2018 50¢ Hot Wheels Se-tenant
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: September 29, 2018
First Day City: Fort Worth, TX
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000
In 1968, not Wheels revolutionized the toy car industry. Up until that point, Matchbox had ruled the market with its realistic street cars. But the creators of Hot Wheels had a pioneering vision that would change the way toy cars would be made.
Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel, had conceived of Hot Wheels in the 1960s as a way to appeal to boys as Barbie had become a hit with girls. His idea was to create toy cars with the unique style of those that were produced in custom car shops. To realize his vision, he hired Chevrolet designer Harry Bentley Bradley to lead a team of creators in developing a set of 16 sleek muscle cars. These cars were painted with bright, metallic colors and engineered to move quickly along the company's signature orange track.
Hot Wheels were an immediate hit with young boys, with 16 million cars sold in the first year alone. Their unexpected success rocked the toy car market, with other companies searching for a way to emulate their success. At Hot Wheels, new designers joined the team, helping to create fresh, new cars that matched the ever-rising expectations of their customers. Among these new designers was Larry Woods, who would earn the nickname "Mr. Hot Wheels." Woods was the lead designer at Hot Wheels for nearly 40 years, producing some of the company's most popular and memorable cars.
Over the course of Hot Wheels' more than 50-year history, the company has produced about three billion cars – over 800 different models, and 11,000 variations. According to Mattel, eight Hot Wheels are sold every second.