Matchbox vs Hot Wheels: Ultimate Tournament (Proof Who WIns)

Jimmy Boyera // Last Updated on October 4, 2022

Matchbox and Hot Wheels are two of the names that come to mind when I think about miniature toy cars. I used to love to play with these toys as a kid, and now I am thinking of collecting them. Whether you are thinking the same or you want toy cars for your kids, it's essential to know the differences between Matchbox vs Hot Wheels.

The most recognizable difference between the Matchbox and Hot Wheels is their appearances. Hot Wheels has fancy and stylish designs such as Turbo Flame, Twin Mill, Lamborghini, and etc. The Matchbox cars look more like real cars that run on the street.

There are a few more distinguishable features between the Hot Wheels vs Matchbox. Let's discuss this in detail, and then you can decide which brand you will choose.

Matchbox vs Hot Wheels: Quick Comparison

Features

Hot Wheels

Matchbox

Founded

1968

1953

Manufacturer

Mattel, Inc.

Mattel, Inc.

Appearance

Fancy

Realistic

Size

2.5 to 4 inches

2.5 to 3 inches

Speed

Faster

Fast

Scale

1:64

1:64 to 1:43

Price

Affordable

Expensive

Country

United States

United States

Recommended as

Toys

Collections

Matchbox vs Hot Wheels: Key Differences

Hot Wheels and Matchbox

Are matchboxes and hot wheels the same? It's a common question, and the answer is no. They share quite a few differences, and they are:

1. Style

The first and most visible difference between the matchbox and hot wheels is their style. Matchbox cars have a more realistic appearance. You may have seen some of these cars already on the street.

Hot Wheels cars have a more stylish and fantasy look. Plus, their sporty appearance is a favorite of collectors who love racing. The hot wheels include designs such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Twin Mill, Turbo Flame, and so on.

While both brands offer some of the most popular car miniatures, people often prefer to go with hot wheels for their appearance. Are hot wheels better than matchboxes in case of style? Yes, if only you are a sports fan.

2. Size

The matchbox vs hot wheels size difference is roughly the same. However, Matchbox usually comes in two different sizes while Hot Wheels follow uniform dimensions.

The Matchbox cars have two sizes that are smaller and larger. The smaller matchboxes are around 2.5 to 3 inches, and the larger models have a size of about 3.5 to 4 inches. Hot Wheels, on the other hand, offers cars with a size of 2.5 to 3 inches.

If you ask, are hot wheels and matchbox cars the same size? The answer will be both yes and no. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars have the same sizes for their smaller models, but only matchboxes offer larger car models.

3. Speed

Both hot wheels matchbox cars are push models. A little bit of push will give them a great speed to travel quite a distance.

Winner: From the matchbox vs hot wheels speed comparison, I can tell you hot wheels are faster than the matchboxes. Hot Wheels are faster because they have wider wheels and longer axles.

In some turns or models, matchbox cars may get ahead, but the majority of the time, Hot Wheels wins the race. Hot Wheels are all about speed and agility.

That's why earlier, I said they are excellent choices for racing lovers, kids, and adults. Kids can have fun with the cars, while collectors will be happy to collect some speedy car miniatures.

4. Scale

1:64 is the most common car miniature scale, and both matchbox and hot wheels follow the measurement. They are not always consistent, and some models use a 1:62 scale or close to that size.

However, matchbox vs hot wheels scale comparison also shows that the matchbox uses the 1:43 scale for its larger size models that I talked about earlier.

My opinion: If you ask which one is better, I will say it completely depends on your preferences. I like the 1:64 scale, and the brand doesn't matter here as both of them have similar scales.

5. Age

People of any age can have hot wheels and matchbox diecast cars. Whether you have a kid who loves to play with miniature vehicles or you are a passionate collector, both the matchbox and hot wheels are awesome options.

However, I think Hot Wheels are a better option for younger kids. That's because they have more fancy designs. The realistic look of the matchbox cars better suit the adults.

6. Price

Although the prices are similar, they have minor differences. If you want something affordable, Hot Wheels is the obvious choice. Matchbox, on the other hand, is slightly expensive.

7. Tracks

excellent toys for playing on tracks

Hot Wheels are excellent toys for playing on tracks. Although some matchboxes come with tracks, not all cars are track friendly.

The good thing is that the hot wheels vs matchbox tracks are interchangeable. Since both models are made by Mattel, the tracks for hot wheels are compatible with matchbox cars.

8. Origins

The first matchbox car was made by Lesney Products in the UK in 1953. Hot Wheels were made after 15 years in the USA by Mattel.

The companies have different origins, but now Mattel owns both Matchbox and Hot Wheels. Hence, you can go for either of the brands without worrying about their origins.

9. Refresh Rates

I always look for the latest products, whether buying for my kids or me. Hot Wheels usually introduce a higher number of newer models each year compared to the Matchbox.

It not only lets you play with the latest and unique designs but also offers you a wide range of options. There is no way you will not like at least one of their fresh car models.

Did Matchbox Cars Come in Matchboxes? 

The matchbox was first manufactured by Lesney Products. Jack Odell was one of the co-owners of Lesney who made the first miniature car that would fit inside a matchbox.

Odell's daughter's school only permitted toys in school that could fit inside a matchbox. He then made a miniature of Lesney's famous road roller toy and packed it inside a matchbox for his daughter. Soon the company made several other models designed to fit inside the matchbox.

Today, Matchbox cars do not come in matchboxes. They are packed with normal packages of paper and plastic. However, you can fit those little cars in a matchbox and carry them with you.

Are Matchbox Cars Worth More Than Hot Wheels?

Matchbox releases less models each year, and they have a low number of products in the market. That's why many people think they are more worthy than Hot Wheels, but that's not the case.

Matchbox cars are not worth more than Hot Wheels. The most expensive Matchbox car was around $13,000, while the most expensive Hot Wheels is worth $175,000.

How Can You Tell If A Matchbox is Rare? 

How Can You Tell If A Matchbox is Rare

If you have a lot of matchbox cars in your collection, you may want to know if it is rare. The rarer a car is, the more worthy it is.

Some of the factors that determine whether a Matchbox is rare or not are:

Age: Older Matchbox cars are rare today. Matchbox car models from the '50s or '60s are much more rare and valuable than cars from the '70s or '80s.

Variation: The ingredients Matchbox uses to make their cars is often changed with other materials. Such incidents are rare; thus, the cars are also rare and valuable.

Condition: The better the condition of your Matchbox car, the more valuable it is. The cars get stains or fade over time. But if your one is in good condition, it's worth it.

Packaging: If you still have the original packaging of the Matchbox car, then it will be more valuable. Keeping the original package by people is rare, and if you have it, it definitely makes your Matchbox special and rare.

Availability: Companies often introduce limited editions, and Matchbox does the same. If your car is such a special edition and not anymore available on the market, then it is rare and valuable.

Demand: Do your Matchbox car model unique, and everyone else wants to buy it? Then it is probably one of the rarest Matchbox cars.

Hot Wheels vs Matchbox: Detailed Overview

Now you know about the major differences between the matchbox vs hot wheels cars. But I don't think knowing only the matchbox and hot wheels difference is enough to reach a conclusion.

Hence, here's the detailed overview for both brand diecast cars:

Hot Wheels - Fancy Toys

The super stylish appearance of hot wheels makes them popular choices among kids and even to some adults. Plus, the plastic build quality is pretty good and durable too.

When I think of cars, I think of speed. The wheels and the axles in hot wheels are made in a way to get superior speed in tracks. There's no reason to fall in love with the performance of the Hot Wheels.

Hot Wheels have been in the market quite a few times and are one of the best-selling toy car brands today. They offer several popular models to choose from.

The top-selling Hot Wheels car models are:

1. Hot Wheels 10-Pack

If you want Hot Wheels toy cars for your kids, then the Hot Wheels 10 piece set can be a perfect choice. It comes with 10 different styles of cars, including sports cars, racer cars, muscle cars, trucks, etc.

Each of the car pieces is made with care by Mattel. Most Hot Wheels vehicles are manufactured in Asian countries, and this one comes from Thailand.

The recommended age for the Hot Wheels set is 3 years and up. That means it can be a perfect gift for your kids. I like how much Hot Wheels offers at this price.

The users have provided feedback on the model, saying the cars are extremely durable. They stay in good condition even after rough use by kids.

2. Hot Wheels City Robo T-Rex Ultimate Garage

If you are looking for more numbers of Hot Wheels cars with adventurous tracks, then the Hot Wheels City Robo T-Rex Ultimate Garage can be the best choice for your kid. Again, it's a great option as toys for kids over three years old.

The vertical tower can store up to 100 cars. Your kids can release the cars from the top of the tower and let them go through the hungry T-Rex. High speed and big jumps are the specialties of this set.

You may get worried about assembling the track but don't be scared. Users of the diecast car track set have said the track is pretty easy to assemble, and your kids alone can do it while having fun.

3. Hot Wheels Tesla 2021

If you are a diecast collector and looking for some excellent hot wheels cyber trucks, then the Hot Wheels Tesla 2021 is probably the best option right now. My favorite feature is its metal body which makes the vehicle highly durable.

Similar to other Hot Wheels cars, this one also comes with a scale of 1:64. It follows the Tesla 2021 design, and the miniature is impressive.

The price is slightly higher than the plastic hot wheels toys, but not too much. Plus, investing in Hot Wheels Tesla is totally worth it, in my opinion, considering it is metal made and has a special design.

Matchbox - Authenticity Matters

Matchbox - Authenticity Matters

Matchbox diecast cars follow real-life car designs. In other words, Mattel focuses on producing authentic car looks with their matchbox product lineup. In the case of quality, there is no compromise.

A few people complained that the wheels are sometimes tough to move, but that's rare and happens on only a few models. Apart from that, the overall plastic build quality is sturdy.

Similar to Hot Wheels, Matchbox also offers some of the best miniature car models on the market. Some of them are:

1. Matchbox 9-Packs 1:64 Scale Vehicles

If you want real-world replica car toys for your kids, then the Matchbox 9-packs vehicles can be a great choice. The set comes with 9-piece cars with a special extra piece that you will only get if you order from Amazon.

The plastic material Mattel used in this model is pretty sturdy and made for heavy-duty performance. Unlike Hot Wheels, this Matchbox car is made in China.

Most users and even I recommend this model for durability. Plus, the realistic truck designs look awesome too. These cars are perfect for both collection and playing.

2. Matchbox Maverick Top Gun Jet Wing Car Collection / Jeeps Mustang Vehicle

One of the best features of Matchbox is that they also have airplane miniatures besides the diecast cars. The special edition of Matchbox Maverick Top Gun comes with a jet wing and four different jeeps/trucks. It's the best offer from Matchbox for collections.

All the miniatures are made of metal and are extremely durable. The cars and the jet use a scale of 1:64, which is the standard size. Although matchbox sets are expensive, this one comes at a reasonable price, and anyone can afford the Matchbox Maverick Top Gun.

Matchbox cars vs hot wheels: Best Alternatives

The matchbox vs hot wheels quality cars are undoubtedly the best options in the market. But they have a few competitors who also offer a few good collections.

Maisto is one of the best diecast brands in the market, alongside the hot wheels and Matchbox. The comparison between the hot wheels vs matchbox vs maisto shows that Maisto follows trendy and modern designs for their cars.

For instance, Maisto has different miniature car models such as Porsche, Mustang, Bugatti, and so on. The yellow Maisto 1:24 SE 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS is my favorite. It has a scale of 1:24 and is larger than typical hot wheels or matchbox cars.

You also can get the Maisto 1:18 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. It's a special edition and a great choice for personal collections. The red Maisto is slightly expensive, but you will not regret paying the extra price once you get the car in your hands.

FAQs:

Question 1: Which are Better: Hot Wheels or Matchbox?

Answer: Both Hot Wheels and Matchbox are sold by the same manufacturer, and there is not a clear winner if you compare matchbox vs hotwheels. The decision to buy one depends on your personal preferences as both these brands have different designs.

Question 2: Which Came First, Hot Wheels or Matchbox?

Answer: Matchbox came in 1953 to the market while the Hot wheels were available first in 1968. That means Matchbox came first in the market. To be more specific, Hot Wheels came 15 years after the Matchbox.

Question 3: Are Matchboxes and Hot Wheels the Same?

Answer: As both matchbox and hot wheels are manufactured by the same company, Mattel, many people think they are the same. But the comparison between matchbox car vs hot wheels clearly shows they are not the same and have a lot of differences.

Question 4: Which Offers Better Matchbox vs Hot Wheels Value?

Answer: Both the matchbox and hot wheels offer excellent value. The hot wheels vs matchbox quality are pretty much the same, and though they have price differences, they are nearly the same. Overall, both brands focus on providing maximum value at a reasonable price.

Question 5: Does Hot Wheels Own Matchbox?

Answer: Hot Wheels does not own Matchbox, but both the companies have the same parent company, which is Mattel. Hot Wheels started its operations under Mattel, and later Mattel also bought the Matchbox.

HotWheels vs Matchbox, Why do You Prefer One Over the Other or do You Collect Both?

What is the difference between Hot Wheels and Matchbox

I collect both Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. They have their differences. Still, it's tough to choose only one.

Hot Wheels has more variation and fancy design. That's why I love Hot Wheels and want to have more of them in my collection.

Sometimes I also feel the need to have real miniature cars that I see on the road. In such cases, Matchbox gets my priority.

FInal Thought

I hope the comparison between hot wheels vs matchbox race toy car comparison helped you understand which is better hot wheels or matchbox. As you can see, the key difference is the appearance, and you can buy the one that suits your taste.

However, if you ask for my opinion, I will say the Hot Wheels are better as toys for kids, and the Matchbox cars are better for personal collections.

Related Articles:

About the Author Jimmy Boyera

Hi, I’m Jimmy Boyera. My journey as a big enthusiast of outdoor sports like biking and riding vehicles began with working in the automotive industry, where I got a certificate for an automotive expert.
Since, I have gained 10 years of automotive industry experience working as a dedicated and diligent automotive expert, registered with the Automotive Council.

I have owned plenty of sports cars, bikes, and power wheel rides on vehicles for kids over the years, matching different tests I hit daily.
When I began to get many questions from friends & family about riding toy cars for kids, I decided I can help a significant group by a blog, something like My Tiny Rider.

Besides, as I discussed the idea with my fellow automotive experts and child specialists who had the same interest, some of them weighed in & that is how My Tiny Rider became a reality.
My thorough, thoughtful, evidence-based approach has driven to a loyal patient following & rewarding and successful career as an automotive expert.

I welcomed the opportunity to join the My Tiny Rider Team as a platform to share my knowledge & experience.