Tampo refers to the process in which graphics are applied to Hot Wheels.This process was put into full production use in 1974.
There are a variety of ways the Tampo Machines work. Provided is a link to watch them( Tampo Machines) The early machines that Hot Wheels used were the Functional Principle "open" system.
The Tampo process begins with plates that are etched with each color in a design. If the design has 3 colors then you need 3 plates. This is for each surface that is to receive the graphics. The plates are loaded into a tampo machine that has rubber teets. The teet is pressed onto the plate that has been loaded with paint. The design is transferred to the teet and from the teet to the car. It is much like a stamping process. This is repeated for each color in the design on each surface. Hot Wheels employs machines that can do up to 6 colors with a very high level of accuracy and registration however, most designs are limited to 3 colors for cost savings.
Although graphics are often referred to as tampos, not all graphics are applied in the tampo process. In 2003, Fusion Graphics had made their way onto more premium levels of Hot Wheels such as the World Race Series.
WSCOTTS is a tampo that pays tribute to Hot Wheels graphical designer Wayne Scott.