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November 24th, 2003

Hot Wheels v. Matchbox

When I was a kid, I loved to play with toy cars. I had a whole suitcase full, and that thing would be ready at a moment’s notice. Long before Micro Machines, though, I had a lot of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.

But there was always this rivalry between the two (similar to the short-lived Go-Bots v. Transformers one.) Matchbox didn’t have the cool packaging, but they had a number of neat cars. Hot Wheels had the marketing muscle and the great logo. But I sided with Matchbox. I’m pretty sure that Hot Wheels went all-plastic first, and Matchbox still had metal (or semi-metallic) parts on its cars. (Remember metal?)

Did you ever take sides in this car battle?

Posted in Childhood Memories

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 9:31:49 am
I remember Hot Wheels having the cooler cars. My first ones came from Shell Gas, they gave away a car with every fill up, so my dad brought one home for me once a week when I was 4 or 5. Then of course, I got the orange track.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 12:19:38 pm
I liked em both, but when Hot Wheels went to all plastic, it was all Matchbox, all the time. The feeling of crunching two tiny metal cars together was the whole reason you could play with them...that, and to roll them off tables, so you could pretend the driver was driving off a cliff.

Although I will say I think this rivalry had more life than the Go-Bot/Transformer one..Go-bots were cool for..a few months. Transformers have found new ways to keep the idea fresh. They really did have "more than meets the eye"...

FROM: Kate
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 1:32:28 pm
I don't know if I ever really distinguished between the two. Does anybody remember the ones that would change color when they got hot or cold? Those were the best!

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 3:02:35 pm
This is still a debate I like to bring up. Matchbox were more solidy built, and stuck to realistic cars. Hotwheels were semi-plastic and had cars that would never exist added into their production.

Hotwheels had the sweet race tracks, but matchbox had the excellent play sets.

I will side with Matchbox.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 7:48:38 pm
I saw a commercial for this today

Hot Wheels Blings.

Because its never too early to infuse the gansta rap culture in your child.

FROM: Maria
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 9:02:45 pm
I have to say I liked Micro Machines (I think that's what they were called) the best, simply because they were way smaller than Hot Wheels and Matchbox (parity products to me) and because Mr. Testaverde from Saved By The Bell did their commercials.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 25, 2003 -- 10:38:08 am
Great Link, Chris..I died of laughter thinking of kids playing with Hot Wheels version of Cadillac Escalades.

Next thing you know, Mattel is just gonna be advertising bigger versions of that with the "Ghetto Bitch Barbie" set. "Pimp Daddy Ken" not included.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday November 25, 2003 -- 10:49:27 am
Chris, those are the dumbest things I've ever seen. Thanks! I love the text on each page, too:

Aww yeah, this is your tricked-out ticket to ride! Big cars, big wheels and lots of flash on these beauties. Why? ‘Cause when you’re rollin’ down the street, it’s all about the Blings™, baby!

Blings is a registered trademark of Mattel Corporation. All fazizzle reserved.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Friday December 12, 2003 -- 9:40:54 am
Matchbox... 'cause they didn't have to fake their stuff to be cool.

Sadly, like many cool British things... Leyland had to sell out to bring the costs down and ended up following the Hotwheels route. That was 'til the writing was on the wall and Matchbox was bought out by ::gasp:: Hot Wheels.

Sort of similar to the aforementioned Go-Bots vs. Transformers. The Go-Bots are now listed as Go-Bots Transformers. Same company.

Ahhh, so this is where the cursing and all of the Bling Bling on the Ping started. Next thing y'know Paul and Ryan be selling autographed gats. A sad sad day when Paul's PT is rollin' on 18" Sprewell spinnerz.

That's before we even get around to the rimz on Ryan's Roomba.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday December 18, 2003 -- 11:45:57 am
There's a neat story in today's LA Times about Hot Wheels collectors. I had no idea that a single Hot Wheels car could go for up to $70,000. Wowza.

FROM: Sad American
DATE: Tuesday December 30, 2003 -- 9:54:50 pm
Have to agree with the comments about Hot Wheels selling out to the latest craze of corporate America to "ghetto-ize" Amerca's youth. When I was a kid and playing with Hot Wheels, if they had done anything like then, we definitely dumped hot wheels for something more real...which at the time was musclecars and wayout concept vehicles like the legendary "Red Baron". I bought a couple for my son despite the ghetto packaging, he likes them, but stills likes the more traditional styles hot wheels better. Maybe there is hope for Amreica yet.

FROM: Kevin
DATE: Wednesday August 24, 2005 -- 8:59:55 pm
I liked Matchbox cars due to the realism - until they went to the horrid Superfast models. My favorites were Corgis, all other things being equal.

My kids really like the new Hot Wheels however. They love the blings, but not because of the "ghetto" appeal but for the cool (to them) look. I like some of the Hot Wheels upscale series though - they have 1/64 scale cars that are just beautiful and super realistic. They also produce reasonably priced scale models of Formula 1 cars that will blow you away.

dada March 22, 2007, 5:53 pm

yo dudes the blings cars are so sweet i have all of them any one know when there comming out with new ones yo?

RMasta September 7, 2010, 8:58 pm

Hahaha oh my god…I was one of those kids playing with my Cadillac Escalade Bling and I still am *TODAY*

It’s so epic.

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