How Hot Wheels Work

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Author's Note: How Hot Wheels Work

When I was growing up, I had a cardboard case full of Hot Wheels. Hundreds of little metal cars. My brother had another box full. And I'm old enough now that if I had kept those cars, I would probably be a millionaire. Except that we all know that isn't true.

We played with those cars hard. Really hard. I remember one of our favorite games was to start at one end of our small kitchen with the cars lined up with their noses at a line in the linoleum. Then we would shove them as hard as we could toward the other end of the kitchen. The car that hit the baseboard of the opposite wall with all four wheels still on the floor won. That game was quickly killed when our parents noticed what die-cast metal cars do to wood baseboards.

By the time we grew out of them, our Hot Wheels looked as terrible as the baseboards in the kitchen. Collectors say to look for dents and paint scratches; ours were made of nothing but dents and scratches. So, yeah. Maybe not a millionaire.

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