Cool Facts and Trivia about Hot Wheels

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Let’s face it! Why do you love your car so much? What started out as a childhood fascination for moving objects on wheels has brought out our passion for motoring and automobiles. From car enthusiasts and auto mechanics to ordinary motorists riding their cars everyday, the Hot Wheels toy car has been the driving force that influenced many adults of today to crave for speed and mobility.

Hot Wheels continues to satisfy the playing needs of millions of kids throughout the world, solidifying its name and influence as a toy brand like no other. But as you well know, Hot Wheels is not just for children! Adult collectors have taken over as the number 1 consumer of Hot Wheels toys.

Because we all love Hot Wheels very much, we at Mr Toys have taken the pleasure of listing down some cool facts about one of the most collected and sought after toys of our generation – Hot Wheels!

Everyone (and Everything) Has a Birthday

Hot Wheels’ birthday is the 18th of May!

The first 16 castings of Hot Wheels toy cars were released on 18 May 1968. They were called the “Sweet 16.” Eleven of them were designed by Harry Bradley, an accomplished car designer from General Motors.

Bumblebee Wasn’t the First

Who doesn’t know Bumblebee of the Transformers? Did you know that the first Hot Wheels car ever made was the same model as Bumblebee’s alternate form? Oops, we’re not pertaining to the Bumblebee of the 80’s cartoons, wherein he was a Volkswagen Beetle.

In Michael Bay’s Transformers movie franchise, Bumblebee can transform into a Camaro. Hot Wheel’s first model was a dark blue custom-made Camaro, and the original model is now worth a fortune.

The Barbie Connection

The man credited for the existence of Hot Wheels is Elliot Handler. Guess what? This guy happens to be the husband of Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbara Millicent Roberts – more popularly known as Barbie. In fact, Elliot and Ruth are acknowledged to be the “First Couple” of the toy industry. They are also the founders of the Mattel toy company.

Name Recall Is Forever

Today, the name Hot Wheels has become synonymous to gorgeous muscle cars (and not just toy cars). But how did the name came to be? There are 2 versions of the story …

The first and most common version tells the story of how Elliot first met Fred Adickes, an associate of Harry Bradley. Elliot said, “Those are some hot wheels you’ve got there,” referring to the prototype Fred was testing. Some records say that it was Harry whom Elliot first met, not Fred, and Harry was driving an El Camino car when Elliot saw him. The name “hot wheels” stuck with them since then.

The other version claims that the credit for naming the brand should go to Alexandra Laird, who worked for Mattel from 1964 to 1969 and also credited for naming most of Barbie’s outfits. She has the honour of being called the "Namesmith of Mattel." Laird suggested “Big Wheels,” but Elliot retorted that such name would not be HOT for a name recall. So eventually, the name Hot Wheels was used.

Price Makes or Breaks

Toy experts say that one of the reasons why Hot Wheels remains to be the most popular line of die-cast collectables is because of its price. Since the first model was released into the market, each basic Hot Wheels car is priced to one US dollar and it hasn’t been changed (yet).

Diamonds Break the Price

Talking about price, there is one Hot Wheels car that is considered to be the most expensive model – the Diamond-Coated Hot Wheels Racer! In 2008, Hot Wheel’s 40th anniversary, the company commissioned a Beverly Hills jeweller to craft a racer model coated with 18-karat diamonds, making it the costliest Hot Wheels model in the planet to date.

Wishing for a Hot Wheels Movie?

Some toys exist as a reaction to blockbuster movies and successful media franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and many others. But there are those who did it in reverse; the likes of LEGO with its LEGO Movie and spin-offs, Barbie with her many animated flicks, Trolls, and Playmobil are popular toy brands that jumped into the big screen and small screen.

Do you wish Hot Wheels would do the same? Here’s the thing – there have been 3 Hot Wheels series on TV. One was in 1969-1971, the second was in 1990 entitled “Heroes on Hot Wheels, and the latest was in 2009 entitled “Hot Wheels: Battle Force Five” and was televised on Cartoon Network.

Buying the Competition

Matchbox was Hot Wheels’ foremost competitor, even predating Hot Wheels itself having been introduced in 1953. Mattel beat the competition by buying the rights to Matchbox in 1997. It’s interesting that many of today’s adults claim their first die-cast cars were from Matchbox.

Do you know of other cool facts and interesting trivia about Hot Wheels, which you would like to share? Feel free to comment them below.

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