In 1966 Jack Ryan, Harvey LaBranch and Howard Newman were Mattel’s top designers selected to form the Toy-Car Development Team. They then recruited Harry Bradley designer of the Deora Show car to join them thus completing the Mattel Toy Design Team.
WHAT WERE THE 5 MAIN POINTS OF DESIGN MATTEL REQUIRED FOR THIS NEWTOY?
1. Must have a California look – “rake” big rear tire, smaller front tire
2. Hood scoops
3. Exposed and chromed exhaust headers
4. Mag wheels / red stripes
5. Exciting ‘candy-colored’ paint jobs
Upon completion of several proto-type cars, Mattel staff members were used to test race these new diecast cars to confirm which one would meet the goal of ‘fastest car on the market’.
The team soon found that the key components to having the fastest cars were the plastic wheels and metal axel design. Not only did this give the cars speed but also gave them durability. The team had not only met the first 5 requirements but also met their overall goal of designing and producing a new toy that would be the fastest diecast car on the market.
The result was the birth of Hot Wheels – pretty much as we know them today – with the name Hot Wheels being coined by team-member Jack Ryan. All of this took place in 1967 with actual production and delivery to the retail market taking place in 1968.
CAUTION: KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!!!
The original Hot Wheels ‘Red Lines’ are extremely collectible with some bringing a very high price. If ‘Red Line’ Hot Wheels are your passion, enjoy but exercise caution when buying cars since the original ‘Red Line’ Hot Wheels of 1968 are now being re-issued with little to tell them apart.