Are you a serious Redline collector? If so, this is the book for you. Cipsa Hot Wheels have been a fascination for a few years now, and top Cipsa collector Ted Gray has come through with a guide that cant be beat! Available on The Toy Peddler!
Here is a brief history on CIPSA:
CIPSA is an acronym for a now defunct Mexican company, Compania Industriale de Plasticos SA that produced an array of plastic products from toys to housewares.
The CIPSA factory is reported to have been destroyed in a catastrophic fire sometime in the mid 1970’s, ending all production under the CIPSA name.
Various CIPSA Products
Under license, CIPSA produced many Mattel products for the Mexican marketplace crossing several product lines including “Big Jim”, “Barbie” and “Hot Wheels”.
Products in the Hot Wheels line include Sizzlers, Rrrumblers, Hot Shots as well as Hot Wheels die cast cars and track sets accessories, even the ubiquitous Wheel case.
A few unusual redline cars had shown up over the years that were purported to be of Mexican origin, most notably, a few Snake and Mongoose Funny cars in odd colors.
A well known collector in Minnesota had a pair in red/orange and purple. Another collector in Canada had a Snake Funny car in green, with the CIPSA logo on the stickers.
The Minnesota collector also had a pair of Rear Engine Dragsters in odd colors. In the same time frame another poor condition dragster surfaced in southern California.
All of these cars were in unreleased paint colors but showed no outward signs of Mexican origin.
Some of the Early CIPSA’s
Another peculiar example that surfaced on two occasions is the Classic Cord, painted in mustard yellow enamel with white interior. The first was shown about at the 2001 Hot Wheels Convention in Irvine, California. The collector also had a red Odd Job with blackwalls, claiming to have found both of them at a swap meet in San Diego, CA.
Many very experienced collectors scrutinized those two cars, however no consensus emerged on the authenticity or origin of the two mysterious cars. The second Classic Cord was shown at the 2003 Convention by Jack Kaye, respected collector, who found his gem at a swap meet also in San Diego.
It is notable that the existence of these oddities was not widely known among the Hot Wheels collector community. Some of the leading authorities had declared them to be fraudulent and although the logo of CIPSA was clearly visible on the stickers of two of the Funny Cars and one of the Rear Engine Dragsters, no one had otherwise heard of the company or its products so the mystery of the unusual cars remained unsolved.
The CIPSA Explosion
After more than 30 years, CIPSA redlines were still virtually unknown. That all changed on April 4, 2004 when someone named “Jauguar9” posted an inquiry on the leading Redline internet site, Redlines Online, about an unusual Superfine Turbine, owned by his cousin in Mexico. He was curious because it was a variation not listed in any price guides; an odd yellow/orange color with white interior.
Subsequent posting of actual photos by “Jaguar9” escalated the discussion into quite a controversy over the authenticity of the car and its origins. Many knowledgeable collectors declared the car to be a fraudulent while others believed it to be genuine. The “Tempest in a Tea Cup” did not last very long as within six weeks, a complete
sealed CIPSA blister pack was listed on eBay, eliminating any doubt. Within a year or so, the discovery of CIPSA catalogs and other Hot Wheels related products added to the validation of the CIPSA story.
Throughout 2004, there were a dozen or so auctions of various new and unusual redlines, boxed CIPSA track accessories and lots of CIPSA Sizzler stuff. Additional discoveries included three catalogs which show that CIPSA was likely quite active in the production of diecast Hot Wheels, Sizzlers and accessories for both product lines.
As of December 2005, only fifty-seven (57) bonafide CIPSA made redlines had been confirmed and only one blister pack was known.
As of late 2012, the number of individual pieces was estimated to be between 250-300 pieces but most were in poor condition and still only one blister pack was known.
In 2012 or so, the CIPSA Registry section of this website was initiated to document each and every known CIPSA Diecast car.
In 2014, a second blister pack was found in Germany but it had been opened. The car, a red Odd Job and the BP are in excellent condition.
Toward the end of 2016, the count in the CIPSA Registry stands at about 550 individual pieces including many that are in the hands of Mexican collectors.
These numbers alone make these cars among the rarest of all Hot Wheels, especially since most are in poor condition.
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