In 1969, Pontiac released its GTO with a new trim level called, “The Judge” which was oddly enough derived from a comedy routine. Make no mistake as the ’69 Pontiac GTO or “The Judge” was no laughing matter. This beast of raw power and pure muscle car strength in arguably the best year of muscle ever, 1969, lives up to “The Judge” name. The Hot Wheels ’69 Pontiac GTO was no different as there have been many savvy collectors picking up every version of it since it came out as a 2005 First Edition. There have been some very “mean” versions ever since, including some highly-desirable ones.
Three of the hardest versions to track down are the 2009 Military, Cop & Fire Rods versions. The ’69 Pontiac GTO shown below is from the Military Rods line. The Fire Rods version is the most rare of the group. The downfalls of the 2009 Military, Cop & Fire Rods were attributed to a variety of reasons.
First was the price point. These sold at retail between $2-3. At that price point collectors had come to expect something a little more than a basic mainline. While the Fire & Cop Rods featured authentic graphics from cities around the United States, this was overshadowed by the line’s basic wheels and lack-luster choice of castings. The line never really caught on and most cars were never released at the larger retail stores as they had originally intended to be. A few cases of the later releases were shipped to local hobby stores and national “overstock” stores such and Big Lots and Tuesday Morning.
Some of the more desirable castings such as the ’83 Chevy Silverado, ’69 GTO, Olds 442 & Rodger Dodger sell for close to 15x the original cost! So what started as a line the angered collectors in the “cheapness” of it (as some had stated in 2009), actually turned out to be quite collectible!
RELEASE DETAILS: Dark & Light Olive Green Body (metal). Smoke-Tinted Windows. Chrome Interior. Red-Rimmed, Black Open-Hole 5-Spoke (OH5) Wheels. Black Base (plastic). Made in Thailand.