Hot Wheels Diecast and Toy Vehicles
Under American toy maker Mattel, Hot Wheels has been manufacturing toy vehicles for 50 years. These Hot Wheels diecast toy cars are often replicas of famous and real-life cars and can be highly collectible.What should you look for to determine the age of Hot Wheels cars?
Whether you are a long-time collector or purchasing Hot Wheels for fun, there are certain elements to look for when choosing toy cars.
- Redlines: These Hot Wheels were made in 1968 to 1977 and have a red stripe on their wheels. The red stripe made a return intermittently in 1993 and onwards for Hot Wheels' vintage reproductions. Though sold worldwide, genuine redline Hot Wheels toy vehicles from 1968 to 1977 were only manufactured in the United States and Hong Kong.
- Treasure Hunt: Hot Wheels' Treasure Hunt (or T-Hunt) model toy cars were created beginning in the year 1995 and continue to the present day. The cars are released once a month for a total of 12 to 15 releases a year. They are identified by their logo: a circle of fire. This logo is also found on the packaging, usually behind the vehicle.
- Super Treasure Hunt: The Hot Wheels Super Treasure Hunt models were introduced in 2007 and have a smaller production run than their Treasure Hunt counterparts. They are usually an upgraded version of a normal Treasure Hunt car. They feature Real Rider rubber wheels and Spectraflame paint for a metallic finish. To identify these, you will find the letters TH on the car.
You can keep your Hot Wheels cars in top shape without having to preserve them in their packaging. You will want to care for and restore your cars in a way that does not damage them and cause the value to depreciate.
- Storage: Keep your Hot Wheels cars in a place that is free of dust and sunlight. Sunlight can fade the paint job.
- Clean: If the toy does not have a sticker, it can usually be washed using dish soap and water. You may want to use a toothbrush for dirt that is particularly difficult to budge. For the cars with stickers, you may want to use a cotton swab so that you can clean the vehicles and avoid the stickers. If the toy is corroded, you can try a little bit of rubbing alcohol or an ink eraser.