Hot Wheels are not normally an expensive children’s toy. For as little as 99 cents, Hot Wheels are readily available in a number of different models and colors to fill your shelves. Generally speaking, Hot Wheels allows kids to create their own adventures with a dark green monster truck or bright yellow racer.
Some older and rarer Hot Wheels can be a bit more expensive. Instead of a toy, they are rare collectors items costing thousands of dollars and in some cases, only a handful of a certain model exists in the entire world. It’s fair to say these aren’t the Hot Wheels you should use on your looping race track!
Here are 10 of the most expensive Hot Wheels ever made….
The color purple is what makes this model valuable. Most of the other Olds 442 models come in magenta – which is more pink than purple – and only a few of these true purple ones exists in proper condition. Their value? Anywhere from $1,400 – $2,000.
Originally, this Hot Wheel was only available in Europe. Though made in Hong Kong, most of the models were sold in Germany and the United Kingdom. They also had a different interior and no plastic side windows like your typical Volkswagen models. Because it is different than other models, the parts aren’t interchangeable with American version of this vehicle.
Typically, the 1968 Custom Volkswagen without Sunroof came in blue or aqua. Really rare models came in orange, red, green and copper. If you find one loose, it’ll cost you around $1,500.
Legend has it that this model is the first Hot Wheel ever produced and could rarely be found sold loose, much less in a blister pack. If you find one for sale today, expect to pay around $2,500.
At last count, fewer than 10 of the 1970 Red Baron with White Interior are known to exist. This model was never sold widely and only produced as a prototype with no marking decal on the helmet. If you find one, you can expect to spend approximately $3,000 to add it to your collection.
The car’s history, though, is interesting. Inspired by the German World War I fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen (better known as the Red Baron), this Hot Wheel was designed to look like a World War I era fighter plane in many ways.
Only 12 of this model were reportedly ever made, making it perhaps the rarest Hot Wheel produced in the 1990s. They were printed and released on a blue card with the ‘271’ collector’s number printed on it. As of this year, only six of the 1995 Collector Number 271 Funny Car have been found and there aren’t any variations on this model. As a result, the estimated value of this Hot Wheel is around $3,500.
Note that if you happen find a car that looks like this in your basement, you’ll need the marked package to prove its value.
This model, which was exclusively available in the United Kingdom, was only produced in blue and originally sold as part of the “Exclusive Racing Car Series”.
What makes the model valuable is the Ed Shaver stickers. Shaver was an American serviceman based in the UK and Mattel (who, of course, makes Hot Wheels) sponsored his drag racing career. Some of these were passed out at race tracks where Shaver raced and as part of a mail-in cereal box promotion. Only a few of these models exist today and they retail for around $4,000.
1970 “Mad Maverick” Base Mighty Maverick
This car is rare simply because of the word ‘mad’. Mad Maverick was its original title, but it was soon repacked as Mighty Maverick. As of now, only five Mad Maverick editions are known to exist – two in blue, one in purple and one unassembled with no assigned color – and their value is hard to peg down as a result.
The Rodger Dodger model is your standard muscle car Hot Wheel and a quick eBay search will net you red, yellow and purple models. The blue, however, is rare because only seven were made as a special batch of Rodger Dodgers produced in the mid-1970s. The blue color may have also been a UK exclusive.
Oddly enough, a man by the name of Bob Parker traded models with a collector in England and received two Blue Rodger Dodgers in the first box he received. He asked for more, received five and sold all seven to collectors in the United States. Assuming he would receive more, he didn’t keep one for himself. If you happen to find one for sale online, it’ll cost you around $8,000 based on past sales.
The 1968 “Cheetah” Base Python Hot Wheel gets its name from its metal made from a Hong Kong patent pending base. The one issue which made it so rare? The car – which is now known as a Python – shared the name with GM Executive Bill Thomas’s Corvette modeled ‘Cobra Killer’.
As a result, only a few of these were made before the name change and all of those were made in red. Only a few have been found and they retail for $10,000 or more online.
There is only one known 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb. Owned by Bruce Pascal – who owns perhaps the world’s biggest and most valuable Hot Wheels collection – it was built as a prototype in 1969. It features surfboards loaded into the back via a rear window. On the version that was eventually released, the surfboards slid into a side pod.
This model never made it to the mass production because the car was deemed too narrow to function and a fit properly in the Hot Wheels Super Charger. As a result, this entire body style was scrapped by Mattel.
Pascal reportedly purchased this Hot Wheel for a cool $72,000 – making it far and away the most expensive collectable on this list. A second one reportedly does exists, but that fact has not been verified.