Hot Wheels at its best: 2006 Mystery Mail-in ’55 Chevy Panel Van…

Find the Mystery Mail-in Panel on eBay
I have been meaning to open this one for awhile, and I finally got to it.  And now that it is free from its prison, I can’t think of a better model to photograph.
The ’55 Chevy Panel is an interesting model.  It is one of the few signature premium models to debut in the mainline, which happened in 2006.  And considering the state of collecting now, it seems unheard of to see a mainline model with that much metal (body and base), as well an opening hatch and a motorcycle that slides out.  And the thing weighs a ton.
But Hot Wheels did release it in the mainline, and from the second that happened, collectors have been gobbling up the Panel.  That is until recently.  It seems the Panel has lost some of its luster.  From its debut in 2006 and the years after, the Panel was easily on par with other premium models like the Drag Bus, Dairy Delivery, and Blown Delivery.  But lately the model hangs a little more in lines like Pop Culture, and I don’t sense the buzz around it that used to be there.  Maybe it is because the bike was removed, and if I remember correctly the rear door sealed.  Maybe it is because it has been essentially overused the last few years and collectors have grown a little tired of it.
Whatever it is, it is too bad, because the Panel is a fantastic model.  I love the size and stance, and all that room on the side for logos and other designs.  I can’t remember all the releases of the Panel, but my favorites remain the First Editions mainline debut in 2006, and this Mystery Mail-in Model, also from 2006:
I don’t think it is hard to see why this one would be one of my favorite versions.  It is so darn cool-looking that you can’t take your eyes off of it.  I have no idea who created this deco, but props to them.  The color combo is such a treat, and to be honest unlike any other diecast model I have seen.  I don’t think I need to explain why this model is cool.  The photos do a pretty good job of that.
I can’t remember the circumstances around this model, but I am sure one of our readers can.  If I remember correctly, this was one of five mail-ins that year.  I don’t remember what was required to get a mail-in, but the five were definitely premium models, like the Drag Bus and Dairy Delivery.  This Panel looked nothing like the others, and was the standout by far.
I got mine on eBay several years ago, and it has sat in a box ever since.  That isn’t fair to such a good-looking model.  That is one of the reasons I DLM.  It is a lot easier to enjoy the model when you have access to it instead of knowing “it is in here somewhere”.  Now to find a nice spot for this one.
Enjoy the pics.  The model is stellar.

7 Replies to “Hot Wheels at its best: 2006 Mystery Mail-in ’55 Chevy Panel Van…”

  1. I literally went “Ooooohhh” when I saw this post, beautiful model! I love the paint. When I have some free cash to spend, I'm going to get one of these. Never knew about the motorcycle. Now I wonder if I have any panel vans in my collection! I haven't looked through my stuff in a while

  2. These were bonus cars when you bought 20 hotwheels at Kmart. There were 4 and unlike now they were dissimilar models and different pain schemes. I have them all and they are terrific.

  3. Hands down, my favorite casting from Hot Wheels. I'd be happy to see prices and interest drop because that'd increase my chances of locating more any not get robbed buying off the secondary market. They also released 1:57 versions that came in 3 variations. (I think)

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