Presents: Hot Wheels Versus...
Comparing Hot Wheels against other brands!

Hot Wheels Versus Matchbox: Corvette ZR1

In this segment of "Hot Wheels Versus", we'll utilize the Corvette ZR1. Both versions are tastefully and accurately represented, and will surely be added to 'Vette afficionados' collections. So, how do they stack up? Let's take a closer look...


Matchbox's ZR1 profile sits a bit higher, and is slightly wider and curvier. Bonus points for the door mirrors, which are absent from the Hot Wheels version. The 10-spoke lace wheels are a bit busy for this model, but they're not overwhelming. Great details in the casting itself.

Hot Wheels' ZR1 profile is slimmer and lower, and, with the exception of the door mirrors, presents essentially the same details. The gold OH5 wheels are the true feature, here. They fit this model very well, and emulate a muscle car appearance.


The rear end on Matchbox's ZR1 is dead-on, as the 1:1 version has one heckuva beefy tail section. The Corvette and ZR1 badges are right where they need to be, and the detailed blue license plate adds a nice touch. The exhaust, while accurate, is a bit too small.

The rear end on Hot Wheels' ZR1 is again slimmer and lower, which isn't quite up to snuff with the 1:1 counterpart. Like the Matchbox version, both badges are where they're supposed to be, but the "tab" where the chassis is incorporated into the body takes away something in the end.


Matchbox's version has very detailed headlights and turn signals, with an accurate front end and cowl cover. Matchbox chose to leave the front air dam open, with no vent detailing.

The Hot Wheels version shows a little more vent detail, but the simplistic headlight tampo is somewhat of a drawback. The advantage, however, is the cowl cover with accurate detailing features.


This is one of my favorite features on the Matchbox ZR1...the fake carbon fiber effect! How's that for detail?

In looking at overall quality, there are far more rough casting edges and flaws on the Hot Wheels ZR1. The Matchbox version is much smoother

Overall Scoring
Category Matchbox Hot Wheels Comments
Profile Matchbox was a bit more accurate and displayed slightly more realistically. Hot Wheels had the better rims. Advantage: Matchbox, 4-3
Rear The black tab and oversized badges kept the HW's version from 4 stars. Rough casting edges also detracted from the score.Advantage: Matchbox, 4-3
Front Both were done well. Matchbox had the more realistic headlights and turn signals and Hot Wheels had the better cowl cover. Advantage: Tie
Intangibles Matchbox had my favorite feature: the fake carbon fiber roof, and just a few more realistic details than the Hot Wheels version. Advantage: Matchbox, 4-3
...and the winner is:
Matchbox, by a score of 15-12. In the end, Matchbox's attention to realistic detailing won this comparison. One thing that hurt the Hot Wheels ZR1 was the rough casting edges. I do realize that there are far more HW's made than MB's, so that would have a lot to do with it. Still, we're comparing dollar car for dollar car, so we have to use the same criteria.

Matchbox's paint details (headlights, accurate-sized badges, and smoother overall paint) also helped. I love the Atomic Orange on the Hot Wheels 'Vette, but the application was too thin to cover the casting flaws, which detracted from the overall appearance. It presents a flat, drab appearance with no shine at all, while the grey paint on the MB Corvette shines like a new dime.

That being said, neither one of these cars will be pegwarmers, as they're both very well done, and represent the Corvette in the best manner possible for this price range. Kudos to both models for a job well done! Until next time...

~Neal Giordano

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