Meet the rare Hot Wheels car that commands a $200,000 price tag
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As a Hot Wheels collector myself, I'm happy to concede that the 'collector base' for the charming little toy cars can be disproportionately ... intense ... when it comes to values and the matter of money.
The advent of the online auction site has only further impacted 'the scene', making it easier than ever for a collector to stumble upon a collectible car at their local department store or supermarket and have it listed online for sale before they even get to the check out line.
And it gets even more silly when it comes to the 'original' Hot Wheels stuff from the company's earliest days — particularly the Red Lines models (that is, original vintage models with red outlines on their tyres).
They're often considered the holy grail of Hot Wheels collecting, mainly because so many of them were bought up by kids who did what Hot Wheels cars are generally intended for; they played with them. Kids ran them through dirt, put them under the wheels of mum's car before she went to work, set them on fire, and ultimately destroyed a solid chunk of the original red lines that Hot Wheels produced. Making the few survivors from the period a hot commodity.
And, one casting sits above the rest; the 1969 Beachbomb. Based on the Volkswagen Kombi van, it rose to notoriety through the vast amount of metal in its construction and the way it captured an era in motoring. Of course, Hot Wheels made tonnes of different Beachbomb models in different colours, some of which can be scored relatively cheaply.
Others, like this one recently featured on the American version of Antiques Roadshow, aren't. The full back story of the car is a fascinating one, one I'd recommend listening to. But the short of it is that the model in question wasn't issued into public circulation because it was merely a prototype. As such, it has some casting differences, and also as such it's one of approximately only 40 in existence.
And this one is valued at US$100,000–150,000 (NZ$137,000–205,000).
That's enough to comfortably buy a fully restored and loaded version of the real thing.