Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Common game coin (more accurately 'medallion'). There are
eighteen different coins in the game.


Hot Wheels Coin Game was a promotional game issued by the Shell Oil Company in 1972. This was a collect-and-win game with instant winners. There were four different cash prizes, and you could also win Hot Wheels cars. With each visit to a Shell station, customers received a free game 'coin' with the image of a race car on it. Fourteen different cars are featured on the coins. The coins could be mounted on a game card (also free). When all the coins in a section of the game card were collected ... or if you received an 'INSTANT WINNER' coin ... you won the prize for that section.

There is an interesting element in this game that is clever and unusual. Players could choose to save all their coins hoping to get a key coin and win a big prize, or they could redeem five coins anytime during the game to get a toy Hot Wheels car. That's a peculiar dilemma for the player. Consider the game card below. There are eleven coins mounted on the game card. The owner of the card had the option to redeem ten of them and get two toy Hot Wheels cars but, if they did, it would spoil their chance to win a bigger prize. The owner apparently chose to hold on to them. The game ended and none of them were redeemed. (Shell used this same 'cash in your common coins' feature for a short time at the beginning of their 'Famous Facts & Faces' game in 1968.)

The game ran from 10/1/72 through 12/22/72 and only at 350 Shell stations in the state of Indiana. Over 2,000,000 game pieces were issued but, because even the common game coins could be redeemed for a prize, the quantity of surviving game coins is much lower than other games of this type. The 'key' prize-winning coins were issued in small quantities (see table below) and are quite rare today. This is because most were redeemed for prizes during the game. I have only seen or heard of two unredeemed key coins in the hands of collectors (I have one of them).

Cash prizes were $1, $10, $100 and $1,000. There is a 'key' car coin for each of the four cash prize sections. The key car coins, and their respective prize, are shown in the following table.

PrizeQuantity IssuedCar Coin
$1,00021Lola T-280
$100105Lamborghini Miura S
$101,050Plymouth Road Runner
$152,500Lotus 72

There are two versions for each of the four keys above. The first version has the common reverse design. The second version has the 'INSTANT WINNER' reverse design. Therefore, there are eight different key coins in the series. Along with the ten common coins, there was a total of eighteen different coins issued in this game.

Above: Scarce Lotus 72 prize-winning medallion.

The ten common race cars are as follows:

Ferarri 312-P
Alfa Romeo TT-33
Porsche 917
Ford MK IV
Corvette Stingray
de Tomaso Pantera
Maserati Ghibli
Mercury Cyclone
Dodge Charger
Matra MS 120


Even if you did not receive a key coin to win a cash prize, you could redeem any five car coins to receive a toy Hot Wheels car. This option allowed Shell to use the phrase "Everybody Can Win" in their marketing which was very clever. Few oil company promotional games had a way for every player to win something.

The game coins were produced by Glendinning Companies, Inc. They were struck in aluminum, 26mm in diameter, with a reeded edge.

Above: Paper packet that the game coins were packaged in.


Hot Wheels Coin Game

Above: Front of a 'HOT WHEELS COIN GAME' game card.


Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

Hot Wheels Coin Game

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