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Hot Wheels toys buying guide

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 Hot Wheels Toys Guide - An Introduction

Hot wheels cars made their debut in 1968 and have been cherished and collected by little boys and not so little boys ever since. In fact, quite often, grown men have been caught, down on the floor, next to a child, monopolizing play with the cars much to the frustration of the child.

Truth is that Hot Wheels cars are purchased by or for men as often as they are by or for boys. However, grown men prefer to term them collectibles while boys are fine with calling them toys.

Before we go any further, it must also be stated that a growing trend of girls who love and collect these cars exists as well today.
Now that everyone who has contributed to the more than 40 years of thriving Hot wheels success has been properly mentioned, the question, what exactly are hot wheels cars, might come to mind for a beginner.

What are Hot Wheels?

They are diecast, scale model cars that are made by Mattel. Models vary in their scaled size with two most common sizes being either 1:64 or 1:43. Some are designed to be compatible with Hot wheels tracks and some are not.

Hot wheels cars are made as miniature replicas of actual car models. To date, more than 10,000 different models exist with multiple variations of many models. Model variations can typically be found with regard to car colour and/or custom paint design. For example, there are eight different versions of the 1:64, 2010 Mustang that are available.

Each year brings new Hot Wheels car releases in concurrence with full size car manufacturer releases.

Mattel’s biggest selling Hot Wheels product is their scale down, die cast model cars that they began with and continue to produce. However, the Hot Wheels types of toys and other merchandise have grown over the years. The blazing Hot Wheels logo can now be found on toys like remote control cars, Nintendo and Wii games, bikes, and merchandise such as a  Hot Wheels laptop, a volcano, and a colour blaster for changing a model car’s paint colour.

Who invented Hot Wheels?

Elliot Handler is the man behind the lucrative Hot Wheels idea. Elliot Handler and his wife Ruth Handler co-founded the Mattel Company, along with Harold Mattson. Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll, the most successful doll ever, which ignited Mattel’s launch to fame. Moreover, if the Barbie doll was ignition, the Hot Wheels cars were certainly the boosters thrust for this company’s launch to success.

Types and Gift Suggestions

There is quite a variety of merchandise available that bears the flaming Hot Wheels logo. The variety includes T-shirts from baby sizes on up, jackets, pyjamas, socks, bedding, bedroom décor items like a toy chest or other furniture, key chains, coffee mugs and various household gadgets. However, the most popular category is the Hot heels toys and games.

It is good to remember, when buying for children that they love anything that reminds them of their favourite toys. Therefore, if you know that a child’s favourite toy is any Hot Wheels toy but find it too confusing to select a toy, or you do not know which cars the child already owns, consider this. Select something decorative for the child’s room, or that the child can wear, or a Hot Wheels game to play. Selections such as these will be a guarantee that your gift is a hit. Here are some popular suggestions:


Hot Wheels socks There are a variety of sock types, colours, and styles available. These styles include a great buy on “Boys Hot Wheels grip slipper socks” for around £3.00.

Room decorations or furnishings

Two great bedroom furnishing ideas are the hot wheels sofa, which runs about £15.00 and the Hot Wheels pop tidy for £2.99. Children will also love Hot Wheels bedding such as the “Hot Wheels Duvet Cover and Pillow Case” for £12.49 or a bedside lamp like the “Hot Wheels Kool Lite” for £7.00.

Types of Hot Wheels toys and games

Bicycles and rideable cars

Children love both bicycles and ride able cars because they can imagine them to be actual cars that they are driving. Here are two great suggestions, the “Injusa 6v Ride On Hot Wheels Quad”, which costs around £139.99, and the “Hot Wheels Rev it Up 12” bike” for £74.99.


Here are some suggestions for non-electronic games that can entertain children or be a great way to spend quality time together as a family. The “Hot Wheels Cool Cars 4 in 1 Card Game, which runs about £3.49, can be played with friends or family. The “Custom Car Colouring Book Hot Wheels can mean a break for parents while the child entertains him or herself quietly for a time. The cost of the colouring book is cheap at only £2.69.

Die cast cars

See the Tips section of this guide for tips on starting a Hot Wheels die cast car collection for a child in your life.

Hot Wheels sets

A Hot Wheels set always offers a saving over buying individuals pieces and children get extremely excited over the following sets:

Electronic games

Electronic games include Hot Wheels computer games, Nintendo games, Gameboy games, PlayStation games or PS2 games, as well as Wii games. Here are two gift suggestions that children of all ages, will enjoy. The first is the “Hot Wheels Beat That Wii” running about £23.99 and the second is the “Hot Wheels PS2 Beat That”, which is the PlayStation 2 version for £19.99. This game allows the players to choose between selections of popular cars as well as to compete against friends or the computer.


It s always a great idea to give a child an educational toy and the “Hot Wheels Junior Laptop” at only £22.99 is a great buy. It will help a child learn colours, shapes, and more while he/she thinks that they are just playing a game and having fun with their favourite Hot Wheels cars.

Misc. Popular Toys

The Hot Wheels volcano shootout play set is currently one of the most popular Hot Wheels toys. This game comes with one compatible car to start with, and it includes an LED screen and allows 360° of play, which makes this an exciting, fast moving game. This game currently runs at £43.95.


Tips to consider before buying Hot Wheels Toys

Smart reasons for starting a Hot Wheels™ die cast car collection for a child:

There are a number of great reasons to start a collection of Hot Wheels die cast cars for a child in your life.

  • Let us start with this number, £309,100.00.

    That is the monetary value of the largest Hot Wheels™ die cast car collection known today. Therefore, that is the potential for a collection started today. While the amount that a collection begun today will be worth 20 or 30 years from now will vary, the likelihood that they too will be valuable collectors’ items are high.

  • Cars purchased for collecting are the same cheap price as the ones purchased for a child to play with now.

    While you may think that this will be an expensive investment, it is not. The die cast cars are very cheap. The 2009 model releases cost around £0.99 each today. The ones you would purchase to start a collection will cost the same as the open stock choices your child will prefer for play now.

  • These cars are made to take a beating.

    Finally, as other parents have learned, the die cast cars that are purchased to be used as toys now can also be passed on to younger children or even the next generation. They are made to take the tough thrashing that a child can give them without sustaining damage.

  • Starting a collection that will be worth money in the future requires that you buy different cars than the ones that your child will most enjoy playing with today.

    A child will most likely want the open stock cars that are produced in large quantities and that other children are likely to have.

  • Start by collecting the Treasure Hunt cars

    Treasure Hunt cars are produced in limited numbers and Mattel releases only one set each year. While they cost the same as any other Hot Wheels™ die cast car now, their value as a collector’s items increase very rapidly.

  • Keep all cars purchased for collection in their original packaging.

    Cars that are removed from their original packages are worth substantially less, if anything at all.

  • Store cars purchased as collectibles away from direct sunlight.

    Cars in packaging that has been faded by the sun are worth substantially less than those that have been protected.

Jargon Explained

Die-castDie-casting refers to a method of manufacturing toys and collectibles. It involves pouring molten metals such as ZAMAK; an alloy of aluminium and zinc, into a mould or form. The molten metal is then allowed to cool and set to the desired shape.
FreewheelingFreewheeling refers to wheels that spin freely in contrast to friction powered.
Friction poweredThis term refers to a method for enabling movement that requires no batteries. It involves a type of motor that stores energy, typically for the wheels of a toy, when it is revved up by pushing it along a floor or carpet. This storing of energy then empowers the toy to move along the floor, unassisted when it is released from the hand. This method is also referred to as the “push and go” method.
Full functionFull function is a term that refers to radio or remote controlled cars. It means that the controlled toys, usually cars, can move in multiple directions such as forward, right, left, and reverse. The vehicles and control units typically have twofold motors and two channels.
Integrated circuit This term may also be represented by its abbreviation, IC. It means that the toy contains a small chip that enables it to perform various functions such as emit pre-recorded sounds or actions.
Infrared controlInfrared control or its abbreviation IR means that the toy is controlled by infrared, which requires the user to point the hand control directly at the toy in order to cause action to occur.
LCDLCD is the abbreviated form for Liquid Crystal Display. It is typically seen in the abbreviated form on packaging and instruction manuals. It is a screen used for displaying such things as graphics or text regarding a toy.
LEDLED is the abbreviation form for Light Emitting Diode. It is typically seen in the abbreviated form on packaging and instruction manuals. It refers to a small type of bulb that produces light.
MHzMHz is the abbreviated form for Megahertz. The term is used to refer to radio frequencies that are typically used in radio-controlled items such as toy cars. Radio frequencies for toys are typically 27 or 49 MHz.
RC or R/CRC is the abbreviated form for radio controlled. It is typically written in the abbreviated form on packaging and in instruction manuals.
RedlineThis term is found on some Hot Wheels™ car packages. It refers to a type of wheel.
ReproductionWhen referring to Hot Wheels™ cars, it means the item is made exactly or in some cases similarly to an earlier model/release. This term may be seen in the commonly used abbreviated form of repro.
ScaleWhen referring to Hot Wheels™ cars, scale denotes the size/appearance of the toy car in relation to the standard size vehicle it was modelled after. Scale sizes are typically written in the following format: 1:64 or 1/64.
Single channelWhen used in reference to toys such as cars this term means that the toy has only one motor, radio controlled and, which typically allows only two action modes, such as forward and reverse.
Spring suspensionWhen referring to die-cast cars, this term means that the wheels have spring supports, which allow the wheels to spring out after they have been pushed in.
Try me boxThis refers to a type of packaging that allows a buyer to try certain features of a toy without opening the packaging.
VintageWhen referring to Hot Wheels™ cars, this term means an original car, usually made before 1980. 

Buying Guide to Hot Wheels toys
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