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Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are both brands of toy cars that can either be used on the racetrack or as collector’s items. Though Matchbox and Hot Wheels are now both owned and created by Mattel, this was not always the case.
Matchbox was created in England in the ‘50s. Competition came when Mattel created the USA version of toy cars called Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels became a big deal shortly after they came onto the scene in 1968.
Eventually, Matchbox could not keep up with the more popular Hot Wheels and Mattel bought them out.
Since both Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are now produced by the same company there are some similarities but there are still some differences between the two cars as well.
Both Hot Wheels and Matchbox are diecast cars and roughly around the same size. Matchbox cars tend to lean toward realism while Hot Wheels lean toward flashiness.
Hot Wheels have more fancy elements, stickers, and flash to them. Matchbox cars are modeled and typically look more like real cars.
Hot Wheels tend to focus on sportier car models while Matchbox focuses on service and utility vehicles. Hot Wheels model their toy cars after real cars like Lamborghini and Ferrari or even create their own dream sports cars.
Matchbox cars are mainly made up of service and utility vehicles like military vehicles or planes.
To see the most popular Hot Wheels just click here.
Are Hot Wheels and Matchbox Tracks Compatible?
If you purchased both Hot Wheel and Matchbox, it would be nice if you could connect tracks and race both types of cars on the connected tracks. However, since Matchbox cars tend to be a bit wider, the track for Matchbox cars might run bigger as well.
With this in mind, the question remains, are Hot Wheels and Matchbox tracks compatible despite the different sizes in cars?
If you have an older set of Hot Wheel and Matchbox tracks, they may not connect. However, since Mattel owns both Hot Wheel and Matchbox, they are now creating the tracks to be compatible.
Similarly, if you try to run old Matchbox cars down a newer Hot Wheels track, the car might get stuck. Older Matchbox cars are a bit wider and can get stuck in some of the newer style tracks.
Did Matchbox Cars Come In Matchboxes?
Matchbox cars have been around for decades. The idea behind the toy was that a dad wanted his daughter to be able to play with her toys at school. Two friends joined forces to see if they could create a toy small enough that was still functional.
The school rule for toys was that you could only bring a toy to school if it could fit in a matchbox. Their first successful car was the Coronation Coach that was inspired by Queen Elizabeth II’s coach.
It was functional and also small enough to fit in a matchbox. After seeing the success they had with the car, they focused their efforts on creating more cars that could also be taken to school.
Matchbox cars were originally sold in matchboxes. Since they were sold in matchboxes they became known as “the matchbox toys” and the name stuck.
They have been known as Matchbox cars ever since.
Are Matchbox Cars Worth More Than Hot Wheels?
If you have collected both Matchbox and Hot Wheel cars for a while, you may be curious if there are any cars in your collection worth any money. While both companies have produced cars for decades, Hot Wheels has a much wider variety of cars than Matchbox.
Since there are fewer Matchbox cars, does this mean that Matchbox has cars that are more valuable than Hot Wheels?
Even though there may be fewer varieties of cars that Matchbox has produced, they are not more valuable than Hot Wheels.
The most expensive Matchbox that was produced sold for $13,000. The Magirus-Deutz Crane (1961) was reportedly found and purchased at a garage sale for $10. A few years later the new owner sold it for $10,000 to a collector who in turn sold it for the high price of $13,000.
The most expensive Hot Wheels car is worth $175,000. The “Beach Bomb” prototype never made it to stores.
Only two of these were produced and they were faulty. They could not stay upright as they rolled around.
Bruce Pascal, who has a 7,000 piece Hot Wheels collection, owned both of the vehicles until he sold one to another collector. Pascal still owns the car that is in the best condition.
How Can You Tell If A Matchbox Is Rare?
If you have been collecting Matchbox cars for a while, you might have a rare car in your collection. Here are a few tips to help you determine if you have a rare Matchbox.
The age of the car is important when deciding if your Matchbox has any value. A Matchbox car that was purchased back in the ’50s will be much more valuable than a car that was purchased in the ‘70s or ’80s.
The older the car, the more value it holds.
Some Matchbox cars were produced in very limited quantities. These cars were produced to encourage collectors.
The limited amount of cars produced would make collectors feel as though the cars were must-have items for their collection.
The molds, dies, and materials used in creating Matchbox cars were sometimes changed. For example, some cars could have different wheels or plastic used when creating the car.
The different variations in the car could potentially make your car rare.
The better the condition of the car, the more valuable it is. Typically if the package is still sealed and does not appear damaged in any way, this is considered mint condition.
If you have removed your car from the package but the car still looks good and does not have any chips in the paint your car could be considered in near-mint condition.
As long as your car looks good and doesn’t have any chipped paint or broken parts, it could still have some value.
If your car is still in the original packaging, it could be very valuable. A car that is mint-in-box will be much more valuable than the same model that is no longer in the package.
The first 75 models of Matchbox cars that are produced have very valuable packaging. The box has a phrase that says, “A Moko Lesney Product.”
These cars in the rare boxes are now extremely valuable.
Whether you are team Hot Wheels or Matchbox, both are still great cars and collector’s items.
While they may have their differences, they are still both great quality cars that can bring hours of fun to the racetrack.