Mattel, an American toy company, launched the Hot Wheels brand of die-cast toy automobiles in 1968. It was Matchbox’s main competitor until Mattel bought Tyco Toys, the former owner of Matchbox, in 1997. Many automotive companies have since granted Hot Wheels permission to make scale copies of their vehicles, allowing them to utilize authentic design blueprints and detailing. However, most people have started to ask if Hot Wheels make model planes due to its popularity. This article will talk more on that topic.
Hot Wheels make plane models, which they call Hot Birds. These diecast planes are not made with attention to detail compared to a real replica but are designed based on the famous Hot Wheels design, which is known for its flame design and color.
Adult collectors now have access to limited-edition versions of Hot Wheels, targeted initially at kids and young adults. Even though Hotwheel is a big name in the car modeling industry, it will be interesting to know that Hotwheel had a product line for model airplanes. This article will talk about that, including their value and who designed these model planes.
While Hot Wheels and Matchbox are owned by the same company, their quality, and approach to making replicas and models are entirely different. If you’re interested in knowing their differences, I recommend checking my other article with talks about this topic. Here is the link: Which is better Hot Wheels or Matchbox?
Meet The Hotbirds: The Plane version of Hot Wheels
Hotwheels Models Planes are called Hot Birds.
These were diecast airplanes that resembled Hot Wheels automobiles in terms of design. The aircraft had a detachable hook on top to simulate flight by sliding down a monofilament string.
Also, if you can notice, their products aren’t the realistic commercial model planes you can find being sold on airlines. Instead, these models are designed to look like toys.
However, note that while these models aren’t realistic, it has a large number of collectors which can make their rare varieties extremely expensive.
Numerous replica scale models in the accepted benchmark 1/43, 1/24, and 1/18 scales have been created by Hot Wheels. 2015 HW Off-Road Mad Propz (Airplane) 92/250, Gold, and Blue are some of the plains produced by Hot Wheels.
Hot Birds is a collection of six futuristic die-cast toy airplanes released in 1971 by Mattel, an American toy company. Under the Special Model Lines of Hot Wheels, a series known as the Hot Birds was introduced, which are metal airplanes.
All six versions were made in the United States. Four of the models were made in Hong Kong as well. The same Spectraflame paint was used on Hot Birds as it was on Mattel’s Hot Wheels automobiles.
The planes, however, were only available in five colors: red, blue, green, gold/yellow, and magenta. In addition, not all models were available in every color because of how the paint was prepared at the factory.
As a result, similar colors also arrived in different hues.
Do Hot Wheel Planes Have Any Value?
Hot Wheels Planes or Hot Birds, usually released before the 1990s, are now valuable. This is especially true if you have the 1971 version of the first Hot Wheel Planes. This is due to their extreme rarity, making them valuable to collectors.
Furthermore, rare model planes such as the ones from Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunt are extremely valuable.
To be honest, the rarer something is, the more valuable it becomes. This helps to explain why humans kick stones around and store gold in vaults.
In a similar spirit, Hot Wheels Hot Birds are extremely difficult to come by, and most people are willing to pay a small fortune to own one.
For instance, with shipping, Mattel no. 2521 Shogun Action Vehicles Boxed costs roughly $131. Hot Birds were not as well received and were phased out after only a year.
Although others say that the Hotbird never “took off” for various reasons. This includes:
- Their expensive cost is due to the materials utilized.
- They were significantly larger and heavier than your average small toy.
- Unlike its automobiles, Hotbird model planes were more challenging to play with since they were constrained, but hot wheels cars could be played with almost everywhere.
All of this is to say, if you have the opportunity to gather them, take advantage of it. They’re fantastic! The color scheme is stunning. The scratchy fishing rope that served as your guide could be put up in your garage. However, it made a small whining sound.
The truth is, there are lots of Hot Wheels Collectors around, so you’ll not have a problem with selling these models.
The average Hot Wheels collector owns over 1,550 Hot Wheels cars. Between the ages of 5 and 15, the average child has 41 automobiles.
The Treasure Hunts, which aired in 1995, are widely credited with igniting the collecting frenzy. According to Mattel, 41 million youngsters spent their childhoods playing with toys. And there are approximately 50 “back loaders” reported to exist in the world as of 2018.
Recommended Read: Treasure hunt and the super treasure hunt Hot Wheels Plane are worth a lot of money. If you need a guide on identifying these rare Hot Wheels, check my other post, where I also shared some of my Treasure Hunts. Here is the link: Things to Look for When Buying Hot Wheels.
Who Designed Hot Wheels?
The original Hot Wheels Designer is Ryu Asada. Great automotive designers like him changed the world of replicas and models. His designs and thoughts gave life to many hot wheels models. He is responsible for many 1:64 scale Hot Wheels Replicas.
Ryu was born and raised in Osaka, Japan, in a car-obsessed household. His parents claimed that the only thing that kept him from crying as a kid was riding in his father’s 1970 Toyota Corolla.
His first car was a Honda Prelude from the second generation, including retractable headlights, a computerized dashboard, and an electric sunroof.
Some had the pleasure of knowing Ryu, the most upbeat person we’d ever met. According to them, Ryu began his nearly two-decade career at Mattel in 2004. He was responsible for transforming many of the Japanese automobiles we know and love into wonderfully proportioned and extremely detailed 1:64 scale replicas.
He maintained his typical cheerfulness and hopeful spirit throughout his four-and-a-half-year battle with a terrible and terrifying illness. He was usually up for a car conversation.
From 1978 until 2021, Ryu Asada lived an extraordinary life. He will be forever missed.
The First Hot Wheels Toy Inspired by a Fan
I want to end this post by proving how caring hot wheels are to their fans.
This is a story of the first Hot Wheels Toy Inspired by a Fan’s Custom Car that Is breathtaking.
A ceremony was held at Hot Wheels’ headquarters in El Segundo, California, to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary.
A tour of 15 North American locations by a team of Hot Wheels designers and executives invited enthusiasts to submit their home-built rides for consideration as the first-ever 1:64-scale Hot Wheels toy based on a real custom construction.
A total of 3600 automobiles were entered, and the best from each location were flown to Las Vegas for the SEMA exhibition last autumn, where a celebrity panel of judges collaborated with corporate designers to select the winner, the 2JetZ from New Jersey.
Rodriguez argues that he didn’t want to build a hot rod from scratch because he was a seasoned car builder before constructing the 2JetZ.
In a picture depicting a vehicle with a fighter jet-like cabin, the notion of 1950s and 1960s Bonneville Salt Flats racers with a large, fully exposed engine and four open wheels sticking out from the corners came to mind.
According to Rodriguez, after going through some conceptual art—a popular source of inspiration in the past. That’s exactly what he did after having approval from the artist to create it.
The “Z” in “2JetZ” is derived from a Nissan 300ZX’s structural foundation. “2JetZ” is a tribute to the “2Jet” bomber girl pinup girl who fought in the United States Air Force during World War II.
The vehicle was constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and assembled with rivets. LED lights are buried into the nose, while LED taillamps are mounted on the back edge of tiny winglets that resemble rear bumpers in their infancy.
We hope you had as much fun reading this post as I did writing it.
Mattel, an American toy company, originally designed Hot Wheels for children and young adults, but the products have also grown in popularity among adult collectors.
The Hot Wheels make model planes called Hot Birds, and they are rare, which makes them all the more valuable.
“Only the things I love”
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So, here are the things I love when taking care of my Diecast Models.
Cleaning the Models
The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.
- Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
- Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
- Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles because there are some hard brushes than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.
Cleaning and Shining Hacks
Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.
- Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
- Waxing and Polishing – Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Waxing protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
- Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can be hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
- Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different, especially in the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
- Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
- Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch-free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.
Painting the Models
Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.
- Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent your paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
- Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brushes to paint your models. Of course, you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
- Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than an ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
- Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
- Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
- Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
- Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.
Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.
- Acrylic Paint – Good for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
- Enamel Paint – Provides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.
- Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remain cool. Furthermore, they prevent light from reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
- Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dust won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.
So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.
Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.
You will also see me doing hands-on photography in that tutorial.