There have been over 4 billion Hot Wheels cars produced since they were first released, making them one of the most popular toy brands in the world for over fifty years.
These die-cast toys are enjoyed by young and old, both as accurate scale models and as fun kids toy hot rods.
In this article, we answer 10 of the most commonly asked questions about Hot Wheels, giving you some useful information about these Toys Kids Love.
When did Hot Wheels cars come out?
The first Hot Wheels designs were released in 1968 after being created by Elliot Handler, co-founder of toy giants Mattel. They began with a series of 16 cars which would go on to be called the Sweet 16 or Original 16. Many of the cars were based on actual customised versions of production cars, the majority of which being scaled down into toy form by former General Motors car designer Harry Bradley. The Original 16 are:
- Beatnik Bandit
- Custom Plymouth Barracuda
- Custom Camaro
- Custom Corvette
- Custom Cougar
- Custom Eldorado
- Custom ’67 Firebird
- Custom Fleetside
- Custom Mustang
- Custom T-Bird
- Custom Volkswagen
- Ford J-Car
- Hot Heap
- Cheetah (originally released as Python)
What was the first Hot Wheels car?
The first of the Original 16 to be released was the Custom Camaro. There were many different versions of this car produced, with different colours and other unique factors which were generally determined depending on whether they were manufactured in the United States or in Hong Kong.
Where are Hot Wheels manufactured?
While these Original 16 were made in either the USA or Hong King, in the present-day Hot Wheels are manufactured either in Malaysia or in Thailand. The Malaysia factory is located in the state of Penang, while the Mattel toy factory in Thailand is based in Bangkok.
Are Hot Wheels the same as Matchbox?
When Hot Wheels were originally released, they were done so in order to provide competition to British toy brand Matchbox, having been launched by Lesney Products 15 years earlier in 1953. Lesney went bankrupt in 1982 and sold the brand to Universal Toys, who in turn sold Matchbox to Tyco Toys 10 years later. Mattel then bought Tyco Toys in 1997, now owning the brand that they had originally aspired to compete with.
Matchbox exists as it’s own brand to this day, so while they are not the same as Hot Wheels, they are now closely related.
Can Hot Wheels get wet?
Hot Wheels cars can get wet, although they are made of metal so will rust if left in wet conditions for a significant period of time. When washing one of the toys, ensure that they are dried thoroughly afterwards to remove any remaining moisture.
What age are Hot Wheels for?
Hot Wheels are available in age bands of:
However, as well as being fun toys for kids, they are also highly collectable and have a large adult fan base.
What are Hot Wheels Treasure Hunts?
Treasure Hunts were first released in 1995 and are limited-edition models that are hidden in the Basic Cars range. They have a circular flame logo hidden on the car’s paintwork to identify them as one of these rare cars.
You are able to tell whether you have one of these special toys by checking whether the cardboard packaging features a green bar that reads either ‘Treasure Hunt’ or ‘T-Hunt’.
Super Treasure Hunts were then launched in 2007 which are even rarer. Features of these cares include Real Riders wheels, Spectraflame paint and the letters ‘TH’ hidden somewhere on the paintwork which stands for ‘Treasure Hunt’.
How to display Hot Wheels?
Hot Wheels do produce their own display rack which can be hung on the wall using the 3M Command Strips which are included. It can hold five cars and comes with one included to get you started.
If you’re looking to display more than five cars at a time, these well-reviewed solutions on Amazon could be worth considering:
Do Hot Wheels tracks connect?
Yes, many of the Hot Wheels track sets connect to other Hot Wheels sets to create bigger and more imaginative layouts. Some of the most popular Hot Wheels tracks available in the UK that have multiple connection points to connect together include:
You can also buy Hot Wheels Track Builder sets which allow for a completely customised track to be created.
Does Hot Wheels City Ultimate Garage need batteries?
The Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage is a seriously impressive set, and it’s made even better by the fact that it does not require batteries!
There is a lift on one side that can take the cars to one of four levels with the press of a button, and you would be forgiven in thinking that this is battery powered. However, happily, this is not the case, and the set is ready to be played with as soon as it is assembled.
It stands 60cm tall and includes storage for up to 90 Hot Wheels cars, although be aware that it only comes supplied with 2.