2018 50¢ Hot Wheels: Rocket-Bye-Baby (1971)
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
Some Hot Wheels were based on the designs of classic cars, evoking nostalgia. Others were designs of pure fantasy looking to the future. Rocket-Bye-Baby was a fantasy-driven creation by an aviation buff.
Rocket-Bye-Baby was designed by Bob Lovejoy. Lovejoy had worked with head Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood on other popular cars, but this one was a design all his own. Lovejoy had been fascinated with aeronautics from a young age and would go on to design the Quicksilver glider. So it's no wonder that when given the chance to design his own car, he created one that could seemingly fly down the track.
Lovejoy's creation featured a large ramjet engine on top, a large windshield, and pointed nose. The car also had a neat feature – when the tailpipes were pulled, the vents on the sides of the car would open. Rocket-Bye-Baby was produced for two years and was found in eight different colors. Blue was the most common and rose was the most rare. The car also featured eye-catching Spectraflame paint – a metallic finish that mimicked the paint on real cars. Rocket-Bye-Baby was re-released in 1973 as a promotional item, given out to customers at Shell gas stations. A new model wouldn't be released until 2009.
For anyone with a love of all things fast, the Rocket-Bye-Baby is surely a favorite.