What is the reason why Hot Wheels are cheap?

When you compare hot wheels cars with other brands in the market, you get to wonder why they are cheap. What makes these classic brand sell their cars so cheap today is something car collectors wonder about and would like to know the reasons.

Hot Wheels are cheap because they have reduced the cost to produce a hot wheel. For one, they started to automate the process of production which means that labor costs are minimized. Another is that they started to outsource their labor to other countries which provide cheap labor cost.

You’ll find this article useful as we try to find out the reasons why hot wheels are cheap. More so, we will try to figure out if hot wheels are worthy despite being cheap and if you have collected these hit cars are worthy anymore.

It is important to note that the hot wheels manufacturer started reducing its car price in the 1970s. Mattel, the hot wheel manufacturer, started reducing their car price when they started not manufacturing their car body made of metal around the mid-1970s.

Before the new approach to manufacturing the hot wheels, they were usually made of a complex pretzel-shaped metal axle, plastic wheel bearings, and press-on wheels. The latter changed, and today the car body is made up of plastic, and this reduced the cost of production hence leading to hot wheel becoming cheap.

Why are hot wheels so cheap?

Many people get to ask why hot wheels are so cheap, and out of our research, we have established few changes which took place and led to the hot wheels card becoming cheap compared to the classic hot wheels cars.

Hot wheels are becoming cheap because their production is high. They also buy raw materials in bulk making it cheaper. Furthermore, their production is now fully automated with robots almost doing every job reducing labor costs. This makes production faster and cheaper.

1. Hot Wheels’ Production is high

In the 1970s, the production of hot wheels was limited, however it is not the same as today.

The market today is flooded with hot wheel cars. It is a strategy adopted by Mattel where they produce many hot wheels cars hence, reducing the production cost.

Because they are creating more, the supply will be up and the cost will go down. They can even buy more raw materials reducing the cost to manufacture the car. Through reduction on cost, even the car value reduces hence making hot wheel car cheap.

2. Hot Wheels’ Production is now very Automated

The other factor which has led to hot wheels being cheap is that Mattel has automated the production of the cars. Today the company automates the production through approaches like injection molding, use of plastic, and casting the metal bodies.

3. Hot Wheels are now out-sourcing to lower labor cost

To further lower down the cost, the company has its cars manufactured in foreign countries where the labor is cheap.

Almost all hot wheels cars are assembled in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and other places where labor is cheap. The reason to have them assembled anywhere else other than the United States is that labor is expensive in the US.

4. Hot Wheels started to change the material used to make the car

Before the mid-1970s, hot wheel cars models have a body that was made of metal. They were more expensive compared to today’s plastic-made hot wheels cars.  

Also, a reduction in the material used to make the cars was done. Less metal is being used in production. and then they add more plastic.  Other requirements are to paint the car and chrome-like plating.

Compared to the hot wheels car manufacturers in the 1960s, the two versions are now completely different, and so the price is different. Today, hot wheels’ production cost has been reduced so much making them very cheap.

Conclusively, the production of hot wheels has led to them becoming cheap. It cost the company a few cents in terms of the material needed to produce a car.

The labor is cheap, and packaging the car is also cheap; this is why they will sell their car at a cheap price. It should not be anyone to wonder why hot wheel cars are cheap, as you know now.

Are Hot Wheels Worth Any Money?

Hot Wheels that are manufactured in the 90s below are now worth a lot of money. This is because old hot wheels are made with good quality materials and attention to detail. Today, hot wheel cars that feature redlines are also becoming expensive and are now collection-worthy.

If you have collected the hot wheels, you may wonder if they are worth any more, considering they are cheap cars today. The good news is that if you have collected the 1950s hot wheels cars, they are worth a huge amount today.

For instance, the holy grail of Hot Wheels collectibles manufactured in 1968 and came with white enamel paint is worth up to $100,000.

These 1960 hot wheel cars are worthy because the manufacturing was different from today’s wheel manufacturing. If you have a collection of the 190s hot wheel, wipe their dust and keep them safe as they are worth a lot that you can imagine. Interesting, as time moves on, some years to come, the value will even go higher.

Another hot wheel car that is worth money today is the one that is featuring redlines. These cars were manufactured in 1968, and today they cannot be found in the market. If you have a collection of these red lines cars, they are worth a lot of money.

If you are wondering how to know if your hot wheels are worth collecting, then I made an article discussing that. I also included the rarest hot wheels in case you have one. Here is the link: Are Hot Wheels worth collecting?

How do I know if my Hot Wheels are Valuable?

The easiest way to know if your hot wheels are valuable is to check the auction. In there, you can see transactions, and then you can see the highest bid price for the model you have. But generally speaking, hot wheels that are made in the 90s below are very valuable.

If you were a collector of the hot wheels made in the 1960s, then you know it is a worthy car by now. No matter what prompted you to do the collection, these hot wheel cars are worth a lot of money.

Hearing this, you would like to know your hot wheel collection value.

It is easy to determine the hot wheel collection value. Visit eBay and have a look at the completed transaction and then pick the highest and lowest sale price from there to determine your collection market price value.

You can also check online for people looking to buy classic hot wheel cars to overview the values. It is important to do thorough research before concluding on the value of your hot wheel collection.


The hot wheel cars today are cheap in the market for various reasons we have discussed above. The main reason why they are cheap is that the manufacturers chose to change how they were manufactured as early as the 1970s, and due to the fact, the production is cheap, so is the selling price.

However, it is not the case if you own a hot wheel that was manufactured in the 1960s. The value of that 1960 hot wheel car is worth a lot of money in the market today. If you are interested in selling your collection, people search for that classic hot wheel car and pay handsomely.

What’s next? Do you know the things to look for when buying Hot Wheels? How would you know if what you’re buying is really valuable? I made a guide with the things to look for when buying to get the most out of your hard-earned money. Here is the link: What to look for when buying hot wheels?

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.

Removing Dust

  1. Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
  2. Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
  3. 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.

  1. Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Painting Tools

Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  1. Acrylic PaintGood for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
  2. Enamel PaintProvides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.

Model Maintenance

Model Storage

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Model Photography

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.

Here is the link: How to Take Pictures of a Diecast Model or Model Kit | Helpful Illustrated and Video Guide

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