- Games, Toys, and Hobbies»
- Collecting & Collections
Hot Wheels Car Collection
Hot Wheels are one of the more popular toy cars for kids. Young kids love to play with them, and adults love to collect them. The small die cast cars come in a wide variety of designs, models, and overall styles of vehicles. You can find just about any car- classic, muscle, modern, etc. that you could ever think of in a miniature Hot Wheels car.
The Hot Wheels brand of die cast toy cars was introduced to the market by Mattel in September 1968, and to this day, the brand has prospered year after year. Children and adults, alike, just can't seem to stay away from these toy cars.
Initially, the brand's competition included Johnny Lightning and Matchbox, but in 1996 Mattel acquired rights to the Matchbox series from Tyco.
If you are interested in the Hot Wheels cars, then you know that there are many different lines and series of the cars.
- Hot Wheels Classics: for the first 10 years, the company focused on muscle cars, hot rods, and other vehicles, such as go-karts, motorhomes, and even airplanes. These are known as the Classic line of Hot Wheels.
- Special Models: The special model cars were those that were slightly larger and more detailed than the normal die cast Hot Wheels car. These cars were introduced in 2004 to 2005.
- Sizzlers: These Hot Wheels cars are those with built-in motors and a tiny rechargeable battery. The Sizzlers line of Hot Wheels run on the orange tracks.
Other series of Hot Wheels include the XV Racers, Hot Tunerz and Stockerz.
Throughout time, Hot Wheels has manufactured cars of varying scales, ranging from the standard 1/43rd scale, 1/24th, and 1/18th scale model cars. They also have the 1/12th scale replica that was produced in 2004 in select cars.
Hot Wheels Collectors
Although, the initial intent of the cars were for children's toys, but over the last decade, or so, more and more adults have taken a fancy to the small, diecast cars.
Because there is an average of about 41 million children who grew up with Hot Wheels cars, Mattel's stats show that the averaged, adult collector has about 1,550 cars and the average child has about 40 cars.
You'll find that many Hot Wheels collectors show up at the Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention that Mike Strauss started in 1986. The convention has been held in various locations around the country, until 2001 when the Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Nationals was put together. Since then, the convention is held in sounthern California each year.
Strauss publishes a quarterly Hot Wheels Newsletter to keep all collectors up to date over the world. You'll find that Strauss also writes the Tomart's Guide to Hot Wheels, which contains history, car descriptions, and car values. It's the book used by most collectors to evaluate their collection.
As you can probably guess, Mike Strauss is probably the biggest and most well-known Hot Wheels collector.
If you're curious, to date the highest priced Hot Wheels car was purchased for $72,000 in 2000 for a Volkswagen Beach Bomb (one of only 25 known to exist).
Guide to Pricing Hot Wheels
Collecting Hot Wheels Cars
When collecting Hot Wheels, you'll want to make sure that you pick up a copy of "Tomart's Guide to Hot Wheels," so that you know that you are best evaluating the cars that you already have and those you are thinking about purchasing. The last thing that you want to do with any collection is get screwed on a deal.
When looking at the different Hot Wheels cars, you'll notice that Mattel prints the design copyright date on the base of each car. This is not the manufacturing date, but the copyright date for the design of the base of the car. Typically, that date is going to be the same date as the design for the entire car, but there are a few cases where the two dates will be different. This date is usually going to be a year prior to when the car is actually released to the market. By knowing the date of the car's design, you can better evaluate the car's value.
When collecting Hot Wheels, you will find that Mattel typically reuses many different models, as a part of the regular line and a "commemorative" replica line, which means that in some cases cars with a 1968 date could have been designed between 1968 and the present year. But, either way, it's still going to be a good thing to pay attention to.
Remember that when collecting Hot Wheels cars, there are many different lines and series of Hot Wheels that you can collect.
- First Editions Series- 26 cars
- Treasure Hunt Series- 12 cars
- Final Run Retiring Models- 12 cars
- Planet Micro- 6 cars
- Transform Mechanix- those ranging from one 1/43-scale model to another with the X-Tool wrench
- X-V Racers- those with motors
- Hot Wheels Crashers- those of 1/64-scale die-cast cars come apart when they collide - just pop 'em back together
- NBA Radical Rides
- NBA Pro Show
- Hot Wheels Electric Racing cars- those that work on the Tyco or Hot Wheels electric racing tracks