In 1969, not only did toy stores replenish their shelves with the original sixteen Hot Wheels models, but Mattel also introduced twenty-four new additions to the lineup. Following a year of impressive sales growth, the designers at Mattel expanded the selection to include the European Series, the Classics, the Show & Go, and the Grand Prix Series, in addition to the existing California Customs from the previous year.
All of these models came packaged in the familiar yellow, orange, and red blister packs, except for the Grand Prix Series, which featured a specially designed green card featuring a purple Brabham Repco I-1 on it. This unique packaging not only stood out but also garnered the attention of Hot Wheels collectors and racing enthusiasts. They eagerly rushed down the aisles to acquire their favorite Indy, Can-Am, or Formula-1 miniature reproductions. Mattel meticulously captured the details of these cars, which were reminiscent of the real ones produced by Ford, AMC, and GMC, complete with tires bearing the signature red stripe.
What set the Grand Prix Series apart even further was the inclusion of a decal sheet with each of the eight models introduced that year. These decals depicted the iconic racing numbers of the winning car and driver, along with racing stripes and sponsor emblems that we all remember seeing on the track as they sped towards victory.
Who could have predicted that these 1/64 scale miniature cars would take the world by storm? Forty years later, this era of Hot Wheels, characterized by the red stripe encircling the tires, is fondly remembered as "The Golden Years of Hot Wheels," often referred to as "The Redline Era."
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