The Hot Wheels Story
Hot Wheels is a brand of die cast toy car, introduced by American toymaker Mattel in 1968.
It was the primary competitor of Johnny Lightning and Matchbox until 1996, when Mattel acquired rights to the Matchbox brand
The original, and now famous, Hot Wheels logo was designed by California artist Rick Irons, who at that time worked for Mattel.
Through the years, Hot Wheels cars have been collected mostly by children, but in the last ten years there has been an increase
in the number of adult collectors.
Mattel estimates that 41 million children grew up playing with the toys, the average collector has over 1,550 cars,
and children between the ages of 5 and 15 have an average of 41 cars.
Most believe the collecting craze started with the Treasure Hunts in 1995.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of web pages dedicated to Hot Wheels collecting.
People are collecting everything from only new castings to only Redlines and everything in between.
For the most part it is a relatively inexpensive hobby, when compared with coin collecting, stamp collecting or Barbie collecting,
with mainline cars costing about $1 (USD) at retail.
The price has not changed much in almost 40 years. After the cars are no longer available at retail the cost can vary significantly.
A common car may sell for less than retail, while some of the more difficult cars can sell for many hundred or even thousands of dollars.
The highest price paid for a Hot Wheels car was $72,000 in 2000 for a 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb, a van with a surfboard poking out
the rear window of which only 25 are known to exist.