Most people look at toys as, well, toys. Fun things for kids to play with, right? Most children enjoy collecting things, whether it's baseball cards, comic books, or Hot Wheels cars. Some of those who collected things secretly dreamed their collection would bring in a fortune someday... but most of us just grew up and forgot all about it, and whatever it was we had spent years collecting would end up under in a thick layer of dust in a corner of the attic.
Several years later, there might be an article about old toys being worth a fortune. Looking through the images of those toys there are flashbacks of our childhood - didn't I play with that Hot Wheels car? I'm pretty sure I did.
Realizing the old toys are worth a small fortune, panic sets in! What happened to all that stuff?? As the mind races and thoughts of all the cool things we can soon afford pops up in our heads, we decide to call our parents and ask if right now is a good time to come over "just to check on some of that old junk we stored there" - only to learn they threw it all out as soon as they had the house to themselves.
Here's a list of some of the Hot Wheels collectibles we pray we never owned, as that would be a lot better than knowing our parents literally threw out money.
This Porsche 934 RSR Turbo was from the New York Toy Fair and was handed out in an otherwise unused gold color. And we all know how desirable gold is... even when it might not be real gold.
The Porsche has “16 Toy Fair” written on the side and hood, with “Hot Wheels” on the side stripe on the door. If you had one and your parents threw it out, you'll be happy to hear that you'll have to fork out at least $800 on eBay if you want to replace it - that is, if you can find one for sale.
Early Hot Wheels Redline cars have a mysterious history. The Custom Camaro was the first Hot Wheels car to be released to the public, making it a piece of history - and an exceedingly valuable one at that.
The white enamel is a prototype and extremely rare, as in the first ever prototype for the first ever Hot Wheels car kind of rare. The white color was used to check for imperfections, and if you happen to come across one, it will likely be in bad condition, yet still worth at least $2,500.
The first Back to the Future based Hot Wheels DeLorean was released in 2011, since then there have been six distinct versions and another half-dozen. The original featured "DMC" on the front and "OUTATIME" on the back. It was also painted metal flake silver to imitate the stainless steel DeLorean bodywork.
Some versions are worth more than others, and prices range from $5 to several hundred. The San Diego Comic-Con version is the one that's hardest to find. Just like a real DeLorean, its value is mostly nostalgic rather than exclusive.
The Ghostbusters movie premiered in 1984, but the Hot Wheels cars actually didn’t see production until 2010. Three models are sought after with the most expensive and popular being the Hot Wheels Ecto-1A 1:43-scale that was released in 2014 and based on the car in the Ghostbusters II movie. Prices for this one range from several hundred, up to a thousand bucks.
Then there's the Hot Wheels Ecto-1 Ghostbusters Cartoon Car, released in 2015. This is a 1:64 scale, true representation model of the station wagon featured in the animated series. The third is a 1:64-scale car based on the Ecto-1 from the first movie.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air Gasser was first released in 2013 and is still being made today. However, there is one version that's worth quite a bit more than all the others.
Known as the “Candy Striper” due to the phrase painted on the side, this car sells for $5,500 on eBay. We gotta admit it's a good looking little thing with its lovely paint job, massive rear wheels, and "gasser" stance. Not to mention the promise of “the fastest metal cars in the world!” on the packaging.
Released in 1968, the Hot Wheels Custom Volkswagen was based on the popular Volkswagen Beetle. Made in Hong Kong, it was only released in the UK and Germany. Featuring a sunroof and an engine in the front, the missing sunroof version is worth around $1,500.
Most commonly they are found in blue or aqua - but were also available in orange, red, green, and copper. The Custom Volkswagen featured tinted blue glass, black steering wheel, and four holes in the base and detail suspension. In the no sunroof versions there are no side windows and a different interior.
The Hot Wheels Python is one of the original 16 Hot Wheels die-cast models Mattel released in the spring of 1968. The very first ones were produced in Hong Kong and were given the name Cheetah Python. Unfortunately, GM Executive Bill Thomas already had a Cheetah name attached to his Cobra Killer model.
Only a few were made before the name was changed, all in the color red. The public was never supposed to know about the Cheetah, but some escaped the production facility. Today, the Cheetah Python is worth a minimum of $10,000.
Based on the 1969 Ford Maverick, the Mighty Maverick was introduced in 1970. Here's the thing; during the prototype stage, it was initially named Mad Maverick, but only five Mad Mavericks have been found. In 1973, the wing was removed, and the Mighty Maverick was renamed Street Snorter. In 1975, it returned to the Mighty Maverick name, but without the wing.
The only way to tell the difference between a Mighty and a Mad version of the Maverick is the name on the bottom of the car. If your parents threw out one that said Mad Maverick, you should find a quiet place to cry.
The 1967 Corvette Pro Street first debuted in 2002 in the Cool & Custom III 2-Car Set. This modified street legal 1967 Corvette featured a supercharger, oversized rear wheels, and a roll cage. The 1967 Corvette Pro Street was only seen four times before it was discontinued.
Two of those versions were released in the Cool & Custom III 2-Car Set. The other two were released in the Hot Rod Magazine Pro Mods 2-Car Sets, and 100% Hot Wheels. The first set was featured in metal-flake blue while the others were in black, white, magenta, and yellow.
The Rodger Dodger was based on the 1973 Dodge Charger SE with triple opera window option. It reused the base from a previous version, named Show-Off, and on some models, you can find the Show-Off name partially bleeding through the deletion plate.
Produced sometime in the mid-70s, the regular Rodger Dodger cars are rare enough, having been released in red, yellow, and purple. The rarest version of them all, however, would be the blue painted Rodger Dodger - a true treasure for any Hot Wheels Collector with only seven being released worldwide. It might have been a UK exclusive, and it sells for around $8,000.
Known as the Custom AMX, it was initially released in 1969 and only in the United States, where it came packaged with a metal collectors button... But the normal Custom AMX isn’t where the money’s at.
The UK-only Ed Shaver Custom AMX was a sponsored version of the real deal. The only difference is the stickers, and authenticity requires proof that the stickers were purchased with the Hot Wheels car. The Custom AMX was retooled in 2010, after 41 years, as part of the Red Line Club Membership. The 1970 Ed Shaver Custom AMX sell for roughly $4,000.
Released in the 1990s, it is believed that only 12 of the Number 271 model exist. Only seven verified 271s are known to currently exist in collector’s circles, so finding one is pretty much impossible. This means there's a chance someone's parents somewhere have thrown one out - not funny when considering one sold on eBay for $3,500.
There was actually an error when making them, which is why they were abandoned after just one dozen. For this car to hold any value, you need to have the blue card it came with - otherwise, it looks similar to another model and could be a fake.
In 1968 the Red Baron was released - a hot rod featuring a WWI German infantry helmet and an Iron Cross on the radiator. The version released in 1970 by Hot Wheels is one of the most popular and memorable cars ever.
The original Red Baron featured capped redline wheels, spectraflame red paint, and a pointed spike on the helmet. It was packaged with either a metal or plastic Collectors Button. Some versions of the 1970 Red Baron have been found with a white interior instead of black, and only a handful of these are known to exist. Estimated worth is around $3,000 to $4,000.
The Olds 442 debuted in 1971. Based on a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, it is the rarest casting from the Redline era (1968-1977). The rarest of them all is the purple Olds 442, and even cars in bad condition are highly sought after. A Purple version will go for anywhere between $1,500 to $7,000 - be careful not to buy a magenta by mistake - they're not worth nearly as much.
It was packaged with a decal sheet of white stripes with stars and also came with either a metal or plastic Collectors Button. All the mass-produced models had a white interior, but some spectraflame red cars came with a black interior
The legendary, almost mythical, purple 1971 "Bye Focal" - considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable Hot Wheels cars in existence. If you think the shape of the car seems a bit familiar, it's because it was based on the 1970 Dodge Challenger - another legend.
The car features a clear hood and unique decals on the side, and finding one in good condition is rare, they just seem to crumble away with age. The rarest color Bye Focals are the purple ones, which is valued somewhere around $4,000.
The Evil Weevil is actually modeled on the pre-existing 1968 Custom Volkswagen Beetle, but it received quite a few upgrades to make it more, well, evil would probably be the right word?!
A blown V8 engine has been added, and the car has been made to look a lot more sporty and aggressive. The Evil Weevil was released as part of the famed Hot Wheels Spoiler Series in 1971, and as with many of these cars, the color really does make a difference when it comes to the prices - with Magenta being the most expensive, coming in at a massive $3,000.
The Beatnik Bandit was considered a legendary Hot Wheels car right from day one - probably because the real car it was based on was extremely cool, and an amazing example of how to build a custom car.
The Beatnik Bandit was one of the legendary "Original 16" castings for the first ever Hot Wheels car collection in 1968 - which alone makes it valuable. The value of this car has exploded over the years, especially those of the hot pink variety, with prices reaching up to $2,500. Throwing out toys can be expensive at times.
Hot Wheels actually predicted that people would collect their products for decades after their first few releases. They knew that some people would buy their cars purely to store them as collector's items, not to play with them.
The 1971 Pink Classic Cord was actually designed and constructed specifically with these kinds of people in mind - which is why the car is very rare today. It only saw production for two years, and the pink ones are the rarest - with some of them selling for well over $2,000.
The 1972 Open Fire was re-released in 2008, and if you had the latter version and it got thrown out there's no need to worry, that version was worthless anyway. The original units from back in 1972 are the only cars worth anything, and the reason is due to that being the only year the cars were ever made - making them extremely rare today.
Taking it one step further, the red variants are the rarest - and valued around $2,000 today. These cars are legendary in the Hot Wheels world. The reason the Open Fire was re-released was because of the fans overwhelmingly voting for it.
The original Hot Wheels Poison Pinto was released in 1976 as a part of the Flying Colors series and was designed by Larry Wood. There was another version released in 1979, in the Heroes line, under the name of The Thing.
The original Poison Pinto is usually priced around $75.00 to $150.00, so it's not amongst the most expensive Hot Wheels out there - its visual appeal is the real reason they're sought-after. Altogether, there are twelve various release dates and adaptations of the Hot Wheels Poison Pinto.
The iconic Mystery Machine was the main source of transportation for the Mystery Inc. crew. In 2012 Hot Wheels released a model designed by Manson Cheung, but the 2013 Retro Entertainment model, however, is a bit more special.
The Retro version has a base of unfinished metal while the other models are a mix of plastic and chrome. There are classic Scooby-Doo decals on the side, whereas other versions have red flowers and "Mystery Machine" written there. Prices range from $15 to $80, but most collectors want it for nostalgic reasons.
Currently, there is a total of 16 different Batman adaptation lines to choose from, with the two rarest being the 1:64 Scale Limited Edition from the San Diego Comic-Con and the Hot Wheels 2004 #001 Batmobile featuring a grey base variation.
Batmobile prices range from just a couple of bucks to well over hundreds depending on the model and condition. The '66 Batmobile based on the original television series was created by Larry Wood and debuted in 2007, and the same year there was a prototype released as well - featuring an unpainted body and light blue tinted windows.
The 1984 Blue Turbo Mustang doesn't seem to be anything special, it's just another toy car, right? Well, there is one thing that makes it a little more special than the average Hot Wheels though - it’s part of “The Hot Ones” line-up, which started in 1981 and ran until 1985.
This is also the only Blue Mustang Hot Wheels released during this time, the others were all in black, white, red, or yellow. We knew there was an explanation as to why some collectors are willing to pay closer to $300 for this one.
The 1967 Camaro might not be the most visually stunning Hot Wheels car, in fact, it's just a plain white Camaro with an orange 'go-faster' stripe down the middle and an orange interior.
However, there have been examples of these bad boys fetching close to a grand on eBay. The reason for that price is due to it being part of Hot Wheels’ Treasure Hunter series, which features unique cars where roughly 10,000 examples are released. Only 12 to 15 cars are released in each series a year, and in 1995, this ’67 Camaro was part of it - making it fairly rare.
Only one 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb exists, as it was only built as a prototype. Rumors say there is a second one somewhere, but that has never been verified. It features surfboards loaded into the back via a rear window, while the version that was eventually released had the surfboards slide into a side pod.
We can say with almost 100% certainty that you never had this one in your collection, but if you did - and your parents threw it out - you probably don't want to hear that it is reportedly worth $150,000 and is considered the rarest Hot Wheels ever.
Sources: Completeset, Wheels24, The Gamer & hotwheels.wikia.com