Before Hotwheels came to the die cast toy market, Matchbox was the no.1 seller. However, because Matchbox was a company based in the U.K. most of the models were European cars or trucks. Many of these toy cars were imported to the United States and as a result, the founders of Mattel had watched their grandchildren play with small foreign cars. With Mattel being the leading toy company in the United States, they had a huge hit toy for the girls with the Barbie Doll Line but they didn’t have such a hit toy for young boys. From here, it wasn’t too difficult for the founders to become motivated to make a diecast toy car for Mattel to offer and have a hit toy for the boys market in the United States. Naturally, the first die cast cars that Mattel had designed and manufactured where American-made vehicles.
At the time the Matchbox cars didn’t roll very well so Mattel wanted to build a die cast toy car that would roll faster, smoother, and further than any other die-cast car on the market. As soon as they were satisfied that the cars met their expectation to be better than the competition, Elliot Handler was able to set up a meeting and impress a JC Penny buyer by setting up track that had a drop of 3 feet high and rolling several other manufactured die-cast cars and then rolling the Hotwheels cars. The Hotwheels cars rolled further and faster than any other die-cast car on the market. The buyer decided to make a huge order.
Once the Hotwheels cars hit the market, many were highly impressed by the quality and the design of the cars. From that time to this day, the Hotwheels line continues to impress and delight, not just young boys, but people of all ages.
When many people are out looking for a die-cast toy car, the first name that comes to mind is the Hotwheels line of diecast toy cars.
I honestly think another reason that Hotwheels surpassed Matchbox and even other diecast brand names is because every year when the Hotwheels cars are released, there are usually multiple colors for one particular car make. Matchbox only had one color for the same vehicle for the whole year. Many times the early Matchbox cars would be the same color and design for one particular car for multiple years, whereas, Hotwheels would change the vehicle colors yearly. This also helped their popularity increase: Thus, making them more collectible. For example, if a certain color car is only released for a few months then you only have that short time period to find and purchase that particular car with the unique color and design. That is part of what makes collecting Hotwheels die cast toy cars so much fun.
For more information on Hotwheels and collecting diecast toy cars please visit us at: http://www.diecasttoysplus.com
Dave and Maribell