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Hot Wheels celebrates 50 years with 16-car retro showroom display

by Ben Hsu

The cars and diorama are recreations what you would've seen on a toy store counter in the a late-1960s.

Hot Wheels is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a limited edition set containing all 16 of its original cars.

The 1:64-scale toy car line known as Hot Wheels launched in 1968 with 16 models, including, famously, the C3 Corvette before GM had debuted the car in its 1:1 form. Since then, Mattel has created thousands of miniature vehicles, but the original 16 still hold a special place in the hearts of collectors.

To celebrate five decades in production, Mattel is releasing not only the original 16 cars, but a 1968-era store display replica in which to park the cars. The beautiful, jet-age, Motorama-style diorama is a recreation of the showroom display one would have seen in toy stores in the late 1960s when the Hot Wheels line was launched.

The 16 cars include models such as the aforementioned Corvette, a Firebird convertible, Plymouth Barracuda, Chevy Camaro, Mercury Cougar, Cadillac Eldorado, Ford Mustang, Ford Thunderbird, VW Beetle, and a Ford J-car based on the GT40. Each car is finished in an exclusive "Spectraflame" color, and the diorama includes a hidden padded drawer to store the cars when not on display.

The set will be offered on the official Hot Wheels Collectors website on November 6 at 9:00 am Pacific Time to members of the Red Line Club. On November 8, if they are not sold out, the rest will be made available to the public. The set will cost $499.99, and nly 1,500 will be made.