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Monday, May 9, 2016

Hot Wheels Sto & Go: The best Hot Wheels Playset since the 1980's...

Find the Sto & Go at Target
Let's take a hard left from what we normally showcase here on Lamley.

We talk little cars here.  Little replicas of cool big cars.  I rarely wax nostalgic about the toy side of our hobby, but Hot Wheels and Target have forced my hand.  Hot Wheels went out and did something that I rarely pay attention to, but this little move hit me square in the nostalgic nose, and I could not be more excited about it.

The Sto & Go is back!  The Sto & Go!  Children of the 80's, push your kids out of the way.  It's playtime!!

Now let me get my pipe and my rocking chair, and I am going to sit you younger collectors down and tell you about the Sto & Go.  Sonny, there was a time when playing with cars wasn't about wall tracks, car chomping dinosaurs, and super duper flips.  We definitely had our tracks, and they definitely had their loops, but that was always about crashes.  Your car had better hit its loop successfully, but just as important was that it hit another car on the way down.

But there was another, very important element to playing with cars back then.  It was about replicating what you saw everyday.  You wanted a city.  A fire station over there, a police station over here, with a construction site, skyscrapers, junkyards, schools, stores, restaurants, and everything else in between.  Maybe a farm just outside the city.  I remember having a blanket as a kid that was made to look like San Francisco, where we lived.  The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were there, as was the TransAmerica building, Golden Gate Park, and other landmarks I can't remember.  I used that blanket all the time as a young tike.  As my younger brothers got older (2- to 3-years-old), they were welcome to join me, but I always had control of the police station.  They could use the school.

There were plenty of police chases, car crashes, building fires, and even mundane activities like picking up the kids at school.  And there was a TON of theme music and play-by-play, straight out of my mouth.

I loved that blanket, and thought nothing could top it.  That was until Mom and Dad gave us a Sto & Go.  Hot Wheels had made a little city, with gas stations and parking garages and buildings and a fast road.  As well as the coolest thing ever, a ramp that housed a police car ready to catch speeders.

We played with it for hours on end.  It always sat next to our San Francisco blanket.  It folded into a little carrying case when we were done.  It lasted forever.  I remember our set clearly.  So clearly that within the last year, I was having a conversation with one of my brothers and that came up.  I asked where it was, and it appears that it met the fate of so many toys - the purging empty-nester.  I don't blame my mom, but I sure miss the Sto & Go.  There has never been a playset like it.


That is until Hot Wheels FINALLY brought it back.  Hot Wheels developed a vintage-themed line exclusively for Target, and you can see it on endcaps in the toy section right now.  There are models on vintage cards as well as several vintage playsets, the Sto & Go among them.

I have to say, I was very excited when I learned the Sto & Go was back.  I also got it when I learned that the return of the Sto & Go at Target was aimed squarely at 80's-era kids like me.  You bet I bit.

I grabbed a Sto & Go, and made myself a little video about it:



I don't know if all of you will share in my excitement about this.  I know a lot of you born in the 1970's like me most definitely will.  I am sure many of you have picked one up.  You younger collectors should too.  It is one of those forever toys.  Play city with your kids, then let them play city with their kids, when that time comes.  And in the meantime, you can play city yourself.  You know you will.

(Find the Sto & Go at Target...


A video posted by Lamley Group (@thelamleygroup) on

5 comments:

  1. I never had the Sto & Go, but I had a couple other playsets as a kid. The Matchbox carwash, Matchbox car dealership, Hotwheels Junkyard and some unknown service garage I got a yardsale. Good times.

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  2. Giggle Blaggle Toys on Youtube reviewed a 1979 Hot Wheels Service Center Sto & Go Playset (never opened before) just a couple of weeks ago. Giggle Blaggle's channel is dedicated to just car playsets old and new. The channel is well presented and well worth checking out if this is your thing.

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  3. Ugly and unrealistic compared to the original. Considering how common and cheap the originals are, not sure I see the point.

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  4. Now if they would only bring back the Matchbox Motorcity sets wit the roadway track.

    This does look like many of the different Sto and Go sets I remember. I recall several different themed versions.

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