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

Hot Wheels have their own unique identifying characteristics. Each model has subtle information that allows collectors to identifying exactly which car is which. 

To help us maintain consistent and relevant data on each casting we’ve created a list of Hot Wheels data entry standards to keep everyone on the same page. 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.

  1. Adding New Cars (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). Customs are added as a Variant of the original casting, but the customizer's name should be set as the brand instead of Hot Wheels. See our All Customs help page for more info.

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

    More on how to create new items, including Variants and Subvariants here.

    More info on Subvariants:
  2. Images: 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 ideally have white (or even better, transparent) backgrounds. The goal is to show the item as clearly and simply as possible.Subvariants should have a Detail Photo to show the differences between Subvariants.

    There isn't a limit on how many photos a Database Item can have. It's great to have additional photos of the card back, multiple angles of the loose car, and artistry photos.

    Only add images you have permission from the copyright holder to add. More on photos here.

  3. Name: 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 custom names like "3-Window" or "’34 with missing tampo". More information on Item Names here.

  4. Alternate Name: If the item's packaging has a different name from the normal casting name, add it here. Example: If the name on the card is “Mom’s Pro ’34” from the Mother’s Wax exclusive, you would enter “3-Window ’34” (standard name for the casting) as the Alternate Name.

  5. Brand: This should always be Hot Wheels (unless it's a custom, for more on those see here).

  6. Series: This is the most powerful field as it places the item on related pages on the site. A Series is a group of products made by the same manufacturer, linked by being the same type of item and frequently by theme, scale or similar characteristics.
    • A mainline car should have "Mainline" and its segment series (such as "First Editions" or "HW Flames") listed. Do not include the year in the Series name since we can filter by year within series lists.

  7. Related Subjects: This field is for associating the item with any 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, casting designer, and livery or sponsors.

  8. 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).

  9. Body Type: Sedan, convertible, SUV, etc.

  10. 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 a having a limited production run, usually marked "Limited Edition" on the packaging.
    • Premium - Collector-oriented models such as Hot Wheels Boulevard, RLC, 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. Do not use Promotional for store-exclusive recolors.
    • Prototype - Pre-production models.
    • Regional - Only released in a specific country or region, for example Japanese Mainlines 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Discontinued: If the car was produced for multiple years (uncommon for Hot Wheels) enter the last year of production here. Otherwise this field can be left blank.

  13. # Produced: Enter the number of items that were produced, if known. Example: 2014 Gulf Drag Bus from the RLC had 4,000 produced. 

  14. 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, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, United States, and Venezuela.

  15. Scale: Enter the scale. Standard scales Hot Wheels are 1/18, 1/24, 1/43, 1/50, 1/64 or 1/87. These 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.

  16. Material: Choose the vehicle body's primary material. Select either "--Diecast Metal/Mazak" or "Plastic" as appropriate. There is no need to select both "Metal" and Diecast Metal.

  17. Color: Enter the primary paint color(s) and paint type for the body. 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(s). Do not list every color used in the decoration.

  18. Decoration: Describe any decoration details such as a “Fire Dept.” decal, “Orange & Blue stripes on sides and hood”, "Detailed headlights and taillights", etc.

  19. Features: Add any additional features from the list. You can select multiple features by holding the Control key (PC) or Command key (Mac) while you click on each feature in the list.

  20. Packaging Details: List any card or packaging variations such as “International Short Card”, “Snowflake Card” or different styles such as “2004-style card” or “Red car on card artwork”.

  21. 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, like the '49 Volkswagen Beetle Pickup from the 2020 Rod Squad series, would be entered as:
      Collector # 095/250, Series # 02/10
      Again, note the spaces around the # symbol and the comma placement. Do not enter the year or series name in the Reference # field. 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).

  22. 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:Mattel Toy Number on the back of a Hot Wheels blister card
    Searching hobbyDB for a Toy Number is actually a great way to find a specific Mattel product on hobbyDB.
  23. UPC: Enter the 12 digit barcode number found on the package including the leading and trailing check digits and without spaces or dashes.

  24. 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.

  25. 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 be repeated in the Description. 
    • If the model has a date code 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 copy/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 Fandom.

If you have any additional questions, ask away in the hobbyDB Volunteer Squad Facebook group, or contact us using the button above.