Starting in 2008, Mattel began using date codes on Hot Wheels vehicles. The date code can be used to identify when an individual vehicle was actually manufactured in the Hot Wheels factory.
Date codes are typically found on the base and cards of Hot Wheels vehicles manufactures since 2008. The Date Code will be found either stamped into the base or printed with various colored inks..
Date codes consist of a letter followed by a two-digit number.
The letter refers to the year of manufacture; the number refers to the week-number (1-52) within that year. Refer to the examples below.
|Letter||Year of Manufacture|
The letter "M" indicates that the car was manufactured in 2019. The number "36" indicates the car was manufactured in the 36th week of that year.
This puts the production date at the 1st week (02-08) of September 2019.
The letter "B" indicates that the car was manufactured in 2009. The number "20" indicates the car was manufactured in the 20th week of that year.
This puts this car's production date at the 2nd week (11-17) of May 2009 .
Significance of Date Codes
The significance of date codes comes in to play when Mattel releases the next years series during the 4th quarter. New models for the following year and color variations of castings can have the current years date code but be part of series designated for the following year. For example M is the year code for 2019 however, when new for 2020 cars start hitting the shelf in October of 2019 they will have an Mxx date code because they were made in 2019 for the 2020 model year. This date code has no other significance except for the possibility of a recall indicator as it can identify when a particular casting was in production at the manufacturing plant.