Hot Wheels are an American icon; the classic diecast play toy, and one of the most popular collectible toys in history. Equally popular both with kids and adults, some fans boast over 10,000 items in their Hot Wheels collection! With a wide variety of vintage (Pre-1980) Hot Wheels, modern (1980-1989) Hot Wheels, and contemporary (1990-Now) Hot Wheels to choose from, eBay is the best place to start or build your Hot Wheels collection.
Discover Hot Wheels History
Since 1968, Hot Wheels 1:64 scale replica cars have been a staple of American childhood. Below are some of the highlights from the history of Hot Wheels.
1973: Inflation causes Mattel to lower production costs of Hot Wheels cars.
1974: Hot Wheels use printed graphics instead of decals.
1975: The first Hot Wheels motorcycles are made.
1980: Hi-Rakers are introduced.
1988: Hot Wheels 20th anniversary. Mattel produces gold and silver chrome cars to celebrate.
1990: The first Hot Wheels aircraft are made.
1995: Treasure Hunt cars are introduced. These cars are instant collectibles since only 10,000 of each are made.
1996: Mattel purchases the rights to Matchbox cars.
Start a Hot Wheels Collection
Collecting Hot Wheels is a fun hobby and, since they can be relatively inexpensive, you can start your collection right away with several cars. Hot wheels generally fall into one of three categories: Vintage (Pre-1980) Hot Wheels, Modern (1980-1989) Hot Wheels, and Contemporary (1990-Now) Hot Wheels.
First, decide what kind of Hot Wheels collector you want to be. Are you a purist who only wants original Hot Wheels in packages for display or investment? Or do you want them loose so that you can play with and admire them close up? Loose Hot Wheels cars are much easier to find and are generally much less expensive.
Remember, millions of people across the country have fond memories of these little cars, so an original Hot Wheels car from the late 60s can sell for over $100 and some rare models can go for close to $300. Youd be surprised what you can find in that old box in the garage!
If you want to collect Hot Wheels by year, 1999 is a good starting point. In general they should still be fairly easy to find, but the 12 Treasure Hunt models and 12 end-run models should make completing the collection a challenge.
Other than cars, Hot Wheels also released numerous Hot Wheels tracks over the years. These tracks range from simple racetracks, to stunt tracks, all the way to elaborate sets that send cars careening into the mouth of an alien. There are a wide variety of Hot Wheels accessories available on eBay.
Organize and Care for Your Hot Wheels
Once youve started your collection, youll need to keep track of what you have and keep them in good condition.
There are many plastic Hot Wheels cases available that will store and protect your cars in their original blister packs. Some can hold up to five cars and will prevent the cardboard backing from getting damaged.
Loose cars can be stored in a multitude of different Hot Wheels cases and Hot Wheels displays. Mattel offers many different Hot Wheels brand carrying cases. Individual blister packs or hard plastic cases can keep individual cars safe. Many larger cases are available that can hold up to 32 cars in individual compartments.
However you decide to store your cars, remember to keep them out of direct sunlight, which can fade cars and cardboard-backed blister packs. Also, limit how often you touch your Hot Wheels with bare fingers. Oils from your fingers can mar or spot your finish or cardboard card over time and reduce their value.
Find Hot Wheels on eBay
Once you know what type of Hot Wheels you want, go to the Toys & Hobbies portal, click Diecast, Toy Vehicles, then Cars, Trucks-Diecast, then Hot Wheels, and start searching for item listings on eBay.
Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Contemporary, Vintage, Modern, and more. As you dig deeper into the site you'll also be able to narrow down your choice by brand.
Finder: Use the drop-down menus on the Hot Wheels to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, type, material, or scale.
Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find Hot Wheels planes, type "Hot Wheels planes" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.
If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.
The eBay Toy Finder can also help you find hot and award-winning toys appropriate for kids of any age.
Buy Hot Wheels With Confidence
Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.
Know your purchase
Carefully read the details in item listings.
Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.
If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.
Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.
Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.
Know your seller
Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.
What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?
What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?
Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?
In the unlikely event that you don't receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection will cover your purchase price plus original shipping. Learn more.