A quick note: the following information pertains to users with at least Contributor access. If you're interested in getting involved and wish to contribute to the hobbyDB database, check out our article on different ways to help out! We'd love to have you onboard!

Hot Wheels models have unique identifying characteristics with subtle information that allows collectors to identify exactly which car is which. 

We’ve established these standards and conventions for Hot Wheels data entry to keep everyone on the same page and maintain consistent and relevant data on each model. If you have any questions or suggestions for these standards, feel free to contact us or post in the Volunteer Squad Facebook group.

If you add or edit Hot Wheels items, please read and follow these standards! Some of these standards may apply to other model car brands as well.

The Hot Wheels Bone Shaker model


Adding a Hot Wheels Car

Always search for the model and use New -> Add Variant button to create a new entry if other releases of the casting already exist in the database. 

Note: If you save a new item and get an "empty garage" (404) error, do not go back and save the item again. This will most likely result in a duplicate database entry. If you get that errorjust wait a minute or two and refresh the page. Your new item should be visible at that point.

Variants and Subvariants

With the exception of new castings, every Hot Wheels model will have Variants and most will have Subvariants (Subvariants are items with only minor differences, such as a different wheel type or a different packaging style). Only add the model as a Variant to database entries for the exact same casting. Even if two models have the same name, if they are not the same casting they should not be Variants.

Learn more about creating new items, including Variants and Subvariants.

Learn more about Subvariants


Customs are added as a Variant of the original casting. The customizer's name should be set as the Brand instead of Hot Wheels. See our All Customs help page for more info.


The Main Photo should ideally be the car in its original packaging and the Show on Search Photo should be a photo of the loose car without any packaging. Both photos should have white (or even better, transparent) backgrounds if possible. The goal is to show the item as clearly and simply as possible. Subvariants should also have a Subvariant Photo to spotlight what makes them different from the other Subvariants.

There is no limit on how many photos a Database Item can have. It's great to have additional photos—a pic of the card back, multiple angles of the loose car, and artistry photos are all great to add!

Third-Party Photos

Only upload images you have permission from the copyright holder to use on hobbyDB. If you add an image created by anyone other than yourself, you must credit them in the Courtesy of field. Don't add your own hobbyDB Member Name to that field—your hobbyDB account will automatically be credited as the uploader in the image gallery.

  • Stock photos from Mattel are always okay to use (just credit them to Mattel).

  • We also have permission from the Hot Wheels Newsletter to use their photos on hobbyDB. The photos of loose cars in their casting list are perfect to use as our Show on Search Photos. Credit these photos to "Hot Wheels Newsletter" or "hwnewsletter.com".

Learn more about photos here.

Item Names

The name of the Database Item is very important since it's the primary way the model will be identified in the database. Follow the guidelines below, and read more about Names & Alternative Names here.


Always enter the name exactly as it's printed on the car's package. If the packaging doesn't have a name on it, use the name on the base of the car or the common casting name. Please do not use unofficial names or descriptions like "’34 with missing tampo" or "Limited Edition" in the item name.

Alternative Name

If the item's packaging has a different name from the normal casting name, add it here. For example, the standard name for the model called "Mom's Pro '34" is "3-Window '34".  "Mom's Pro '34" would be the primary Item Name and "3-Window '34" would be the Alternative Name.


Adding the proper Subjects to database items helps keep the database organized by grouping related items together.


In general, the Brand field should always contain Hot Wheels only. Customs are the exception; see the section on Customs above.


A Series is a group of products designated by the brand. Items in a Series often share a theme, scale, or other similar characteristics.

A basic Mainline car should always have Mainline and its Segment Series/Mini Collection (such as "First Editions" or "HW Flames") listed in the Series field. Do not include the year in the Series name since we can filter by year within Series Subjects.

This field is used to associate the item with other applicable Subjects. These Subjects are shown on search results and can be used to filter searches. Some common Related Subjects are the make of the real-life car, the Hot Wheels model's designer, and livery or sponsors.

Learn More about Subjects

Other Data Fields

It is important to put the right data in each field and format it correctly. This is a list of all other data fields on the new item form with a description of what to enter in each. It might look a bit overwhelming, but if you follow along when you add a new Database Item it should be manageable, and you'll get the hang of it in no time. Feel free to ask questions if you get stuck!

  • Model: This is the model name of the real-life car. For example, the "Volkswagen 'Classic Bug'" casting would have "Beetle" in this field. This field can be left blank for fantasy models (i.e. no need to repeat the Item Name here).

  • Body Type: Sedan, convertible, SUV, etc. Select as appropriate.

  • Production Status: This provides a number of classifications from which you can select. Use only the following statuses for Hot Wheels:
    • Chase - Regular Treasure Hunt cars. Super Treasure Hunt cars should use "Super Chase".

    • Custom - Please read our general guidelines for customized items.

    • Error - Factory production mistakes, such as wrong wheel types, wrong card, missing decoration, etc.

    • Exclusive - Exclusive to a certain retailer, such as Target or Walmart.

    • Limited Edition - Items advertised as having a limited production run, usually marked "Limited Edition" on the packaging.

    • Premium - Collector-oriented models such as Hot Wheels Boulevard, Red Line Club cars, and Team Transport. Do not use "Deluxe".

    • Promotional - Items given away as part of a promotion, for example, cars included in cereal boxes or McDonald's Happy Meals, and cars only available through a mail-in campaign. Do not use Promotional for store-exclusive series or recolors.

    • Prototype - Pre-production models.

    • Regional - Only released in a specific country or region, for example, Japanese Mainline cars or CIPSA Redlines.

    • Set Exclusive - Only available in a multipack, track set, or play set.

    • Standard - Regular production items without any other Production Status (Mainline cars).

    • Super Chase - Super Treasure Hunts.

  • Released: Unless there is a specific advertised release date, just enter the year the item was released in or intended for. The next year's Mainline cars usually start appearing in stores in the fourth quarter of the year, so even though 2016 cars could be found in late 2015 they are still considered to be released in 2016.

  • Discontinued: If the car was produced for multiple years (uncommon for Hot Wheels) enter the last year of production here. Otherwise, leave this field blank.

  • # Produced: Enter how many examples of the item were produced, if known. For example, many Redline Club models have a sticker on the card back that says how many were made.

  • Made in: Enter the country/region where the car was made, usually embossed on the baseplate or printed on the packaging. The only currently known options for Hot Wheels are China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau/Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, United States, and Venezuela.

  • Scale: Enter the scale. Most Hot Wheels cars are approximately 1/64 scale, but Hot Wheels have also been produced in other scales, such as 1/18, 1/24, 1/43, 1/50, and 1/87. These scales are often not exact; for example, most diecast cars referred to as 1/64 scale are really just scaled down to approximately 3 inches to fit in the standard packaging. Unless the exact scale is specified on the model or its packaging, just select the closest standard scale.

  • Material: Choose the vehicle body's primary material (not the baseplate). Select either "--Diecast Metal/Mazak" or "Plastic" as appropriate. There is no need to select both Metal and Diecast Metal.

  • Color: Enter the primary body color and paint type. Example: A 1968 Redline release could include “Spectraflame” and “Red”. A newer car may have "Metallic" and "Red", or "Flat" and "Black". Unpainted cars are "ZAMAC". Enter only the primary body color (or colors, if the car has a two-tone paint scheme). Do not list every color used in the decoration.

  • Decoration: Describe any decoration details such as a “Fire Dept.” decal, “Orange & Blue stripes on sides and hood”, "Detailed headlights and taillights", etc. 
    • In general, use proper sentence capitalization—color names and the part of the car where the decoration is present do not need to be capitalized. 
    • If you're transcribing text printed on the car, enclose the text in double quotation marks (" ") and match the capitalization used on the model.

  • Features: Select any special features the car has. Some common examples are "Rubber Tyres" and "Opening Hood". You can select multiple features by holding the Control key (PC) or Command key (Mac) while you click on each feature in the list. Features can also be deselected by holding Control or Command while clicking.

  • Packaging Details: Enter a brief description of the blister card or other packaging type such as “International Short Card”, “Snowflake Card”, different styles such as “2004-style card” or “Red car on card artwork”, or "Acrylic display case".

  • Reference #: Enter the collector number and the series number (if applicable). For consistency, these formats must be used (note the position of spaces, the # symbol, and commas): 
    1. The reference number for a mainline car with no segment series, such as the #714 Talbot Lago from 1997 would be entered as
      Collector # 714
      Note the space on both sides of the # symbol.

    2. The reference number for a mainline car that was part of a Segment Series/Mini Collection, like the Dodge Van from the HW 55 Race Team series, would be entered as
      Collector # 066/250, Series # 2/5
      Again, note the spaces around the # symbol and the comma placement. Do not enter the year or series name in the Reference # field.

    3. Use leading zeros to make the number of digits match on both sides of the /. For example, "002/250" instead of "2/250" and "05/10" instead of "5/10" (this helps with sorting).

      A graphic showing where to find the Collector Number and Series Number on a Hot Wheels blister card.
  • Manufacturer ID: Enter the Mattel Toy Number (SKU) from the packaging. Almost every Mattel product will have an alphanumeric Toy Number listed on the packaging, and since the mid-1990s they always have five digits (sometimes all numbers, sometimes a mix of letters and numbers).

    For recent releases, the Toy Number can usually be found on the back of the card's J hook:
    A graphic showing the location of the Mattel Toy Number on the back of a Hot Wheels blister card.
    Including that number makes searching hobbyDB for a Toy Number a great way to find a specific Mattel product.

  • UPC: Enter the 12-digit barcode number found on the package including the leading and trailing check digits and without spaces or dashes. Even though the number is printed with spaces, barcode scanners like the hobbyDB Vision App read it as a single string with no spaces.

  • Alternate UPC: Some recent Hot Wheels cars have been released in different assortments with different UPCs. If the only difference to the packaging is the UPC and assortment code, add the second UPC to this field. If there are other differences (such as USA vs. International card) add the car as a Subvariant instead.

  • Description: Enter any other details about the car that aren’t covered above and/or describe what makes the car different from a normal release. Please use complete sentences and proper capitalization and punctuation. 
    • Details already specified in other data fields should not simply be listed in the Description.

    • If the model has a date code, like "R48", on the baseplate, that can be entered here.
    • It can also be useful to note the casting's copyright year.

    • Marketing language from Mattel can be entered or copied/pasted into the Description, but it should be clearly marked as such so it doesn't conflict with our neutral point of view policy.

    • Do not copy and paste directly from other reference websites such as a wiki or blog.

If you have any additional questions, ask away in the hobbyDB Volunteer Squad Facebook group, or contact us using the button above. Thanks for helping build the best and most complete Hot Wheels database on the Internet!