FOUND - Rare 'Hot Wheels' Toy Worth $150,000
In 1969, Dad tells Son; "It May Be Valuable Someday."
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).
High Bid: $1,500.00
High Bid: $1,250.00
High Bid: $1,135.00
High Bid: $620.00
High Bid: $610.00
High Bid: $550.00
High Bid: $356.00
High Bid: $328.00
High Bid: $290.00
High Bid: $275.00
High Bid: $265.00
High Bid: $259.99
High Bid: $255.00
High Bid: $250.00
High Bid: $248.00
High Bid: $240.50
High Bid: $227.50
High Bid: $222.50
High Bid: $202.50
High Bid: $202.50
High Bid: $189.00
High Bid: $187.50
High Bid: $186.00
High Bid: $177.50
High Bid: $177.50