Hot Wheels Founder Dies

Elliot Handler was 95

By Larry Jewett - July 26, 2011 01:14 PM


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The man who was responsible for bringing the automotive icon Hot Wheels into the toy world has passed away. Elliot Handler was 95.

Handler and his wife Ruth were perhaps best known for the creation of the Barbie doll, the toy that launched their Mattel line to stardom. In 1968, the scale cars hit the toy shelves and became hard to find items. Hobby shops and retail stores simply could not keep them in stock. Their lifelike qualities made them as much a collector's item as a toy.

Most of us have had a Hot Wheels car or 50 in our lifetime. My first was the Cougar and it was blue and it spent hundreds of hours hurtling down a piece of rain gutter that served as an impromptu race track. This was, of course, before the orange plastic track arrived. The Hot Wheels frenzy outlived fad and established itself securely in the pop culture world. They remain a presence in toy aisles around the world,