The Bottom Line
Hot Wheels, 40 Years is a luxurious hard-cover, dust-jacket covered book, that not only celebrates the toy car, but also the designers who have worked on the cars over the years.
The book will delight any toy or Hot Wheels collector. I found it hard to put down and literally read almost the entire book in one sitting. Cover to cover.
- Awesome Photography
- Coffee Table or Reference Book? You Decide!
- Absolutely None
- Awesome photographs that are enlarged several times the size of the actual car. Better to see all the details.
- Learn more about the designers behind the toy cars, photographs of prototypes, models and blueprints.
- Top 40 vehicle castings are shown, did your favorites make the list?
- The Sweet Sixteen, cars produced the first year, are shown along with background information on each toy.
- This book is one of the best bargains of the year. Compare the quality and the price, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Guide Review - Hot Wheels 40 Years
Stand around for a bit in a store aisle with Hot Wheels and pretty soon there will be a few people picking through the cars. There will be five year olds who are looking for something fun, then there will be the ten year olds who've become a little more discerning and are looking for something specific. And there will also be adult collectors who combine both of the above traits, as well as looking for the newest, collectible models. All three are Hot Wheel collectors, the toy that has no age boundaries.
Back in the mid-sixties Elliot Handler decided he wanted to produce a toy car that was different than the ones currently on the market. So actual car designers came on board to design the American-style car toys, engineers worked on making the car go fast and a package was designed that would not only show the toy, but also could either be hung on a peg or sit on a shelf.
The California Customs, first name of the toy, were soon called Hot Wheels, after Handler "commented that (designer) Bradley's vehicle was a set of hot wheels". California Customs later became a series in the Hot Wheel line.
The book is a fascinating look into the history of the toy, with details on the different designers who worked on the cars, the reasons for the packaging, colors and individual designs. Although the book is not a price guide, the author explains what editions are more valuable and occasionally what one of these rare toys might sell for.
I cannot stress enough how great the photography is. The pictures are several times the size of the actual car and show every detail. One particularly fun section was the "Sweet Sixteen", the first year issues are pictured along with details on each individual model.
All in all, a great book for a great toy!
- Krause Publications
- Cover: Hard Cover w/jacket
- Pages: 256
- Size: 10.75" x 10.75"
- ISBN: 0-89689-568-8
- SRP: $30.