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1998 First Editions: BAD MUDDER

Hot Wheels castings often drive off into the sunset without warning. The Bad Mudder’s lone release (as a 1998 First Edition, shown below) came and went but it wasn’t until a couple years that the rumors started to swirl in regards to its demise. In the world of Hot Wheels collecting, its the collectors that sometimes take it to themselves to fill in the gaps in knowledge. While I don’t know that exact reason the Bad Mudder was only released once, I present you with the 3 rumors I have heard and offer you my take on how likely they are true.

  1. THE NAME – The name, Bad Mudder was deemed offensive as it sounds like “Bad Mother” and mothers everywhere flooded Mattel with complaints over the name. Mattel/Hot Wheels decided to no longer release this casting.
    • VERY UNLIKELY – Hot Wheels released the Bad Mudder 2 in 2008. So if the name was truly that offensive, it would have been very unlikely that Mattel legal would have allowed for a repeat of the 1998 predicament. 
  2. LOST TOOL – Often times, the tools (some prefer the term “molds”) get misplaced, broken or stolen from Mattel’s factories in Malaysia, China & Thailand. In rare occurrences the tools are actually recovered or fixed. In most cases the tool is lost forever. The casting is then “retired”, or if it is popular, it is re-tooled.
    • LIKELY – The Bad Mudder rumors started to swirl only a few short years after its initial release. Usually, it is unknown until many years later that a tooling is lost, stolen or broken. When 2004 rolled around, the unlicensed casting known as “Off Track” was introduced as the successor to the Bad Mudder leading to….
  3. LICENSING DISPUTE – All Hot Wheels that carry a brand name such as “Ford” or “Lamborghini” have to be licensed with their appropriate vehicle manufacturers. In other cases, authentic racing-schemes have to be licensed as well. It has been rumored that the Robby Gordon #8 Racing Team refused Mattel the right to continue producing this casting.
    • VERY LIKELY – In the days of internet collecting, it seems as though this is the rumor that holds true and very likely to be the reason the Bad Mudder is no longer produced and therefore had successors in body-style (Off Track) and name (Bad Mudder 2). Former Hot Wheels designer, Eric Tscherne added the following information to the Hot Wheels Wiki on April 23, 2009, “The Bad Mudder is a 1997 Ford F-150 Baja Truck. This truck was run by Robby Gordon. Due to licensing issues with Gordon the casting will not be produced again.”

You can still find the Bad Mudder on the secondary market rather easily as the original run was never cut short. While the story of its licensing demise is trivial, the demand for this casting never exceeded the supply hence another reason why you can obtain an original 1998 First Edition Bad Mudder easily and cheap. There are two variations of this version that fetch a higher dollar: one without the roof tampo and one with metallic blue tampos (oppose to the dark blue shown).

Bad Mudder - 98 First Editions 600pxDM

RELEASE DETAILS: White Body (metal). No Windows. Black Interior. Chrome Off-Road Sawblade (ORSB) Wheels. Black Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# 18847. Released in 1998 as #33 of 40 in the 1998 First Editions.

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