In celebration of Hot Wheels’ 50 year anniversary, Donut Media has released a 2 minute video of the most popular cars included in the franchise – get ready for a throw back. According to Mattel, the average kid in America owns 50 Hot Wheels cars, with 10 cars being sold sold every second.
1968 Co-founder of Mattel, Elliot Handler decided to produce a die-cast line of toy cars. Designed for boys, he wanted to capture a large portion of the market for matchbox cars that was dominated by British company Lesney Products. Without any doubt the cars became a huge success. 16 cars were created – 11 of them designed by Harry Bentley Bradley – which featured Spectraflame paintwork, bearings, redline wheels, and working suspension – and even included a flip top hood.
1969 As Handler predicted, success of the Hot Wheels skyrocketed, but not before Harry Bentley Bradley quit Mattel to return to the automotive industry. As new designers came on board, 24 models were released including The Splittin’ Image, Torero, Turbofire, and Twin Mill whichwere part of the “Show & Go” series and are the very first original in-house designs by Hot Wheels. The iconic Rear-Loader Beach Bomb, which is considered the holy-grail of any collection was also launched in 1969 and included removable surf boards.
1970’s This was the era of “The Sizzlers Series” which included an electric motor – it was the first of it’s kind. Co-designed by Paul Tam, Ira Gilford and Larry Wood, the team created collector’s favourites such as Evil Weevil (a Volkswagen with two engines), Open Fire (an AMC Gremlin with six wheels), Six Shooter (another six wheeled car), and the rare Double Header (co-designed with Larry Wood). In 1977, the red line seen on the wheels were phased out. Other cars that were produced in the late ’70s also include the Black Wall and Scene Machines.
The 80’s helped further the Hot Wheels brand after being featured in McDonald’s Happy Meals as well as cereal boxes. Mattel begun to create cars based on real-life models as well as producing cars with thinner axels and rubber wheels. Towards the late 80’s Hot Wheels took an innovative turn with colour-changing cars.
1990’s As well as the launch of the 1 billionth car, Hot Wheels released the Treasure Hunt Series with real rubber tires with limited production of only 10,000 pieces. In 1995, 1996 and 1997 featured 12 new releases each year, while 1998 released 40 and 1999 released 26.
2000’s As Mattel bought Matchbox, the toy company continued to design and release hundreds of cars every year. In 2003, for the 35th anniversary they produced a full-length computer animated Hot Wheels movie called Hot Wheels Highway 35 World Race. Last year, Chevrolet released a full-scale version of the first and original Hot Wheels car, the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels Edition. A 50th anniversary edition of the Camaro was also released this year.
Check out the full video wrap-up below.