|------------ From my point of view!
Part V - October 1998
by Dot Lang
In August of 1991, McDonald's (in the northwest) had Hot Wheels cars in their Happy Meals. There were two color schemes available. The blue car, 1610, had the blue tinted windows and the red car, 2536, had red tinted windows. Both cars came with the standard wheels. NEW for this model was a grey PLASTIC CHASSIS. There were two different Happy Meal box with games and cars in the series printed on them, including the t-bird so it's another collectible. My son happened to work for McDonald's at the time so I was able to get some unused boxes.
These cars were also available in blister packs but only as a foreign issue. The numbers on the packs were 1610 and 1677. The McDonald's issued cars came in little plastic bags with the numbers as listed on the photo. The blister packs were apparently printed in 1990 so am not sure of their release date.
If you will look close at the two blue cars in the photo, you will notice that there is a difference. Can you spot it? (I will try to get a better photo that isn't as fuzzy soon but the difference is easy to spot, fuzzy or not). This difference happens when parts supplies get depleted on the assembly line or just plain get into the wrong bin. After all, it is just a kid's toy. Still can't find the difference? Compare the size of the rear wheels.
In the fall of 1993, Service Merchandise offered an exclusive set of 16 Hot Wheels cars - "the 25th Anniversary Collectors Edition" This set came with an 8 1/2 x 11" print of the '57 Thunderbird. The T'bird had the 25th anniversary logo printed on top of the car, red tinted windows, standard wheels and blackwall tires, and a silver chromed plastic chassis. The T-bird was the only chrome plated car in the set. The set number is 10996.
In the fall of 1995, Service Merchandise
offered another silver chromed Hot Wheel t'bird. This model had the
blue tinted windows, a red HW logo stamped on the rear window, red-line
tires and standard wheels, and silver chromed plastic chassis. It
came in a limited edition (5000) 16-pak called "Classic American Car Collection"
with all the cars chrome plated. Set number is unknown to me.
Part Vb - October 1998
This store issued their "Gold Series Collection" in 1994 with a limited edition of 3000 - series one. The set of 16 cars contained a black '57. The car has yellow tinted windows, a white HW logo on the rearend and 5 spoke gold chromed wheels. Made in Malaysia.
In 1996, they issued the third of the "Gold Series Collection." This set of 16 cars included the '57 T'bird in a convertible model, i.e. topless, made from the old "Corgi" mold. It has a clear windshield, cream interior, gold chrome standard wheels, grey metal chassis, and silver chromed bumpers with a continental kit. The hood opens but engine is not detailed - same color as the plastic interior with a chrome "air cleaner." The HW logo is stamped in gold on the windshield. This car was made in China.
For the Christmas season of 1997, Target released a special record player set with four cars sitting on top of a cardboard record player (do you remember what a record player looks like?!!:-). The '57 Thunderbird is modeled using the old "Corgi" mold - convertible with a continental kit. It is a metallic creamy yellow with a white interior, opening hood with detailed engine (underside of hood is painted silver), wide white-wall tires and standard wheels, black metal chassis. The red HW logo is on the rear license plate. Made in China.
A very expensive set was issued by Bloomingdales
for the Christmas season of 1996. This "Fabulous 57s" set consisted
of just two cars - the '57 T'bird and the '57 Chevy at a whopping big price
of $130. The T'bird is red metalflake with a metalflake silver top
and clear windows, chromed recessed wheels and white-line tires.
Made in Malaysia. See scan of Bloomingdale's catalog below.
For those who were lucky enough to get this set at all, the after market
price has more than doubled from the original asking price of $130.
Next Month part
To view the other articles in this series click below:
I'm always looking for more information on the Thunderbird model.
©1998-2009 Dot Lang