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What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible, Part 2: VARIANTS & VARIATIONS

By Brad Bannach

 

Thanks for coming back to read the second part (of five) on “What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible?” In the last segment, we talked about Childhood Favorites playing a major role in the way generations collect. Today, we will look at the one constant in collecting that has existed since the days of those very first Redlines collectors: Variants and Variations. 

 

Hot Wheels collectors have always gravitated toward collecting variants of their favorite Hot Wheels castings. From full-on color variations to intricacies in tampo and wheel changes, collectors collect it. Some are intentional, others are not. Variants refer to the number of times a casting is released -- whether it be by variation or by a new release method. And variations refer to when a single release has a change to it (i.e., color, wheels, graphics, etc.).

 

No Hot Wheels car has had more variants than the ‘67 Camaro™, which has nearly 300 if you include the packaging variants as well. Affinity for the ‘67 Camaro™ stems from its clean, custom look, complete with an opening hood and an exposed exhaust that peeks out from underneath the side panels. It's widely considered the most popular Hot Wheels car of all time and its sheer number of variants can make a collector go mad -- and broke! If you’re going to start collecting the ‘67 Camaro™ today, two words: “Good Luck!”

 

67-Camaro-GROUP-1570.png

 

Hot Wheels castings like the ‘67 Camaro™ always seem to grow in popularity. It is incredibly challenging -- and expensive -- to put together a casting collection that has dozens of variants, let alone hundreds. Though, if you can do it, it’s certainly a sight to see as collectors love a good casting collection.

 

Wheel variations have existed for decades but the specialized collector market really took off in the ‘80s and ‘90s when more wheel styles were introduced. Standard mainline production these days lasts only a few weeks. But back then, with longer production runs, the planned wheel would often run out at the factory, as certain releases were manufactured for months at a time. The factory would replace the planned wheels with another similar option, thus creating a wheel variation. Today, with the number of wheel styles we offer, wheel variations can (and do) occur. It takes a good variation hunter to know how to find them; and the most successful collectors are often the ones who dedicate the most time to research.

 

67-Camaro-5HO-5SP-1570-tiny.png

 

Color variations were the original variation, as the Original 16 came in a rainbow of colors. Outside of shade variations, most color variations are planned these days, as we know collectors love to collect them. Vehicles in the Hot Wheels mainline will often come in multiple colorways throughout the year, and we even offer a variety of store-exclusive color variations throughout the year. Make sure you check out our latest bunch of exclusive color variations at Dollar General. Another place collectors love to look for color variants are within the Hot Wheels multipacks, as many former graphic designs are brought back for exclusive recolors via the 3-, 9-, 10-, and 20-Packs.

 

67-Camaro-COLORWAYS-1570-tiny.png

 

Some collectors devote their entire Hot Wheels collection to variants and variations. For variant collectors, it’s often about completing a casting collection; while for variation collectors, it’s about tracking down the rare Hot Wheels that are out there -- or at least ones that are less common. Either way, collectors who collect by variant/variation are collecting what they like.

 

In the next part of this five-part series on “What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible?” we will explore some of today’s heavy hitters, as their collectability can often be traced back to A Significant Release. Look for that feature article soon!

 

Which Hot Wheels variants and variations do you like to collect? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIGBADBRAD01
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It is truly insane how many variations/variants there are. On one side you have people chasing factory errors that spawn from Mattel's questionable quality control. On the other hand, I know some people collect things like plastic card bubble variations (left and right facing), base code variations, and minor color shade variations. It drives me crazy sometimes how there are pseudo official variants such as wheel variations that are not quite official but do exist in extremely low quantities for obvious reasons. It's what makes the world of hot wheels so interesting and infuriating at the same time.

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JIMMEE442

Posted (edited)

i have always loved the 67 Camaro- opening hood, & all-metal casting!  i have a shelf  section dedicated to just them.   Pop was a Chevy mechanic, so that didn't hurt either.

the 68-70 Charger, & 442 both run right along with that.  i was very happy when Mattel bought them back out.  i've been collecting again since '95.

Edited by JIMMEE442
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homer442

Posted

that 67 Camaro with opening hood is nice... with great variations since 1982.

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1971grnmav

Posted

The 67 Camaro is my favorite for sure !!!  Chasing the different variations for collecting is truly a quest ,but fun. I suppose someone could write a good book for this Hot Wheels car in itself, which I"d also love to have !  There have been some nice variations in just the  past few years alone that would make a good collection. Always on the look!!!

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Digis32

Posted

Que buen artículo, me considero más un coleccionista de variantes que de variaciones. Las variaciones como argumentan compañeros anteriores hay demasiadas algunas intenciones y otras no. Prefiero destapar los castings que me gustan verlos a detalle y jugar de vez en cuando con ellos. 

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SAMACE26

Posted

I collect all the hotwheels variations. 👍And the 1967 Camaro is one of my favorite hotwheels castings. 👍

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HWdreamin

Posted

Great article!  Thanks for posting!  Love the 67 Camaro!  My favorite casting.  I have been collecting them for over 25 years. 😋

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SCOTTYMCSS@GMAIL.COM

Posted

My variation cabinet has *nearly* every Hot Wheels Ferrari F40 made. I'm only missing a white variation with saw blade wheels (that only came in a 5 pack). It's a tough one! Along the way I've needed to acquire the Ferrari Racer versions, and the 1998 Zamac, but the hardest to track down were the license plate variations. Wheels are easy to spot, but it takes much more time to find pieces that have or don't have a Hot Wheels stamp on the rear license plate! Variants are tough game, but it's the best game. Just super fun to take on the challenge. I highly recommend it.

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DIECAST_LOVER

Posted

That is one nice collection of '67 Camaros for sure.  

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Quattrons

Posted

I collect VW Bug! it he also has many variations!

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THEONE87

Posted

lets see....dairy delivery,55 chevy panel,64 gmc panel, all impalas,rivieras, galaxies,super vans,the list goes on lol!

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

18 hours ago, LSJAN8 said:

It is truly insane how many variations/variants there are. On one side you have people chasing factory errors that spawn from Mattel's questionable quality control. On the other hand, I know some people collect things like plastic card bubble variations (left and right facing), base code variations, and minor color shade variations. It drives me crazy sometimes how there are pseudo official variants such as wheel variations that are not quite official but do exist in extremely low quantities for obvious reasons. It's what makes the world of hot wheels so interesting and infuriating at the same time.

 

Keep in mind that in runs that have the quantity of the basics line, there are bound to be errors/variations based on the sheer quantity of product being produced.

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

4 hours ago, THEONE87 said:

lets see....dairy delivery,55 chevy panel,64 gmc panel, all impalas,rivieras, galaxies,super vans,the list goes on lol!

 

Some of those may be appearing in part 4 and 5. 😉

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FUSION06

Posted

1 hour ago, BIGBADBRAD01 said:

 

Some of those may be appearing in part 4 and 5. 😉

Part 3 recent heavy hitters will likely include: 55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser, Bone Shaker, 62 Custom Chevy Pickup, Datsun 510, Kool Kombi, 83 Chevy Silverado and in collector lines: VW T1 Panel, Convoy Custom, Blown Delivery.

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SHIRTMAN

Posted

In my Redlines Collection, I  have around 28 of the Splittin" Image casting, in multiple colors, as they go well with my Split Personalities.

I'm not a big Camaro collector per say, but I do have a couple of them around.

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Great article, Brad

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DAJENN76

Posted

Camaro let me guess running out of ideas😖

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JIMMEE442

Posted

BTW:  the Blue NEO vs Red NEO  is a very nice Article Header.  the Camaro HOARD is very impressive.

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DRSCOTT.LS56@YAHOO.COM

Posted

My favorite is the 56 Ford pickup. 

However they want to name it is fine with me. 67 Camaro is second followed by Boneshaker and ALL other pickups. 

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KINGJOEY59

Posted

I for one, am big into variation's and error's, and a lot of my main focus on my collection now is finding vary's of treasure hunt's, and other basic car's, but mostly t hunt's, finding them is the hard part, they don't come up to often. But that's the fun of the hunt. I have since 2012, found and put together a pretty good collection of them, there are some i may never find, and there are some i may never had the $$$ for, but there's always that chance,🤪

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EazyDuzIt

Posted

Probably the only casting I collect every one of at this time is the mazda fd rx7. That is my dream car and luckily it was released when I was collecting so I've been with it the whole way. Currently I have every one released including the red kday version and the zamac one released a few years ago. I love the 67 camaro too, I recently got the orange neo classics version off of Ebay and it is up there for one of my favorite hotwheels in my collection.

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Stevenyoungin

Posted

I’ve been collecting the 65 mustang convertible and classic cobra since i could remember. I would buy two, keep one in the package and then play with the other. 

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70SS454

Posted

I've tried for years to get a membership. The more I read I don't know if I want One.  😠 Most posts are not too happy with the current and ongoing Process?? 

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 4/30/2020 at 8:22 AM, DAJENN76 said:

Camaro let me guess running out of ideas😖

 

Not sure I follow.

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