Hard to believe that the Hot Wheels #Connect Cars came out nearly a decade ago. If you are unfamiliar with them, the U.S. release of this line consisted of 50 vehicles — plus one bonus one — to represent each of the United States. They came on an over-sized, die-cut blister card which served as the backing for not only a vehicle, but also a clear acrylic display case that interlocked with the other Connect Cars cases. Individual cars retailed in the $3 to $4 range, but it was really the poor distribution that sank this line. How many times have we heard that before?
Having an affinity for Hot Wheels and U.S. geography, I had wanted this line for many years — 50 cars, with one to represent each state seemed like an awesome concept. Once the line was released, I (like many other collectors), started grabbing one of each so I could collect them all. Well, after the first couple mixes and 30 releases later, you just knew finishing this series was going to be difficult. There was talk out of Mattel that the line wouldn’t even be completed. Soon after that, many collectors disbanded their hopes of collecting them all, and thought there was no realistic chance at sending in for the mail-in bonus car which required all 50 American flag puzzle pieces placed within the acrylic cubes. Fortunately, Hot Wheels ended up releasing all 50 cars, however, the last 12 or so seemed nearly impossible to get a hold of.
Fast forward to 2018 where the #Connect Cars have maintained some decent value, but those last few releases are extremely hard to come by. Those alone can be super pricey! They aren’t unattainable by any means, but even with all the money in the world, you’ll most likely have to wait until you can find one for sale. I had wanted to complete this series for the longest time, but eventually gave up; mainly because the packaging was so bulky. There was just no great way to store it.
I forgot exactly what mix the South Dakota #Plymouth Duster Thruster was in but I do recall it being towards the end as I never ended up finding it locally. The blue and orange graphics on the primer gray body just really appealed to me, but its the graphics that tell a cool story. Honestly, its one of the factors why I am now trying to re-obtain some of these #Connect Cars as I sold off this collection five years ago.
The #Plymouth Duster Thruster is a casting that embraces the #Hot Wheels Spoilers ideology — one that puts together raked #Muscle Cars with #Blown Engines. The 50 States series of the #Connect Cars featured 50 vehicles with graphic tie-ins to each state. South Dakota’s car was the Plymouth Duster Thruster. I’m not sure if the casting had any particular tie-in to the state like some of the other castings did to theirs, but there is no mistaking what state this is for when you see the large Mount Rushmore on the sides. Its South Dakota that features one of, if not the most iconic landmark in the United States: Mount Rushmore.
In addition to the Mount Rushmore graphics, the car features South Dakota’s slogan “Great Faces, Great Places”, which is also seen on their licence plates. The #40 is representative of the order in which South Dakota became a part of the union — it was the 40th state. “SOUTH DAKOTA” can also be found in a large, bold font, on the rear quarter panels and on the roof. The passenger side of the vehicle features the years, “1927-1941” … the years construction started, and was finished, on Mount Rushmore.