Hot Wheels have been around since 1968 and are still one of the most popular toys in America. Since they were released, the brand has produced more than four billion small cars. Yes, there are even more Hot Wheels than real vehicles in the world! But Hot Wheels are far from being limited for children and there are many collectors.
The most valuable models are the rarest ones. Or, even more rare, they were just released in a specific country, have a particular color, or were part of a limited edition collection. Here is a list five of the most expensive Hot Wheels and five that are just worthless.
10 Worth Something: Purple olds 442
In 1971, Hot Wheels released the Old 442. Larry Wood designed it and it is the rarest overall casting of all cars from the Redline era. Collectors are often willing to pay a big amount for those models, even if they are in bad conditions.
The rarest car is the one in purple. And the color is what makes it so special since most of the cars are pink or red. There are just a few of those cars around and if you have one of those, you can sell it upwards of $2,000.
9 Worthless: Googly Eyes
Hot Wheels often tries to be creative with their designers. Sometimes it works very well, and sometimes they come up with a car with googly eyes.
The intention behind it was to create a car that resembles Maz Kanata, the Star Wars character. But it just didn't work. The googly eyes are supposed to allude to Maz's glasses.
Hot Wheels has a whole line dedicated to Marvel, Star Wars, and DC characters. The idea was to create cars that resemble the characters. Some of them are interesting, but others are really worthless to keep.
8 Worth Something: Custom Volkswagen Without Sunroof
The designers Ira Gilford and Harry Bradley are responsible for this valuable model. The Custom Volkswagen was on the market in 1968 and was clearly inspired by the classic Volkswagen Beetle. Originally, it was only available overseas.
Two small details make it so unique: their trunk is on the front of the car and it doesn't have a sunroof. The most common colors are blue and aqua, but the rarest ones are in orange, copper, red, and green.
It is considered a collector's item and you can make approximately $1,500 with it.
7 Worthless: Roller Toaster
Sometimes Hot Wheels make us wonder how they came up with some ideas. In 2017, they introduced us to the Roller Toaster. As the name suggests, it puts a car and a toaster together.
It was designed by Ryu Asada and is part of a collection called Legends of Speed. According to Asada, his inspiration came from a car race that happens in New Zealand. He once said “I've Imagined race car drivers getting their car from the junkyard and adding wings and pigtails.” Then, during breakfast one day, he thought, “What if I put the wheels on a toaster?”
6 Worth Something: Rodger Dodger
The Roger Dodger was released in 1973 and came with triple opera window option. There is also a version with metal base and capped redlines. Some of them come with the word "Show-Off" printed.
At first look, it seems to be very easy to find those models. And this impression is partially right: there are many options in yellow, purple and red. However, if a blue one ever crosses your path, be aware it is rare. There were just very few of them were made. This almost exclusive model can be sold for approximately $8,000.
5 Worthless: Hot Tub Wheels
In 2006 we saw Hot Wheels introduce a car with a hot tub. The idea itself is not bad, but the design could have been improved.
Designed by Mike Nuttall, the Hot Tub Hot Wheels replaced the passenger's seat by a Jacuzzi and there were a large array of colors. The driver's seat and wheel are inside the tub.
Of course, the best thing about designing a product for Hot Wheels is the possibility to play with absurd ideas. Being able to think about impossible car models might be fun.
4 Worth Something: Cheetah Base Python
The Phyton collection was released in 1968 and it was inspired by the "Dream Car" show built by Bill Cushenbery. It was known as " Cheeta" due to to its metal made from a Hong Kong patent.
But what makes this car a collector item? The car is known as Python and shared the name with Bill Thomas’s (the GM Executive) Corvette modeled ‘Cobra Killer.’
Just a few Pythons were produced and all they were made on red. There are just a few available to sell and you won't find it for less than $10,000.
3 Worthless: Wienermobile
The first time we have seen the Wienermobile was in 1993 and it was still being produced until 2010 with just little changes. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is basically a sausage on wheels. One version of it came out as a hot dog, with the sausage between the bread and covered with mustard and ketchup.
It is just weird to see a hot dog running like a car. But the sky is the limit when it comes to Hot Wheels.
The model is quite easy to find online, which makes it not really valuable.
2 Worth Something: Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb
The Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb is one of the most expensive Hot Wheels lines of all times. It was first built as a prototype in the late '60s. Most of the models can reach some thousands of dollars, even if they are not in perfect condition, but there is one Beach Bomb that is more valuable than any other.
There just one pink Beach Bomb and it is worth US$ 100thousand. Probably the most expensive Hot Wheels ever made. It belongs to Bruce Pascal, the greatest Hot Wheels collector in the world.
1 Worthless (For Now): Jetsons Capsule Car
The Jetsons Capsule Car first hit the scene in 2013. It was aimed at a particularly geeky audience and it was supposed to be a version of George Jetsons' Aerocar. Once again, the intention was very good, but there was a detail that was criticized by the Jetsons fans: the original Aerocar has no wheels.
The feature just destroys the futuristic idea of the project. The Jetsons Capsule Car is part of the Hot Wheels City Tooned II line. It is easily found today, but if you want to buy something that will be worth some money in the future, this is not the best choice.