Hot Wheels Redlines
Mattel entered the Toy Car market with a bang in 1968.
Cars with low friction axles , California "Surfs Up" styling , suspension , spectraflame paint jobs , and trade mark "Red line" wheels.
A series of track sets were issued which showed the new cars off to their best , with loop the loops , banked curves , lap counters and dare devil jumps.
Manufacture was underway in both the USA and Hong Kong , with the latter facility producing cars for sale in the UK (and the rest of Europe) , there were differences in the models produced by the two plants , some small , others quite noticeable , in general the Hong Kong castings had blue windows (as opposed to clear) , larger separate steering wheels and "Hong Kong" on the base.
The cars in the track sets just came in small polythene bags but the individual models were released in blister packs and packaged with a tin badge depicting the vehicle , these badges are still quite easy to find today and can be found at swapmeets and badge fairs.
In the UK the new Hot Wheels cars were marketed under the name ROSEBUD MATTEL , a collectors catalog was issued and included with the track sets (and some accessories).
Sixteen cars were available in 1968 , each had a unique catalog number.
Hot Wheels Collectors consider a "Redline" Hot Wheels car a release that was manufactured within the first ten years of production, 1968 to 1977. Later models might have also red stripes on the tires but are not included in the term Redlines.
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