Long before mobile phones, video game consoles and multi-player online role playing games, kids entertained themselves using nothing more than a toy
car and their imagination. As kids of Generation X, I remember playing with these small but detailed diecast cars with my brother and sister. We were poor but Hot Wheels cars were cheap and using a child’s imagination is free. We’d spend hours building dirt roads with bridges and miniature landscapes in the backyard, for my brother’s Hot Wheels cars to travel far and wide in our imaginations.
Hot Wheels diecast cars have been igniting kid’s imaginations, creativity and fun since 1968 with 400 new designs released each year.
Hot Wheels was born when Mattel co-founder Elliot Handler (the husband of Barbie founder Ruth Handler) challenged his design team, which included a General Motors car designer and a rocket scientist, to create a toy car that was cooler and performed better than anything on the market. Elliot Handler was so impressed when he first saw the car rolling along the floor he said, “those are some hot wheels.”
Hot Wheels went on to become the #1 selling toy in the world, influencing car culture and real-world car design by creating cars that looked radically different from anything else on the road in 1968. The first life-size Hot Wheels was the Twin Mill® in 2001. Hot Wheels currently has a total of 19 life-size cars.
The new models pay homage to the “Original 16” range of designs inspired by Californian muscle cars and hot rods from the late 60s and 70s, including the original custom Camero, the first Hot Wheels car ever made.
Chedney Rodgers, Mattel ANZ Director of Marketing says a lot has changed since the blue Camero first came off the production line in 1968. “Over the years Hot Wheels has continued to break barriers, even Guinness World Records, so it’s no surprise that 50 years on, Hot Wheels diecast cars remain the number one selling toy in the world,” she said.
Hot Wheels holds three-world records and these little cars are ‘very collectible’. The largest Hot Wheels collection is worth over USD $1M and is owned by famed US collector Bruce Pascal. The most expensive Hot Wheels ever sold was the Beach Bomb® for USD $72,000.
Hot Wheels is sold in over 150 countries and #HotWheels is shared every 30 seconds on social media. Darth Vader is the best-selling Hot Wheels character car.
The limited-edition Hot Wheels ‘Throwback to the Original 16’ collection anniversary range retails from $9 and is available in Australia from Big W until stocks last.