Mattel advertised the Hot Birds as a line of "Great-looking metal airplanes you fly!"

The Hot Birds were released in 1971, on the heels of the incredible run that Hot Wheels were making at the time. They were designed by Bob Lovejoy. Aviation was a huge outlet for kids during this time, so the line seemed like it was destined for success, with the sharp, colorful planes and interactive sets.

They were all produced in either the USA or Hong Kong using the same wheels and Spectraflame color paints as other Hot Wheels. Issued in 1971, and for sale in both North America and Europe, they never became popular and were a one year release. Either individually or as part of a set 1,220,481 were sold.

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