2018 50¢ Hot Wheels: Purple Passion (1990)
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
As its name may suggest, the Purple Passion was truly a passion project for Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood.
Over the years, Wood has designed hundreds of Hot Wheels cars. But in 1990, he was given new freedoms: "It was the first time they let me do a car that didn't have to perform on a track. The wheels could be inside the body. It was the car that... really got us going. That was a breakthrough car."
The innovative Purple Passion was modeled after a customized 1950s-era Mercury Eight, which was a pioneering car in its own time. Produced during the post-war era, it was part of the new class of cars in the pontoon style that would define a generation of automobiles. it also broke sales records.
Wood's Purple Passion was a game-changer for Mattel. Up until this time, Hot Wheels were generally toys for children. But the Purple Passion was an overwhelming hit with adult collectors. Its sleek, nostalgic design reminded many of the cars they had seen or driven decades earlier, and offered a chance to relive those thrilling days.
The Purple Passion has become a mainstay for Hot Wheels. Produced nearly every year since 1990 in a variety of colors, it's one of the brand's most popular cars of all time.