2018 50¢ Hot Wheels: Sharkruiser (1986)
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
By the 1980s, Hot Wheels were renowned for their detailed miniature recreations of real cars, as well as their imaginative original designs. Though some may have been rooted in fantasy, they all looked like actual cars. Then in 1986, Hot Wheels pushed the envelope with a new line of cars unlike anything before – Speed Demons.
The Speed Demons were all based on real or mythical animals. Each one resembled a creature to an extent and had a clever name to match. These included Double Demon, Cargoyle, Fangser, Vampyra, Turboa, Eevil Weevil, Rodzilla, Zombot, and Ratmobile.
One of the most popular Speed Demons was the Sharkruiser. True to its name, the car closely resembled a great white shark, complete with large, pointy teeth. While the car is generally rather realistic, it has a horizontal tail fin, similar to a dolphin, while a shark's tail fin is vertical. According to the designers, the fin had to be this way as a result of the eingine placement.
Due to its popularity, the Sharkruiser has been reproduced several times over the years in a variety of colors and themes. In 2007, it was released with a rubbery paint to resemble a shark's skin, making it look like a fierce shark was racing down the track.