FOUND - Rare 'Hot Wheels' Toy Worth $150,000

In 1969, Dad tells Son; "It May Be Valuable Someday."

Goya print
The 1969 Hot Wheels Beach Bomb prototype.


April 5, 2017
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (VIDEO) – A man brought a vintage toy Hot Wheels car he received as a boy, from his dad, to Antiques Roadshow for an appraisal. Turns out it's a rare prototype worth up to $150,000.

The car, a 1969 Hot Wheels Beach Bomb prototype came from the man's father, a foreman at Mattel in the 1960s. He gave the prototype car to his boy after it failed a play test... suggesting his son keep it safe, because; "it may be valuable someday." His son did just that. And the car sat in a trunk, in near-mint condition, for almost 50 years.

The Flaw that Made the 'Holy Grail' of Hot Wheels

The 1969 Hot Wheels Beach Bomb prototype (also known as a Rear-Loader Beach Bomb), was modeled to resemble a surfers VW Bus, with two surfboards hanging out the back window. An unforeseen design flaw led to a very small number being produced.

When the prototypes were built, Mattel play tested them to make sure they would work okay with their play sets and stunt tracks. Unexpectedly, the Beach Bomb prototype failed testing. Because the car was top-heavy and unable to negotiate high-speed corners, it was also too narrow to effectively roll on the Hot Wheels track.

Shortly thereafter, Hot Wheels modified the vehicle, lowering its center of gravity, by cutting away the roof and installing a full-length sunroof. They also extended the side fenders to better fit the track and provide a new way to store the plastic surfboards on the sides of the vehicle. The updated design is known as a 'Side-loader' among collectors.

Because of the changes, only a small number of the original 'Rear-Loader' Beach Bomb prototypes are known to exist. Roadshow appraiser Grant Zahajko illustrated this well by saying; "Well, we've done a lot of research on this. I have also spoken to one of the expert Hot Wheel collectors in the country today. And what we know about this actually is that there's 40 different variations of the prototypes from this line. All various colors. However, the most popular one being the pink rear loader. If you've seen pictures of that one before."

All added up, this makes the car in near mint condition, extremely rare. But, according to Zahajko, this car, a red version with clear windows may be among the rarest of them all.

Estimated Value: $100,000 - $150,000

A pink Hot Wheels 'Rear Loader' made an appearance on History's Pawn Stars (Season 11, Episode 22) back in 2015. When a man brought his 1969 Beach Bomb prototype into the shop to sell it to famed Pawnshop owner Rick Harris. Pawn Stars toy expert, Johnny Jimenez, valued the car at $100,000. The seller offered to sell at $140,000, however, Harris was only willing to go to $70,000. They were unable to make a deal.

Antiques Roadshow appraiser Grant Zahajko, indicated the added scarcity of this particular prototype being near mint condition, with its provenance, red color and clear windows... literally made it, the "Holy Grail of Hot Wheels." He then gave it a $100,000-$150,000 auction estimate.

See The Full Appraisal

The full appraisal video, transcript and additional photos of the Hot Wheels car can be seen at the PBS Antiques Roadshow website here.

Top 25: Vintage Hot Wheels on eBay

The following list today's current Top 25 active Hot Wheels auctions sorted by highest-bid on eBay, worldwide (Top 25: Diecast Vehicles).


All Original 1968 Redline Hot Wheels Sweet 16 Set Beautiful Rare Colors!

High Bid: $599.99
Bids: 1
Time Left:
7d 18h 28m


Hot Wheels HK 1968 Redline 67' Copper Custom Camaro " Beautiful Red Line "

High Bid: $400.00
Bids: 25
Time Left:
1d 13h 37m


Hot Wheels 1980's Blackwall Era Show Hoss Made In France VERY RARE Unpunched

High Bid: $380.73
Bids: 18
Time Left:
18h 3m


NASCAR MEGA LOT~RACING CHAMPIONS HOT WHEELS ERTL ETC~SEVERAL DIFFERENT SCALES

High Bid: $368.00
Bids: 2
Time Left:
15h 22m


1971 Hot Wheels Redline Classic Cord in Magenta MOC Mint Blisterpack

High Bid: $305.00
Bids: 22
Time Left:
1d 20h 23m


hot wheels rlc '55 chevy bel air gasser candy striper #03752/4000 made

High Bid: $305.00
Bids: 3
Time Left:
3d 20h 40m


Hot Wheels 510 Bre John Morton RLC Loose with unglued card VHTF Prototype

High Bid: $300.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 9h 11m


Hot Wheels REDLINE CLUB RLC HWC CANDY STRIPER 55 BEL AIR GASSER

High Bid: $295.00
Bids: 6
Time Left:
1d 21h 26m


Rare Redline Hot Wheels HK PURPLE White INT Custom ELDORADO Blister Pack Bp Card

High Bid: $290.20
Bids: 16
Time Left:
1d 19h 38m


'55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser 2016 RLC Membership Chrome Kit Hot Wheels

High Bid: $285.00
Bids: 23
Time Left:
8h 14m


1969 Hot Wheels Redline US Base 6 Piece Lot

High Bid: $255.69
Bids: 13
Time Left:
2d 19h 38m


2004 HOT WHEELS SNAP-ON EXCLUSIVE SET RARE NISSAN SKYLINE & TOYOTA CELICA

High Bid: $248.50
Bids: 14
Time Left:
21h 56m


Hot Wheels Redline US rare deep brown CLASSIC 36 FORD COUPE blister BP MINT CAR

High Bid: $245.70
Bids: 7
Time Left:
1d 18h 53m


Hot Wheels Redline US scarce nice Ford T HOT HEAP unpunched blister BP MINT CAR

High Bid: $240.49
Bids: 4
Time Left:
8d 18h 38m


Hot Wheels Redline Vintage Original 1967 Custom Mustang Red with White Interior

High Bid: $235.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
1d 23h 34m


Vintage 1971 Mattel Hot Wheels Redline Spectraflame Blue OLDS 442 - Made in USA

High Bid: $233.55
Bids: 8
Time Left:
14h 45m


1973 HOT WHEELS REDLINE FLYING COLORS SUPER VAN UNPUNCHED MOC

High Bid: $229.18
Bids: 10
Time Left:
4d 20h 38m


Hot Wheels Redline U.S. CUSTOM CAMARO "RARE" US RED with GREEN !!!!!!!! Interior

High Bid: $228.50
Bids: 19
Time Left:
21h 53m


Hot Wheels RLC BRE Datsun Bluebird 510 see description

High Bid: $228.50
Bids: 2
Time Left:
5d 19h 36m


1968 Hot wheels vintage redlines 19 Car LOT! Custom Cougar AMX corvette Firebird

High Bid: $227.50
Bids: 18
Time Left:
1d 16h 51m


hot Wheels Redline VERY RARE ORANGE Custom Charger

High Bid: $226.50
Bids: 18
Time Left:
19h 17m


Hot Wheels RLC '55 Bel Air Gasser Membership set (Red,Blue,Black) w/ buttons.

High Bid: $225.00
Bids: 1
Time Left:
5d 8h 41m


Hot Wheels John Morton's BRE DATSUN BLUEBIRD 510

High Bid: $223.50
Bids: 10
Time Left:
3d 13h 56m


1968 Custom Volkswagen Hong Kong OLIVE Blister Pack BP Redline Hot Wheels BEAUTY

High Bid: $222.50
Bids: 9
Time Left:
20h 38m


Hot Wheels Redline US magenta CONTINENTAL MARK III unpunched blister BP MINT CAR

High Bid: $210.50
Bids: 16
Time Left:
1d 18h 43m