Hot Wheels: 35 Years of Speed, Power, Performance, and Attitude
 
 
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Hot Wheels: 35 Years of Speed, Power, Performance, and Attitude [Hardcover]

Randy Leffingwell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Book Description

October 31, 2003
Silver Medal Winner at 2004 International Automotive Media Awards!In the 1960s, diecast cars and trucks were simple, stodgy, and clunky. They were hobby items, not toys, often displayed but seldom played with. They lacked "play value." Enter Mattel. In 1968 they introduced the first 18 Hot Wheels(tm) cars to the world. The vehicles were cool looking, they were well-detailed, and most of all, they could go like heck. Following the vision of a courageous leader and a creative group of designers, engineers, and marketers, Mattel revolutionized the diecast world with its 1/64th-scale cars on hot mag wheels that could move at speeds far beyond their competition.Thirty-five years and a few billion cars later, Hot Wheels(tm) cars are still number one. These junior racers are very hot collectibles and favorite toys for kids of all ages. Mattel celebrates the 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels(tm) in 2003, and author Randy Leffingwell takes you through their complete history from the early planning to the latest cars coming off the line. With full access to Mattel resources, including the top-secret Hot Wheels(tm) Design Center, Leffingwell reveals who made the cars go fast, who came up with the colors, the names, the logos, and the unique models. Interviews with more than 70 individuals-including Mattel founder and Hot Wheels(tm) creator Elliot Handler as well as legendary designers like Harry Bradley, Ira Gilford, and Larry Wood-allow the story to be told through the words of those who were there making Hot Wheels(tm) history. This highly illustrated book is filled with images of rare design drawings and prototypes, plus photos of all your favorite Hot Wheels(tm) cars., This book is the official, licensed, complete Hot Wheels(tm) history. , Illustrated with design drawings, photos of original wood molds and brass prototypes, and many other rare memorabilia from Hot Wheels(tm) history., Includes interviews and first-hand accounts from the people who were there from the very beginning as well as those who designed the cars.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Randy Leffingwell wrote his first book, American Muscle, in 1989 while still on staff at the Los Angeles Times. Since then, he has authored another 47 titles for Motorbooks and sister publisher Voyageur Press, including his most recent Complete Book of Porsche 911 and Corvette 60 Years.He has just finished Porsche 911: Fifty Years, a reexamination of the 911 story based on nearly two dozen new interviews. He lives in southern California, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: MBI (October 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760315736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760315736
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 10.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,609,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting for the casual collector December 23, 2003
By R. Wood
Format:Hardcover
This is a general overview of the creation and manufacture of Hot Wheels toy cars. Some rabid collectors will probably already know a lot, if not all, of the information in the book but I found it to be highly readable. There's not a lot of minute details but general information about the development and production of the early years. There is also some general information about Mattel's history.
For toy cars they put a lot of effort into creating them and to this day it still shows. They have held up well and are still like little trophies to me. There are some details that elude the end of the story, like one engineer that volunteered to work on a no salary/percentage of production basis. They never explained what the end result of that bargain was other than it worked well for him in the long run.
Other information like the development of the wire axles, Delrin bearings and the patents involved really took me by surprise. I had no idea how involved it was to create these little gems and what a chance they took in producing them. I am even more impressed with the toys after reading this book. It really was a labor of love to some extent. I also never realized that Elliot Handler's wife was the primary force behind Barbie.
Anyone with even a casual interest in the toys and persons involved would probably find the information in this book to be insightful. I enjoyed it immensely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue book February 3, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Hot Wheels were a major pastime for me growing up and I'm surprised this book didn't appear sooner. The wealth of information and anecdotes on how this toy came to be made the book very entertaining to read. While quite knowledgeable about his subject, the author made a number of factual errors regarding automotive history (I work in the industry) and was vague about some of the actual dates during the first few years of Hot Wheels production. Still, the good photography and artwork have made this one of my favorite books!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, perfect for a collector or car lover January 16, 2004
By Tala
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 8 yr old that has every car I think that has ever been made by hotwheels(these include my old cars from when I was a kid). This book was wonderful. He loved seeing all the cars he has and some that he needs to get. This book was very well put together and will be an asset to any car collector or car lovers collection. Alot of information and wonderful photos inside.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It tells a very good story on mattel's hotwheels cars and accessories from past and present empolyees at mattel .
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