Don’t let the orange paint, realistic proportions and industrial graphics throw you off. This is not a Matchbox truck, this is a Hot Wheels truck. Since Mattel bought Matchbox in 1997, Hot Wheels and Matchbox have diverged in brand direction. Matchbox focuses on regular, everyday vehicles while Hot Wheels is all about speed, power and attitude as its vehicles often feature a customized aspect to them.
There are a lot of new Hot Wheels collectors out there so many of you may not remember when Hot Wheels had #Work Trucks such as this, or even as far back as the #Workhorses from back in the ’80s. Its hard to pinpoint exactly when work trucks such as this went away but it seems today’s work vehicles are mostly of the ‘Tooned variety.
This Hot Wheels Dodge Ram 1500 was released in the Road Repair 5-Pack nearly 20 years ago. The 5-pack itself contained this truck along with four construction vehicles in the Tank Truck, Oshkosh Cement Mixer, Peterbilt Dump Truck and the Oshkosh Snow Plow. I remember buying the 5-pack back in 1997 with aspirations of placing the vehicles as part of a construction site on a train set — also because I really liked the Larry Wood designed Dodge Ram 1500 casting.
This Dodge Ram casting is rather unique as the body isn’t all one piece like a lot of other truck castings. The lower portion of the body (seen in gray below) is actually part of the base. The trim on the sides is actually the same piece as the front grill, interior and truck bed. The upper portion of the body (seen in orange below) is the diecast portion of the casting. This release of the Dodge Ram did not come with the truck bed cover that came standard on a lot of the other releases of the casting. This is most likely due to the fact that 5-pack cars came sans pieces that would be considered a choking hazard. This Dodge Ram 1500 casting was originally released in 1995 and ran until 2008. It now joins the ranks of our #Discontinued Castings.