History

1973

Hot Wheels becomes one of drag racing’s first sponsors outside of the automotive industry and in 1970, they introduce the Mongoose & Snake Drag Race set (shown above).  This set comes with 32-feet of orange track and two daredevil loops with parachutes to slow the die-cast cars down.

1974

Elliot Handler and his design team reinvent the pad printing process, termed “tampo,” revolutionizing the Hot Wheels line with more detailed graphics and brighter colors. “Flying Colors” is the first collection to market using this new process. Competitive toy brands quickly copy Mattel’s innovation.

1975 

Hot Wheels’ designer Larry Wood designs the Hot Wheels Ramblin’ Wrecker® (shown below) prototype and puts his home phone number on the side of the tow truck. It mistakenly arrives in stores with Larry’s phone number still intact. After hundreds of kids and fans called the number, it was removed from later versions.

Hot Wheels introduces motorcycles into its vehicle lineup.

 

 

1979

Hot Wheels introduces the first licensed entertainment vehicles with the creation of “Scene Machines.”  Famed Marvel comic book characters, including Captain America, Spider Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk, are featured on the sides of the cars. A fun picture is also re-created using iconic scenes on the back of each car.