Which is better: Hot Wheels or Matchbox?

If you love diecast cars, this question ought to have invaded your mind which is better hot Wheels or matchbox cars. Mattel’s two are iconic cars, but they differ, hence making one better than the other.

Choosing which is better among Hot Wheels and Matchbox depends on your preferences. If you prefer a car model with a sporty look such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, then you may choose Hot Wheels. For more realistic car models, then matchbox cars are better.

In this blog post, you will learn which is better Hot Wheels or Matchbox. As there is a direct answer to this question, we’ll look at the differences between the two types of Diecast cars, and from there, we will conclude which one is better.

Difference between Hot Wheel and matchbox cars

Here are the differences between Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars:

Hot WheelsMatchbox Cars
Release Date19681957
Build QualityWider wheels and long axlesFewer Modifications
Difference in ModelMore Sporty Look ModelsMore Realistic Looking
DetailsLess Attention to DetailMore Attention to Detail
Price CheaperMore Expensive
Performance as ToyBetter as a ToyBetter for Collection
Differences between Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars

Hot Wheel and Matchbox Cars differ in terms of features. After understanding these features that distinguish these two cars, you will learn which one you would prefer over the other, but those are iconic cars you can find in the market up to date.

Release Date

One of the distinguishing features between these two types of cars is when they were released. Hot Wheels was first released to the market in 1968. There was the release of iconic Hot Wheels cars, which led to people loving the brand.

It was until 1997 when Mattel got full ownership of the Hot Wheels. After acquiring full ownership, there was an improvement in the car design and limitation on production. As a result, it led to Hot Wheels being sought highly by the collectors.

Matchbox cars, on the other hand, were released in 1957 under Lesney products. They were leased 11 years earlier than hot wheels implying they had dominated the market. Additionally, it means if you have matchboxes released before 1968, they are more valuable than hot wheels.

Build Quality

The matchbox and Hot Wheels cars also differ in terms of how they are built. Unlike today cars are built using plastic tires, and the whole body is plastic with the only addition of diecast metal where necessary. The old models of both cars were built differently.

The old Hot Wheels models were built in a way that they had wider wheels and long axles. As a result, it led to the wheels having to stick out, which was not the case with Matchbox cars.

The old Matchbox cars design featured real-life cars like trucks and buses. They were designed without modification other than to depict how real cars look like.

Differences in Models

Designs from Hot Wheels and Matchbox differ in terms of models. Hot wheels saw the manufacturing of sportier-driven models like Lamborghini, Ferrari among other models featuring high speed.

Matchbox models were less sporty. Most of the cars manufactured under the matchbox brand were planes, service and utility vehicles, and military equipment. Even if both brands created the same car model, there were distinguishing features.

Price and quality

In terms of price, Hot Wheel cars are cheaper than Matchbox cars. The price difference is that hot wheels are of low quality, such that most models are made up of plastic, and their price is usually cheaper.

Matchbox car’s price is high that the quality is better than the hot wheels, and the manufacturer is keen on details.

Performance as Toy

When the two brands are compared in terms of performance, hot wheel cars are the best. The designer had stunt play in mind.

The matchbox cars designer ventured into variants way behold the cars, for example, various aircraft under the sub-brand “Skybusters.”

How did Hot Wheels Beat Matchbox

The reason how Hot Wheels beat matchbox cars is that hot wheels changed their car design and started using thin metal strings and low drag. Also, they bent axles slightly, creating something resembling suspension that’s better than Matchbox’s design.

Another important question for better understanding which is better Hot Wheels or Matchbox is to know when and what led to Hot wheels beating matchbox despite dominating the market for 11 years before releasing hot wheels.

In this section, I’ll walk you through a brief history of these two car brands and get to when and what happened and Hot Wheels Beat Matchbox.

In the 1960s, the best toy cars brand was the matchbox, and the British company manufactured them. On the other hand, hot wheel manufacturers tried all means to know why they are making the best cars. They set up a team to gather details on all designs and strategies used by Matchbox.

Among the reason, why Matchbox was better than hot wheel cars is because, during production, narrow metal wheels and thick metal axles were used. On the other hand, Hot Wheels manufacturers produced cars with wide plastic wheels to reduce friction. Additionally, the designer included the guitar design.

However, later hot wheels changed their car design and started using thin metal strings and low drag, which reduced the cost, making them produce more cars.  More so, the manufactured bent axles slightly, thus creating something resembling suspension.

These changes made Hot wheels cars have the speed matching their look. These strategies resulted in the beating of Matchbox. They were readily available in the market since production was high and the cost was decreased. Besides, they were speedy cars which attracted many people.

Which is better Hot Wheels or Matchbox?

Hot Wheels is better than matchbox cars if we are talking about sporty looks for a car model. However, if we are talking about attention to detail, Matchbox would be better because it looks more realistic. Whichever is better will depend on your preference.

Back to the major question of which is better, Hot Wheels or Matchbox, there is no direct answer. Both the diecast cars and almost look similar.

However, Matchbox cars were released earlier before hot wheels. It means if you have older matchbox cars released before 1968, they are worth a lot of money compared to hot wheel cars.

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Another factor in determining which is better, Hot Wheels or Matchbox, is your care preference. The matchbox cars manufacturer focuses on the production of cars and Lorries, while hot wheels focus on producing sportier car models.

Also, the prices of these cars differ and can help determine which one is better for you. So as you can see, there is no direct answer to the latter as everyone has a preference, and there are other factors that influence the liking of one brand over the other.


Hot wheels and matchboxes are iconic and diecast cars today manufactured by Mattel company. They are cool cars to add to your collection. If you have been wondering which brand is better than the other, you now clearly understand their distinguishing factors with the table I’ve provided.

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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