Roberto Stanichi, Senior Vice President, Hot Wheels & Global Head of Vehicles at Mattel, shares insight on Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and significant growth for vehicles at retail in this extended edition of The Toy Book’s 2023 State of the Industry Q&A roundtable. Want more insight from the all-stars of the toy industry? Click here to explore this year’s lineup!

The Toy Book: The vehicles category has seen explosive growth in recent years, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of Matchbox and the 55th anniversary of Hot Wheels. What can retailers and consumers expect from those brands in 2023 and how is Mattel working to keep pricing fair?

Roberto Stanichi: Hot Wheels and Matchbox will continue to increase their cultural relevance and popularity in 2023. Per The NPD Group, Hot Wheels is the No. 1-selling toy globally for Q4 and full year 2022. More than 16 Hot Wheels cars are sold per second across the world and more than 6 billion have been produced to date.

In addition to projects across film, toys, digital gaming, physical experiences, luxury collector items, and even Web3, we are gearing up to announce new TV titles based on Hot Wheels. Last year, Hot Wheels expanded the category to include R/C and fingerboards as further proof that there is no company in the world that can authentically engage with every age and affinity group in the automotive community like Hot Wheels.

We are proud to be working with best-in-class partners Warner Bros. Pictures and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot to create a live-action film based on Hot Wheels. The high-throttle film will bring to life our beloved, multigenerational franchise and showcase some of the world’s hottest and sleekest cars.

Related: The 2023 Edition of The BIG Toy Book is Here!

The Hot Wheels brand is proud to continue to provide incredible value, quality, and safety to consumers, something we have done for decades. The single-pack vehicle remains one of the most cost-effective ways for families to surprise and delight their children and has been for the last 55 years.

Matchbox turns 70 in 2023. | Source: Mattel

With the 70th anniversary of Matchbox, the brand will release some very special toy vehicles to commemorate the milestone, while development continues on the live-action film from Mattel Films and Skydance. Matchbox is committed to integrating more electric vehicles and eco-friendly themes into products with a vision to make all toys and packaging from 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials by 2030. Embracing sustainable production processes and more will help the brand inspire the next generation of kids and collectors.

With these milestone anniversaries for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox taking place in 2023, fans can expect plenty of new surprises and developments across all categories.

A version of this Q&A was originally published in the 2023 edition of The BIG Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue! Want to receive The Toy Book in print? Click here for subscription options!

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.