The Stars & Stripes series is one of the hottest modded series that I can remember. Exclusive to Walmart stores in the United States, this isn’t another pop-up series like the ones that have been appearing in the dump bins as of late. The Stars & Stripes are on the actual Walmart mod, meaning they have an actual spot on the pegs at Walmart. Of all the Walmart stores I have been to as of late, that peg has been empty which is a far cry from the lukewarm HW Road Trippin’ line and the peg-warming Jukebox line which previously occupied that space on the Walmart mod. I find the Stars & Stripes series to work for a trio of reasons:
- Distributed as a set — Each case of these includes a full set. I can’t remember that last time this happened in the Hot Wheels world but it has been a welcome surprise to a brand that has a hard time completing series due to distribution & mix issues. As a set, all 10 blisters cards form an image of an American flag with two bald eagles when laid out together.
- Great casting selection — All 10 castings in this series are realistic and most have strong collector followings. Plus, they all look great in…
- Patriotic graphics — The red, white & blue always seems to be popular in the United States. Americans bleed these colors and its not totally uncommon to see 1:1 cars on the road with similar graphics. These graphics far exceed the previous lines’ illustrations of highways and music.
Time will tell if the Stars & Stripes will continue or if another themed series will take its place on the pegs since all 10 vehicles were released at once. Priced at a little over 2x the price of a mainline Hot Wheels ($2.14), this series seems to be worth the upcharge … lets hope it continues that way.
One of the ten cars in the series is the Hot Wheels Custom ’77 Dodge Van — a casting that I personally collect! I have been disappointed with my unsuccessful attempts to find it (or any of the other cars for that matter) at retail. So when I saw it, along with the 8 Crate, at a local toy show for $4-each, I didn’t mind paying the “convenience fee”. Sure, I’ll probably find this at retail soon, but judging by my “Walmart exclusive series track record”, I may not.
This is one of my favorite Custom ’77 Dodge Vans to date! The van looks great in the blue/white two-tone and with those patriotic graphics. Sure, it would have looked better with real riders and/or a metal base, but judging how fast these are flying off the pegs without those, I could only imagine how hard the series would have been if those features were included.