The Apology Cougar

The Rodger Dodger was made available to the first 5,000 registered members with a strict limit of one car per household. The car was only available for a one week period and for online ordering only. Those members received an email giving the details on how to order the vehicle. After all of the orders were taken and the duplicate and non-member orders were cancelled, any remaining cars became available to the next set of registered members (beginning with registered member number 5,001 and so on).

The cars, packaged in an unprotected blister-card, were shipped in oversized boxes without packing material. Many collectors found the cars unacceptably damaged upon receipt, and made their feelings known.

On November 7, Mattel's New Media Division Senior Vice President Amy Boylan posted this message:

PLEASE NOTE: An email was sent out today to all of those who responded to this letter. Instructions for exchanging damaged Rodger Dodgers were included in the email. If you did not receive the email please let us know ASAP.

We are very sorry for all the problems and issues that happened with the shipping of this car. It was our plan to make this a special car for the members of this site. Although the overall response to the car was positive, the shipping was a major issue and we have learned much from this incident. So, in appreciation for all your patience during this time, we will be sending everyone who ordered this car a special gift.

Again, our sincerest apologies for this problem. We here at, want to be part of your collecting in the future and we hope you will find this offer a positive step toward that future.

On December 7, 2001, photographs of the Final Engineering Prototype of a "bonus car" were posted to the site. It was a model specially made for everyone who bought the HWC Rodger Dodger. The car was limited in production and sent free to all who ordered the Rodger Dodger regardless of the condition in which it was received.

This "bonus car" quickly became known as the "Apology Cougar". Mattel had just begun production of a newly-designed '68 Cougar for the 2002 First Editions series, so 5000 of them were diverted for extra tampo pad-printing. These special touches included black detail on the hood, detailed taillights, red line-stamped wheels, and of course the logo.

The vehicles were packaged on basic "mainline" blister-cards, air-shipped to the HWC group as soon as they came off the line, and distributed to customers by the end of January, 2002.

The "Apology Cougar" (L) and standard 2002 First Editions model.

The Green Rodger Dodger

The majority of collectors became aware of the green Rodger Dodger after one model turned up on Ebay and collectors started to wonder if it was real, perhaps a prototype, or a customized fake. The car has the same tampo design as the yellow version; the only difference is that, as the name implies, the car is painted Enamel Green. It turned out that initially, a small amount of both green and yellow Rodger Dodgers were sent for final approval to determine which to use for the production piece.

There were only 1500 green cars made. One thousand of them were included in the first Hot Wheels Master Sets in 2002. Another case of 72 cars was brought to the 2002 National Convention by the staff to trade for older Hot Wheels items. These pieces were to be used in a travelling archive that would be displayed at conventions and associated events. The cars they got in return belonged to Mattel, not the staff. Amy said they used about half of that case, and the remaining green RDs were destroyed—but it is unknown how many outside of the Master Sets and trade program got out to collectors.

Alex Solat tells of a gentleman who traded a blister-packed Super Chromes car, and then turned around and sold his new Rodger Dodger for $500 there on the premises. Two weeks later one was listed on eBay, but failed to meet a $500 reserve. By September of 2002, they were consistently selling on eBay for around $250.

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