USPS Introduces Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Forever Stamps

Some of the most iconic Hot Wheels toy cars from across the ages appear on a new set of celebratory stamps issued by the United States Postal Service.

byJames Gilboy|
Culture photo


The United States Postal Service announced Saturday that it will release a new set of forever stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mattel's Hot Wheels line of toy cars.

Hot Wheels was the brainchild of Elliot Handler, who also influenced the iconic Barbie doll. Mattel released Handler's lineup of toy cars in 1968 as a competitor to Matchbox which had, at the time, a near-monopoly on scale toy cars. Matchbox offered replicas of real cars, while upstart Hot Wheels offered modified, customized, or even fictional vehicles, from the pedestrian to the exotic. This immediately won over kids and adults alike, and Hot Wheels' parent company Mattel eventually bought out Matchbox's owner Tyco Toys in 1997.

As a result, there are few American children who have at no point played with a Hot Wheels car, whether on the brand's iconic orange race and stunt tracks or off. Mattel and the USPS partnered to bring the celebratory stamps to market at the end of September to appeal to car enthusiasts, Hot Wheels collectors, and stamp collectors, featuring some of the toy line's most successful models across its half-century lifetime.

"Today, we make history as the Postal Service and our partners at Mattel are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hot Wheels with these dynamic stamps showcasing the iconic toys that were a part of my childhood and that of my children," stated USPS Marketing VP, Steve Monteith in the Service's press release. "These miniature works of art truly capture the thrill and excitement of these legendary vehicles and now will speed their way as Forever stamps on millions of cards and letters."

The USPS sells the stamps both online and in its offices, with $10 buying a sheet of 20 stamps. They carry a 50 cent value and qualify as "forever" stamps that the USPS will honor for first class shipping of letters, regardless of postal date.