Mattel kicked off the Hot Wheels line in 1968 with 4 track offerings. The first one that comes up in most listings is the Strip Action Set. It’s the basic set with 10 feet of orange track, 5 joiners, 1 clamp, 1 Hot Wheels car with matching collector’s button, 1 instruction sheet, and 1 collector’s catalogue.
Today it doesn’t look like much. But to appreciate how ground breaking this track set was you have to think back to 1967. That year the best that most of us could do was push our diecast cars along floors and around model road sets. Fact was, our cars just did not “go”.
Everything changed when 1968 arrived. Suddenly play value was defined by orange track and speed. Put the new Hot Wheels cars at the start of the track, let them go and, amazingly, they would travel the full 10 feet by themselves! And it wasn’t like they would just make it to the end. They would fly off the track looking for more room to go. So, kids like myself would keep adding track and accessories just to see what these little cars could really do.
From a performance point of view, there was just no comparison. These cars were fast and that became the new fun. Thereafter, every penny of my allowance went solely to Hot Wheels cars and track.
The 1968 Hot Wheels Strip Action Set. Still fast. Still fun.
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