Will Hot Wheels stamps speed up mail delivery?

Even if other adults keep insisting you’re too old to play with toys, the U.S. Postal Service has provided a convenient loophole for those of us who grew up collecting diecast cars (and the bajillions who never stopped). Hot Wheels stamps are here!

Released late last month, the 20-stamp sheets were created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mattel’s iconic series of miniature cars, introduced in 1968. Although we can debate whether or not the 10 cars featured are actually a perfect 10, this much is true, unfortunately: none of the original 16 made the cut (although one has a familiar name).

Hot Wheels stamps
Jeff Peek
USA Forever Hot Wheels stamps
Jeff Peek

The cars depicted (with the year of their release) are:

  • Purple Passion (1990), a metallic-purple lead sled
  • Rocket-Bye-Baby (1971), an aggressive-looking race car with a roof-mounted rocket
  • Rigor Motor (1994), a coffin-shaped hot rod with a bubble top
  • Rodger Dodger (1974), a muscle car with a massive engine and flame paint job
  • Mach Speeder (2018), a 21st-century racer with a twin-turbo V-6 engine and wide front intakes
  • Twin Mill (1969), an iconic speed machine with twin big-block engines
  • Bone Shaker (2006), an open-roof custom with skull grille, massive side pipes, and skull and crossbones on the doors
  • HW40 (2008), a jet-engine car with a transparent hood, introduced to celebrate Hot Wheels’ 40th anniversary
  • Deora (1968), a custom van with a name that matches one of the original Hot Wheels, although Deora II is shown on the stamp
  • Sharkruiser (1987), a carnivore on wheels with fins, a tail, and shark-tooth grin

Just like the cars on the stamps, all of the original 1968 Hot Wheels were custom jobs: Chevy Camaro, Corvette, and C-10 Fleetside Pickup (which sort of looks like an El Camino); Ford Mustang, Thunderbird, and GT40 J-Car; Mercury Cougar; Cadillac Eldorado; Pontiac Firebird convertible; Plymouth Barracuda; Dodge Deora concept truck (with surfboards); hot-rod Volkswagen Beetle (with a dragster engine up front); and four cars known only by their nicknames: Beatnik Bandit (by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth), Python (also known as the Cheetah), Silhouette, and Hot Heap (T bucket).

Hot Wheels, created to compete with Matchbox cars, were an instant hit and never lost steam. In fact, during the last five decades more than 4 billion of them—yup, 4,000,000,000—have found their way into the hands of car-loving kids of all ages.

The Hot Wheels stamps debuted at the Goodguys 26th Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway, which was crawling with big kids and their larger, more expensive toys. As for the rest of us, we’ll just have to make do with miniature versions of our dream cars—and the postage stamps that celebrate them.

Hot Wheels stamp booklet

Of course, there’s no guarantee that those stamps will speed up mail delivery, but at least they’re “Forever” versions, which means they’ll never go out of style. Neither will Hot Wheels.

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