Michael S. Zarnock

Biography - Michael S. Zarnock

Michael Zarnock (born Michael S. Zarnoch 1958-Present) American Author, Columnist, Publisher, Diecast Hall of Fame Historian, World Record Holder, Actor, Musician, Race Car Driver, Builder & Fabricator.

Best known as Mike Zarnock, Mike is an American author and columnist, who writes collector guides and articles about Hot Wheels Toy Cars and Accessories and currently producer/editor and host of "Hot Wheels TV" on YouTube. Mike's knowledge and his massive Hot Wheels collection (approximately 30K vehicles) has earned him notoriety around the world. Whether it's because of the 14 books, numerous chapters in other books and hundreds of magazine articles that he's written about Hot Wheels Toy Cars and Accessories or just the sheer magnitude and diversity of his twice held Guinness World Record Hot Wheels Collection, he has earned the most distinguished label: "One of the world's leading Hot Wheels authorities." Mike's massive collection, world notoriety and World Records have also raised him to an elite new level of collecting as only a handful of collectors around the world have been classified as a "Super Collector!"

Did you know?

Mike is currently producer/editor and host of "Hot Wheels TV" on YouTube, an Internet based program where he takes his audience deep within the Subculture of Hot Wheels Collecting via Conventions, Car Shows and other events around the world. The program also features unboxing of the latest Hot Wheels product as soon as it's released!

He is also Senior Contributing Editor at Die Cast X Magazine where he has written two Hot Wheels feature columns since 2011
"The Hot Wheels Highway" which focuses on the latest Hot Wheels releases and "Hot Wheels Flashback" reaching back into the historical archives of Hot Wheels releases of the past.

Mike was born April 21, 1958 in Utica, New York into a working class family. As with most young men of that era, he grew up with aspirations of getting married and working with his dad in their family Body Shop repairing cars. But, as we all know, things change. His parents divorced in 1974 and his dad moved to Florida. Michael stayed in Utica with his mom and attended local schools while working as an Auto Mechanic at "Nichols Department Store".

Though he was able to graduate high school after the 10th grade, he continued to attend with two classes his 11th year and one in his 12th year allowing him the opportunity to work full time since the 11th grade. "My classmates thought it was pretty weird that I would come to school every day wearing a blue work shirt that had "Mike" on it. They didn't understand that I worked 45 hours a week while I still attended High School. They were all playing sports and hanging out while I was turning wrenches and fixing their parent's cars.

He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, Utica, New York in 1976.

Some of Mike's other accomplishments over the years include racing Moto Cross as a teenager to building and driving many show and drag cars as an adult. Some of those drag cars ended up being street racers for other people. Michael has many stories about those street racing days including the time that he got kidnapped at a street race. This story has made it all the way across the country to Hollywood where he was asked to write a screenplay about it for Actor/Producer Christopher Titus. He has also rewritten that script to be published as a novel titled "Once Upon A Street Race".

Mike has had a passion for Hot Wheels toy cars and their accessories since their release in 1968 and has collected them whenever he could find them. It's come to be, that Michael has spent so much time and effort on his collection that he has become one of the world's most respected authorities on Hot Wheels ® and their variations. So much so, that it prompted him to write a best selling Variation Guide called "The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels ® Variations", that was published by Krause in 2002 and went into it's second printing just a year after its released. That book is now out of print and sold out. Since then he has written 13 more books, was under contract with Toy Cars & Models Magazine for 6 years where he wrote a monthly Hot Wheels column and price guide, written numerous chapters in many other die cast books and countless articles for magazines such as "Die Cast X" and "The Car Room Magazine". He is currently Senior Contributing Editor at "Die Cast X Magazine" where he has had his Hot Wheels sections "The Hot Wheels Highway" and "The Hot Wheels Flashback" since 2011.

Mike also provides Hot Wheels Collection Appraisal services for Insurance Riders, Insurance Claims, Ebay Fraud Claims, US Postal Damage Claims and Court Cases including Estate and Divorce Settlements, including services to authenticate or disprove fraudulent Hot Wheels product including issuing Certificates of Authenticity when needed.

Mike makes his home in the small upstate New York town of Deerfield with his wife Tina, youngest son Cody and his wife Joanna along with his oldest son Christopher who is a Hot Wheels collector and Customizer himself.

Mike makes appearances at Schools, Conventions, Toy Shows and Hot Wheels Club functions across the United States and Canada. You never know where you'll find him. He has even made a few appearances in the movies.


Self (3 Credits)
2018 Michael was featured in the History Channel's TV Documentary - "Hot Wheels: 50th Anniversary Special"
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the most popular and disruptive toy in the world, Hot Wheels.
  • BobCat Studios - History Channel - Documentary, Reality-TV

  • 2017 Michael is featured in the film- Redlines to Treasure Hunts: The Cars, The Collectors, The Community.
    A documentary delving deep into the sub-culture of Hot Wheels Collecting around the world.
  • Rockfish Productions - Documentary, Reality-TV

  • 2015 Michael is featured in - Passion or Obsession: Inside the World of Extreme Collecting.
  • Anchor Media - Short, Reality TV

  • Actor (3 Credits)
    2006 "Chester Greenfield II," the wealthy father of the main character in the film"Anchor Eddy's"
  • Catch Your Breath Productions - Drama, Movie

  • 2004 "Freddy Grecko, talk show host extraordinaire", In "The Death of Daniel Whately".
  • Catch Your Breath Productions - Drama, Movie

  • 2002 "Artie, the sleazy comic book publisher", In the Catch Your Breath Productions film "Detour".
  • Catch Your Breath Productions - Drama, Movie

  • Magazine Publications:

    2011-Present - Senior Contributing Editor - "Die Cast X Magazine" (Hot Wheels Highway & Flashback)

    2009-2010 - Associate Editor - "The Car Room Magazine" (Monthly Hot Wheels Column)

    2008-2009 - Contributing Editor - "Die Cast X Magazine" (Monthly Hot Wheels Column)

    2002 to 2008 - Contributing Editor - "Toy Cars & Models Magazine" (Hot Wheels Column and Price Guide)

    Book Publications - Author:

    2002 - "The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels Variations"
    2002 - "The Standard Catalog of Die-Cast Vehicles II" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2003 - "Warman's Hot Wheels . Field Guide"
    2004 - "Hot Wheels Variations, The Ultimate Guide, 2nd Edition"
    2004 - "Toys & Prices - 11th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2005 - "Hot Wheels Accessories, The Ultimate Guide"
    2005 - "Toys & Prices - 12th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2005 - "The Standard Catalog of Die-Cast Vehicles III" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2006 - "Hot Wheels: A Warman's Companion Guide"
    2006 - "Toys & Prices - 13th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2007 - "Hot Wheels Variations, The Ultimate Guide 3rd Edition"
    2007 - "Toys & Prices - 14th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2007 - "Warman's Hot Wheels Field Guide 2nd Edition"
    2008 - "Toys & Prices - 15th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2009 - "Toys & Prices - 16th Edition" (Hot Wheels Collector Number chapters)
    2009 - "Hot Wheels: A Warman's Companion Guide 2nd Edition"
    2009 - "Once Upon A Street Race" (Based on the true story of Mike being kidnapped at a street race!)
    2010 - "Hot Wheels Variations, The Ultimate Guide 4th Edition"
    2010 - "Warman's Hot Wheels Field Guide 3rd Edition"
    2011 - "Hot Wheels Prototypes" (Bruce Pascal & Michael Zarnock)
    2012 - "Warman's Hot Wheels Field Guide 4th Edition"
    2014 - "Hot Wheels Variations 2000-2013 Identification & Price Guide"
    2015 - "Picker's Pocket Guide - Hot Wheels"

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