My favorite Australian Hot Wheels collector is back! Reece (@aussiehotwheelscollector) has brought another Hot Wheels oddity with him: Hot Wheels Blimps. THE Hot Wheels #Blimp casting was a mainstay in all Hot Wheels lines from 1992 to 2008. Ask any collector who collected in that time frame and I’m willing to bet they can recall a few releases. Beyond that, many of those same collectors are unaware of the other two Blimp castings that Hot Wheels made. I’ll let Reece take it away from here:
If you’re reading this website, it probably means you’re an enthusiastic Hot Wheels collector and there’d be a good chance that you’re familiar with the Goodyear Blimp casting with the rotating message that Hot Wheels made in the 90’s and early 00’s. What you may not be familiar with (and even I wasn’t until recently) is that Hot Wheels didn’t have just one Blimp casting, they had three! Yes, three different Blimps!
Let’s start with the most well known of the three Blimps. This casting is notable for its rotating tail fins which changed the side display between two different messages. This moving parts feature made it a pretty memorable casting of that era. It started off under the ‘Goodyear Blimp’ name, then changed to ‘Fuji Blimp’, and then it had several different versions under the name ‘Blimp’. In its first year of production in 1992 it was released as a SEMA promo in chrome, and in 2001 it saw several different releases in various NASCAR team liveries in the Pro Racing series. The final time it was released was in the 2008 Top Speed GT 5-Pack.
The second Blimp casting came courtesy of the 1994 Color FX Monster Models series. Named ‘Octo Blimp’, it was one of six new castings which debuted in the series, and one of four which were never seen again. It was a colour changing vehicle, and when in it’s cold state it was dark purple in blimp form. But the interesting and unique part of this casting is when it was in it’s warm state it was light green which revealed its purple octopus tentacles tampo and when flipped upside-down, the gondola of the blimp looked like the body of an octopus with the tentacles coming off and the entire casting could then double as a submarine! Conquering both the sea and sky!
The third and final Blimp casting was another ‘one hit wonder’. It had no official name and it’s sole release was in the 1997 Hot Wheels World Blimp Port playset. The Hot Wheels World was a series of interconnectable playsets which could form a ‘world’ of different buildings. Car Dealerships, Factories, McDonald’s Drive Thru, Police Stations, Highways, Gas Stations and Truck Stops are all things most of us would see on a daily basis, but… a Blimp Port? I think they were grasping at straws with that one, nevertheless, it provided us with a unique Blimp casting. It has a fully plastic ‘envelope’ (fuselage) with two metal engines on the sides. I wonder if those big Hot Wheels logos make it a Race Team Vehicle (what’s your take, Brad?).
When was the last time you saw a Blimp, real life or Hot Wheels? It’s been over a decade since the last Hot Wheels #Blimp, and it’s likely that we’ll never see another. It seems like in the year 2019, the Blimp has been relegated to be just a relic of a bygone era.
First of all, THANK YOU to Reece for writing that! I remember seeing these in the store back in the ’90s but really haven’t seen the Octo Blimp and “Blimp Port” Blimp since. For me, the Hot Wheels logos on the Blimp Port one aren’t enough for me to consider it a #Hot Wheels Race Team vehicle, but I do have the standard #Blimp casting in that collection. The 1997 Treasure Hunts release fits that collection perfectly — yes, there was even a Blimp #Treasure Hunt!