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History of the Hot Wheels Blisterpacks

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1968 cheetah card BP mustang gold

More to come

The Blisterpack

What is a blisterpack? It is the package in which Hot Wheels are sold. Cardboard backing with art work and a clear cellophane bubble glued to the cardboard. The Hot Wheel is displayed in the bubble.

The History of the Blisterpack

Otto Kuhni was the designer of the art work on most early blisterpacks. Up until 1989 blisterpacks may be hard to date, Mattel did not have names on cards in the beginning, just the collector button. In 1973 they started putting names on the blisterpacks, but that turned out not to be completely reliable, nor was the year dated on the cards. Starting in 1974, it seems they would run a batch of cards and they might have been over produced. It seems the back of the card were made , then the front was later applied to meet the needs of that casting. This really is noticeable starting in 1976 & 1977. This is why the "collector numbers" of the '70's are useless. Multiple cars would have the same collector number or would be listed wrong on the back check list.  I have found 1983 cars on 1979 cards. This guide is to help understand some of the changes over the years.

1968

The First Blisterpack was released in '68

1968 cheetah card BP mustang gold

It is referred to as the "Cheetah Blisterpack". No there is not a cheetah on it but on the back it list's the "Python" as the "Cheetah". The Python was released with the name "cheetah" but it quickly changed to the Python

The Back did change to the production name "Python". This is the second Blisterpack

The circle logo under the Hot Wheels logo has Mattey mattel waving from a large "M" and has "Mattel Inc" above mattey.

The other is known as a "Rosebud" , due to the emblem used at the circle portion of hot wheels logo.It is a trademark emblem with "rosebud mattel toymakers" This was a doll manufacture in England that Mattel purchased.




Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1968 Original sixteen Red & Orange HK
1968 cheetah card BP mustang gold
68 cheetah bak shot

1969

1969 was the first year series cards were seen. The Grand Prix series.The Circle under the hot wheels logo was changed to "mattel", there still is some Rosebud blisters in this year also.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1969 Rosebud 69 rosebud 280sl
1969 Regular
1969 Grand Prix

1970

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1970
1970 Spoilers
1970 Heavy Weights
70 heavy weights cement
1970 Mongoo$e vs Snake
Mongoo$e BP
Snake 1970 BP

1971

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1971
1971 Mongoose vs Snake II
Mongoo$e II 1971
Snake II white 1971 BP

1972

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1972 Regular Yellow & Red Drivin' Gear
1972 Driven gear BP ferrari 512S
1972

1973

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1973
1973 Police Cruiser

1974 and 1975

This blister was a new concept designed to show off those new Flying Colors with cars flying off the card, to me I had hoped.Some of my research in this area, Porsche 917 changes name in 1975 to P-917. Blister follows this time line with the Porsche on the card at the end of the white card looses the name all together.also the advertising(dealer catalog) showed "Flying Colors in blue" there is the chance that the '74 red and blue logo's ran together.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1974 Flying Colors White Early to ?? '74, Red Flying Color, Die Cast in yellow area.  Porsche 917 w/ tampo, back shows '74 collector list, "Die Cast" in yellow area, Cars are Porsche 917, Heavy Chevy, Baja Bruiser 1974 winnipeg Blisterpack
1974 LArge Charge-red flying colors-die cast in yellow- 74 check list front
1974 Flying Colors White ?? '74 to ??, Blue Flying Color, Die cast in Yellow area,

Porsche 917 w/ tampo, back shows '74 collector list

1975 Blister Pack example
1974 Flying Colors White late '74 to early '75, Blue Flying Color, Die cast in Orange area, Porsche 917 w/ tampo, back shows '75 collector list
1975 Flying Colors White early '75 to ??, Blue Flying Color, Die cast in Orange area,Porsche 917 tampo is gone ,it is now just a stripe, back shows '75 collector list
1975 Flying Colors Blue ?? the rest of '75, Flying Colors in a rainbow color, P-917 w/ P-917 tampo. Cars change the direction of travel.P-917,Super Van & Emergency Squad

1976

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1976 Regular Line-up Yellow Flying Colors
1976 Super Chromes Blue '76 Early, Collector's Check List just the Super Chromes
Mustang stocker bp RL
Must superchromes
1976 Super Chromes Blue '76 Late, Collector's Check List includes coming in early '77 models

1977

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1978

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1978 Blue
1978 The Heavies Blue
1978 the heavies bp
1978 Drag Strippers Blue
1978 drag strippers bp
1978 Rescue Team Blue
1978 rescue team bp
1978 Speedway Special Blue
1978 speedway special bp

1979

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1980

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1980 Regular Line-up Blue
1980 bp reg lineup
1980 Workhorses Blue

1981

The introduction of "The Hot Ones", introduced a new wheel never seen before and a thinner axle. The Heroes series was continued.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1981 The Heroes Yellow 1981 Silver Surfer BP yellow
1981 The Hot Ones Light Blue with white behind car Hong Kong 2-pak 1981 Science fiction Hot Ones Blisterpack
1981 Science Friction Back BP 2-pack
1981

1982

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1982 Regular Line-up Blue 1982 steering rig back-56 hi tail Lt blue -Yel Glass
1982 Hi-Rakers Blue 1982 hi raker bp

1983

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1983 International Blue & White France 1983 Ford Escort gold stripe France BP
1983
1983

1984

The Hot Ones were replaced by a new faster breed, Ultra Hots.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1984 Regular Line-up All Blue
1984 Delivery Van blisterpack Frito Lay Flyin Colors
1984 Ultra Hots Dark Blue to white
Uktra Hots 1984
1984

1985

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19
1985 Action Command Battle scene
1985 action command fr
1985 action command back

1986

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1986
1986 Speed Demons purple Blackwall on car
1986 speed demon blue evil bw on cardboard
1986 Speed Demons purple Ultra Hots on car
1986 speed demon Ulta hot

1987

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1988

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1989

Notes: A very short run of what is now known as experimental cards was released. At the time we knew the cards were changing, but because the experimental cards and all blue cards were out at the same time, it was unknown which would stay. They both started the collector # again. But this time they stuck to making them mean something. unlike in the '70's releases.This was the beginning of blisterpacks being made for only 1 year, thus being able to date the car with the date on the blister.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1989
1989 Experimental Card short run
Exp card VW Bug

1990

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1991

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1992

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1993

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1994

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1995

Notes: This was the first year treasure hunts were introduced. Only one of two years that production numbers were known. The release was to be one per month throughout the year.This did happen with spurts, they were randomly inserted in cases, never to be more than one per case though. It was almost like Hot Wheels Lotto.

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
1995 Treasure Hunt Blue & White Mala
1995 treasure hunt blisterpack 63vette
95 hunt back
1995

1996

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1997

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1998

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

1999

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2000

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2001

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2002

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2003

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2004

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2005

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2006

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2007

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2008

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2009

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2010

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2011

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2012

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

2013

Year Series Color Origin Notes Photo
19

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