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Which Are the Most Valuable Hot Wheels Cars?

Hot Wheels models are a complex economy with many models going up in value as time goes on, availability and condition. It’s important to note that carded models understandably retain a better value. Take a look at our top tips for understanding what to look for when searching for valuable Hot Wheels models.

Production Error Models

Hot Wheels can sometimes be subject to production errors, from paint job faults to missing wheels and similar manufacturing mishaps. Whilst these errors can create disappointment or unsightly exhibits, they’re actually highly sought after by collectors as they are much rarer than the immaculate versions. The production errors are sometimes collected specifically by collectors, and many well established collections may feature error models in limited examples.

Zinc Aluminium Magnesium and Copper Models

On occasion, some Hot Wheels models are created without any livery, stickers and paint. These are made this way and are ZAMAC editions otherwise known as Zinc Aluminium Magnesium and Copper or Zinc Aluminium Metal Alloy Castings. Look out for these models as they are desirable and sought after.

First Editions

Casting (tooling), is the structural design for each Hot Wheels car. The year that you see on the bottom of the car is the year when cast went into production. Every year, new models are manufactured. Sometimes the same casting is used, sometimes an existing casting is modified and that then goes forward as a new casting. The first edition, just like books are often highly sought after.

Treasure Hunts

These the the special models that collectors go crazy for. The Treasure Hunt models are mainline models which have a special Treasure Hunt decal on the model itself and usually some marking behind the vehicle on the backing card. These are rare and highly desirable, depending on the series and year of production, these can fetch a pretty penny.

Convention Special Editions

Trade shows and special conventions (usually in the US), are good opportunities for Hot Wheels to manufacture limited edition special models, specifically for the event. These examples aren’t often put on general sale and the models found at these shows are usually very rare and desirable, with particular interest from the international community, given the scarcity.

The Sweet Sixteen Original Redlines

When Hot Wheels was first launched in 1968 by Mattel, their original line up consisted of 16 different models which included the following:

  • Beatnick Bandit
  • Deora
  • Ford J Car
  • Hot Heap
  • Python
  • Silhouette
  • Custom Barracuda
  • Custom Camaro
  • Custom Corvette
  • Custom Cougar
  • Custom El dorado
  • Custom Firebird
  • Custom Fleetside
  • Custom Mustang
  • Custom Thunderbird
  • Custom Volkswagen

These original models from the inaugural launch year are some of the most valuable Hot Wheels models on the market with many carded examples fetching thousands!

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