Now that you’re grown and mature, it’s harder to justify whipping out your Hot Wheels for a “ride” around the apartment. Luckily, publisher Assouline has released a hard-cover coffee table book packing 300 pages and more than 200 illustrations of all things Hot Wheels.
Vroom, vroom, baby.
The book, simply titled Hot Wheels, starts with a personal and nostalgic forward by Mario Andretti, widely considered one of the most iconic racecar drivers, and transitions into a history lesson reaching back to the 1960s when the first Hot Wheels were released and sold for a dollar a piece.
Hot Wheels also gives a behind-the-scenes look at core designers that shaped the brand into an astounding success. What many non-fans fail to realize is that Hot Wheels may be replicas but are a style in their own, competing for a long time against Matchbox cars. (Hot Wheels owner Mattel eventually bought Matchbox. There’s a reason Hot Wheels is the No. 1 toy in the world — roughly 10 million of the miniature die-cast cars are produced every week and 16 cars are sold every second.
Today, Hot Wheels is a full-on lifestyle brand dabbling in apparel, gaming, and even life-sized cars. For many men, they’re luxury collectible items. Hot Wheels also opens up this passionate world of Hot Wheels fandom and highlights the fervent collectors who count thousands of cars in their caboodle, not excluding the author and car junkie behind the book, Paul Biedrzycki.
Biedrzycki has 500 Hot Wheels in his collection and has lived with one foot embedded into the auto and racing world since he was a kid. He says his earliest memories include wandering around a garage and marveling at the spare parts and tools. Biedrzycki went on to cover the motorsports industry with a focus on the cultural climate surrounding what many see as simple engines, brakes, and doors.
The goal of Hot Wheels toys — and the reason they’re still so damn fun to play with — has always been to promote creativity, experimentation, and competition. This book, flush with vibrant colors and stunning car sketches, is a reminder of how excited we once got unwrapping a box with the flaming logo emblazed on the front. (We got a similar jolt of excitement when Lego released this Aston Martin BD5 earlier this year.)
Honestly, getting the Hot Wheels book is essential for the survival of your childlike spirit. Plus, it will make you feel like your mom packed you with $20 heading to the school book fair.