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Fascinating New Hot Wheels Book Chronicles Toy Cars’ 50-Year History

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Review and summary of "Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale"

Hot Wheels From 0 to 50 at 1-64 Scale Book Review Kris Palmer Motorbooks

Few toys have been so integral to childhoods and treasured by collectors as Mattel’s Hot Wheels. Synonymous with die-cast miniature model cars, the Hot Wheels brand is as popular today as it was when it debuted 50 years ago. As the toy line celebrates five decades of orange track adventures, Motorbooks and author Kris Palmer have partnered with Mattel to publish an officially licensed retrospective. Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale from its inception into the 21st century — supplemented numerous rare photos.

Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale
By Kris Palmer

Hot Wheels From 0 to 50 at 1-64 Scale Book Review Kris Palmer Motorbooks die cast toysProduct Details: Hardcover, 160 pages, 6-inches by 9-inches
Price: $40.00
Publication Date: September 2018
ISBN: 9780760360309
Publisher: Motorbooks, an imprint of Quarto Knows
Website: https://www.quartoknows.com/Motorbooks


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Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale: Summary and Review

Hot Wheels From 0 to 50 at 1-64 Scale Book Review Kris Palmer Motorbooks modelling pages

Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale consists of five chapters: “Rising to the Challenge,” detailing the company’s launch of the toys; “Speed by Design,” disclosing the design techniques used to produce the scale models; “Production Goes Global,” outlining Hot Wheels’ cross-licensing and modernization; “Beyond Cars,” spotlighting the brand’s track sets and forays into other media; and “Fans for Life,” celebrating its die-hard fan culture. At the conclusion is a timeline outlining Hot Wheels’ milestones over the past 50 years.

Based its layout on the pages, the actual body text is secondary to the pictures, designating it as a true coffee table book. Palmer does share many interesting behind-the-scenes insights into the science and design of Hot Wheels models. But, often the sentences are overly long and verbose, reading like a textbook. It’s not a publication that you’ll read cover-to-cover, but rather one that’s suited to flipping through and learning interesting facts while you browse the images.


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Hot Wheels From 0 to 50 at 1-64 Scale Book Review Kris Palmer Motorbooks memorabilia vintage

Visually, the design of the book captures the style of the Hot Wheels brand, utilizing its orange-and-blue color scheme throughout. Its photographs are — as much as possible — printed in high-resolution, vivid colors and given plenty of space on the page. The cherry on top is the book’s vinyl carrying case that resembles the original containers from early Hot Wheels days.

The highlights of Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale include insight into how the company perfected the cars’ shape and movement using slow-motion cameras and rocket science. Of course, most readers will be more than happy pointing out the many Hot Wheels products they recognize from their childhood.

Steeped with nostalgia, Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale captures the excitement fans have for the die-cast cars through rare photos and striking diagrams. While its written contents may not evoke the same verve, the book more than makes up for it in charm and design quality.


Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale is available through the publisher’s websiteAmazon, and other retailers.

Product provided for review by publisher.

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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.