Hotwheels Toy Cars
Hotwheels Toy Cars are a range of collectible toy cars.
Hotwheels is a wide-selection of die-cast model cars produced by toymaker Mattel, which was first introduced in 1967.
The models were generally 1:43 scale, although originally Hotwheels were manufacturers of model trucks, measuring at 1:64 scale. They are largely renowned for their wide-selection of model Muscle cars and hot-rods, producing some 10,000 in many different variations. They replicate real-life cars and intricately copy them down to scale - Ford, Ferrari and Chrysler are all among the car manufacturers that have allowed Hotwheels to produce replicas of their cars.
The process of making these cars was quite strenuous. They would closely follow the blueprint of a real car and create a 1:64 scale of that in plastic. The plastic model would then be assessed at which time, if satisfactory, a die-cast model would be made. The die-cast model would then be assessed and then finally, if it met company standards, the car would be manufactured and put into circulation.
Hotwheels have also released a line of special edition cars, including a selection of 'blinded' cars. Special edition models also include larger scale models and models that include advertising on (McDonald's, Toys-R-Us, Shell, Chuck E. Cheese etc). In 2009, for the first time, models were introduced that included real-life rubber tyres, models included the Pontiac GTO and Hammer Sled. Sizzlers are a side-project of Hotwheels and consist of models with rechargeable batteries and a built in motor. These models would go around race sets made with spirals to best benefit from their motor.
Guide for Collectors
The craze of collecting Hotwheels cars most likely originated from the 'Treasure Hunts' in 1995. The pioneer of collecting Hotwheels is said to be Mike Strauss. The reason for this is that he is responsible for organising an event where you can go to swap, sell and buy Hotwheels models, this is the The Annual Hotwheels Collectors Convention.
This convention ran until 2001, at which time the 'Annual Hotwheels Collectors Nationals' - which is the largest gathering of Hotwheels collectors in the world - was introduced, this usually takes place in Southern California in the spring and outside of the spring will be held in other cities (e.g Michigan).
Strauss is also responsible for publishing the Hotwheels newsletter, this is a quarterly newsletter. A website that trades Hotwheels models is www.hotwheelscollectors.com, the most expensive Hotwheels models are that of Limited Edition models, one example is that of the 1966 Batman TV model, selling for $249.00 on the aforementioned website.
Notable Auction Sales
There are many places to purchase Hotwheels models, one website has already been mentioned, you can also use eBay, Amazon and www.toycarcollector.com. Here are some notable sales of Hotwheels cars. A 1968 Beatnik Bandit Aqua HK Mint sold for $79 at www.toycarcollector.com. A1968 Custom T-Bird Excel sold for $79 at www.toycarcollector.com. A 1968 Custom T-Bird Orange/Black Top HK Mint Condition sold for $1250 at www.toycarcollector.com. A Hotwheels Criss Cross Crash Set sold for £49 on eBay, as did a Ferrari F512M Red (Metal) which sold for £30.
The largest sum of money ever paid for a Hotwheels model was $72,000, this was done in a private trade between Bruce Pascal and Chris Marshall. This was in 2000 and the model was a 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb with surf-boards coming out of the rear window, it was part of a prototype series and was one of only 25 made.