Buttons

A matching collector’s button was included with each Hot Wheels car from 1968 through 1971. The buttons were metal until 1970 when they were replaced by plastic buttons.

Metal Buttons
A metal button is round and wheel-like with white tread markings along the edge. In the center, outlined in red, is a vehicle’s name and an image of the vehicle with a color background. On the sidewall is “Mattel”, “Hot Wheels”, a copyright notice, and the country where it was produced.

Metal buttons were produced in the U.S. and Hong Kong. U.S. buttons have “Printed in U.S.A.” and Hong Kong buttons have “Hong Kong”.

Each button has a metal tab that can be folded over to attach the button to a piece of clothing. Some of these tabs have a cutout notch and some are smooth. All U.S. buttons have smooth tabs, but many Hong Kong buttons have a notched tab and a smooth tab version.

Metal Button Variations
The Custom Volkswagen from 1968 has two versions. One has “Custom Volkswagen” and the other has “Custom VW”.

The Volkswagen Beach Bomb from 1969 has two versions. Each has a different image with different vehicle and background colors. One has a Beach Bomb with surfboards on the side and the other has the surfboards sticking out the back.

Instead of “Hot Wheels” on the sidewall, the Boss Hoss Silver Special from 1970 has “Hot Wheels Club”. It also has two versions. One has a silver Boss Hoss and the other is blue.

Quite a few buttons have background color variations. The variation can be a light or dark background or a completely different color.

Plastic Buttons
Buttons transitioned from metal to plastic in 1970. Some Hot Wheels cars from 1970 have both metal and plastic buttons.

A plastic button is a round black wheel with “Mattel” and “Hot Wheels” embossed on the sidewall. In the center of the button is a paper graphic outlined in red with the vehicle’s name, an image of the vehicle, and a copyright notice. The back of the button has a plastic tab.

Plastic buttons were produced in the U.S. and Hong Kong. “U.S.A.” or “Hong Kong” is located under “Hot Wheels” on the sidewall.

Plastic Button Variations
The Special Delivery from 1971 has two versions. The Special Delivery in the image can be blue or light blue.

Mag Wheel Plastic Button
Although buttons were no longer included in the U.S., Canadian Hot Wheels still had buttons in 1972. The same button was used for every vehicle. It is a plastic button with a paper graphic of a mag wheel rim.

Otto Kuhni
Otto Kuhni is credited for creating many of the Hot Wheels collector’s buttons. He was a graphic designer who also did the art for Hot Wheels blister cards, playsets, accessory packs, and collector cases.

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