anybody's listening?

- Cuda Mike

18541 Variation A

18541 Variation B

18541 Variation C


*SHOW BIZ Gift Pack in town

April 16 1999
As if the Hot Wheels '50s Cruisers Gift Pack wasn't hard enough to find, "Show Biz", the latest offering from Mattel is flying off the shelf even faster. This is 21078 inset Aa little hard to explain, when compared to some of the nicer sets to come out this year. While '50s Cruisers is a nice compilation of classic cars with snazzy paint jobs, the Show Biz cars are from no particular era. And while it's nice to see the '63 T-Bird make its first Gift Pack 21078 inset Bappearance, the Ferrari has already been in one, and even in the same colour. But at least this time around, 3 of the 5 cars have both a metal body and chassis.


See actual-size pic





By: Vic Prochazka

The Ferrari F355 Challenge from Mattel's Hot Wheels line has caused quite a stir since its discovery about a week ago. Local collectors didn't know what to make of it at first. Canadian and International collectors are used to finding their cars without the aid of the series name being printed on the card, as the Americans have. But this one was different. What appeared at first glance to be a Hot Wheels version of the Matchbox "Challenge Car" line was quickly proven to be something a little less glamourous. The base casting clearly shows "F355 CHALLENGE" to be the actual name of the car. The red stripe, upon closer examination, is actually made up of an orange and red checkered flag pattern (see inset, right). This, combined with the yellow lettering, would normally indicate a series car. But the lack of the telltale "No.X of 4" made that unlikely. A printing error was also ruled out, due to the number of these cars found. After some quick research, the picture is a little clearer now. A visit to the popular auction website Up4Sale quickly turned up a match. It is now evident that this car is #1115 of the American "Collector Number" line of Hot Wheels (see U.S. inset, below). In fact, several of the next few cars in the sequence are Ferraris, and all bear the new red checkered stripe. The change from the black-to-blue fade stripe took place somewhere between this car, and #1107, the Chrysler Thunderbolt. So if you thought you had something rare, think again. Of the few F355's that have received bids, none have sold for over $2 U.S.


U.S. Name:

International Name:

Ferrari F355 Challenge

Ferrari F355 Challenge (shown)

Manufacturer: Mattel
Series: Hot Wheels
1999 Mainline cars
Product#: 23903
U.S. Collector #: #1115
Limited Editions: None yet
Limited Editions: None yet


*To have your limited edition die cast vehicle featured here, contact planet@canada.com





Back to top

 Collector's Planet | Action Figures | Die Cast Vehicles | Other Collectibles | The eXchange | Links

*HOT WHEELS ®, Hot Wheels flame trademark, MATTEL® and SIZZLERS® are registered trademarks of Mattel, Inc., All Rights Reserved . **MATCHBOX ® Matchbox Toys Ltd., a subsidiary of Mattel Inc. JOHNNY LIGHTNING is a registered trademark of Playing Mantis. All products mentioned here are © their respective owners.
Collector's Planet is not affiliated with any of these companies.