I found a treasure trove of my son's old Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars in the
attic and thought I could use them on my HO-scale layout. (He's 38 now and
won't miss them.) Does anyone know what scale these are? They seem a bit too
Most automobiles are around 1:64 or "S" scale, to match "HO" slot cars.
Larger trucks can be very close to HO, or even smaller.
Especially in the case of matchbox, they were not made to a constant scale,
but rather a uniform size to fit the standard packaging, regardless of the
size of the prototype.
A large part of the Hot Wheel releases are of real or show cars, but
their scale varies. Its more of what used to be called in modelling
circles as "box scale", what will fit in their standard packaging.
They used to stamp the scale sometimes into the bottom of some of them.
As for appealing to the child's eye, I suggest you browse on over to
Mattel isn't gearing just for kids anymore,
if anything they are more centered on the adult collector. There's more
money in that, than the 99 cent'ers at Wal-Mart.
Also, I don't think they make the orange plastic track anymore.
RLM (who's been collecting Hot Wheels since 1967)
My 9-year-old's track is yellow, but it looks like the current stuff
is gray. Same concept though. They did build the connectors into the
track though, so you don't have to worry about losing those red
As far as the original question, as many have said, the vehicles are
"box" scale. Some larger vehicles (like trucks) end up being close
enough to HO scale that they might work. Cars tend to be way too big,
That is true.
They were all meant to fit in their "matchbox" box (before the blister
became standard in the USA).
And Matchbox (but not Hot Wheeels) has been actually putting the scale
of each vehicle
on the bottom of them. So, if it is a model of an existing vehicle
(not a fantasy
car) then flip it over and it should be there. At least all the
I've looked at for the last decade or so had their scale imprinted.
Matchbox actually molded the scale of the vehicle model on the bottom.
They varry to keep them all about the same size (to fit into a
matchbox:-). Mattel has destroyed the brand now so the old cars can be
As many have shared, they are too big for HO. Many times, though,
this isn't an isuue with a lot of the construction type equipment as
it often times IS big. Also, you may be able to burn, smash with a
hammer, rust up, etc. these cars into scrap loads or junkyard fodder,
However, check their value first!
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy"
Well I also too have a lot of Hot Wheels & Matchbox cars and they are too big.
But the Military Matchbox cars,tanks,etc, are the right size.
Also some Collector's Series Matchbox trucks--for example the Saturday Night
Live Donut truck and Swill beer tank truck look about 1/87,maybe a little
I however like the Johnny Lightning Military vehicles in that they are real
close to HO if not HO.
For my construction vehicles now, Norscot Corp. has released Caterpillar
vehicles in 1/87, which are detailed and have movable parts.
But on my layout when I get it done, most of the private vehicles will be
Matchbox or Hot Wheels.
Not planning on spending a small fortune on 1/87 cars & trucks,when 99c cars