Hot Wheels is a brand of 1:64 scale (and later 1:43 scale) die cast toy car, introduced by American toymaker Mattel in 1968. It was the primary competitor of Matchbox until 1996, when Mattel bought Tyco, the then owner of Matchbox. Many automobile manufacturers have licensed Hot Wheels to make scale models of their cars, allowing the use of original design blueprints. Although originally marketed to children, they have become popular with adult collectors, to whom limited edition models are now made available. Hot Wheels are die-cast model vehicles manufactured by Mattel and were introduced in 1967. Originally the cars and trucks were manufactured to approximately 1:64 scale and designed to be used on associated Hot Wheels track sets. By 1972, however, a series of 1:43 scale 'Gran Toros' made by Mebetoys in Milan, Italy, were introduced. More recently, a range of highly detailed adult collector vehicles, including replicas of NASCAR and Formula One cars, have found success.
Contributions by Ultrabasurero, Robinator, and Karrmann.