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Have you ever wondered how old your Hot Wheels car is?
If yes, you are at the right place!
Today, I am going to show you an easy way to find out the manufacturing date of your Hot Wheels car (or cars).
If your Hot Wheels car is newer than 2008 there will be a base code on the bottom of the vehicle. You can also look for the date on the bottom of the vehicle which is the copyright date for the design (not when it was manufactured).
Although knowing the copyright date won’t tell you exactly how old the Hot Wheels car is it will help you to determine the exact age as you can then look up that copyright and see all of the models and years they were made.
Hot Wheels is one of the most popular toy car brands in the world! The majority of the kids in the 21st century grew up collecting and playing with these toy cars.
However, over the last few decades, more and more people have started collecting these cars. For collectors, it is very important to check the manufacturing date of the car.
It helps them to know how old the car is, but many people get confused between the manufacturing date and copyright date.
If you are not able to find out how old your Hot Wheels car is, follow this guide. We will show you how to check the manufacturing date, copyright date and the difference between the two.
To see the most popular Hot Wheels currently on the market just click here.
Manufacturing Date Of A Hot Wheels Car
If you want to find out how old your Hot Wheels car is or when it was made, you need to check to see if it has a a base code on the underside.
By simply checking this code, you will be able to tell when the car was made (if it was produced after 2008).
The base code is a code that is printed underneath newer Hot Wheels cars. If you turn the car upside down, you will be able to see a code printed at the base.
Unlike other details, it is printed and not cast with a metal body.
It is also known as the date code.
So, all the Hot Wheels cars which were manufactured since 2008 have this printed code on the base. It is a three digit code and when you decipher it, you will be able to know the manufacturing date.
The code is either printed or stamped with different colors of ink. It is a letter followed by a 2-digit number.
For example, the code could be B18, A36 or D11.
• Letter: The letter denotes the manufacturing year of the car.
• 2-Digit Number: The number denotes the week of the year. So the numbers will always range from 01 to 52, as it represents a week.
List of Hot Wheel Base Codes
Here is the list of base codes for easy reference. It will help you to easily find out the manufacturing year.
• A – 2008
• B – 2009
• C – 2010
• D – 2011
• E – 2012
• F – 2013
• G – 2014
• H – 2015
• J – 2016
• K – 2017
• L – 2018
• M – 2019
• N – 2020
• P – 2021
How to Read Hot Wheels Base Codes?
Now that you know what a base code is and what the list of codes is, let’s learn to read the code.
For example, if the base code on the Hot Wheels car is L15, it means the manufacturing year of the car is L, i.e. 2018. Similarly, the manufacturing week of the car is 15, i.e. 15th week. So the car was manufactured in the 15th week (April 9th to April 15th) of 2018.
If the base code is A01, then the car was manufactured in the 1st week (January 1st to January 6th) of 2008.
This is how you can easily read the base codes given on the car to find out how old your Hot Wheels car is.
What about a 4-Digit Base Code?
While the majority of Hot Wheels cars have 3-digit base codes, there are some exceptional cases where the cars have 4-digit codes.
There are only a few selected cars with these codes.
Here, you can easily understand when the car was actually made as there are no letters, only numbers. The first three digits of the code mean the day on which the car was manufactured, and the last digit means the year.
For example, if a car has base code 1967, it means the car was manufactured on the 196th day of the year 2017.
Similarly, if the code is 0160, then the manufacturing date of the car is the 16th day of 2010 or 2020. In order to know the year, you need to check the car model.
Copyright Date Of A Hot Wheels Car Design
Most people get confused with the copyright date of the car design and assume it’s the manufacturing date.
However, it is not the year the car was manufactured.
It is actually the year when the copyright of the car design was made.
At the base of a Hot Wheel car, you will be able to see the casting of a year along with the company name.
Unlike the base code, it is not printed but actually cast on the metallic base. It is the year when the copyright of the car design was registered.
Moreover, it is given in the form of ©2009 Mattel or ©2010 Mattel. It means that the copyright of the car design was made in 2009 and 2010.
In most cases, the copyright year and the casting release year are different. In some cases, the casting is released one year after the copyright.
For example, the copyright year of the car will be 2009, but it will be first released in 2010.
Difference Between Manufacturing Date And Copyright Date
In order to know how old your Hot Wheels car is, you need to check the manufacturing date, i.e. base code.
The copyright date doesn’t tell you how old the car is.
For example, a Hot Wheels car might have ©2008 Mattel on the base, but the base code printed will be B12.
It means the copyright of the car design was made in the year 2008. However, it was manufactured or released during the 12th week (March 16th to March 22nd) of 2009.
This is how you can easily differentiate between manufacturing year and copyright date. So, if you ever want to check how old your Hot Wheels car is, you just need to turn it over and read the base code.
The main issue in determining the age of a Hot Wheels car is those that are older than 2008 that don’t have a base code.
For those models the only way to know how old they are is by looking at the copyright year and then searching to see what models of that copyrighted design were made.
If there was more than one design of that copyright made then you will have to look up the different models and see which one matches the Hot Wheel that you have.
If only one model was made of that copyrighted design then you will know that model is the one that you have.