Mattel’s ‘Hot Wheels’ Brand Turns 50 This Year

Sponsored Links

It was 1968 when Mattel first introduced the Hot Wheels™ line of miniature toy cars. It was a late, though characteristically American, response to England’s Matchbox™ cars, introduced 15 years prior, with designs that were much more souped-up and customized than the rather ho-hum, pedestrian vehicles of the Matchbox line.

Hot Wheels, which debuted 16 designs and an iconic, configurable orange plastic track in its first year on the market, was an instant hit, and its parent company would go on to purchase Tyco Toys – then the owner of the Matchbox™ brand – in 1997. Some 50 years later (65 years for Matchbox), they’re still going strong, occupying shelf space in the toy section of nearly every supermarket in America, and providing children the world over with endless hours of entertainment collecting, building, racing, and crashing.

Of note to Ford fans, one of Hot Wheels’ 16 first-year designs was the Ford J-car – the experimental prototype racer that would go on to spawn the Ford GT40 Mk IV. Also included was a model called the “Hot Heap,” which was based on a rather well-known 1913 Model T hot rod built by Don Tognotti and Gene Winfield that won a number of awards in the mid-60s.

Sponsored Links

We can’t wait to see what the next 50 years will bring for the Hot Wheels brand.

(Source: Car and Driver)

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links

Subscribe to Ford Authority
For around-the-clock Ford news coverage


We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates.

It's totally free.

  • Want to see your Ford vehicle or build featured on Ford Authority? We welcome your submissions. See here for details. ×

Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2018 Ford Mustang GT Can Run An 11-Second Quarter-Mile

On This Day In 1914, Henry Ford More-Than-Doubled Wages And Shortened The Work Day