Collection Reflection

What happened to the DAIRY DELIVERY? Have Hot Wheels Collectors moved on? Should it be retired?

After 20-some-odd-years, love for the Hot Wheels #Dairy Delivery appears to be fading. What’s going on Hot Wheels collectors? Collectors used to periodically post pictures of their Dairy Delivery casting collections like clockwork. There would always be some collector clamoring to include the Dairy Delivery is this series or that line… have we given up on a Hot Wheels collector favorite?

For those that weren’t collecting in 1998, the #Dairy Delivery took the collecting world by storm that year as it was dropped in the mainline as part of the 1998 First Editions. From there, it was assigned a similar “billboard status” to the likes of the #Volkswagen Drag Bus, as it was used as a promotional vehicle boasting several corporate logos over the next few years. It was a casting that collectors loved to hoard as there was always a Dairy Delivery buyer to be had, or a trade partner to be found. Customizers loved it. I have probably seen — conservative estimate — a thousand Dairy Delivery customs over the last 20 years. It seemed like every year it was either being released as a or convention exclusive. The Dairy was big, bulky, and was a pretty cool looking vintage milk truck design by Phil Riehlman.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Dairy Delivery from the 2006 Series 5 / Real Riders series

So what the heck happened?

Well, first, it appears big, bulky Hot Wheels castings like the #Dairy Delivery, #Convoy Custom, #Blown Delivery, etc., are last decade’s hypebeast. The collector base has moved on to putting #Gassers, and Japanese & European imports up on a pedestal. This shift echos a societal trend, but is also a reflection of the team over there in El Segundo. Maybe they recognized that the Dairy wasn’t getting the demand it used to. It could be a product of overproducing a popular casting. Perhaps its that the casting lost its mainline collector fanbase that scooped up every Dairy Delivery they could find at retail when the car was ousted from basic level production after the 2009 model year. Did the Dairy Delivery just get too expensive to produce at the mainline level? It does have a lot of metal in that body…

QUICK LINK!  Find Hot Wheels Dairy Delivery releases for sale.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Dairy Delivery from the 2019 Collector Edition series. ZAMAC, Walmart Legends Tour Exclusive

For the last 10 years, the #Dairy Delivery has mostly been relegated to the #Pop Culture line black hole as it’s billboard nature made it the perfect candidate for that line. But with that line, we are seeing collectors grow tired of castings that have had too many repeated releases in it. The Dairy has had some decent convention releases in the past decade, along with one cool HWC release and a pair of collector edition “mail-ins”, but that is expected, and certainly fell off from the decade prior where the Dairy was everywhere. Now, it seems like the Dairy’s inclusion is more out of obligation to keep the tool active rather than being incorporated as a signature piece.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Dairy Delivery from the Pop Culture / Beatles series

Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion… maybe I am right. Collector interest pertaining to the #Dairy Delivery is waning. Rather than retiring the casting, or shelving it for a few years, the Dairy Delivery is in limbo. What is Hot Wheels to do? Let’s play, “let the collectors decide”… fire off in the comments below. What should be done with the Dairy Delivery?

40 replies »

  1. 😎 Article BRAD as always. With so many new casting with open & moving parts a lot of the older stuff has been put on the back burner I have a few DD’s packed away, none that are very expensive though. One day awhile ago I was in Publix shopping and I saw DD’s with HOTWHEELS on the card.There was a bunch of them. I bought a few. Wished I had bought more. Thanks for the memory. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

  2. How about this- Mattel begins collaboration with Universal Pictures with the F&F saga, and in 2023/24 the plot could go something like this:
    “In a world where up is down, and down is up, what you thought was unreal suddenly is…”
    Cut to chase scene- driver is trying to escape, and rams his ratchety old S2000 thru a chain link fence at Universal, and manages to hide in a backlot warehouse- there he finds a DeLorean time machine, jumps in (and because he “knows” this car from the movies) manages to escape, but destroy the car upon entering 1955, but because he is a smart guy, moves all the components from the DeLorean to a Divco delivery truck stolen from a milk processing plant. immediately he discovers that the thing won’t get to 88 mph, so he must collaborate with the local hot rodders to “soup up” the milk truck in order get out of 1955… however, during the build (even though they taken aback by his strange looks and speech) aloof friendships are struck, and deals are made to “transport” parts not-yet-available, remote fuel pump boosters, nitrous kits, fuel injection, superchargers, and turbos back to their time… This completely creates an alternate time line in 2022 where there actually ARE flying cars. The DD, and many other formerly popular castings are revived, and ALL licensed castings will be selling like mad. IT COULD WORK.
    All the best, -Steve

  3. The DD is a product that was hailed by older collectors back in the day, but now it is a newer and younger demographic collecting and this is just not their type of thing.

    It’s not that is a bad casting, it is that is just not in vogue anymore with today’s younger collectors.

  4. I think the craze for the Dairy Delivery, Drag Dairy, VW Drag Bus, Blown Delivery, Convoy Custom were all before I really got into collecting. I think they’re all cool castings, except for the Convoy Custom, & I only have maybe one or two of each of those except for the Convoy Custom, which I don’t care for at all. As far as collecting service vehicles go, I really like the food trucks like the Dead Pool Chimichanga van or the Quick Bites, I have quite a few of those & really look forward to getting the latest version of them. I think it’s like Jesse Chavez said in his posting before mine – “now it is a newer and younger demographic collecting and this is just not their type of thing”. Sign of the times IMO, we don’t see milk trucks running around any more, but we do see & interact with food trucks a lot.

    • I agree with you Jesse! Im 60 years old and I do remember these milk trucks “back in the days”…but the younger demographic today…I dont think it strike’s a cord with them!

  5. I’m ready for them to bring it back in something besides Pop Culture. I have 5 or 6, dont buy all of any casting eventually I dont care for choice of graphics or even wheels in some cases. I could be wrong but I think the Drag Dairy was a huge flop.

  6. Remember when you could send them a photo and they’d print it on a casting as a tampo? That was great. If they ever bring that back, this casting would work perfectly.

  7. I’ve only been collecting for 2 years.
    But I’m not a young collector – I’m old – or getting there. 🙂

    Two months ago I did buy the 2012 version in Olive and Army Green with the “Bomb’s Away” pin-up nose art.
    I like the color, the livery, and the Real Riders.
    And I felt it was a classic casting that I wanted to add to my collection.
    And it was affordable – unlike many others these days.

    I’m happy with it.

    I agree that the younger collectors today are interested in other things.
    But I also feel that tastes come and go.
    So who knows, someday many people may be much more interested in something like this again.

  8. I’ve noticed this too and I think it’s for a number of reasons.

    New collectors don’t have any connection to the DD as a representation of a real car. I doubt many younger collectors would be at all familiar with a Divco milk van.

    And I don’t think the DD casting has been utilised very well in recent years. The latest versions of the dairy delivery have either been fairly boring Pop Culture releases (which new collectors don’t care for) or the cool versions aren’t readily available.

    And as these new collectors were growing up as kids, the DD was likely bought up by older collectors.

    And probably that the DD was released so many times throughout the 2000’s collectors could be a bit fatigued with it.

    Also I haven’t seen people doing billboard graphic customs lately like what was popular years ago.

    So if you add up that they don’t have any connection to the 1:1, they don’t have a childhood connection to the casting, the latest versions are either boring or inaccessible, collector fatigue, different custom trends. I can see why the DD has fallen out of favour.

  9. I started collecting in September of 1997 and the Dairy “Got Milk” was instantly a favorite of mine. I never lost love for it and as a matter of fact, it is my favorite casting as of a few years ago. I had become a VW Drag Bus fan and found out a few years later that I could never be a completist with that casting. Way too many to keep up with. So, betweeen 6-8 years ago, I sold almost all of my VW Drag buses to a fellow collector. I adopted the Dairy as my favorite casting from that moment on. I am missing quite a few and one of those that I really want is the Frankenberry Dairy. I will obtain it someday. Mattel, please don’t expire this casting. Put it out there more often and make people fall back in love with it.

    • I’m a UK collector, gradually selling off a large collection of Hot Wheels. I’ll be listing a few less usual Dairy Deliveries this weekend (4/5 July) on a well-known auction site, including Ed!, Pepsi Nex and Franken Berry. I realise the Dairy Delivery casting has fallen in popularity, and this might be a chance for collectors to buy less usual versions. Thanks.

    • Joe, I see two Franken Berry ones on eBay auctions right now. Yea, that version of it looks great! Good luck

  10. The Monster Truck version is getting a LOT of mileage. The Undertaker version looks a lot like Gravedigger and There’s a “Special Forces” version that looks like the A-Team Van with raised graphics coming out that I’ll probably have to have. With the Monster Truck releases, however, they change the name with the livery. I actually DON’T have a the normal version, however. By the time I got seriously into collecting, it was relegated to Pop Culture, and I’ve never quite been happy with the offerings. I have the mainline Monster Dairy Delivery with the 2018 Happy New Year graphics, but that’s it. I’ve looked up the MOTU version with Skeletor on it on eBay, but never been willing to spend the cash. I’m sure it’s not gone for good, though.

  11. My fav DD is the Super Mario one… nostalgia all around. Great article, Brad! & Happy 4th to all!

  12. It really depends on what you do with it… Like you said it is a billboard put detailed paint and designs on them that people will want to collect and it might take of again but if you keep just pumping out another billboard for Disney princesses most adult collectors will pass.put out a flag covered design for independence day or something.

  13. Well the Halloween Dairy Delivery is the most under appreciated one. Made in the early days of RLC. The graphics are stellar. The cemetery graphics delight.

  14. Dairy Delivery is just fugly, whereas Blown Delivery has excellent lines and is very cool. That’s definitely why I don’t collect any Dairy Delivery castings. I LOVE the bulky, heavy stuff for sure, just not castings with weird lines and derpy proportions.

  15. Definitely need to see at least a few of these released throughout the year. I’ve got well over 100 in my display case and would love to have more.

  16. I’ve been chasing the Dairy Delivery casting since 1999. I have every Dairy produced by Hotwheels plus employee models and prototypes. I have some of the sickest customs done to the Double Dee, Yeah, it’s safe to say that I like the Dairy casting. Hotwheels needs to release another one!

  17. ok, it is the designers. I asked this question last year. I was told that I would be delighted by the fact that a Dairy Delivery was going to be out in 2019.. Turned out to be the one only available at the HW Walmart and show car extravaganza and… you had to win the spin of the wheel to .. BUY one. So I paid 50 bucks on the secondary market to get mine. FActs are, when it was part of the ‘adult’ line both it and the 55 panel would go IMMEDIATELY. So now its more important for some three wheeled rickshaw scooter thing to be part of the line. Notice the Mini Dairy Delivery is still being used. So shrink it down a little and put it back into mainlines. Or put it in premium but seriously making the DD will result in sales. This constant slavery to the JDM marketplace is getting a little wearing. Remember they took away the opening door on the 55 Panel saying it would only be on special releases of which they have made NONE of them. Apparently 5 bucks is not special enough. Funny though You can get opening doors on Matchbox releases for less money. I’m just saying,

  18. I’m an avid Dairy Delivery collector and have over 60 different ones. A few are customs, but I have nearly all the special releases I can afford to purchase. The “Troy Lee” editions are out of my price range and one of the Halloween editions I’m not ready to pay $100.00 for. Now it seems the Dairy Delivery has been relegated to the monster truck series with several being released recently. It’s been disappointing that they left the mainline status, as it was always a thrill to see one hiding in the pegs. I used to collect a lot of different Hot Wheels until the flood of variations made it a nightmare to try and collect them all. My other complaint is having to purchase Dairy Delivery’s off the secondary market. Even when I was in the Redline Club there was no guarantee on purchasing a limited edition. Yet on the auction sites you would see a seller with multiples of them, and even the special edition membership drag delivery. Mattel could thin the herd of the cartoon cars, the futuristic looking junk, and releasing cars several times during the year in a new color to drive up sales. I’d like to see more realistic drag cars, just not the gassers, which are almost too exaggerated to look real.

  19. I have faith the DD will do a comeback. This drought has helped me fill in some gaps in my DD collection. Other than the 7 im missing (wont get unless I spend good $$$), I have been collecting custom made Dairy’s from all over the world.

    Good article Brad 👍🏼💪🏼

  20. Loved the DD casting. My 1st DD happen to be a Treasure Hunts in 2006. Still missing a lot from the premium and Staff releases. Hope to see it release in the Mainline soon. For now, is those Monster Trucks series. Did a blog on them DD, check it out if interested. Thanks.

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