The Postal Service recently released Hot Wheels stamps to honor the 50th anniversary of the miniature die-cast cars. To mark the occasion, here are six factoids, courtesy of Mattel Inc.
1. Hot Wheels were an instant hit. Elliot Handler, Mattel’s co-founder, challenged a design team that included a General Motors car designer and a rocket scientist to create a line that could outperform other toy cars. The team came up with Hot Wheels, which were popular right from the start.
2. Every second, 16.5 Hot Wheels cars are produced. Since 1968, more than 6 billion Hot Wheels cars have been sold. That’s more than the number of cars that have been manufactured and sold by the Big Three automakers since the start of the auto industry.
3. The average American child owns 50 Hot Wheels. The price of a Hot Wheels car is around $1 — the same as it cost in 1968.
4. The scale of the die-cast Hot Wheels cars is 1:64. Placed end to end, all Hot Wheels produced would circle Earth more than 40 times.
5. Hot Wheels has produced more than 20,000 different car designs. The most valuable Hot Wheels car design is the 1969 Rear-Loader Volkswagen Beach Bomb, worth almost $150,000 each. There are only 40 known units in existence today.
6. The iconic Hot Wheels orange track has stayed the same for 50 years. Mattel makes more than 6,000 miles of track every year.
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