Model: Hot Wheels Dump Truck
Line: Real Riders Series, 1995
Why I am featuring it:
Nineteen ninety-five was a huge year for Hot Wheels. Although it wasn’t the first time Mattel introduced sub-series into the Mainline, it was the most successful attempt at structuring them into easily collected categories. Got that?
While the Model Series was the place for new castings to spawn, and Treasure Hunts first associated the green stripe with greedy, grubby mitts, the Real Riders Series was a way to connect the past to the present. Besides the pictured [Peterbilt] Dump Truck (the card omits the brand for some reason), the other three were the ’59 Caddy, Mercedes-Benz Unimog, and Corvette Stingray. As an 11-year-old with no means of getting to Toys-R-Us other than hitching a ride with mom or dad, finding these desirables was just about impossible. In fact, I only found one, the pink Caddy, and gave it to my mother for her to open (gasp!) and display on the mantle. It’s still there to this day.
I have most of the 1995 cars, minus the Mainlines and Treasure Hunts, tucked away in an oversize tote in my garage. The only segmented series missing? Real Riders. So when this one came up for sale a few years back at what I thought was a reasonable price, I jumped. Unfortunately, it was one of those nostalgic purchases that wasn’t done with purpose. It wasn’t to complete the series, rather start it, and it sat on my table for over a year while I wondered what to do with it.
I purge most of my extras on eBay once every few months. In the most recent fist and list, I landed on the Peterbilt and pitched it to my fellow Lamley writers: should it stay or should it go? A quick research into recently sold items showed an average of $20 with a fairly mint card. After I took it out of the knock-off Protecto, I found it to be in less than average condition – with the blister suffering from a few crinkles and cracks. At that moment I knew what needed to be done.
While the neon yellow paint, plastic and hubs don’t exactly scream real-life accuracy, the release is an excellent representation of the era it came from. There is even some added play value in the dump bed – it tilts and opens. Now that I’ve opened it and discarded its 25-year-old home, I still have no idea what I’m going to do with it. At least it can be bagged and binned now. Plus, its removal from my table can make room for other on a whim purchases.