From 1968 to 1970 Mattel produced elaborate displays that were intended to showcase the Hot Wheels line-up for store customers.
This late 1968 display looks like something right out of a big car show in Los Angeles or Detroit.
1968 Store Display
Each of the “Sweet 16” cars is represented. Five of the cars have custom paint jobs just for this display. This includes a Watermelon Custom Mustang, Chocolate Brown Custom Camaro, Honey Gold Custom T-Bird, Light Blue Custom Cougar and the Ruby Red Custom Barracuda.
For 1969 three displays are offered. The first diorama shows Hot Wheels cars on a hilly coastal roadway crossing above cars that are traveling through a tunnel.
1969 Coastal Hill and tunnel display
The second display is located in Europe, possibly Monaco, where Grand Prix race cars are being paced at the race’s start by a Maserati Mistral. Spectators have parked their European cars nearby. A ship at water’s edge is a nice touch.
1969 European Gran Prix display
The third display puts us at the Daytona Motor Speedway where race cars are on the high banks of the track. In this case, spectators from a vintage car club have shown up presumably to cheer on the Classic ’57-Bird.
1969 Daytona display
Close-up. Courtesy Instagram by Bruce Pascal
The 1970 Display is a ‘Multi-Mural’ diorama with a white curved sloping track.
The first three murals, from left to right, show a Spoiler style car, a heavyweight vehicle and a race car.
Close-up left side
The last mural on the right reveals the open road for Hot Wheels to travel on.
Close-up right side
Top view – left
Top view – right
Also, for 1970, Hot Wheels was going ‘head-to-head’ with Matchbox so in England a special store display was used.
1970 U.K. display
The English store display is an open six-tiered white grandstand made of wood. The entire display holds 50 cars (6 rows of 8 or 9 cars each) and has a colorful backboard illustrating a Porsche 917 with the caption, “ Here’s why more Boys prefer: Hot Wheels”. Obviously a direct challenge to Matchbox whose display looked like this…
U.K. Matchbox display
So there you have it. A look at some of the early Hot Wheels diorama displays used in stores.
It’s still fast. Still fun.
All information reprinted from hotwheelsracetracks.wordpress.com